Thursday, January 06, 2005

Calling all Tourney Masters

I have a question for those of you tourney players out there. Now that I am a smiley, ok I just like saying that, and have done reasonably well in my last few tries at the 5K tourney I want to expand my horizons. So for those of you who play on Empire poker what should I take a shot on? Are the qualifiers good? I have to win two in a row for those to pay off. Are the 100/25 tourneys a lot harder? I would assume less people enter them, so instead of beating 249 people to make nineteen dollars, I could beat 75 to make a few hundred with a possibility at thousands?

My plan goes as follows for the next month:

1. Keep playing 5/10 short to grow the bankroll
2. Play O8 10/1, 20/2 or 30/3 games and parlay the winnings into
entries into MTTs, either the 5K, or whatever people think is good.

Hopefully if I keep taking shots at it one of these days I can say I came in first at something. The wife would love a cruise.. So get off your duffs and let me know what I should play. Should I stick to the 5K until I can consistently beat it? Is there any ability for consistent winning in these things or is it too much of a skill+luck thing? It seems like you could make a lot of money playing these if you got good.


Blogger BSN said...

I am NOT the right guy to give advice on this, so I'll just relate my experience and maybe you'll spot a leak that applies to you. I can usually get a top-10% finish if I'm concentrating, meaning there has to be money at stake. I don't take free or cheap MTTs seriously enough. I also run into trouble after the first break. I suppose it just breaks my concentration. I find it very difficult to people on hands after a break. But, probably the biggest problem I have, and something you said made it sound like you might also, is tightening up too much when you're close to the money. I know it sucks to waste a couple hours and bust out on the bubble, but I think the people that make the good money are playing to win whenever they feel they have an edge. While it's satisfying to say you made the money, the $19 has no impact on your bankroll or your life - but the hundreds or thousands at stake for finishing higher will. I'm not saying to go all-in every hand when you're on the bubble, but don't be afraid to make the other guy make a decision for a big part of his chips when he's on the bubble and you have edge - he's probably just trying to keep from busting out also.


8:04 AM

Blogger Poker Nerd said...

I know nothing about Empire's tournaments, but I will say this:

If you play tournaments that are well within your bankroll and have a disciplined approach, there is no doubt in my mind that they are the best bang for your buck. must think long-term...there will be huge droughts.

If you're thinking seriously about NL tournaments, take a chunk of your bankroll and buy Harrington on Hold 'Em. This thing is tournament gold.

8:14 AM

Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I do agree with you. I do think I have to balance this. Last night my main problem is I got no hands at all. I played maybe 3 hands by the time the blinds were 50/100. I was down to 600. I went all in with my K's and A9o, and got lucky to be doubled up twice. A9o vs A6o and K's vs Q's. I then had 3K and really did not see a hand I liked in this period. By this time I was 8 to the money so I let myself be blinded down from 3600 to 2600 and made the money. I then went all in with my 2600 with JJ and busted out. By this time I was all into all or nothing mode. I just got unlucky vs KJ. I do not think I waited too long. The extra 1K might have been nice but it was not substantial enough to have effected my tourney outcome.

What I really need to do I think is make more, looser, moves earlier. If I can get my stack up to 5-10K before the blinds get scary then I can bully when they are scary, and really be in good position to win.

I think I might be a little too tight early on. I think I need to limp a little more if possible on questionable hands. Build myself a nice chip lead. Possibly go all in on a few coin tosses. I really think the early play sets up the aggressiveness later.

I have only had sufficient chips once, and I made 4th place. I did that by getting my roll to 3-4K before the blinds got too high, and gambling a bit to double that, and then playing aggresive and crusing into a win. Of course I screwed that up when I was down to 4. Doh!

8:22 AM

Blogger mscmike said...

I think you're right in that last post. If you're tight early, you're not going to be in a position to do anything big late in the game. Just be loose with the right hands - it sucks just as bad to lose early, but then you just throw into the next one... hehe

The only way you're going to be in a position to do something late in the tourney is to build up big before the blinds get crazy. If you just want to make the money, you can play tight, and probly make the money, but you'll be short-stacked when you get there....

11:15 AM

Blogger Mourn said...

I only somewhat agree that you have to build a big stack early on. I'll obviously defer to Harrington, and I have ordered his book but I don't have it yet, but he is about as tight as they come and has two final tables in the last two WSOPs plus a win several years back to show for it.

I'm not comparing the two hour structure of the WSOP final event to an online tournament by any means...but: I am speaking from some experience. I have won a 400+ entrant tournament (granted it was only a $5 buy-in) as well as two others with smaller player pools and one live tournament (35 players). In all of these I was drum-tight in the early going and I made my moves close to the bubble with good cards, picking off smaller stacks and doubling through looser big stacks. In no limit, it doesn't take long to skyrocket up the leaderboard, usually one or two hands, and you have to still be around to do it. I'm not saying you shouldn't take a few shots early, but every chip you give away on a flyer has an exponential effect four or five double-ups down the road. To simplify, if the first time you make a move, you have 600 chips, four doubles down the road you're at 9,600. If you make that same move with 800 you're at 12,800 at the same point. That could be two or three orbits worth of blinds in the later stages.

To me, I want to survive 80% of the field with something close to an average stack, but you also have to remember that the average is usually a lot higher than the median in a tournament. Meaning that there are always some very top heavy big stacks who pull that average up, so being underpar isn't as bad as it seems, 20% under par is probably still about the middle of the field, and thus, on track for the money. At that point, I'm looking to score off of a small stack or a really big stack who wants to gamble. This is where I think you need to shift gears and try to accumulate for a run at the final table. There are so many ways to collect chips in this stage that I think the biggest mistake you can make is to not get there because you threw it all away when people are playing tougher.

Just my .02

Also, I did like Nerd's idea about putting together a syndicate for the speed tournaments, but, this could work for the normal speed tourneys as well. A few of us could at least take a shot and then pool the winnings.

After we read Harrington's book, of course.

1:06 PM

Blogger Drizztdj said...

I played in a couple of tourneys at Empire while clearing my bonus there... horrid play.

If you can afford it definitely take a shot but remain in your bankroll since the variance in MTTs is very high.

10:10 AM


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