Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Tournament Prep

I haven't played much lately; just the .10/.20 game last Friday (lost $1.20).  I also played some baby stakes online and won a few bucks.

Part of it is that I just haven't felt like doing the prep work -- like writing in this blog.  And if I'm not willing to do the prep, I'm not willing to put a decent amount of money at risk.

But, tomorrow night I have a one-table $50 tournament, so that is worth prepping for.  I'm going to play a couple of SnGs online in a few minutes, but I wanted to get down my notes from the last tournament I played.  I believe my points (primarily from not being aggressive enough at the final table) are valid for tomorrow night.

The result of the tournament was an overall win of $58 by finishing 5th.   I felt like I played a pretty good tournament (getting 5th out of 40 players is not bad at all).  Where I really felt like I made some mistakes was not enough aggression in spots where other players showed a lot of weakness.  For instance, when we were on the money bubble the SB limped, and I really should have shoved on him, since he was quite active and usually raising, so the limp really meant weakness. 

The other place I thought I might have made a mistake was against an UTG push for 4x.  I ended up folding A7o in the big blind.  I had about 8x the big blind.  Ultimately, though, the UTG was a pretty knowledgable player, and I was likely ahead of his range, even before the odds I was getting.  So I should have called there.

So, for Thursday night, these are my goals:

  1. Start small.  There is a rebuy, but I'd rather not, and stacks should be pretty large to start.  So play plenty of pots, but play tightly once a few bets go in.
  2. Open it up and attack weakness once the rebuy period is over and everyone else tightens up.  The goal is to pick up plenty of dead money and not worry about going out before the money.
  3. If I get short-handed, steal a ton.  


The Poker Meister said...


Gotta admit that for me, it's easier said than done as far as being aggressive live. I feel very much intimidated in a live (professional in particular) setting as far as playing the same game I do online (3betting, etc.). Perhaps its a matter of real-world dollars (i.e. the last time I played live, I was playing $50NL online, vs. $200NL live - though the gap has considerably narrowed now). The next time I play live, I'm going to try to implement some of your strategies to force myself to be aggressive.

Sean said...

Live poker is also a different game than online. With little in visual or audible tells, online poker tends to be more aggressive because it is one of the few ways to define your hand. Live, you can go farther reading players so I feel that you don't need to be quite as aggressive.

That said, I want to get more three-bets into my game in general, especially live.

One good exercise I did in a live tournament was to decide that I'd never just call a bet -- whether it was a limp or otherwise. It was just a single-table affair, but I ended up winning it :)

You could try something similar in a cash game, although you'd need to make exceptions for certain hands (mostly small pairs for set-farming).

The Poker Meister said...

Problem with live pro cash (1/2 or otherwise) is the players are raising 5x or 6x as standard bets. It's not uncommon for a raise to be to $12. Am I supposed to raise to $40 in that spot? That's committing nearly 25% of my stack PRE FLOP ON A 3bet! I'm from the school of 10% - no more - unless I've got a monster. It makes live 3bets real tough unless you have a "reasonable" table of 3x -4x PFR.