This is a discussion on Chip Stack Size - Do We Obsess Too Much? within the online poker forums, in the Tournament Poker section; Before y'all start I KNOW that Plan A is to collect all the chips and win. I know that. So comments that don't give thought
Before y'all start I KNOW that Plan A is to collect all the chips and win. I know that. So comments that don't give thought to the question are not welcome.
Recently, as my game improves, I have found the time to watch other players and how they play and what happens to their stack size. I've seen a number of players who are able to take a hit or two on their stack but rebuild back to that amount or better in a short while. I suppose I must point out this is in regular MTTs. No Zoom or Ultra Turbo malarkey here.
While reading threads on here and reading elsewhere I see again and again that you must be aggressive and build a monster stack as quick as possible. While I agree that having many more chips than everyone else at the same table is the ideal I am seeing players who can slowly build a stack and recover from a hit or two go far in the MTT. It seems to me that this is less risky than the gung-ho techniques I have also been seeing in the same games.
That Player A trebles their starting stack in less than 10 hands is impressive, perhaps. But seeing Player A crashing and burning 30 hands later because by now we've all worked out how they play makes me wonder why the hurry and why the risk.
So why is there the repeated emphasis on being "aggressive" and building a monster pile as soon as possible?? Or is it just a big trick to get newbies like me to give my chips away.
Which reminds me of a joke that illustrates my point.
Two bulls are in a field at the top of a hill and in the valley below are several fields full of cows.
The young bull turns to the old bull and says
"How about we gallop down there and each Enjoy* ourselves a cow".
To which the Old bull says
"Why don't we stroll on down there and Enjoy* all the cows"
*Work it out. I didn't want to trip any swear filters.
22nd September 2016, 4:12 AM
Online Poker at: PStars
Game: STT / MTSNG
Yeah i know what you are saying, the thing is the overwhelming majority of players (this is becoming less of a trend) are tighter than they should be. The hard thing about playing looser is that you will find yourself in a lot of tougher situations.
Poker like anything is about balance. If you are too tight, you need to be thinking aggressive thoughts to counter your nature. For example, i'm pretty risk averse generally, so in game my thoughts are to always be aggressive as possible and take spots on that i'm not overly sure about, like if i think it's a borderline decision, i'll go with the aggressive option generally.
Other players are action junkies, they will need to temper that aggression down.
Think of it like a straight line which is optimal play (this differs from hand to hand) veer too far away from the optimal approach your game will suffer.
It's a hard thing to talk about and put into words because it's so broad and general and there are so many approaches that work for differant people, but that's how i think about it, so hopefully that gives you some ideas.
But the goal of any tournament poker is to have more chips on average than the field at any stage of the tournament as an average, if you are doing this you are having an edge on the field which is super important. Having chips at any stage helps in so many ways, but the main one is that you can simple survive longer with more chips, but there are ways to go about it without risking as much but still being aggressive. Being aggressive doesn't just mean you automatically throw all your chips in the middle without and thought behind it, you can play aggressively in many small pots and not go to showdown as often for example.
Lastly, the overwhelming majority of the time in MTT you WILL lose, you need to be aiming for those top 3 spots, so look long and hard at every tournament structure you enter, that will dictate the style in which you need to employ, faster paced tournaments having chips early is a much bigger advantage than a really slow paced 2 day event for example.
22nd September 2016, 4:18 AM
Poker at: PStars
Game: STT / MTSNG
The other main thing i see is players obsessing about the correct play for a certain stack size. it's a thing sure, but not something that should completely dictate your play, like if you have a player you can exploit but you don't have the stack size for it, do it anyways, it's likely to be very profitable still. My general rule of thumb for making plays in MTT/SNG against someone who is highly exploitable is that if i'm left with 8-10bb after making the play, then i'll do it, if i'm left with less than that, i'll opt to let it go, or make an all in play. If that makes sense.
Basically stress less about leaking a few chips here and there and focus way more on exploiting opponants, learn to exploit opponants and you will learn to fix your own leaks as a result.
