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Middle Tournament Strategy


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#1 PokerJon300

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:12 AM

Hi everyone, as the title of the post suggests I'm running into problems in middle stages of tournaments. First hour I'm usually ok I can double or triple up with little to no problem. The 2nd and 3rd hour I run into major problems. Blinds catch up to me, a few flops don't go my way and before I know it my M is below 10 and its shove time. I think the major problem for me is that I don't expand my starting requirements which are fairly tight. I play AA, KK, AK, AQ, JJ and 10s, 9s, anywhere. anyother pair I like to try to see a cheap flop or raise from late position setting up possible bluff situations if I don't make trips. A x suited I play mid to late either raising 3x BB if unopened or calling up to 3x BB with to try to pickup the flush draw or maybe bluff if an ace hits the board. KJ play late if there aren't big raises from early positions. I do NOT play QJ offsuit and I treat QJ suited as suited connectors. Suited connectors above 6 I play in late position if I have a little action in front of me possibly trying to pickup a monster draw or flush draw. 1 gappers such as 6 8, 7 9, and 8 10 I play like suited connectors. Early on it works great but expanding I'm kinda at a loss when it comes to expanding my starting requirements. So my question is, in the middle stages how should I expand my requirements or if these suffice, is there something I'm not doing correctly? I maintain a solid player image which allows me a few bluff oppertunities but I don't do it extensively. I am usually viewed as tight aggressive. Thanks in advance for your feedbackJon

#2 total_con12

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 11:52 AM

I've noticed that playing Ax suited or unsuited in the middle of stages of tourney's after a raise is just not a good idea. Of course if the raiser is super loose it's fine, but usually I just dump Ax after a raise. There just aren't many flops that you want to see other than two pair where you feel safe enough to continue with confidence. Ax gets a lot of players in trouble, if your post flop play is good enough to overcome it's disadvantages then by all means, but if not this could be siphoning chips right out of your stack every tournament.Other than that, just be aggressive and don't be afraid to lose, you might just win.
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#3 trystero

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 01:02 PM

View Posttotal_con12, on Sunday, August 26th, 2007, 3:52 PM, said:

I've noticed that playing Ax suited or unsuited in the middle of stages of tourney's after a raise is just not a good idea. Of course if the raiser is super loose it's fine, but usually I just dump Ax after a raise. There just aren't many flops that you want to see other than two pair where you feel safe enough to continue with confidence. Ax gets a lot of players in trouble, if your post flop play is good enough to overcome it's disadvantages then by all means, but if not this could be siphoning chips right out of your stack every tournament.Other than that, just be aggressive and don't be afraid to lose, you might just win.
Listen to this guy. Play more ABC type poker, which means folding weak aces to raises. Doesn't matter if they're suited. The amount of postflop skill you can have to offset the hand's weakness is overrated in tournaments. Often times you're too shallow to get away from top pair should you flop it, and going broke to bigger kickers is unavoidable. Fold most hands to raises. The middle-late stages of a tourney essentially become a two-street game. You want hands with strong preflop equity, you want to open pots in position, and you want to avoid calling off your stack with marginal hands like suited connecters, weak aces, and frail broadway (QJ/AQ/KJ etc). The good news is that you apparently hate QJ, and I'm proud of you for that. This is partially why your chip stack's dwindling - it's not that you're too tight - it's that you're playing too many speculative "drawing" hands to raises.You'll also want to look for spots to steal dead money. Suppose you're in the BB with the 89h. Here's one of those suited connecters. The blinds are 150/300 and you're sitting with 5400. Comparable stacks open limp from MP and the button, and the SB completes. So what's your play? Well, there's already 1200 in the pot, which represents more than 20% of your stack, so I'd go ahead and move in here. Most likely your opponents will fold, as their hands weren't worth raising, and even if you're called by broadway or lower pocket pairs (I see 22-77 calling here a lot) you're only a slight underdog.

#4 Cappy37

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 01:16 PM

View PostPokerJon300, on Sunday, August 26th, 2007, 12:12 PM, said:

Blinds catch up to me, a few flops don't go my way and before I know it my M is below 10 and its shove time. I think the major problem for me is that I don't expand my starting requirements which are fairly tight.
That could be a concern right there. I don't know what level buy ins you are playing, but even with an M under ten you are playing with fire trying to get laydowns with all-in bets. You aren't greatly increasing the amounts of pots you are going to take pre-flop in the latter stages, and you are getting any pertinent information after your chips are already in the middle of the pot. Even with 3k in chips, a raise to 5 or 600 will accomplish the blind steal you need at 100/200, and the range of hands that will re-raise you all in is far narrower than the range of hands that will call an all-in PF (especially if you are stealing from bigger stacks). Post flop, it's all fair game, you can have a lot of fun with continuation bets, re-raises, and the like. You may even flop a hand. There are so many options post-flop to concern yourself with. Shoving pre-flop takes an awful lot of those options away. You will need to chip up and you will probably need to double. But don't confuse the two, especially with marginal hands. You need to survive long enough to get lucky, that's the nature of the beast. Survive early and get lucky later.Edit: nice to see someone already suggesting the "Barry Play" to add to his low-stack late-tourney arsenal. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
QUOTE (El Guapo @ Thursday, April 30th, 2009, 10:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Whatever angle it is, i am pretty sure it will be obtuse.


