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Starting Hands at end of tourn

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  • Starting Hands at end of tourn

    Has been a lot of debate on the forum regarding late tourney betting and playing strategy. I would strongly encourage players to read tourney reports, watch actual final tables (on video, but preferably live) and the ususal course of "bet and take it" style play.

    Read the final table report from yesterday's Bellagio Championship event. Pay close attention to the range of hands raising and calling. "The Gap Concept" is probably the most important tourney principle that players need to understand in big bet tourney poker, a close second is positional advantage (a natural extension of The Gap Concept), and the final is that pot odds and shallow money mean that aggressive players win tourneys and big laydowns are generally huge mistakes at the final table (barring MAJOR money increases earned by folding, i.e. 4 players already all-in).

    Tourney reports can be found on www.PokerPages.com and hit tourney tab. I also find the detailed reports of WSOP coverage by Andy Glazer in Cardplayer excellent. The articles are well-written, describe table dynamics, and give us a good idea of the types of hands are played at the end of a tourney.

  • #2
    I play a lot more hands at the end of a tourney, and I do so very aggressively. That being said, however, I only want to enter hands where I am the aggressor. I will lay down hands when I feel like I am behind, or the situation warrants waiting (like my AK hand).

    But, I definitely think one needs to adapt and shift gears once they have reached the end stages of a tourney. You can't sit back and wait for AA and KK and hope to win. Ain't gonna happen.

    Haze

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    • #3
      Hazy:

      I asume that you mean you GENERALLY want to enter hands near the end of the tourney where you are the initial aggressor. I assume that reraising would come under your definition of aggression.

      I also assume that you will call or overcall with big hands in certain situations, and your statement was a generalization. Basic game theory would indicate that if you raise big/all-in only and never call you are making yourself too predictable and leaving TONS of EV on the proverbial table. By definition, you are allowing others to pick you off when they have big hand and come after your lead bets, and allowing them to run over you when they have marginal hands, position, chip advantage, etc. and they are leading.


      There are enough weak-loose players here that you can consistently finish in the top 65+% of tourney fields with that strategy.

      Your strategy (if that is what you are proposing, which I assume you are not), may work well for cum% but will not be EV+ in real money tourneys. Tourneys are won and lost by big calls and reraises. This is where players are eliminated and aggressive players double and triple up.

      Just my opinion,

      Tim

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      • #4
        One of the key factors near the end of the tournament is it number of players at your table. Rarely are you playing short-handed before then. In short-handed play BIG CARDS and PAIRS go up in value. Applying full-table starting requirements to short-table play is a HUGE mistake.

        Add in the shallow money situation and the game is so vastly different from early tournament play that the two bear little resemblance.

        These changes make 'reading skills' and "what do they think that I think they hold" more important than in the early stages of an event, except in extreme short-stack situations.

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        • #5
          Geez Tko, you are starting to sound like me Except less offensive lol

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          • #6
            It's that small town Ohio upbringing, Noodles!

            Like I have said before, we are not too far apart.

            The only place we differ is in small EV edge play early in tourney -- I am much more conservative. Although having played with you more now, and spying on your play when I am a spectator -- I think you probably avoid small coin flip edges early in tourneys too.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Starting Hands at end of tourn

              Originally posted by tko14
              I would strongly encourage players to read tourney reports, watch actual final tables (on video, but preferably live) and the ususal course of "bet and take it" style play.
              Good idea, Tk.

              Noodles, I 've been looking for Nutnopair and Fossilman online since you suggested watching them. Do you know when they are likely to play? Probably past my bedtime

              "The Gap Concept" is probably the most important tourney principle
              I must have been sleeping through class that day. ops: Can you point me to a source on this?

              Thanks, Den


              [/quote]

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              • #8
                Sklansky's Tournament Poker book eloquently defines and illustrates the concept.

                Basically, the concept that there is a "gap" between hands you can raise with when first one raising the pot, and hands that you can call with after someone else bets into the pot.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by tko14
                  The only place we differ is in small EV edge play early in tourney -- I am much more conservative. Although having played with you more now, and spying on your play when I am a spectator -- I think you probably avoid small coin flip edges early in tourneys too.
                  Erm, if you have been watching me lately, then I am sooo embarrassed ops: I aint playing properly. You must have a pretty bad impression of my ability lol. If I had watched myself over last 2 months, I would think I played like a donkey

                  If it looks to you like I avoid coinflip edges preflop, then it can only be because, like I explained in that PM, my read does not put me in that situation. Besides, like I also said, it would be correct for me to avoid them at PSO anyway. I basically don't get any early coinflips in mult-table tournies at PSO due to the 10k starting stack.

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                  • #10
                    Noodles, I 've been looking for Nutnopair and Fossilman online since you suggested watching them. Do you know when they are likely to play? Probably past my bedtime
                    I have never watched them myself. I just know fossilman is a very good player. I also know nutnopair considers himself a very good tournament player. Nutnopair plays more often than Fossilman. Look in the big $ buy-in big-bet holdem tournaments. $100 or $200 buy-ins or big special events. I assume they still play there at least. Haven't been there myself for ages. Bruno seems to know other good players worth watching there if he cares to share them with you.

                    Fossilman is a regular poster at 2+2 in the tourney and big-bet forums. You will do well to learn from him.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Yes Tim, reraising is definitely part of the game - and of course there are situations you call (say you have JJ in the BB and a player in front of you that you have outchipped goes all in).

                      I play about 6 times a year in a monthly no limit tournament, that is my only experience playing NL poker live, and I do play it a bit differently than I do here (although here I still aim to win, I also strive to not take chances early so as to not ruin my cumulative).

                      What I am saying though is that I agree with you - one must play more hands later (and here is where the Gap concept is perhaps valuable, I don't necessarily advocate using it early in a tourney when there are no antes), but one must be aggressive when doing so. Limping is almost out of the question, unless you are at an aggressive table and trying to trap someone, but even then that ploy often fails because the aggressors will just decide to limp along with you. Raise it up, I say.

                      Haze

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