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Wednesday, January 17, 2007 

Viewer eMail Time

Back to reality...
Been out of town these past few day's taking a mini vacation. Took another trip to the mountains of Tennessee. Unfortunately, I found myself doing so much driving that I had little time to unwind. However, it was time well spent for the most part and it was great to get away. Over the course of the trip I had some time to answer some viewer email which sparked a good bit of informative conversation. I thought I would share some of that insight today.

Aaron writes the following:

Thanks very much for taking the time to write your article on your blog concerning multi-table tournament play. I was wondering if you might be able to offer a bit of advice. I regularly do the single table sit n go’s and find myself doing well. However, when I attempt a multi tournament table, I can’t get anywhere. I try to keep the same mindset of tight aggressive play, but I just am not getting anywhere with that. The blinds will go up and I will continue to get no cards or possibly lose to some fish playing junk. Do you have any advice or recommendations of other literature that may help my online mulit-table tournament play. Thanks in advance.

And my response:

Thank you for your email. Always willing to lend some insight.

First and foremost, you have to understand single table SnG's are a far different beast compared to MTT's. You may be a genius with single table's, but it's not an easy transition to MTT's. Here are some various bits of insight:

Put some thought into the MTT's you opt to participate in. While every tournament will bring it's share of fish, sharks, etc. You do have a different caliber player at various levels of buy ins. If you want to stay away from the idiots, I would suggest you not participate in re buy events initially. Especially turbo re buy events. This just caters to those with a healthy bankroll looking to amass a huge stack at all costs before the first break. This is not poker. This is a testosterone contest more or less.

If your doing well at the SnG's, let that fund your MTT buy in's. Rather than play the smaller cost MTT's, hit 2 or 3 SnG's and buy into a little bit higher buy in MTT. The payoff will be worth it.

There are two specific things I would suggest in relation to your dilemma.
1) Practice patience. It's all about the waiting game. Don't worry about the blinds initially. Let the button go around a few times. Get your bearings. Study those at your table. Make some mental notes. Make some physical notes. Study betting patterns. Is this guy check raising a lot? Is this guy dead money? etc. Patience is the key to any MTT in my opinion. I also realize this is easier said than done. If your anything like me, I have to be doing more than one thing at any given time. If I'm playing poker, I usually have other things going on. I might be reading other websites, I might be talking to my wife, I might be IM'ing. However, limit your distractions if you can. If you need something to occupy yourself though, start up another table. What I like to do, if I'm playing in a good MTT, I'll fire up one of those 180 person MTT's to just have something to do in between hands. Granted, not everyone can play multi tables. But if practicing patience means keeping yourself occupied, go for it.
2) Take advantage of your position. If you're not concentrating on your position relative to the button, then you will not win. You don't need to have cards to make others believe you do. When your in late position, and the action ahead of you is nil, take a chance by raising. Once the blinds increase, this is a must. You'll find you will pick up blinds more often with an aggressive approach to your position. Personally, I only get frisky with moderate to good hands in late position. For me, that includes small too middle pocket pairs, to unsuited connectors or two face cards. I like to placate myself by saying even if I am bluffing here, it's only a semi bluff as there are cards in the deck that will ensure my win.

I hope this helps in some small way. One final piece of advice? Talk with fellow players. It's important to have individuals to bounce things off of.

This was but only a small piece of insight but I was very pleased to receive the following email after the above exchange:

Thanks so much for the great advice. I just played a MTT $50, 90 people on bodog and won it. I stuck to your advice and tried to stay as patient as possible and paid close attention to my position and even picked up on a few betting patterns. I can’t believe I just won that, thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me. Take care.

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