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#5 trystero

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 01:24 PM

View PostCappy37, on Sunday, August 26th, 2007, 5:16 PM, said:

Edit: nice to see someone already suggesting the "Barry Play" to add to his low-stack late-tourney arsenal. I think I just threw up in my mouth a little.
It's simple chip accumulation, not the "Barry Play." You want to get chips in all tournaments, irrespective of the buy-in, and seizing dead money is terrific way to accomplish this. Of course table dynamics dictate how frequently you should do so.

#6 pokerinc

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 01:43 PM

sounds like you're playing too much. At least in most online tourneys you're not deep enough to be calling a lot of raises pre flop w/ connecters small pairs etc..Raise or fold for a few games, see if you get a good thing going.
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#7 Cappy37

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 01:47 PM

View Posttrystero, on Sunday, August 26th, 2007, 2:24 PM, said:

It's simple chip accumulation, not the "Barry Play." You want to get chips in all tournaments, irrespective of the buy-in, and seizing dead money is terrific way to accomplish this. Of course table dynamics dictate how frequently you should do so.
Thank you for clarifying that. I agree with adding the play, but it is 100% situational. I'm the furthest thing from a forum nazi, just wanted to make that clear. God knows how many poor souls we've already ruined with the Krablar and the open-farrell.The "squeeze play" hinges upon a few factors:1. Size of the blinds2. Tournament level (i.e. near bubble, pre-bubble, near pay-jump, etc.)3. Players in pot.4. $$ Buy in of the tournament5. Reads on players6. Sizes of stacks7. Players left to act behind you.8. Poker tracker/HUD information, if any.9. Your table image.0. Your M level.etc, etc, etc. That's just ten off the top of my head. You need a lot of laydowns for the squeeze to work. You want to be reasonably certain that you can 1. ) Get enough players to lay down or 2. ) thin the field and get called by a weaker hand.If you are sacrificing first-in vig, and putting your tourney life on the line with limited information, you'll want to be reasonably sure you have a strong chance that either of the previous paragraph's scenarios are plausible.A strong example of a reasonable squeeze play is when you get a MP or button limper and the SB completes. There is (including yours) 3x the BB in the pot and no show of strength whatsoever. That = a good opporitunity to add to your stack without confrontation by popping it up 5x the BB or shoving, depending upon your M level.
QUOTE (El Guapo @ Thursday, April 30th, 2009, 10:58 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Whatever angle it is, i am pretty sure it will be obtuse.


QUOTE (David_Sklansky @ Thursday, February 12th, 2009, 7:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I give you the gift of arousal and this is how you talk to me?

#8 whatgreatis

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Posted 26 August 2007 - 05:39 PM

You should look for weak players/short stacks/passives and raise their blinds in position. Most of the time you will just steal their blind unless they have a good hand or you'll be able to throw out a continueation bet and take it down there. Very rarely does this strategy go to 4th street but if it does use caution because they likely have a hand or a strong draw. Make sure you build up a big stack early so you can pick on the weak players blinds during the middle to late periods of a tournament. Dont try to steal every hand or they'll catch on but do it frequently enough so weak players dont see free flops.
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#9 owise1

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Posted 18 September 2007 - 08:21 AM

View Posttotal_con12, on Sunday, August 26th, 2007, 11:52 AM, said:

I've noticed that playing Ax suited or unsuited in the middle of stages of tourney's after a raise is just not a good idea. Of course if the raiser is super loose it's fine, but usually I just dump Ax after a raise. There just aren't many flops that you want to see other than two pair where you feel safe enough to continue with confidence. Ax gets a lot of players in trouble, if your post flop play is good enough to overcome it's disadvantages then by all means, but if not this could be siphoning chips right out of your stack every tournament.Other than that, just be aggressive and don't be afraid to lose, you might just win.
Good advice here. As well you said, "A x suited I play mid to late either raising 3x BB if unopened or calling up to 3x BB with to try to pickup the flush draw or maybe bluff if an ace hits the board."I would not be calling 3x bb trying to pickup the flush draw. You just aren't getting the odds for it. If you are in late position (or ideally closing the action) and 4+ have entered the pot calling the raise, then you have good odds for calling. Otherwise you are just spewing irreplaceable tournament chips. owise1
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