final table value betting vs bluffing vs checking

F

formertroll

Rock Star
anyone have some advice on this? i've gotten to a few final tables recently (mega freebuys, cc 3.30, even micro stakes mtt) and often i'll have a buddy railing me. he'll question my plays or rather the logic behind them on this topic. he prefers to extract value at that stage with small bets where i prefer to induce folds when i've not made it or induce all ins when i have.

as an example, 5 remaining (similar stacks of 30bb) i have ace 10 and flop comes j109, what do i bet? i know that's not enough info but i've hit a piece of the flop but there's a lot of danger cards out there either on flush or straight draws, made hands or ace/jack. how do i decide how much to bet the flop and later streets whether the turn is dangerous, safe, or improves my hand?
 
Bozovicdj

Bozovicdj

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The first thing I am thinking about at the final table are the payjumps. They tend to be quite big. That being said, I like to play a bit conservative, not getting out of line too often. On that particular board I would check-call the flop, and hope to get to a cheap showdown. And realistically, more often then not, you will get to those showdowns. In general, no one wants to make huge bluffs at FT because of the risk of getting called, and busting, when you could have easily wait out for another player to bust and earn more money.

However, I suggest other methods of taking easy pots, mostly by shoving with solid hands from positions like BU or SB when folded to.
There is a video by Lex Veldhuis, where he is on the SB and has Q2, everyone folded to him, he shoves, gets called by K3 and he doesn't blink even, and says that is quite normal to do in that particular spot (SB vs BB).

If you want to practice FT plays, I suggest playing 9 players SnG. Top 3 get paid, but standard, conservative abc poker usually gets you that far. The way you should be playing those SnGs is applicable on FT in MTTs.
 
F

formertroll

Rock Star
The first thing I am thinking about at the final table are the payjumps.

If you want to practice FT plays, I suggest playing 9 players SnG. Top 3 get paid, but standard, conservative abc poker usually gets you that far. The way you should be playing those SnGs is applicable on FT in MTTs.


i've played a lot of those. was winning solidly for a while but lately i've noticed collusive behavior or at the least, horrible play that has prevented me from doing well. example (this happened 3 times with three different groups) we are on the bubble and i'm 3rd. to my right the small stack and to his right the superstack, with more than all of us combined. superstack would fold his small blind multiple rounds in a row. i couldn't gain any ground on the small one and eventaully the blinds or lack of cards would eat me alive. if i pushed back at the big stack he would overshove so i could only do that with a good hand.
 
Andrew Popov

Andrew Popov

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If you want to practice FT plays, I suggest playing 9 players SnG. Top 3 get paid, but standard, conservative abc poker usually gets you that far. The way you should be playing those SnGs is applicable on FT in MTTs.

Important specification. In the SnG 9-max, all players have the same stacks (in the beginning). At the final table of the larger tournament, stacks are very rarely the same. Often we will see one or two chip leaders. And a couple of very short players who were lucky to live up to the final table.
 
F

formertroll

Rock Star
Important specification. In the SnG 9-max, all players have the same stacks (in the beginning). At the final table of the larger tournament, stacks are very rarely the same. Often we will see one or two chip leaders. And a couple of very short players who were lucky to live up to the final table.


i like the 55 cent on demands on acr as a better final table model. on there you start with 30k ships and a 250/500 plus ante level. so very quickly you're at 20bb with some monster stacks, some short and some medium. by the final table of those there are huge disparities where the average stack would usually be between 2nd and 3rd.
 
Bozovicdj

Bozovicdj

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Important specification. In the SnG 9-max, all players have the same stacks (in the beginning). At the final table of the larger tournament, stacks are very rarely the same. Often we will see one or two chip leaders. And a couple of very short players who were lucky to live up to the final table.


Of course, there are differences, however the basics are the same, a lot of patience and not stepping out of line get's the thing done. I am trying to play the same way when at the FT and have been rather successful.
Also, in the original post, it was mentioned that everyone had similar stacks of about 30BB, so it felt like a good parallel with SnGs.
 
perrywh

perrywh

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When I finish early at a final table its usually because I over bet my hand or play a bad starting hand that hits the flop.
 
Spaceman

Spaceman

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I have played you on some acr freerolls. I think I agree with your buddy but in the end of the day its all about strategy and expectations. I think you play way too aggressively with not good cards.

