In the first article on Multi-Table Tournaments (MTT), I went through the mechanics of the MTT structure and the reasons they are so popular. I also highlighted the possible value that you can find by entering under-subscribed events where a guaranteed prize pool is subsidized by the house.
None of that is much use to you, the player, if you cannot make it to the prizes! You have to know how and I will try to draw from my experiences at playing MTT’s. One thing is for certain, the style of player varies enormously between sites. At one, where I have had some success, about half the field of 500 are eliminated before the first hour has expired! There seems to be a kamikaze attitude borne of a perceived need to accumulate chips fast and early. People are all-in from early position with KJ offsuit, 44, A7 - all hands that are likely to be behind if called. It may be desirable to build early chips but not at the expense of a series of coin flips. Why give yourself a 50% chance of elimination with no way back? After all, an early double-up isn’t worth a small blind in the later stages!
I play that fast MTT because I know if I keep my head down and only play premium hands in the first hour, I will likely have made it into a competition that includes 250 people instead of 500. Yet the first 50 places still pay - good value indeed! Sure, I might have a lot less in chips than some who have played fast and survived but, to get to the later stages, you have to make your big plays in the middle stages when the blinds and stacks are bigger. Someone who doubled up early will still go out if he or she is the victim of a double up later on when the chip stacks are taller.
In contrast, some MTT’s I have played at other sites are incredibly tight and if anyone raises, you can be sure the hand is premium. Much also depends on the structure of the MTT. By this I mean how fast the blinds move up. A fast structured tournament puts the players under pressure to build chip stacks, and this might go some way to explaining the behaviour of the players at the site I talked about. The structure is fast.
I suggest you enter some low cost MTT’s at different sites (with different platforms too as some sites share the same platform or “skin” – basically it is the same table with players accessing from different hosts). See how they differ but in all cases play it tight early on like you would a cash game where you would hate to lose the money you have brought to the table.
In the next article, I’ll talk some more about middle stage play in an MTT.