How to run deep in Multi-Table Texas Hold’em Tournaments
Finding success in Texas Hold’em multi-table tournaments (MTT) requires that you master a few different styles of play.
The continually increasing blinds and decreasing field size mean that you have to adopt a couple of strategies as the game progresses.
In the first few levels, blinds are low and stack sizes are huge compared to later in the tournament.
By keeping the pots smaller, you will be able to open your range and see more flops. With so much ahead of you, there’s little reason to risk a huge chunk of your stack now by chasing a flush.
These rounds will also allow you to gauge your competition, to see how they play. You can determine who is strong and who is small, and all of these details can help you build a plan of attack as the game progresses. An MTT can be considered a type of marathon – not a sprint – and you need to be prepared to let your stamina carry you.
When the event reaches the middle, generally considered when the big blind reaches 100, effective stack sizes are now much smaller than before. It becomes more important to try and avoid multi-way pots and not take unnecessary risks. In the middle, your stack becomes more of a commodity and needs to be viewed with more seriousness.
With only some exceptions, it’s a good idea to begin folding anything that isn’t a monster hand when you’re in the early or middle position, especially if you’re followed by a really aggressive player. You have to always be aware of what would happen if you were to be re-raised and, if your inner voice tells you that you would fold, go ahead and fold now. Again, the tournament is a marathon, not a sprint, and the object is to win the game, not the hand.
As the field continues to dwindle, you begin to see the bubble. This is when you have to pay a lot more attention to your stack. If you have less than 20 big blinds, take a break – don’t limp in, don’t try to bluff and don’t try to teal the blinds. Go after the hands that will really offer a definite payoff; the last thing you need at this point – after having come so close – is to lose it all for being too impatient or for taking too many unnecessary risks.
On the other hand, if you’re stack-flush, go after your opponents. Increase the pressure and try to get the short-stacks out of the game. Chances are, they’re in their position for going after too many pots or for being impatient and, now, that impatience will turn to frustration, which will cause them to make more errors. Use this to your advantage.
If you make it past the bubble, the pressure is reduced considerably, as is the pace of the game. Get ready for long hours of play at this point. There will be a few desperate moves by the short-stacks as they attempt to recuperate their losses, but, more often than not, they will end up on the wrong side of the hand and be sent to the rail. Right after the bubble bursts, it’s not uncommon to lose 10-15 players within ten minutes.
After this, the position becomes extremely important and blind defense takes on a completely different meaning. The ability to defend your blind, or even steal a blind, can be the difference between advancing further toward the finish line, or being forced to bow out.
Making it to the last table is an enormous achievement and one that ought not to be underestimated. When you get those uncommon open doors for a major payday, you have to do all that you can to boost your accomplishment. You’ve made it further than 90% of the rest of the field and this isn’t an easy feat. Patience at this point is your most valuable commodity and you have to wait for exactly the right time to strike in order to advance and become the tournament champion.