The 7 stages to a Turbo STT.
I keep hearing about STT's defined in three easy stages, Early/middle/late. Well, if you want to get good at them, there are actually quite a few more stages we need to look at closer. I guess this is a mini guide about the 7 differant stages of a STT, and get some conversation started about the topic. Also putting stuff to 'paper' helps me to go over stuff in my head. And if it looks wrong when i write it down, it usually is. Feel free to add to any of this, and point out if you think i'm wrong .
(Blinds 10/20 - 15/30)
So generally playing fairly tight, but implied odds
hands such as pocket pairs and suited connectors can also be played in these stages. We're generally either betting hard and fast with our big hands, or getting in cheap and flopping something neat with our smaller hands. The name of the game is aggression postflop, the biggest leak i see in bad regulars is a lack of postflop aggression, it just costs you value in the long run.
(Blinds 25/50 - 100/200)
Here we amp up our aggression preflop some more. Our most profitable moves, or the moves we make most of our equity are:-
Re-stealing or 3bet shoving.
Calling all in shoves.
We also pick up a decent amount of equity from stealing blinds.
So why are the first two the most profitable ones? Well they are the ones we play our biggest pots in. When we play in a big pot, our equity dramatically changes in a tournament. When we steal the blinds, our equity doesn't change a great deal.
with 9-7 players left (100/200 - Bubble)
So with 9 players left, we can actually take more of a risk, as we are a long way from the bubble, but everyone is getting short. We don't mind getting called and playing in a big pot at this stage, having that big stack in a situation like this leads us to being able to take down many more pots in the future.
with 7-5 players left (100/200 - Bubble)
How this differs with less players left is that we need to tighten down our ranges, getting called at this stage is far worse than earlier. As the bubble is nearing, we should still be taking enough risks so we get to the bubble as an above average stack more often than not.
I feel it's important to split those two up, because the change in the ranges, while subtle are important to be able to adjust to. Shove wider with more players left, shove tighter with less.
So again, our most profitable moves in the later game are:-
Calling all in shoves.
Open shoving with stacks under 12BB effective.
Stealing blinds relentlessly against nits.
Finally, one last thing about you're stack size.
Playing an average starting stack/ short stack-. You can open your ranges up quite a bit when your on a shorter stack in the mid game, there is NO point getting to the bubble short. I'd much rather take on a shove, or call a shove in a marginal spot than get to the bubble as the shortstack. Whatever happens, don't blind out!
Playing a big stack- Here is one part a lot of people seem to get wrong in an STT during the mid-late game. When you aquire a big stack of chips, it is NOT your job to be table captain. We know that the chips gained on top of a big stack are worth less the more you get. So why are we getting involved in marginal situations? It sounds kind of funny, but when i get a big stack, i actually tighten down all my ranges, i don't get involved as much in re-stealing, but i look for good spots to just open shove on people. Of course i'm still calling shoves with very strong hands, but the marginal re-stealing spots i might let go.
Bubble has nothing to do with how many chips you have. It has to do with how your stack relates to the other players.
-When you are the chip leader you can shove the widest. If you're not a monster, but still the chipleader, it depends on your position and who you're shoving into. If you're a monster stacked chip leader (double chips of 2nd guy), you can often shove any cards from any position. If that makes you uncomfortable, leave out the junk at the bottom of the range, like the unsuited 2 hands up to about 92o. If the villian you're shoving into is 5BB's or less, you can expect the likelihood of getting called to go up, as his stack size goes down.
If your the shortstack, it has a lot to do with how your stack hurts the other villian. So if you have a stack very close to that of the villians, then you can shove very wide, almost ATC again. But if the villian has you covered considerably, then you need to tighten up a lot.
If your the middle guy, your in the most difficult position. You generally have to be the most risk averse player at the table. You can shove wider on a villian that you cover, but much tighter into a villina that has you covered. Also pay very close attention to other players tendancies and the stack sizes.
Heres another part many players get wrong. One of my biggest leaks in fact was my ITM shoving. Basically put, since we should have been extremely active, shoving in lots of spots in the mid-late-bubble game. We actually need to tighten down our ranges again. Also think of it like a "mini-bubble". We can treat it in a similar way to a normal bubble spot. THe stack size applies just like mentioned in bubble spots. We shove much wider into a guy we have covered than we can into a guy that covers us. You can also expect to get called a lot wider once ITM.
Finally heads up. Generally in a turbo, the blinds are really really high at this stage. So there shouldn't be a lot of thought involved. There's usually no real poker to be played at this stage, it's either shove, or call a shove. The thing is about heads up in a STT, it's the only stage where we don't care about ICM. It's the stage where we are only playing for the remaining chips in play, so we can take huge risks in order to get them. Basically, a quick heads up is a good heads up. For a basic starting point, i'd suggest learning the NASH heads up equlibrium. Then adjusting off that chart to account for player tendancies. Lets say, the player shoves really wide, but calls very tight.
I'm going to call as wide as NASH suggests, but i'm going to shove much wider than it suggests also.
Let's say the player shoves tight, and calls tight. Well i'm going to call much tighter than NASH suggests, but i'm going to shove much wider also.
Sometimes you are at a really low blind level, and have to actually play "poker". Getting in a few hundred games of heads up play should be very beneficial to you in these spots.