Posts Tagged ‘stack management’


Poker 101: 101 Poker Tournaments In A Single Day

February 16, 2010

I’m not really sure what inspired me to do it, but one night, I was laying in bed and thought, I’m going to play 101 poker tournaments in a single day and blog about the experience. Why 101? Well, the real goal was 100 1-table online Sit & Go tournaments, but since I knew I was going to play a live event at Bremerton Lanes in the morning, 101 was the number… plus it’s like I’m taking you cats to school anyways, so it’s fitting. Ya dig?

My morning started off with a really uneventful showing in the Bremerton Lanes tournament. Maybe even my worst showing to date. I feel a little ashamed of my performance in that tournament so far. Considering how I raved about the structure and how it was much more tailored to my playing style and rewarding skill instead of luck, the fact that I’ve had one minor cash in eight appearances is below my standard. In a field that typically ranges between 30-40 people and usually pays the top 5, I really feel I should be cashing around 20-25% of the time, especially since I’m playing these people face-to-face… my advantage is that good and yet I have nothing to show for it. Thankfully, one big cash will have me at least even and possibly even showing a profit… but it needs to be soon. Today?

I can’t even really remember any hands from the tournament, but I do know I blew about half my stack early on a hand I felt embarrassed about… so yeah, not my best showing. Then I missed the board after calling a raise and lost a race as a small favorite to bust out. I’m not sure I even won a pot.

After that, I came home around 1 P.M. and began my mission to complete 100 online Sit & Go tournaments. In retrospect, I wish I would have done things a bit differently. I estimate that I have a bigger edge in the regular Sit & Goes, so I decided not to play turbo tournaments, even though I probably would’ve completed the task in half the time. Also, since I had to cash out a substantial portion of my bankroll last week I was playing with less money than I would prefer and went with a smaller buy in tournament and if I could maintain the same win rate, I wish I would’ve risked playing higher. I started off playing 12 tournaments at a time, but when I got short-handed, it became a hassle (since I only use one monitor), so I ended up playing 9 tournaments at a time the rest of the way. I took about a 45 minute break to get some food and completed my task around 2 A.M… well, sort of. For some ridiculous reason, Poker Stars stopped registering new No Limit Sit & Go tournaments after I was in my 95th tournament and majorly cock-blocked me. It’s pretty annoying to get that close and not really live up to my promise… but never-the-less, I pretty much did what I said I was going to do.

The results:

95 tournaments
39 cashes (41%)

19 1sts (20%)
12 2nds (12.6%)
8 3rds (8.4%)
7 4ths
14 5ths
17 6ths
9 7ths
6 8ths
4 9ths

Some notes about the results:

-I finished in the top 2 in nearly 33% of the tournaments.
-I won 61.3% of my heads up battles.
-I finished 1st more often than any other finish.
-I cashed 85% of the time I made the top 4, so my bubble play was pretty solid.
-All of my 9th place finishes were the result of some sort of horrible beat or sick cooler (i.e. KK vs AA early, set under set, etc.)
-I increased my bankroll by 31%.

Some notes about my strategy:

-I see a lot of flops in the early rounds of the tournaments. This not only means I play a lot of hands, but I also play some bigger hands much more conservatively. For instance, I’ll limp in with JJ and TT, sometimes after people have already limped in front of me. I’m also prone to simply calling with hands like QQ and AK if someone has raised in front of me. The reason I do this is because so many people are willing to ship all their chips in the first two rounds with hands like 88, AK, AJ, etc. and I think it’s stupid to risk going broke early on in a coin flip. I also like to limp in with unsuited AK and AQ in early position for the same reason. Simply put, I like to see the board before I get heavily invested in a pot, unless my hand is AA or KK. My ability to play much better than my opponents after the flop is too big of an advantage to give them the option of re-raising or shoving all-in preflop against me. With big suited cards, I like to raise the pot since I don’t really mind multi-way action.

-I respect position. I play pretty conservatively when I’m out of position and get called on the flop even with a hand like AK on an A high board. This rule isn’t set in stone as some situations require a bet on 4th street, but generally speaking, I like to keep the pot kind of small when I only have one pair, no matter how good it is. While this strategy might prevent me from acquiring some needed chips, it also keeps me from going broke early in a tournament with one pair hands. I also check behind on the turn sometimes, in position, with the same type of hands… or even on the flop…. for the same reason… but also to add a layer of deception to my game and make me harder to read. Most of the time, I’ll have a very clear idea of what’s going on by the time the river action hits.

-I start raising more hands when the blinds hit the 25-50 level as people tend to tighten up around this stage of the tournament.

-When the blinds hit 50-100 and beyond, I find that simply raising the minimum is enough to get people to fold mediocre hands. I have never adopted this strategy before, but in playing nearly 100 tournaments yesterday, I found it to be a very effective tactic. Of course, stack size alters this strategy and the less chips you have, the more reasonable it is to simply shove all of them in for either maximum fold equity or profit, whichever you prefer for your hand.

-Raising on the button 100% of the time in heads up play is probably the right move. I find that when someone does this to me, I find it very difficult to play against… so I started doing it myself. The reason? You make the pot bigger when you have position on your opponent and force them to do all the guessing. Eventually, they are going to have to start making plays at the pot in mediocre situations… or check-raising you with bottom pair or a draw or a bluff, just to stay afloat. If you get your opponent jamming the pot out of position with weak hands, you have pretty much won the war… just wait for the right moment. Either that, or they just fold, fold, fold and you win, win win. I really haven’t found a good way to counter this strategy when it’s used against me, so I might as well use it myself.

That’s all! I’ll never do that again and playing Sit & Goes for a living is not in my future. That shit is mind-numbingly boring. Now it’s off to Bremerton Lanes to finally take this bitch down. LET’S GO!!!!