Does ITM Matter or only final tables?

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LEV1ATHAN

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Hey, I'm new to poker and even more so for tournaments, I've only been playing tourneys for around 2 months. At first I thought the goal of tourneys was to cash at all cost, and I would try to conserve my stack at all cost to make the min cash every time. The more I played and the more the variance of tourneys hit me I realized that trying to min cash isn't the strat for a profitable career. I've only made 2 Final tables so far but the return was incredible and covered all of my bad losses. I'm just wondering what other players are thinking when they enter a tourney are you always going for first with multiple re entries, aggressive at all times play or do you try to go for consistent min cashes

Any comments are helpful
 
DougPkrMonsta

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When I register a tournament I'm aiming for a deep run and to make the top 3 (as that is where the real money is).

Nothing shameful about limping to a min-cash occasionally or trying to get a few pay-jumps if things haven't gone your way and you are a short-stack, but definitely not the goal and not passing up profitable spots to do it.

Good luck to you! :D
 
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Majari_

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I try to be semi-aggressive early on and build a decend stack and then look for blind steals as short stacks are waiting for a min cash and folding their hands. That's how you build a stack for deep run and possibly final table.
 
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LEV1ATHAN

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When I register a tournament I'm aiming for a deep run and to make the top 3 (as that is where the real money is).

Nothing shameful about limping to a min-cash occasionally or trying to get a few pay-jumps if things haven't gone your way and you are a short-stack, but definitely not the goal and not passing up profitable spots to do it.

Good luck to you! :D


Thanks for sharing, my question to you is will you re-enter more often because of this approach since its not really about being consistently profitable but more so going for third +, I only say that because in my mind what I used to think was oh well if I re- enter thats 2 buy ins and if i min cash thats only break even and that stops me from re entering. Just wondering what your thoughts on re entering are other than the obvious don't re-enter when tilting or at a stack depth you can't handle
 
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skaterick

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it can depend on one's psychological makeup

those who are confident in their game and the choices they make just brush it off when they miss the money . as others noted, that's good poker and long term positive thinking . but i cant stand bubbling with a decent stack even when i know the moves i made were +EV . i take the min cash way too often and wind up with good ITM stats and reduced ROI !
 
Alizona

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The smaller ITM cashes is how I maintain my bankroll. The 20% of time we make the money balances out the 80% of the time we bust short of the money. Its a wash, nothing more. There's no glory and only a small tiny profit.

Where we make our bacon is with final tables and more importantly, top 3 or top 4 finishes. That's where the vast majority of all the prize pool money will be given away. Even 9th place will only pay about 10% of what first place will pay, so making a final table isn't the correct answer. Top 3 is our goal, always. This is rarely going to happen, of course, but when it does, that's when our bankroll gets a significant boost upwards... and then we grind out the min cashes for the next few months or years until we make another deep run. That's the life of a tourney pro, 80% disappointment, 20% semi-satisfying but not really... and once in a blue moon we get that OMG YESSSSSS!! happiness and hopefully we can ride that all the way until our next big score, which can often be a looooong way down the road. So enjoy it for the short while it lasts, then get right back to the grind again! Best wishes. :)
 
DougPkrMonsta

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You should be playing to build a stack that can take you deep into the tournament and be willing to rebuy several times if necessary. You definitely need a bigger bankroll for these tournaments as there is more variance than in freezeouts.

So yes, generally I agree you should be playing aggressively, mixing it up, not looking to make big folds, and not worrying about flipping for all your chips during the re-entry period.

That being said things don't always go to plan and you have to take what your table gives you. You don't want to play maniacally at a table where no one is gambling, or start going all-in every hand because everyone is playing super loose and crazy.

Nothing says you can't run a small/medium stack into a good stack later, but generally better players will win more money overall building their stack early and then taking advantage of players who get lucky and win big stacks early only to punt them off as the tournament progresses.

Building a stack is a balancing act and is important, but it is only part one of tournaments. It takes time and experience to learn solid fundamentals... raise-sizes, bet-sizes, adjusting to your opponents, changing gears, knowing how to play a short-stack effectively (including push/fold charts) to name a few. As you improve all of these you will be making good decisions and your results will improve.

Good luck! :D
 
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fundiver199

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Small and large caches both matter, so its a mistake to focus on just one. You dont want to lose a large percentage of your stack near the bubble trying to fold your way to a min-cash. But you also dont want to let someone with a much shorter stack than yours cash, if it can be avoided.

The option to reenter should not change your strategy. You cant win a tournament during the late registration period, but you can waste a lot of money on reentrys, if you spew away your chips by being overly loose and aggressive. Reentering is just the same as playing another tournament, so before doing it I always consider, what else is going to be available within the next 15-30 minutes. Sometimes I reenter, other times I wait for the next tournament.

On 888 Poker you keep your seat (and they call it rebuy), so on that site I also look at the quality of my table. If its really juicy with some big fish on my right, then I will almost always rebuy, just like I will always reload on a good cash game table, if I get stacked. If on the other hand the table is kind of dry, and blinds have already gone up quite a bit, then I probably just leave the tournament. I also leave, if I feel any kind of tilt because of the way, I got busted.
 
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My experience is different as I cannot discuss buy-ins and rebuys but I have cashed quite a few times. My breakdown of largest cashes (within a fair volume of final tables) indicates they constitute about 36% of my total cashes made.

