Focussing early in MTTs live and online


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Dec 2, 2008
Focussing early in MTTs live and online


If you watch any of the great online multi table tournament players on any day where they are playing a full schedule of tournaments, you will see that in the early stages of the game that most of them often just play pretty basic, abc poker - just allowing the large field of quite low standard players to pay them off through the multitude of technical mistakes they make.
It is only later on in the tournament(s) that they start to make creative plays, pushing as hard as they can to get as many chips as possible.

When playing numerous tables online this is no doubt the correct strategy. The fields are so large, and the general playing standard so bad, that just playing abc poker and letting this large number of fish pay you off early is probably the best strategy. If and when you start to get deep in these tournaments, then it is the time to focus and start to get creative.

However, this is not to say that this strategy is the best in all tournaments. When you play online you have no real sensory information about your opponent, which makes just letting their natural mistakes bust them early a decent strategy. Live this is very different, and actually getting involved with weak players as often as possible is a very good strategy.

Due to the massive implied odds and wealth of information that weak players give off when playing live - and the fact that you can focus solely on just that one table and pick up as much information as possible - it is often a good idea to play a lot of pots with these players looking to stack them with any hand.

Always remember that many of the strategies that are optimal online (especially the ones that involve the ability to play numerous tables at once), are not going to be the best techniques when playing live. Online you are trading turnover for information, where as live you trading turnover for much more information - and this makes how you approach the bad players in the early levels a very different ball game.

I see many online players playing their first live tournaments and just sitting back and playing abc poker until the antes kick in as if this is the optimal play, when in fact they are missing numerous opportunities to build a stack early as the bad players lose their stacks to anyone willing to play good deep stacked poker with them. Don't let this happen to you.

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I'll be in the Bar..With my head on the Bar
Oct 3, 2004
This does sound very good in theory...In practice i disagree however...
I use Tournament Shark which gives me a breakdown of every player at my table. It tells the % of time they exit early, M early, Middle, M late and late..
95% of the time loose players will have high early exit percentages, but being loose doesnt make them a loser does it?
Shark also shows a players avg buyin and their avg profit per buy in %.......Winning players usually have an avg profit of double their avg buyin or better....a Pro player will have sometimes $150+ per buyin while a breakeven player like me will show $10 bucks at best....Now this stat u can rely on to tell u if the they are a winner or not for sure!
If you compare , as i have, prolly thousands of players stats on this you will find 1 stat in all the stats that clearly relates to winning or losing players..and that stat is that early exit stat...I would guess 95%+ of ALL winning players have an early exit % of less than 8%.....and most less than 6.
Losing players will invaribly have early exit %'s over 10 and as high as 20.
So its true you should certainly never pass up positive EV situations, especially against the weaker players early in a tourny the stats prove that playing premium hands only for at least the 1st few levels is a must to be a consistent winner...
Anytime anybody comes to you and says they are playing bad and cant win if want to sound like an expert and give them the best advice possible tell them very simply........Your playing to many hands too early.. You will likely never be wrong if you say this everytime...

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