This is the final piece on this subject. I have progressed through the stages of playing a typical large player on-line Multi-Table Tournament to the present where we have reached the final 20 or so players.
The blinds are becoming a major factor in our play and stealing the blinds can add usefully to your stack. Players are now aware that they are a few spots away from the structure where the payouts step up like an escalator that is increasing its incline with every step. Because of this, some players are fearful of calling big bets never mind re-raising them.
My experience of watching the play at this stage is that the aggressive players make good headway. Some are borderline maniacs who will not mess about at all. They go all-in with any two good cards pre-flop knowing that, chip-wise, they have their opponents on the blinds dominated. If they want to call, they have to do it with all their chips. How does that make you feel if you hold less than a premium pair? I would feel a little intimidated holding AK offsuit, never mind anything less which is a huge likelihood. Risking the opportunity of a big payout on a potential 50:50 call is hard to do.
Against this technique, the maniac has to realise he is still on a table of 10! If he calls early, one of the hands he is challenging is likely to be a good one so he can expect a call maybe from a smaller stack, desperate for chips and looking to double up, who finds some cards.
You have a choice; be a maniac and collect a lot of blinds but run the risk of a hit, or raise more judiciously in late position. Whatever you choose to do, you cannot act timidly now. Your chips will get blinded off if you do not do your own portion of raising before anyone else. In some MTT’s, the blinds are such that you have to raise frequently in late position, and certainly with anything premium in other positions, and raise well.
By the final table, on-line MTT’s tend to be crapshoots. There seems to be two reasons for this. One is relief that bigger money is easier to win as each person is eliminated. This can promote freer expression perhaps! The other is that the blinds are enormous. Often the first raiser takes them down. At some MTT’s every hand sees someone going all-in from a smaller stack or a big raise from a dominant larger stack.
The biggest aggressor tends to be the winner or will often make the top three spots. There isn’t a lot else to say about on-line MTT’s at the final table. My experience is that they are more frantic than the final tables you see live and you just have to mix it when you get an ace or two big cards bearing in mind your opponents. Luck is, in my opinion, a big feature at this stage so you might just as well get stuck in!