Tourney Strategy by Stormswa
I was asked to do a rebuy strategy guide and how it differs from a freezeout by one of our very loyal members. What I decided to do was a general guide going through all forums of games along with my general strategys.
Tips Before, During and After your tourney
1. time managment: this is a big one guys, some tourneys can last up in the 6+ hours and it would suck for you to build a giant stack just to have to leave the house for a hour. When you get back you realize you went from being one of the big stacks to being the small stack on final table.
2. Play to win: If you are approaching the bubble and you have like a 4 big blind stack or a "M" of like 3 you did something wrong. We should not be letting ourselves get to that point. We are not playing just to cash, the real good money is not till about the top 3-5 spots so that is what we are playing for. I will go into more detail of this later in this article.
3. hands play differently at different levels of the tourney: What I mean by this is AJ plays a lot differently at 10/20 blind levels then it will at say 200/400 blind levels. At lower buy in levels you are not going to get a lot of respect with your raises so you always have to be aware of that fact on a ace high flop it is very possible the other play has ace also and has matched his kicker. In otherwards people are calling you much lighter in the early stages of a tourney then they will in later stages.
Lets just get to the tourney part of this.
this is what most people play, what it means is you pay a certain amount for a tourney buy-in and you are given a certain amount of chips. Your goal is to accumulate every single chip in play. Now you have time to do this and dont think you need to win every single pot. Be patient when you play and look for good spots.
early stages for me are like up until the 1st break. depending on where you are playing but at stars the blind level after break 1 is 75/150. Depending on how we did during the last hour we could either have a dangerous stack 10 big blinds or less, a so-so stack like 10-20bb or a nice stack which is anything over 20bb. Depending on what our stack looks like dictates how we play in the middle stages which we will go into in next section. Ok so I like to play pretty tight during the early stages of a tourney, in this stage you need to raise at least 3x the big blind so we can define the strength of our hand. Dont ever mini-raise at this level and dont ever limp with the intention of coming over the top because most players at this level are just limping in. Just play ABC poker here.
the middle stage of the tourney varies depends on where you are playing. At this level we should start to see some antes brought into our tournament. ante's are great because now it becomes profitable to steal blinds. To steal blinds you need to open up your game a little bit or switch gears, but you also by now should know who you can and cant steal from so be careful dont steal from calling stations. so during early stages we are trying to survive and during this level we are trying to accumulate. Pick on the small stakes, if you are one of those small stacks keep track of your big blinds and know what your "M" is. We are looking for situation along with good cards right about now. Keep in mind if you have fold equity or not, for instance dont shove overtop of someone with medieum strength hand if the guy that raised is a big stack and has already put half or your stack in middle with his origional raise. At this point we dont have to be raising big, we can make smallish raises. They accomplish the same thing and dont commit you to calls. Like if blidns are 100/200 I like raising to 500 instead of 600 or 700, it may not seem like a big difference but trust me it is.
ok at this point we are either in the money already or around the money bubble. This is the time to really pick on the small stacks, you should not be one of them. You should be medium to big stacked right about now and if you arnt what are you waiting for start pushing. Again our raises dont need to be crazy big, stop pushing that bet pot button! here were are trying to accumulate chips for the final table. We are trying to go deep here kids, I know it sucks busting out so close to the bubble but one tourney win will make up for all those bubble finishes.
so you made it to the final table, 1st congratuate yourself on a job well done. But our job is not totally done we have a 1st place to win. kinda play this like you played level 1 here. Just play standard tight poker but if you realize your opponents are picking up on that change gears. Final table is pretty self explanitory so im not going to go into detail here. Your tourney life will be on the line multiple times just try to get your money in good.
Thats about it for freezeouts now lets go to my favorite which is a rebuy.
rebuy tournaments are tournaments where you pay a fee and get chips just like freezeouts but if you bust out you can pay that tourney fee again to get more chips and continue your tourney.
I have some rules I need to go over 1st.
1. dont cap your buy-ins, people ask me this all the time some in instant messanger how many buyins should I do before I quit. My answer is buy in as many times as it takes. I played a rebuy last night where I had to of double rebought at least 10 times.
2. there is no such thing as a bad beat in a rebuy, there are going to be plenty of times when people make bad calls and catch. It is expected so dont tilt if it happens to you.
all the stages after the 1st break here are played the same, but the 1st break is play totally different.
lets get on to the 1st hour..
ok this 1st hour is going to be filled with more action then you see a whole tourney sometimes. in 1st hour we want coin flips and we dont mind getting our money in with 88 vs AK. When I play I dont want a extra 3k that I would be thrilled with in a freezeout. I want like 9k+, when we start 2nd hour everyone will be very deep stacked. Really that is kinda all there is to rebuys, if you want to know specifics just let me know but really you just try to get your money in as good as you can and let cards fall where they will. oh yea 2 more things.....
always add on during 1st break, it is dumb not to and no reason not to.
also if you get down to the last hand before break #1 and your chipstack is about where it startedshove no matter what you have. if you win then great you have a much bigger stack and can add on....BUT if you lose you can always double rebuy and add on and basically have what you would of if you folded that hand and added on, understand that?
I do concider myself a above average tourney player, when im focused I play my tourneys pretty perfectly. Now that not to say im winning tons of them but I realize what I need to do and when to do it during the tourney. But lets not talk about cash games because I suck there.
thanks for reading,