Sunday, May 13, 2007

MTT Strategy - Gamble Early????

More thoughts on Multi Table Tournament Strategy... this one was inspired by a passage in Doyle Brunson's Super System II, it concerned Phil Helmuth laying down KJ suited on a flop containing the 10 and Q of the suit to an all in early in a live poker tournament.

Apparently he gained some respect from Doyle... which is nice. With an open ended straight flush draw he was a good favourite there - even to trips, the reasoning behind the fold was that it was early in the tournament and Mr Helmuth obviously considered his skill edge big enough that he did not need to take this particular gamble!

The question I have been mulling over is whether (and how) this reasoning might apply to us mere poker mortals. Imagine an identical situation to that above at level 2 in a $20 Online MTT - should you be folding and waiting for an even bigger edge later on??

There are a few of ways of looking at this... firstly the old debate about accumulators vs survivalists. That is whether you view the accumulation of chips early as more important than surviving or vice versa. The nature of accumulator's play means less cashes - but a bigger chance of a final table / deep run. Conversely survivalists tend to cash more often, but not reach the final table much as the accumulators. Obviously there is a place for both.

Then there is the skill edge debate. Phil Helmuth folded due to this - but honestly speaking can you say your edge over the competition is so good as to pass up a positive equity situation?? Nice as it is to think of ourselves as a good player and opponents as lucky donks (!). I'll be honest - no - I'm not skilled enough to pass!

We could look in terms of bankroll management too... someone with 100 buy-ins at their chosen level should be more willing to take an early edge right? If you are playing with a limited bankroll (a liesure player who partakes in 1 or 2 tourneys a week perhaps) then passing that edge might keep you in the game longer and maximise your playing time / enjoyment you get for the money.

Well, will finish up with this... I'm not good enough to pass a small edge early - are you???

GL at the tables,

Mark

PS: Several MTT Strategy Articles at Sit and Go Planet: http://www.sitandgoplanet.com

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