Earlier this year, post-festivity season I made the decision to stop being a “jack of all trades” and focus on only one poker format: MTTs.
Yet, when I made this decision, as MTTs are the type I enjoy the most, little did I know that choosing NLHE MTTs instead of Cash Games was really just the beginning.
It looks like poker players aren’t the only things that come in all shapes and sizes. In fact MTTs come in a multitude of variations too. Amongst turbos, hyper-turbos, rebuys, re-entries, knockouts and shootouts and more, there really is an MTT out there for everyone.
However, despite the sea of selections it can be a little confusing trying to find a suitable MTT. So in this post I am going to explore the concept of game selection and document the different types of MTTs I’ve played and how playing different MTTs has helped me in my poker journey.


The Importance of Game Selection

Firstly, there are several factors to take in consideration when selecting a game. Luckily the Poker Stars lobby has a useful filter where a selection can be based on preferences such as buy-in, speed, and type. Other factors also include the time of day, type of players participating, field size and structure of the MTT. 

Selecting which games to play can have many advantages such as:  playing against a weaker field, ability to practice BRM by selecting an appropriate buy-in, choosing a tournament scheduled at a time you know you can play, and being able to choose which game dynamics and texture is preferred (eg looser games). 

Some disadvantages include limiting progress if focussing only one type of game at the same buy-in levels and playing against the same player pool. 


Finding the right MTT

It’s only after playing a few different games that I realised the importance of an MTT’s structure and how much it affected my play and adaptability. In fact, by playing different types I also noticed that different games attract different players and therefore require different approaches and strategy. These are the games I’ve been playing, and they each have distinct characteristics which make them unique.

 School Pass Events
Buy-in: School Pass Ticket
Structure: rebuy for 1st hour.
Field: 500+ (depending on time)
The School Pass Events are one of my favourite games because they are great for practice and I like the structure of the tournament as well as the blind levels are 10 minutes. In these games it’s very easy to see the transition between early, middle and late stages of a tournament and therefore are great for putting new concepts into practice.

 Women’s Sunday Satellite
Buy-in: 0.44 + R
Structure: rebuys 1st 90mins, 3x-Turbo
Field: 6-25
In this satellite I didn’t particularly like the re-buy feature as it does affect the dynamics of the game, for example I found that players were looser. However, the field is very small so it's easier to navigate. Although it is a 3x-Turbo, I found that due to the rebuy feature, the tournament does go on for quite a while. 

Women’s Sunday Satellite [Rd 1/2]
Buy-in: 0.33+ R
Structure: rebuy 1st 30mins, Turbo
Field: 10-30
I really enjoyed playing this satellite because the field size was very small, and the rebuy period was only for the first half hour. I found this satellite the easiest to play because there were many players showing loose passive tendencies. At first I wasn’t sure how to adjust to them, but after learning about how to play against these types of players, I found it easier to select starting hands, and how to proceed with betting and other actions. The only downside was when I found myself HU at the final table – I didn’t really know how to adjust as I am not very familiar playing HU. However, overall it was a great satellite to play!

 NLHE 0.27
Buy-in: 0.27
Structure: Turbo
Field: 1500+
This MTT was an interesting one to participate in! I have never seen so many players limping and calling. Being a Turbo, the pace was definitely fast, however I didn’t manage to adjust very well to the action and so you can guess what happened next: the blinds continued to increase whilst my stack gradually disintegrated before my eyes! 


Being selective about which game to play is just as important as making the right decisions in game. From the games that I've played so far, the school pass events and the Women's Sunday 0.33 satellite are my favourite. Playing games with different dynamics has certainly helped me appreciate more the importance of the structure of a tournament, the blind levels and the type, as I think game selection is a concept which is quite easily over-looked when inexperienced!!


Remember to be selective!

Until next time