Do you play to win or play to cash?
So I've played 3 live MTT's in the last 2 weeks and cashed 3rd in my third tournament. After every session I try to evaluate my play and what I did right or wrong.
I played in my 4th tournament yesterday, there were 60 players and the structure was 15k starting stacks, 30 minute levels, and the blinds started at 25/50.
I ended up busting in 12th place and only the top 6 paid. One hand is annoying me a lot.
Blinds: 2k/4k ante: 300
It is folded to me on the button with 99. I raise to 8k and SB folds.
BB pushes all in for 31,000
I have about 80,000 behind and there is 16k in the pot already. I thought about it for a minute and then I decided to call.
He had AJ and I ended up losing the hand.
My question is this: Outside of the fact that I got it in good and made a seemingly standard play, in terms of MTT principle, is it better to tighten up and avoid coin flips in the late stages? I feel like I could have played really tight and given myself a real chance to cash, and in retrospect winning this hand would have made me extremely comfortable, but looking back I risked 40% of my stack with 99 when the tourney was down to 2 tables, why not just fold?
I guess it comes down to, do you play to win or play to cash?
^anybody else ask themselves this question or take it into consideration in the late stages of a tourney