I am playing a lot of 9man turbos these days, and most of the time I have been running quite good (except for a bit where I sold stakes obv).

The distribution of the ITM places for these is something like:
  1st place: 25%
  2nd place:  5%
  3rd place: 20%

In other words relatively few second places.

I am under the impression that this is not typical and so I thought that it could be an interesting discussion point to describe my general strategies. Please forgive me if this gets too long.

 

Part one: Reaching the bubble.

This is probably not very controversial. Just play tight for the first few levels. This has a 2-fold beneficiary effect. First obviously less risk of busting out while blinds (and rewards) are low. The second benefit is table image: If you start the game playing like a nit, the opposition will be slower to adapt when you change gears later and they will be more prone to fold to your bluffs and steals. This applies particularly to massive multitablers who rely on their HUDs too much.

 

Part two: The Bubble.

For me the bubble is the 5 and 4 handed play. Everyone knows that this is the time to be aggressive, but it is amazing how many nit up anyways.
Just go for it.

 

Part three: 3 handed.

Here the game depends a lot on stack sizes.

If I am the big stack I bully a lot, specially on the middle stack. This will promote both villains to nit up in the hope that the other one busts first.

If I am the small stack I will shove a lot in the hope of doubling up ASAP. I do not want to try to hang on hoping for a premium hand before I blind out or hoping for the big stack to take out the second one and dominate me heads-up.

If I am the middle stack, I will play loose against the small stack, and a bit tighter against the big one.

 

Part four: Heads-up.

It is amazing how many players that have been playing decently all through the game upto this point fail to adapt to heads-up. Usually I am the big stack at this point, and I just hammer them with almost any 2 cards until they start to play back.

If my stack is over 4 times the villain´s, then I am happy to shove allin with most hands and call shoves with a very wide range, as I need much less that 50% equity. I can afford not to suck out, but villain cannot.

 

A real life example

As an example, here are the ITM hands of a game I played today in a Replayer session:

You can use the Replayer navigation to skip boring hands, and there will be some as I included every hand.  Unfortunately the hand replayer fails to show my screenname. I am Villain_4
Below the replayer I add commentaries for selected hands.

I have just busted out the bubble boy, and have the largest stack coming into ITM.

3-handed:
Hands 1 & 2: I am crazy but not crazy enough to play these
Hand 3, 67s: At this stage I might open with this hand but not call.
Hands 4-5: I will open hands like this but easily give them up to a shove at this point. villains are not shortstacked enough to play very weak hands like that.
Hand 6: Nothing much to say.
Hand 7: T5s in the SB is obligatory open and min-CB. easy fold when contested
Hand 8: (duplicate of hand 7 sorry)
Hand 9: A walk in BB. nice.
Hand 10: The flop hit villains range a bit too much. I was hoping for a check behind.
Hand 11: no need to get involved.
Hand 12: Another walk.
Hand 13: Too big a bet to call on a EOSD.
Hand 14: small poket pairs do not flop well, and no implied odds here.
Hands 15 and 16: fold junk to opens.
Hand 17: most of the time I would just openshove here, but the draw kept me in when he stayed in.
Hand 18: another walk! this villain is a nit. I was hoping to end heads-up against this one rather than the calling station.
Hand 19: I do not wige too many walks, even to calling stations. The CB does the trick.
Hand 20: Always the same open bet size, whatever my hand.
Hand 21: Deja-vu
Hand 22: I had been opening most hands, so villain lost his patience?

Heads-up:
Hand 23: 47s is a premium hand heads-up.
Hand 24: the nit moves!
Hand 25: Villain shoves on my open so must have something. I knew I was probably behind but could afford to lose a hand. the call is about 1500 to win a pot of 3000. If I fold villain will have increased his stack by 50%. It is a no-brainer. As it turns out the flop was convenient to me.

 

I hope someone finds this interesting, and at the same time that I am not revealing too much about my game