3 Things to Consider About Players in MTTs

poker Jan 16, 2019

 You can also listen to this episode and download its mp3 from my podcast for free here

 

3 Things to Consider About Players in MTTs

1. Bad players 

When you are sitting at a poker table, sit down and understand who are the weaker players at the table – who makes mistakes and how they make those mistakes. There are many spots where you can dive deeper and think about the psyche behind a bad player – how do they play/act in certain spots. It is then your job to extrapolate that into other situations. How they think about why they do a certain thing in a certain spot would likely have a high correlation with how they play another spot. Once you understand how this person thinks, it’s a lot easier for you to exploit them.

2. Who are you stealing from? 

Something to consider – who to steal from and who is stealing from you? People are always thinking what raise size to use, how wide should they steal. Not enough is talked about thinking who is actually behind you, who is going to attack you?  

If you think about who are in the blinds, how wide you can steal from them, it’s a lot easier for you to implement a better strategy. In tournaments, if you can exploit people well, your win rate and edge is going to be so much higher. For example, the BB. If his defense frequency is very high, how do you construct your strategy such that you can play well against him? If somebody is folding a lot on the BB, you can min-raise him - you can steal really wide. However, if he is pretty loose and likes to defend a lot as well as defend correctly, you don’t want to give him the opportunity to defend that much by raising more. The idea is to really consider who you’re stealing from. That’s how you maximize your win rate.

3. How badly... 

How badly do these players want to win this tournament? Some players really want to win. They make big bluffs, they play really bold, they try and build a stack. If you can categorize these people well – you know they want to win the tourney and don’t mind losing, then you can adjust your strategy against them appropriately. More importantly, at the other end of the spectrum – where people totally don’t want to bust. Against these players, it is fun since you can keep bluffing them.  

The other factor is to consider who can actually afford to play the tournament, if it is a big one. Who is someone that is selling a lot of pieces and has very little piece in themselves? It’s very hard to be accurately predict how important the tournament is to each individual. But if you have some sort of estimation or understanding, it truly helps you to play a lot better against them. 

The next time you play a tournament, give these 3 pieces of information a thought and I can promise you it will increase your win rate!

 

FULL TRANSCRIPT

Things tConsider About Players in MTTs 

This might work in cash games but especially so for tourneys because people value tournaments a lot more differently than in cash games so there is a lot more for you to act on and exploit these players.

1. Bad players 

When you are sitting at a poker table, sit down and understand who are the weaker players at the table – who actually makes mistakes. It’s not just about who makes mistakes, it’s how they make those mistakes. At the table yesterday, there was a guy who was leading the flop a lot. Usually, bad players either lead middle part of their range or they lead really strong. It’s not often that they lead weak. When I see an action like this, I need to sit down and consider how this bad player actually leads. There are many other spots where you can dive deeper and think about the psyche behind a bad player – how do they play/act in certain spots. It is then your job to extrapolate that into other situations. How they think about why they do a certain thing in a certain spot would likely have a high correlation with how they play another spot. Once you understand how this person thinks, it’s a lot easier for you to exploit them. Doesn’t always mean attacking them, if they’re a bad player and fold too much, it might mean folding against them when they show aggression.

2. Who are you stealing from? 

Something to really consider – who to steal from and who is stealing from you? People are always thinking what raise size to use, how wide should they steal. Not enough is talked about thinking who are actually behind you, who is going to attack you? Eg you’re raising from the CO, how wide is the button 3-betting/calling, how wide is the SB 3-betting/calling, and also how does the BB play in his BB spot? This is a spot where people play drastically different. For eg, I don’t fold the BB when stack sizes are short. From a mathematical standpoint, you don’t fold anything on the BB when you’re 8-10 BB for example. Even if it’s a 2.3x.  

There are also people on other ends of the spectrum who keep folding to min-raises. Sometimes if the SB and BB are extremely tight and the loose players are to your left and you are UTG, it is a lot harder these loose players to attack you because there are so many players left to act. You can go for a wide and long-range steal from EP. If you think about who are in the blinds, how wide you can steal from them, it’s a lot easier for you to implement a better strategy. It might not be a better strategy in a vacuum but exploitatively, this will always be the best play. In tournaments, if you can exploit people well, your win rate and edge is going to be so much higher.  

Next is to think about the BB. If his defense frequency is very high, how do you construct your strategy such that you can play well against him? If somebody is folding a lot on the BB, you can min-raise him - you can steal really wide. However, if this BB player is pretty loose and likes to defend a lot as well as defend correctly, you don’t want to give him the opportunity to defend that much. Perhaps you can go for 2.5x-2.7x raises. When stack sizes are shallower at 40-50bb average, maybe you can go smaller at 2.3x-2.4x raises. The idea is to really consider who you’re stealing from. That’s how you maximize your win rate.

3. How badly... 

How badly do these players want to win this tournament? Some players really want to win – they go all out, they’re fighters. They make big bluffs, they play really bold, they try and build a stack. If you can categorize these people well – you know they want to win the tourney and don’t mind losing, then you can adjust your strategy against them appropriately. Most importantly, at the other end of the spectrum – where people totally don’t want to bust. When you play against these players, it is fun since you can keep bluffing them. When they hit a hand on the flop/turn especially if it’s a draw heavy board, they play especially aggressive with their hands. If you’re playing against such a player, it makes sense to go out of your way to exploit them. When they don’t raise the flop, they are going to be weak on the turn and river so you can overbluff/overbet against them. You can play very aggressively against them.  

The other factor to consider is that, for example, yesterday I was playing the 25k tournament. It’s not super high stakes but it’s pretty big for most people playing it. Although a lot of them have won a tournament – they might have had some money from that tournament or some sort of bankroll, $25 is to many players much bigger than they’re used to playing. When I sit down at the tournament, I’m thinking who can actually afford to play this $25k tournament. Who is someone that is selling a lot of pieces and has very little piece in themselves? It’s very hard to be accurately predict how important the tournament is to each individual. But if you have some sort of estimation or understanding, it truly helps you to play a lot better against them. 

The next time you play a tournament, give these 3 pieces of information a thought and I can promise you it will increase your win rate!

Close

Download for FREE now!

10 concepts that Wayne wished he knew when he started his poker career.