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Early phase mixing it up.

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Early phase mixing it up. - Mon May 02, 2011, 05:12 PM
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andrei17731's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 160
Say you're playing a $11 tournament with a prize pool of 50k, its the early phase and everyone is playing tight, is it okay to loosen up and steal the blinds, make 2.5bb raises, or its better to make 3bb raises? and should u be doing this only if you have adequate information about your opponents hand ranges and his playing style? Also, at this stage of tournament, is it okay to play massive pots and be pot committed, if you have a good read on your opponents hand range? or is it better to play standard, by the book, at this stage?
 
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Sat Jun 11, 2011, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrei17731 View Post
Say you're playing a $11 tournament with a prize pool of 50k, its the early phase and everyone is playing tight, is it okay to loosen up and steal the blinds, make 2.5bb raises, or its better to make 3bb raises? and should u be doing this only if you have adequate information about your opponents hand ranges and his playing style? Also, at this stage of tournament, is it okay to play massive pots and be pot committed, if you have a good read on your opponents hand range? or is it better to play standard, by the book, at this stage?
This, I guess is some version of the small ball question ... there's no one real answer, but here's mine:

Mixing it up a lot and 2.5 bb raises is a good strategy if you believe your opponents are playing tight ABC poker and you think you can read their ranges well, and it's also best played with long blind levels and a deep stack.
The problem is, early on the blinds are tiny - they're not even worth stealing, really, and even 3bb isn't enough to isolate preflop - and afterwards they move up so quickly (15 minute levels, usually) that stacks don't keep up. So I think it makes more sense, early on, to play solid tag poker, preferably post-flop, and exploit opponents' mistakes - at this stage the donks are giving money away. When the blinds are more respectable it makes sense to loosen up and play more complex poker; reduce the preflop raise size, etc.
 
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Sat Jun 11, 2011, 08:50 AM
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tombomb92's Avatar
Since: Oct 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jf70 View Post
This, I guess is some version of the small ball question ... there's no one real answer, but here's mine:

Mixing it up a lot and 2.5 bb raises is a good strategy if you believe your opponents are playing tight ABC poker and you think you can read their ranges well, and it's also best played with long blind levels and a deep stack.
The problem is, early on the blinds are tiny - they're not even worth stealing, really, and even 3bb isn't enough to isolate preflop - and afterwards they move up so quickly (15 minute levels, usually) that stacks don't keep up. So I think it makes more sense, early on, to play solid tag poker, preferably post-flop, and exploit opponents' mistakes - at this stage the donks are giving money away. When the blinds are more respectable it makes sense to loosen up and play more complex poker; reduce the preflop raise size, etc.

yea as said i play a tag stratagy in these and then tend to loosen as the game and blinds progress when u have say a 3k stack and the blinds are 15/30 a total of 45 chips it hardly makes a difference to how you would play you when nearly everyone is 100bb deep if i have people playing like this i tend to sit tight wait for spots with hands and 3 bet you where calling or raiseing are difficult plays and in the long term i feel when you are this deep its more +ev to play a tag stratagy than a lag stratagy
 
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play a few hands... - Mon Sep 05, 2011, 06:48 PM
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SküllDüggery's Avatar
Since: Jul 2010
Posts: 43
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if you don't play at least a few hands, sub par or not, you won't catch any cards til' it's too late. you gotta show big brother you are there, or youll just get dealt 2 9 os over and over....lol.
 
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Mon Oct 03, 2011, 05:17 AM
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JDean's Avatar
Since: Aug 2010
Posts: 3,145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrei17731 View Post
Say you're playing a $11 tournament with a prize pool of 50k, its the early phase and everyone is playing tight, is it okay to loosen up and steal the blinds, make 2.5bb raises, or its better to make 3bb raises? and should u be doing this only if you have adequate information about your opponents hand ranges and his playing style? Also, at this stage of tournament, is it okay to play massive pots and be pot committed, if you have a good read on your opponents hand range? or is it better to play standard, by the book, at this stage?
Answer: it depends.

