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If You Can Read This, You're Not At The WSoP

I may be over thinking things a tad too much lately (there's a new one for me), but it's becoming all too clear that controlling the size of bets and pots in regular stack tourneys is paramount, especially early.

For example, the difference in the Mookie and the Hoy these days is striking. You mess up on one or two hands early in the Mookie and you are staring at a tough road ahead if you don't get lucky. You mess up once or twice in the Hoy early and you've still got time to make moves and play optimum poker.

Now don't get me wrong, I like both tourneys, but I'm just really starting to see the differences unfold right before my eyes lately. Lets take a look at a couple of numbers real quick. First hand of a tournament with 1500 starting chips, 10 minute blinds, 15/30 blinds...

You get AK and pop the 30 BB to 90 in middle position. The cut off calls and the SB and BB fold. There's now 225 in the the pot and the flop comes down T J 3 rainbow. You have a gutty, but not much else. However, you were the original raiser and a continuation bet might be in order here. You pot it for 225 and then immediately get raised to 750. You meekly fold your hand succumbing to the pressure of the raise.

You've just put in over 20% of your starting stack on the first hand with two plays that most would probably deem standard (initial raise and continuation bet). Now if the BB calls in the scenario above you're looking at a 285 pot pre-flop. And if both the SB and BB called, it is now a whopping 360 on the first hand. Even if you only attempt a 75% bet into the 360 pot, you are still looking at risking almost 25% of your stack on the 1st hand with two typical plays that are seen day in and day out in these types of tourneys.

Point being, as I mentioned in my 1st sentence above, controlling the size of the pots becomes huge.

Now look at the same scenarios above in the Hoy. With two players seeing the flop, but the same result, you've risked 10% of your chips on the play. Still a pretty large amount to lose, but it doesn't even come close to putting you in any danger range. Same goes for the scenario where either one or both of the blinds called as well.

Getting back to a couple of points I want to make as well as reiterating a couple I've already made. I don't think anything needs to change with the format of either of the tourneys. I love the Mookie tourney for what it is...a great chance to spend a good time with fellow blonkeys once a week. I don't see a need for change in the tourney...only a need for change in my own strategy. I've won that tournament twice so I know I can make it work, but things have changed from the past.

Most all of us that play the blonkaments have played each other enough times that typical strategy no longer cuts it. It is no different than knowing a persons tendancies in a home game. I mean, at the end of the day, we are playing a weekly home game with each other. Standard play just isn't going to cut it over the long haul.

So, for me, it comes down to switching things up, keeping opponents that know my typical play off kilter, and controlling the size of the bets and pots.

As for switching things up, I have to stop thinking that standard plays will cut it in these tournaments. The same play in the Mookie may not be optimum in the Hoy, and vice versa. It just stands to reason that I should have a game plan going into each type of tourney and then adjust it as needed (and depending on the table outlook).

As for keeping opponents that know my typical play off kilter, I just really have to think much deeper about how I play and what opponents expect me to do. When a player can use my style against me, then I need to be prepared to immediately change the way I play against that person.

Finally, the controlling of bet and pot sizes is something I must get a grasp of. Over time, I will be looking very, very closely at changing my betting patterns depending on the type of tournament. No specifics right now, but I'm crunching a lot of numbers lately and hopefully it will help me when playing more tourneys in the future.

Wow, this was a pretty lame post having gone back and read it through. Luckily, many of my regular readfers will miss it since they are in Vegas for the WSoP.

Until next time, may the felt be with you.

posted by TripJax @ 8:48 AM,


At 12:38 PM, Blogger Chad Carpenter (Yahoo IM: carchd) said...

Hahahaha you said, "optimum poker" and HOY/MOOKIE together!!! CLASSIC!!!

At 12:52 PM, Blogger TripJax said...

chad...somehow i knew you were going to be first to leave a comment and would get a kick out of this post.

i'm laughing right now just thinking about you reading my post and nodding your head (not up and down, but left and right) in disapproval.

good stuff.

At 5:49 PM, Blogger oossuuu754 said...

Jax, I made a similiar comment about the structure in my blog today. I lost 1/2 stack last night and just couldnt ever get back on track. I have been reading the FullTilt Tourney guide and one of the 1st chapters is about bet sizing vs position, I have started employing this and I think this anlone allowed me to survive to 20th last night. Good Post.

At 10:46 PM, Blogger KajaPoker said...

so true. but the problem is the tourney structure. I mean, no shit sherlock, deep stacks have more room to maneuver. lol.

but serisoulsy, part of my 5xSB strategy lets you do that in the smaller stack tourneys.

and i think you meant to say chad shakes his head from side to side? I tried nodding it sideways and it really hurt.


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