In your example J 10 9, where you hold A10, I would normally expect from you to shove or bet really big on the flop. But lets be honest, a set probably will call, a KQ would be doing backflips, an 87 will think it twice but still end up calling, and you have all those draws that are calling you and even if they dont make the straight can hit a higher pair than your 10. What I am trying to say is that if you get called, most of the times means bad news or busting out. You should better play small ball and try to control the pot. If a small bet accomplice the same with a shove, which is folding crappy hands, then go with a small bet.

But its your strategy, you are playing a high risk/high reward. If someone end up calling you with a draw and doesnt make it, now you are in a better position to win the tourney than me who would fold to a shove here. Or if I call you thinking you may make this move with just a 10 when you have the nuts.
 
Last edited:
Matt Vaughan

Matt Vaughan

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I think the issue here, is that final table situations are seriously so nuanced, that you can't really get away with making broad, sweeping, statements about the whole thing.

For example,In your initial post we are not even really sure what the payouts are, what's going on with the other players at the table, or if you have any history with any of the players, which you should.

The specific hand and flop you're talking about though, I feel like in almost all situations would be a check back if I was pre-flop raiser. If I was out of position, it's a little bit more likely that I would put out a bet, but it's still pretty common for me to check there. But again, it really comes down to the situation, payouts, and all the history leading up to this moment on the table.
 
A

Adycted420

Rising Star
I would start betting small there (around there BB) , five guys remaining and with that board he won't be to eager to play back at you with a jack . He's probably going to call there with it as well as with a big draw.. 78 will probably showe on you not wanting you to make a flush or a better straight , just fold if shoved.
Now if the turn is a blank i'll ceck he'll probably ceck back on a draw maybe even on a jack ...If i was in he's shoes i'll bet the jack just to see where i'm at ...not to big so i'll be able to fold If shoved on.
River ceck fold if a second overcard comes or one that makes the draws .....check raise all in if the jack cecked back on the turn ..or shove if he betted on the turn ...don'
All this is based on the fact there was no raise preflop so we can rule out KQ .
 
abzdolc

abzdolc

Rock Star
sometimes (1/4) times try to 3bet with AT, and in this way, you'll understand better what weight of opps hand you play at this time, and how good your 2nd pair :)
 
F

formertroll

Rock Star
I have played you on some acr freerolls. I think I agree with your buddy but in the end of the day its all about strategy and expectations. I think you play way too aggressively with not good cards.

But its your strategy, you are playing a high risk/high reward. If someone end up calling you with a draw and doesnt make it, now you are in a better position to win the tourney than me who would fold to a shove here. Or if I call you thinking you may make this move with just a 10 when you have the nuts.


i appreciate the analysis. some of my donktastic play is a result of having a 3 year old at home. if he needs a bath or bedtime, i could push all in with little or nothing, knowing i'd blind out while i was gone if i didn't get a quick double. other times, the 5am wake up catches up to me...and other times i actually have the nuts.

i don't have a HUD but if i did i'd imagine my stats are all kinds of screwed up because of stuff like that happening haha.
 
K

Kiritoe

Rising Star
Always ask yourself what your opponent could call with when you value-bet to prevent the opportunity for your opponent to re-raise/trap you.

Sometimes checking down might be a good play as well.
 
Z

Zikasamaster

Rock Star
anyone have some advice on this? i've gotten to a few final tables recently (mega freebuys, cc 3.30, even micro stakes mtt) and often i'll have a buddy railing me. he'll question my plays or rather the logic behind them on this topic. he prefers to extract value at that stage with small bets where i prefer to induce folds when i've not made it or induce all ins when i have.

as an example, 5 remaining (similar stacks of 30bb) i have ace 10 and flop comes j109, what do i bet? i know that's not enough info but i've hit a piece of the flop but there's a lot of danger cards out there either on flush or straight draws, made hands or ace/jack. how do i decide how much to bet the flop and later streets whether the turn is dangerous, safe, or improves my hand?
Question is what you do with that A10 suiter or offsuited,if you are bet pre flopyou can cbet and wait the turn if come 8,Q,K you can give up,but if you limp A10 and sow that flop you can check calling small bets on final tables and fold over bets or pot bets,you must max value betting on all tournaments not only to final tables,in final tables value betting(max) its required....good luck....
 
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