However, I have simply followed my own intuition that it was vital to cash and the more times you cashed the more experience you would gain. With that experience you then start to ladder more frequently and attain the larger cash positions.

If that was my approach already it was underlined by a pro who stated one of the most important habits he had developed as a pro was to cash regularly. He realized that you could never play buy-in catch up over the longer arc with the big scores you might make. What you need to do was recoup your buy-ins regularly and then run deep as well.

Quite often I will run across some info about a pro and will check their Hendon Mob or a similar stat site. In nearly every case the number of cashes they have made blows you away. Try it yourself. As one example, I recently heard about an individual who was a very solid pro with online earnings of US 4,000,000. Yes he had some deep runs and largish paydays but it was his ITM stats that blew me away - still fairly young he had cashed in over 4,000 tourneys.

If you look at such stats you will frequently find pros (the majority) will have an impressive number of tournamentt cashes.
 
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frommelk

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I always try to play only for the top 3. But there are times when it is better to beat off the buy-in))
 
thatguy6793

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It might be worthwhile to try SNG tournaments in addition to your MTTs. These have a bit less variance to them because they have some more cash game like components to them and its easier to consistently get cashes (and since only 3 or 4 get payed, min cashes are a lot better). This might help balance out the results of MTTs and stabilize the bankroll in between FT appearances. Best of luck to you!
 
MAGICUZ

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My first goal in tournaments is ITM.When I beat off my buy-in, it becomes easier to play, and then how the card will fall.
 
slicheri93

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I think you should play the first few stages of the tournament normaly like you always would, but if you get really close to itm play a bit tight and try to get that itm,
cause if you do BRM a mincash is always welcome right?

i think your goal should be to get itm but not at the cost of your whole tournament
play smart but not careless. bit of time bank wont hurt ;)

wouldnt recommend re-entring so much think just keep it at 1 go each game unless its a special event like BB micros etc.

And try to avoid hunting for losses, those will build up and you will never make profit, keep focused and try studying tournaments plenty of that out there.

gl in your games :)
 
manzanillo53

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I started thinking the same way, just making the bubble- Now I play more aggressive and I do not make the bubble. But I am learning.
 
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LEV1ATHAN

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It might be worthwhile to try SNG tournaments in addition to your MTTs. These have a bit less variance to them because they have some more cash game like components to them and its easier to consistently get cashes (and since only 3 or 4 get payed, min cashes are a lot better). This might help balance out the results of MTTs and stabilize the bankroll in between FT appearances. Best of luck to you!


That may be a good idea, I've never played SNG because I don't really understand what they are structure wise tbh
 
thatguy6793

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That may be a good idea, I've never played SNG because I don't really understand what they are structure wise tbh


They're essentially a mini MTT played on a cash game in the sense that you never switch tables. The most common format is usually 9 players with the top 3 cashing, but there's tons of other formats likes double or nothing (Half the table cashes the other doesn't). Usually its 5-10 min stages and the blinds and antes go up just as they would in a tournament. There's a lot of good info online that should help you out. And a lot of beginner strategy that should be able to help you build up the bankroll. Hope it works out for you
 
Poker_Mike

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My tournament goals are to make it from break to break!

Then ITM.

And that is because you have to get ITM in order to get to the Final Table!

Good luck !
 
lcid86

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Gotta get ITM to have a chance to make final tables. But, playing just to cash will limit profits and eventually cause you to run outta bankroll. Need some final tables, so be aggressive when you are favored.
 
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Richardszabo

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It is not recommended to enter tournaments with minimal goals. You think well, the goal is to win the tournament or the final table. I always start with multiple entries and always play aggressively.
 
perrypip

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It might be worthwhile to try SNG tournaments in addition to your MTTs. These have a bit less variance to them because they have some more cash game like components to them and its easier to consistently get cashes (and since only 3 or 4 get payed, min cashes are a lot better). This might help balance out the results of MTTs and stabilize the bankroll in between FT appearances. Best of luck to you!

Another thing about SNG's is you can develop the shorthanded and heads up skills which you're going to need when you find yourself at the FT in a MTT going for first prize.
 
Collin Moshman

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That's a great question.

The answer is that neither one is important by itself. Your goal is to maximize ROI (return on investment) which requires playing each hand for the highest EV instead of focusing on goals like cashing, final tabling, or winning.

Sometimes ROI maximization means that you'll make a tight fold to squeak into the money as a mid stack. Sometimes it means you'll play very aggressively near the final table to pressure shorter stacks.

But the focus is on doing what's best for the situation instead of aiming specifically to cash or final table.
 
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zerosalex

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consider your bankroll vs your buy in. if your buy in is large then min cash out wouldn't be that bad and maybe you get lucky and make it further like a final table in which payout will be incredible. but if your buy in is small is good strategy to have a mentality to make it to final table without worrying about any other places or prizes.
 
AmidamaruRu

AmidamaruRu

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In the beginning, I try to play more hands while the blinds are not very big. If there are few people left in the middle stage, growth can be slowed down. It is always better to deny entry to a tournament than to get nothing. After the bubble I already play from the stack. I try not to play re-entry tournaments
 
MishkaZL

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I do not play cash games, but I prefer tournaments. When playing in tournaments, I try to be patient and take risks only when I am confident in my chances of winning. Following such a simple but effective strategy, I get pretty good results.
 
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