Re: "loosening up" to steal the blinds early.

You must keep in mind that in an MTT there is a good chance you will be at a table for quite a while.

With that in mind, you must recognize that your early actions will tend to weigh into your table's perceptions of you; at an $11 MTT level with a 50k prize pool, chances are good there will be some "aware" players.

If your intent in making early plays at the blinds are meant to set an image of loose aggression, which you can later leverage for greater chip extraction when you catch stronger hands, then there really is nothing wrong with that idea.

You must be cognizant of the fact that if you are just "stealing blinds" though, the amounts you win through those steal attempts are very small in relation to the chip stack you will hold at later stages. You also must recognize that at some point your table may well begin to "play back" at your frequent steal attempts. Since you will generally be raising or re-raising when you are attempting to steal, this play back will tend to cost you the "gross profits" you have derived from multiple blind steals; it is not a 1 to 1 exchange amount when you must fold to play back (1 blind steal "lost" for each forced fold).

In short, there are causes and effects to any style with which you elect to begin an MTT, and as long as you are aware of both the positives and the negatives, and work to control those effects via your decisions, it is "ok" to adopt either a tight or loose early style.

Re: Raise sizing 2.5BB vs. 3BB

The early stages of an MTT generally features "deep money" stack situations. the chip stacks have usually not seen enough distribution to break the table down into small, medium, and large stacks. This tends to have an effect on your open raise sizing decisions.

A 2.5BB raise sizing choice is useful when the table dynamic features a variety of stack sizes, especially those which may be short enough to go all in pre-flop to "make a stand", but are still large enough to represent a significant loss to your stack. It is also useful when there is a high aggression level at the table, including a large amount of 3betting. This size is prefered in those dynamics because it allows a decent raise frequency, yet represents less of a loss to your stack if you must fold to strong play back. Additionally, as the blinds advance, even the larger stacks tend to be "less deep" than they were at the beginning of the event. As such, "standard" betting lines tend to mean a larger portion of any stack are going to be put into the pot to continue play. The 2.5BB open raise standard becomes as effective in causing folds, because light entry into pots by nearly ANY stack at the table may well bring about un-warranted committment decisions.

3BB raises are useful on deeper money situations, when 3BB do not necessarily "hurt" should you have to fold them. These sorts of raises prevent opponents from "taking cheap(er) shots" at the higher implied odds deeper stack situations bring. Calling along in pots which start with the larger raise size tends to lead to situations where a caller who IS "taking a shot" can find himself more deeply invested than his hand is really worth.

Re: THIS and should u be doing this only if you have adequate information about your opponents hand ranges and his playing style?

Generally, the less info you have on opponents, the more "ABC" your play should be until you gain info upon which you base decisions to deviate from "standard" plays. It really should not take too long for you to collect the info needed to form nascent strategies for use versus your table, so it isn't like you need to wait for 6 or 7 orbits before testing the waters with hands other than group 1 and 2s.

Alternately, there is some benefit in "setting an image" by getting involved early upon being re-seated at a table, but my personal preference is to only make "image investments" like that if I arrive with a deep stack already. No matter what your decision regarding how you want to approach a table about which you have little information, you MUST recognize the potential effects upon your stack, and your overall equity in the MTT as a whole, of your choice of approach.

Re: playing large pots early on

In the early stages, when the money tends to be very deep, you really want to avoid playing large pots ("large" as a function of significant percentages of your stack) in any case when you do not hold the nut or near nut hand. Afterall, you have to remember the only way you can go out of the MTT is by being all in. Hands that you would happily stake your MTT life on in later stages, when your stack may be only 15BB or 20BB (like top pair/top kicker) are really NOT the sorts of hands you want to lose 50% or 60% of a 150BB sack stack on in level 1.

...hope these address your questions.

I wish you "good decisions".

-JDean

Last edited by JDean; Tue Oct 04, 2011 at 03:32 AM..
 

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