Looking to work on a new game plan for the 3 key stages of my 45-man games. Early, Mid and Late.


Lets be honest... I am not a good enough player that I can sense if my fish opponent really has the straight when he bluff shoves and am also not good enough that I can always avoid calling the shove.

If I was perfect, I wouldn't be in the $1 stakes, my bankroll would have blown up and you would see me every year on the ESPN in the WSOP!

So, I stop crying after beating myself up with brutal honesty and come up with a way to play to my strengths.

- I know the fold/shove game very well
- I can play well on a Final Table, including HU

There are probably more but those are my best. It is why I could realisticly play 1 table tournaments and profit enough from them in the long-run but choose the 45-man for a great shot at getting the dead money in play.

All of that matters for nothing if I can't get to the Final Table... so that is my mission now. Finding a way to survive the first 4 tables to get down to the last so I can make money.

Do I want to get there with a big stack? Of course!! but getting there in the first place should be the first goal. If I can show up to every Final Table when I play but my stack is often very short when I do, thats a better place to start on improving my game than not reaching the FT in the first place and changing my game to improve how many chips I arrive with.

So that means tightening up but giving myself the chance to take chips from opponents when I am in a very far ahead spot.

I have a whole hand range for the different levels that I have in mind but the general rule of thumb is
- Pre 100$ blind, set mine and only play for stacks with AA/KK
- Mid level (pre FT), the SPR is much lower now so people will be stacking off with pairs, we just need to make sure we show up with JJ when our opponent shoves 7s
-Late level (6 handed), now its time to do my regular FT game - tight within reason and punishing opponents who often don't know how to play final tables. Risking when I have it, playing safe when my holding is good but not the best.

I have no doubt I will get to those 50/50 spots where I am racing with a short shove because I didn't gamble enough early on but my feeling is that overall this tighter sense of play should fix some of the leaks I have to gamble early.

My feeling is that I spend hours playing against 8 other opponents at the table, why do I need to add myself as one?

Sure, it is always great to have that "I made a great read" moment when you see the loose player raising a lot, you re-raise him with TT, it all goes in and he has 54o, he rivers a straight and knocks you out. Then its not so nice.

I think that too much weight is put (at least by me and some of the articles I have used for education) on pot odds and "got to call" spots in Tournaments that is automatic in cash games. You just can't look at it the same way.

What is more important in every cash game? Winning hands
What is more important in every tournament? Getting to the Final Table

You would argue that winning hands wins tournaments but it is not reliant on it and if the only focus is making a play that is 100% correct from a pot odds perspective but losing has you out of the tournament, there is too much importance being put on playing the hand right rather than playing the tournament right.

So in summary, I feel that my current play is more about making the right moves from a perspective of being ahead and wanting to win the hand where my focus needs to be more on progressing in the tournament and pottentially ignoring non-optimal spots to chip-up if it risks me losing my progress.

TL;DR - Play tight, last longer, win more