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Poker News | Casino Poker | Tournament Reports

On-line Multi-Table Tournaments – Part 3

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I have previously discussed the structure of an on-line MTT and stressed the importance of avoiding the “all-in madness” that sometimes grips the masses during the early rounds of an MTT. That does not mean you should have retreated into a shell when receiving playable cards in late position - as you should always try to amass chips when you have an advantage - but try to avoid being drawn into all-in arm-wrestles while the blinds are small, even if it means folding AK or 88 in early position to a player who hasn’t appeared loose and has now re-raised you.

I now want to turn my thoughts to the middle stages of the MTT. You have now survived, hopefully without putting your chips in too much danger up to this point. In the middle stages, the blinds are beginning to creep up and impact on proceedings a little more. At this point, you should be starting to pay attention to the tournament statistics available on the main tournament window. I play with 2 screens so I have this maximised on one of them so I can refer to it for my standings. It shows where I am at any one time and how I stand compared to the size of the average stack.

It is my goal to be ahead of the average or at least not to fall too far behind. I can make decisions about changing my play in order to recover ground. I would prefer not to have to make desperate raises or plays to recover a dwindling stack so, the more I can do to make headway while I still have a large enough stack to put others off from calling or raising me, the better.

Use this as a guide rather than a specific indicator. If you fall behind the average chip stack, this is not a signal to go all-in next time you receive a couple of face cards – unless you are confident of your position. The later in the contest you are, the greater progress you will make up the leader board on the back of one good pot, so bide your time.

However, at this stage, you should also be using your position to threaten the blinds of those to your left when you are on the button or just behind. In the middle stages you have to start throwing your weight around a little, so long as it is not reckless. You will be surprised how few people will want to call you. Many will be silently pleased with their progress and are not about to throw away their chips needlessly. Be the aggressor but, on the other hand, don’t take offence if someone does the same to you. Only respond if you have the goods, preferably with a re-raise. Calling is not a habit you want to give away to others as it suggests you are uncertain of the strength of your hand and they are likely to test you again on the next betting round.

Things are hotting up and your tournament window tells you there are 150 left and you are sitting nicely in 60th or 70th. Only now you know the time is coming when the value of your hole cards will matter less because the blinds are going to jump you up a few places every time you steal them. Do you have the courage?

In the next article, I’ll discuss some of the things I see when the going hots up in the MTT.

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