Take the sure money or loosen up and try to double up?

    • alenstrat
      alenstrat
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2009 Posts: 821
      I'm finding it hard to evaluate risk vs. reward in the mid/late stages of MTT. What hand range are most of you playing at this stage (ie right before the bubble. Seems like I play too tight and end up with the blinds eating my stack once in the money every time as of late.

      I know the strategy articles say one should play looser on the bubble, but does everyone really do this? What is looser? What hand range? When you've got sure money is it a good idea to try to make a deeper run with coin flip odds at best?

      I ask this question because I make the money in a great amount of the tourneys I play, but can't seem to make deeper runs into tourneys. It might just be a long period of very bad variance. I just don't seem to get good cards in any tourney once in the money and haven't been able to get into the bigger prizes (top 20) in a long time. Most frustrating I made the money in a bunch of SCOOP events but once in the money couldn't advance much, in all of the tourneys I just got blinded out. For example I was getting very low pair and AXo below A10, nothing I could play against all those all ins and raises there are once in the money. Would it be a better idea to losen up earlier and try to boost my stack before the blinds eat me and I get blinded out? What does everyone else do? In some of the last tournaments I played I tried loosening up a but, but without much luck. Ie out yesterday at the bubble in a scoop where I went all in on a flush draw and overcards, out today in the daily dollar at the bubble with a flush draw and gutshot.
  • 5 replies
    • akrammon
      akrammon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.05.2009 Posts: 3,142
      I suggest you read Harrington's book about tournament strategy. Well, there is a tiny summary in the silver section, but the book itself might help.

      The "loosen up on bubble" only applies if the others tighten up - which happens most of the cases.
    • AaronLambert
      AaronLambert
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.05.2010 Posts: 446
      The big question here really comes down to...

      Play for the win?

      Play to get into the money?

      If you are playing MTTs (which you are we are in the MTT forum) your focus should always be on winning. So you will focus on widening your ranges against shorter stacks and be aggressive against them when you are near the bubble. People who have you covered will generally be pretty aggressive against you so you should defend a little wider than you would generally.

      I've seen people who have ITM%'s close to 15% and have -roi. I think it's a little odd but I for example have an ITM% of 11. I don't mind busting close to the bubble when I'm being aggressive and playing for the win.

      Risk reward is huge but the feeling you get from shipping big MTTs is worth all the bustouts near bubbles I may be handed.
    • Cardbender
      Cardbender
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.03.2008 Posts: 1,070
      I agree with Aaron here but one thing you need to take into account is your investment to return ratio.

      Say you win a step four ticket with a 7.5$ initial investment at stars and decide to use it in the Sunday million because you can't cash them. If your 200 people from the money and your cards are not coming, stall, stall, stall and wait for the money. Use all the time you can to slow down. 1st payout is 300-350$ so huge investment/return ratio.

      Mtts are interesting and you'll see different types have different ways to play em. Typically I go for the win but be aware of how your opponents are playing.

      i have 9% win/itm ratio with 45-55% roi from 2009. win% doesn't always matter as mentioned above.

      Edit: I should add I play satellites mainly and they get tricky especially on the bubble, there are many times you need to be passive or aggressive and it comes down to your opponents, blind sizes, stack sizes etc.
    • AaronLambert
      AaronLambert
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.05.2010 Posts: 446
      Well of course in certain situations it can drastically change the approach to the game.

      But as a general rule of thumb I suggest playing for the win. In your example you make valid points. If you are a player who doesn't have much of a bankroll and happen to be taking a shot in the Sunday Million I agree with the strategy. But if you are within your BR and a min cash isn't going to make or break you I would try to make +ev plays if possible.
    • Cardbender
      Cardbender
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.03.2008 Posts: 1,070
      yep, I agree! :D