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Archive for December, 2013

“Multi Table Tournament(MTT) Strategy Part 3-The Bubble”

Written by on December 22, 2013 in Texas Holdem Strategy with 0 Comments
“Multi Table Tournament(MTT) Strategy Part 3-The Bubble”

In tournament play, the bubble is defined as the place right before you finish in the money. Playing the bubble can be both exciting and stressful. It is the point in a tournament when players tend to tighten up in fear of busting out before cashing.
If you are playing just to cash, then the bubble could be your downfall. Here are some tips that will help you survive the bubble to make a deeper tournament run.

Regardless how good you are, your one leak may be that you are not raising enough before the bubble. As the bubble approaches, you should never be limping into pots. There are so many players out there willing to fold better hands in order to make it into the money. You as a player should be playing to win and not just to cash. You must also take full advantage of this by exploiting your opponents’ unwillingness to gamble so close to the bubble.

Say you’re in the hi-jack or cut-off position with KJ and it is folded around to you. This situation should be perfect for you to raise to steal the blinds and antes. A standard raise should suffice. Anything less and the remaining players will see it as a steal attempt and anything more and you may not be able to get away from your hand, if they choose to re-raise you. The goal should always be to take advantage of the players who are only trying to cash and avoid confrontations.

To be a successful tournament player, you should already be looking into targeting weak players. This is even more crucial as you get closer to the bubble. Players who fold to a lot of aggression are perfect to have their blinds stolen. Other players, scared to play all-in big pots are only looking to cash. You must put adequate pressure on them by raising them, when you believe that they will fold.

Stealing as much as possible from weaker opponents and those just trying to make pass the bubble is a solid plan but even the most passive players will eventually get fed up and feel that they are getting bullied. Try to make sure that you are not stealing from the same players over and over again, They will eventually feel that they have had enough and will defend their blinds, so try to steal evenly among the other players so that your opponents won’t feel singled out most of the time.

Aggressive play right before the bubble can pay big time. You should always be making a continuation bet after a pre-flop raise. Even if a player flat-calls a sizeable pre-flop raise, it is unlikely that they will go ahead into the hand with anything less than outstanding. By staying aggressive, you will get those weak opponents to fold marginal hands. Always be the final bettor or raiser.

If you have the mindset that a bubble doesn’t exist you will then be able to take advantage of your opponents who are very aware of the bubble consequences. Playing to accumulate chips, making the final table and taking down the whole thing should be the only thing you should be focusing on. The more chips you acquire when it’s bubble time, the more leverage you have over your opponents. You will have more chips to survive any type of variance and you will also be able to put pressure without fear on those who are simply there to make the money.

Good luck and good variance to you all!!!

“Multi Table Tournament(MTT) Strategy Part 2-The Middle Stages”

Written by on December 7, 2013 in Texas Holdem Strategy with 0 Comments
“Multi Table Tournament(MTT) Strategy Part 2-The Middle Stages”

As we approach the middle stage of the tournament, the antes will be increasing more and more. Once that happens you will need to open up your game and play more agressively. This is the stage that you need to accumulate chips as fast as you can. The blinds and antes will become significantly large up to 10% of your stack. Types of action you will see in the middle stage will include pot stealing/re-stealing, loose players jamming UTG, and the loosest players shoving with marginal hands in early position.

At this stage, tight aggressive players will have to open up their hand range and play more of a loose aggressive strategy. The middle stage of a tournament is where you will see what the unskilled players are made of. Players who lack knowledge of tournament equity and how to play agressively will get beat.

During this stage you should also be re-raising against late-position players who are blind-stealing with marginal hands. You should be blind stealing from late and mid positions as often as possible. Strong tournament players will actually expect you to steal from late position. This is why stealing from mid-position is far more effective because it shows more strength.

Your value of pre-flop pots at this stage increases with the antes. When you are playing from the blinds in this stage it is necessary to defend your hand by re-raising a late-position raiser once in a while. You should always avoid calling from the blinds to opening bets unless you have the implied odds or are limp-shoving. The most effective way to defend blinds is by re-raising (limp shoving).

Unlike early stage strategy, you have to take bigger risks here and force yourself to steal. The most important thing when bluffing in a tournament (Scotty Ngyugen notes) is to make sure you still have outs in case you get called.

Maintaining a loose/agressive image and preventing players from bullying you in my opinion is key during the middle stages. You want to have enough respect from them to give you fold equity for your steals and a loose image to get value for your overbets and shoves. It is always good to mix up your game and not become predictable.

3-betting against weak opponents from early position is a excellent example of mixing it up. Always try to take advantage of weak players and make sure you are the bully and not the victim. It only takes a few of hands to show your authority on the table and if you’re seen folding too many times to re-steals then everyone at the table will take advantage and re-raise you.

So remember, loose-aggressive play and you will win more pots with re-raises and bluffs . Players will think twice before raising ahead of you in an earlier position.

Good luck and good variance to you all!!!

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