Stuck in the middle in MTTs

    • Valsomething
      Valsomething
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.08.2010 Posts: 20
      OK folks...help me out here.

      I have been playing online poker since 2008 and achieve 16%-19% ITM every year in tournaments (over almost 7,000 games) and between 11%-12% finishes in the top 10% of the field overall. However, despite achieving consistent results, the top 5% finishes and final tables eludes me. Over this time and games, I have only reached the final table 4 times (with field greater than 1,000 players) with my highest being 3rd.

      Now, I understand playing more games does not mean I MUST get to the final tables more often - there is a skill element involved with poker not just mathematical distributions. Thus, over the years I have adopted many suggestions made by other players - such as playing a wider range of cards especially if I am in late position and first to act, playing more aggressively with premium hole cards especially when in position and using pot odds to make bets/calls rather than by instinct. I have read countless books and poker strategy materials as well spent a lot of time on forums seeing what others are discussing and how they are playing.

      Everything I learnt and applied had their share of successes and failures (the greatest failure being adopting the playing style of Gus Hansen based on his book :f_biggrin: ) but no matter what I do, my ITM results remain the same and my desire for more frequent top finishes still remains beyond my grasp.

      As a more specific issue, as many hands from the middle of the tournament onwards tend to gravitate towards going all-in (if I am short stacked) or calling a short stack all-in I find pot odd and position strategies doesn't help that much. There is only really 1 decision pre-flop and leave the rest to the poker gods. I am finding that in most cases no matter what I do, I cannot win. Go into a all-in hand ahead and get suckered or be behind and miss my cards.

      Variance is a huge part of the game and I think I have played enough games and long enough to believe variance seems to be skewered for me - and not in my favor. I am not griping about losing - this isn't the purpose of the thread.

      I am posting with the hope that others can share with me their general strategies in the middle/late portion of the tournaments that may improve my tournament results. How to find that edge when so many hands tend to be all ins shoves.

      Thanking you in advance for taking the time to read my post and my appreciation if you could share your thoughts.
  • 5 replies
    • jules97
      jules97
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.06.2012 Posts: 1,449
      Get better at wining flips

      but seriously, win flips

      Your problem, if there is a problem, may not be later parts of tournaments. Perhaps you are getting to the later stages often with crippled stack sizes because you missing out on +ev opportunities/flips earlier on (19% ITM is a little high). Or perhaps its neither and just general poker skillz u need to work on. Or perhaps you just should win more flips @ crucial times.

      when it’s just another day of an endless downswing - life with face cards


      http://www.nsdpoker.com/2011/01/mtt-pros/
    • frisbald
      frisbald
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.03.2009 Posts: 238
      Maybe you should get more volume (adding more tables or play longer sessions), 7k MTTs in 7 years dont seems like a lot of poker.
    • metza
      metza
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.01.2012 Posts: 2,220
      Think he means 7k per year.

      Also are you working with software like ICMizer or SNGwizard to make sure you actually have the best ranges in these push/fold spots?
    • Valsomething
      Valsomething
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.08.2010 Posts: 20
      Thanks for your comments and I agree with you whole heartedly.....I really do want to win more flips but it is hardly in my control to do so for the all-ins I lose. As for taking more chances earlier in the tournament, it is an advice I have been given before and have adopted to some success. My stack sizes varies widely at ITM and whilst I have often been weak stacked I have also had many tournament where I was one of the top chip stacks as well. In both situations, I like to believe my stack size - whatever it may be - is not because I was too passive or tight in the earlier stages. In other words...not from a lack of trying. But thank you for reinforcing this point.
    • Valsomething
      Valsomething
      Bronze
      Joined: 12.08.2010 Posts: 20
      I am using Holdem Manager as a HUD but as I pointed out, whilst the stats are of some use in the earlier stages of a tournament but not much when assessing all ins in the latter part of the tournament. For example, a recent tournament I had a decent stack and in the top 10% of the field. I call a small stack all in A3 with AKo and lose when a 3 comes on the flop. A few hands later I call another small stack 99 all in with AQs and miss. Finally, now I am the short stack and I push all in with QQ and a big stack calls me with T9o and gets trip T and I am out. I don't want to focus too much on the hands example above but I mention them to highlight that the HUDs are pretty useless in assessing the range in these situations. Even if it was, I am sure it would have told me to call and push in all 3 situations - with the same losing result.