22nd September 2016, 4:34 AM
Online Poker at: ACR
re: Poker & Chip Stack Size - Do We Obsess Too Much?
I think it's important to get your money in good and make the correct decisions. If you haven't had the opportunity, you should watch Jason Somerville on twitch. Listening to him reason through hands is super educational. He is a loose player, but he plays people who are and who are good players with good results. I think the variation of loose to tight is a stylistic approach and choosing how you are going to use the math and information you get from spots, but studying situations and spots is the best way to make correct decisions throughout a tourney (whether you are tripled up or average, or even short). The obvious has been mentioned, and that is having more chips is always advantages for multiple reasons (being closer to obtaining them all, being able to play a wider range of spots, being able to slow down your play, etc.). Also, just to add to what Wizzim said, its not just MTTs, there is a lot of losing in tournament poker in general. Having a good resolve for when hands don't go your way, staying focused, and being able to grind are super important traits that are very learn-able and super valuable in tournament poker.
23rd September 2016, 8:22 AM
Nice to see a couple of long well thought replies. Certainly something for me to think about.
I am now finding that I have time during a MTT to watch how other people are playing, something I could only dream about a few months ago. I know the dynamics vary for every game but recently playing a few very cheap double your money sit'n'goes has been very interesting. They are cheap and you are not going to be swapped between tables and that gives a chance to watch other players. Then if you play a few back to back you start playing the same people and that makes your previous observations very useful.
23rd September 2016, 7:46 PM
Hang On Sloopy08 
I think often we stress about chipping up right away when we sit down in a tournament. We sit there and start watching a few players run like God and build monster stacks. But truthfully, the early rounds in a tournament aren't supposed to be the time to chip up.. You should be slowly building your stack and not worrying about what others are doing. You're simply surviving. The pot sizes are too small as it is to have any affect on whether you're going to final table or not. But you can get yourself stuck in some really unfortunate hands by taking unnecessary risks early on just so you can chip up.
Early on you need to play tight. If you want to limp in a few hands with some suited connectors by all means get in there, but pay attention to your position at the table and how aggressive the players are behind you. Most likely in early stages you're left with 3-6 players seeing a flop. There's too much texture and variables out there to get yourself in a pickle. If you hit that dream flop, or get insane pot odds, make your move. If not, don't be stupid and start trying to steal insignificant pots just so you can start chipping up. There's too many players in the hands and if you don't have a made hand somebody else does or is drawing hard to get one.
Later stages of tournaments offer great opportunities to chip up. If you've made it this far everyone at the table has a lot more invested time and interest since they're closer to cashing. Not to mention because of the blind levels it's a good opportunity to scoop larger stacks. You've had the opportunity now if you've been at your table awhile to observe your opponents. Now you can start taking more calculated risks.
If you feel like your getting "the sickness" I call it, where you're short stacked, this isn't the end of the world. At larger levels you have an excellent chance if patient enough to play great position poker and steal pots that there's little texture and not much aggression. If you do get it in pre-flop, best to get in with a pair, don't fall in love with AJ or AQ unless you have position and there's no pre-flop raise. You don't need to shove here, betting 3-4x the size of the BB gets you the same information as going all-in without having to give up all your chips.
23rd September 2016, 8:02 PM
Well Oliver, if there a Like button I would have used it.
I've mentioned months ago about sometimes all I need to do is read something, somewhere that makes sense and fits with my experiences for me to stop worrying about if I am playing with my brains. You comments about taking a pot later in the game as it can give your stack a big boost without taking the risks the early all-in players take echo my recent thoughts while playing.
So much better than the too often used "where's the password" for a 2nd post
Welcome to CC
23rd September 2016, 8:13 PM
Online Poker at: pokerstars
re: Poker & Chip Stack Size - Do We Obsess Too Much?
for the tourneys, the most important thing is survival i believe. just don't get into the hype and always play "your" game which works out for you. patience is a virtue!