General tourney strat- shove/fold game
Hey guys, after reading through alot of the tourney threads, HH and such it really seems like everyone is focused on early stages/when they are deep in tourneys and not on their shove/fold game, in fact many peoplem on here seem to think shove/fold isnt real poker. Well guys, I am going to put forward that for begginer to average players in tourneys, their shove fold game should be the first thing they really work on, without a fundamental shove fold game its almost impossible to be profitablein online tourneys. In this post I am planning on going through first what our general tourney strategy should be (MTTS, not stts) and then go into our SS game, from about 5bb-20bb and discuss a few hands and say how they can be adapted.
Ok so one thing I see many people in here thinking is that the begginning of the tourney is when we should be trying to build a stack, and do this by getting in lots of pots with donks at the begginning of the tourney, now this is not to everyone but i would say 90%+++ of the people in here are very weak post flop, and are going to be getting in marginal -ev spots post flop by trying to get into pots early, even with donks.
Another consideration in this is that early in a tourney doubling up is a tiny EV (expected value) boost, this means that while you may double your chips, there is no way you are doubling your expectation in the tourney. Although gaining chips early in a tourney does not affect the overall game, losing chips is major, every cheap flop you see is more likely than not going to chip you down, because bluffing at pots is almost always going to be -ev because although it might be immediate +ev the chips you gain in bluffing are not worth as much as the same amount of chips you can lose, for example take this hand.
PokerStars - $30+$3|10/20 NL (9 max) - Holdem - 9 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 3
Hero (BB): 1,470.00
SB posts SB 10.00, Hero
posts BB 20.00
Pre Flop: (30.00) Hero
, CO raises to 50.00
, hero ???
Opener is a standard tourney rec player who plays to many hands from early, is probably opening about 20% from his position, We can "profitably" 3b from here to about 120, TID pre about 70% of the time and clearly overall we are going to be on chips, if we figure it out (with simple maths saying we TID 70% of the time pre and lose the hand whenever we dont take it down pre) we have immediate gain of 36 chips over the long run. While this looks appealing, it does NOT mean that it is profitable in tourneys. The reason for this is because the fact that at this stage chips gained are worth alot less than chips lost. Therefore, in this spot, and nearly any other spot like this, it is the best move by far to just fold this hand..
Because of these reasons it is clear that at the start of tourneys we shoudl be playing super tight, and only start opening more after we are already winning players and want to try increase our ROI. So now onto our SS play, typical tourney situation is we will be around 10bb, blinds will be around 100/200 and we will not even be close to the money. I hear so much crap about tourney lives, and it induces people into playing super nitty with their last few chips, well its either the tourney life mindset, OR they have misinterpreted the meaning about how chips lost are worth more than chips gained, although this is true, it is basically only true when you are a deepstack (being a deepstack is completely to being a big stack) so whenever the average for the tourney is around 40bb+ and we also have 40bb+ we should have the mindset that chips lost are worth more than chips gained. (the higher the tourney average and your chipstack is, the more true that statement is) The only time this can be very different is on final tables where there is a super shortstack and youre short also, but not half as short as him (this is a spot where you do need to be extremely nitty until that player is KOd, or tripled/quadrupled up) as the next pay bracket is almost guaranteed to be alot of BIs.
So anyway back to the original conversation of what kind of cards we should be shoving (I am not going to be bothered giving charts or anything, only general guidelines.) When we are around 10bb, we usually have ALOT of f/e when open shoving, but calling, or getting called to a low bet and seeing a flop is basically a disaster, as its going to be rediculous to play almost any flop. so our best option is going to be open shoving, or 3b shoving for value (unless the opponent doesnt understand pot odds
we cant be 3b bluffing.) So in general, we want to be shoving into people with 7-20bb stacks as they are generally the people who will be calling tightest, so most of our shoves are going to be purely situational, rather than hand orientated, as we do not want to be called unless we have premiums. Clearly we dont only take into consideration what stack sizes the blinds have, but what position we are on the table (because every extra person we shove into is more % that we will be called) so while we might have 80% shoving range otb vs 2 10bb stacks, we will not shove that wide utg, even if the same 2 players are in the blinds.
Ok so, finally what kind of ranges should we be shoving in various positions with a stack around 10bb (8-12, where we should be shoving wider with 8 than 12) (all of these are very general guidelines which should be adjusted by who is in blinds, antes, etc.)
Positions between button and utg should be gradually shoving less and less.
With 6-8bb I am actually shoving wider from UTG than i would in MP, as the blinds are going to be a huge cut of our stack, and we still have some F/E with stacks around that (probably about 30%)
Ok to the second SS section, a stack between 17 and 22bb, our main goals with this size stack should be 3b shoving and stealing the blinds. The people we should be targetting to steal from are stacks between 8 and 30bb, 30bb being pretty ideal as long as they are not players to call and see alot of flops (as with this size seeing flops is just bad)
Although stealing from players with 20bb stacks, we do NOT want to steal from good players with those stacks, as they will be 3b shoving us light and we cannot call without a pretty strong range (we have a pretty good stack size and need to be pretty far ahead of his range to call and be +tourneyev)
we can open basically ATC vs passive SS in the blinds, although the more active they are the more we need to tighten up, as if a 10bb stack 3b shoves us we should be calling with almost all of our opening range.
With this stack we should be opening as small as is effective, if min raises arent enough to stop people cold calling we should up to 2.2, if that doesnt work try 2.4 etc etc (this is something people just need to experiment with).
Although we should still be stealing blinds, this is not the main strength of this stack size, rather we need to be 3b shoving pretty wide into players who have high ATS and open in late position, we should have a polarised 3b shove range (and they should be between 16 and 30bb stacks) For example:
PokerStars - $3+$0.30|75/150 NL (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players
Hand converted by PokerTracker 3 (http://www.pokertracker.com)
Hero (BB): 3,450.00
SB posts SB 75.00, BB posts BB 150.00
Pre Flop: (225.00) Hero
, fold BTN raises to 450.00
Ok so say this guy is standard rec player who is opening about 60% in this spot, but doesnt want to stack very wide, if we give him a calling range of A2s+ A9+ K10s+ KJ+ 8s+ QJ. So we want our range to be good against his calling range, but also abuse the fact that he is going to be folding 75% of the time pre, the fact that chips lost are worth more than chips gained is still true, but not so prominant, so we need to make our move well +ev but not rediculously.
A range like A6+, KJ+ and 2s+ is a good start for a value range (with the bottom half of pairs being slightly polarised) we can also add in some other hands which play ell vs his calling range, such as maybe 67s, 78s, 56s, 89s and 68s. with this range vs his calling range we have about 50% equity vs his range, but it will be a very +ev move because of the crazy amount of the time he will be folding pre.
Again this is a range which should be adjusted, played around with to your play styles, but its a good starting spot. I HIGHLY reccoment you play around with stove to see how various ranges play against each other.
Anywayy I will stop my ramble, and I know this is a highly repetative post but I am not in the mood to patch it up lol any contributions or things i have missed would be great! Main lesson is that you guys NEED to start focusing more on your SS game and less on your early tourney game.. any Questions I would love to answer.