Playing as the table chipleader

    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      Hi!

      Can anyone give me some tips on playing as the table chipleader? It's really weird, but I'm really uncomfortable in many spots.

      Thanks!
  • 7 replies
    • alenstrat
      alenstrat
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2009 Posts: 821
      I'd also love to hear what more experienced players say about this. I had a situation yesterday, quadrupled up like 10 minutes into the Sunday 1/4 million. So I had 4x the chips of everyone else and was 3rd in the tourney all of a sudden. So here I began to screw up big time. Seems like I had so many chips I didn't know what to do. Or rather what I concluded later is that I abandoned my TAG game plan and started playing with no game plan, and that obviously doomed me, put me in losing positions and of course I lost. I was trying to do some imitation of chip leader, but I was actually pressuring the wrong people and/in the wrong spots or not pressuring the enough. After an hour and a half I had thrown away all the chips I won and was back to 3K chips. I didn't even make the money LOL. :f_o: :f_cry: :f_mad:

      So I evidently didn't know how to manage my position as chip leader. It seems so easy when one sees these guys with huge stacks pressuring everyone into folding their hands on your table, but it's not that easy when one is the chipleader. I guess one has to have a chipleader plan to switch to. Because having no game plan is impending disaster. So, what should that "chipleader" plan be? Loosen up and play more hands? Try more steals/resteals then you normally would? Run everyone else out of an ugly board with an allin? Or remain TAG, with the difference of being more aggressive in the few hands you enter? Input would be greatly appreciated.
    • ghaleon
      ghaleon
      Black
      Joined: 17.10.2007 Posts: 5,877
      Not that I know much of these, but being chip lead in early stage shouldn't really change your play style. That's because even though you have 4x average, others are still also deep stacked. So if you lose up your game early others can play quite easily against you. This might not be a problem, if your postflop skills are good enough. It's totally different situation later when you can force smaller stacks to decide are they going to take risk of busting out with normal size bets/raises.

      Stack abuse is obviously totally dependent of price structure/tournament situation, other players on table and your own image. Playing loose just because "I can afford it" is bad idea. Adapt to other players and put pressure in situations where you have decent/good fold equity and play is $EV+.
    • TheRebuz
      TheRebuz
      Platinum
      Joined: 12.10.2008 Posts: 2,078
      Originally posted by alenstrat
      remain TAG, with the difference of being more aggressive in the few hands you enter?
      in early stages, play in pos.
    • Jehudas
      Jehudas
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.05.2008 Posts: 207
      when I'm in the lead - I lean back and play really really thight and after the positions and earn youself some respect. Depending on the size of the blind I play some hands like lower pocketpairs or suited connectors if I can see the flop pretty cheap and am in position.
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      Being chip leader early in mtt is not imo the time to try to abuse it. Just play tight and play premium hands. What is the point in blind stealing when blinds are low? The risk/reward ratio is not good.
      Where you can use it early is when you have reads on people and can see they will fold their raises to a reraise or where several limpers are in the pot, otherwise just play tight and in position.
      When the blinds are much higher, if you are chip leader you can raise much more, especially if you have created this tight image. Best thing is to raise unopened pots from mid to late position, no need for massive raises, just 2.5 - 3 times BB should do it.
      If someone plays back at you, you can either fold or put them to a decision for all their chips depending on your holding and reads.
      If you have to fold more than a couple of times, opponents have realised that you are raising light and you can tighten up a bit.
      Its surprising how few people will actually play back at big stack late on, especially around the bubble and you can be fairly sure that if they do, most of the time they have a quality hand.
      Of course, if you manage to pick up a premium hand during this phase when you are playing loose aggressive, you are more likely to get paid off and will also discourage others playing back at you.
    • alenstrat
      alenstrat
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2009 Posts: 821
      That last reply was good, it's something like what I'm doing lately.

      I now actually tighten up even more when I build a huge stack early on if the tournament is normal speed. In turbo I might consider pressuring a few smaller stacks here and there, or squeezing multiple limpers with mid pocket pair type of stuff, since the risk is worth it, since your stack will wane quickly if you don't keep picking chips up.

      For example in the daily dollar rebuy I made 20th place I had such a huge stack all the time till the very last stages, that I was only playing AA KK QQ and AK and folding everything else, folded 1010 and JJ once at least to other preflop raises. I think I played 4 or 5 hands in 200 hands at one point once already in the money. I guess this tournament might be an exception though seems the fish drop out so fast that the chipleaders have 100 or 200 bb or more at times.

      As you said, I only get looser when my stack goes below 20bb, and very aggresive once it's close to or below 10. And when that time comes the supertight table image really helps to get extra folds.
    • ghaleon
      ghaleon
      Black
      Joined: 17.10.2007 Posts: 5,877
      Originally posted by alenstrat
      For example in the daily dollar rebuy I made 20th place I had such a huge stack all the time till the very last stages, that I was only playing AA KK QQ and AK and folding everything else, folded 1010 and JJ once at least to other preflop raises. I think I played 4 or 5 hands in 200 hands at one point once already in the money. I guess this tournament might be an exception though seems the fish drop out so fast that the chipleaders have 100 or 200 bb or more at times.

      As you said, I only get looser when my stack goes below 20bb, and very aggresive once it's close to or below 10. And when that time comes the supertight table image really helps to get extra folds.
      Sounds like too tight play imo :)

      That way your stack is inevitably going to get shallow quite quickly. What you should try to do is to search $EV+ spots. So make steals or re-steals if you see those profitable. Also wider open raises from late position has good chance to get blinds or play pot from position postflop.

      If others are making notes at all they will notice that you are only playing those premium hands. I don't know details so those "folding TT and JJ to other preflop raises" might be totally fine. Just remember that being total nit is not usually going to bring those final table seats... Also image building has it's problems in mtt's. One might jump to some other table at any point. So then that tight image is gone and you have those 10bb left ---> Not a situation you want to be in.