Loose OR Tight Early in MTT 75 - 100b deep

theANMATOR

theANMATOR

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Two schools of thought for early stages of MTTs when each player starts with 75 or more big blinds.

School #1 Play tight early and keep pots small - unless you flop a monster and your opponent is willing to get a lot of chips in. This strategy relies on getting dealt strong playable hands - in playable positions, and getting paid off when you hit.

School #2 Play loose, play a lot of pots, keep pots small unless - same as above. This strategy I assume is a lot of fit or fold on the flop. This strategy relies on being a strong post flop player, I assume being able to sustain getting 3bet often, and I also assume having the means and willingness to rebuy often. I also make the assumption about this strategy that the chip count fluctuates drastically, a lot of ups and downs because I also assume by playing loose this strategy would dictate the player chase a lot more than the tighter play style.

As you may deduce from the assumptions above - I usually play a more conservative style early on. I'm just wondering how other players prefer to play early in MTTs.


I notice - and have notes on a lot of players - that have high VPIP 30+ and are often getting huge stacks early, or rebuying often.
I also notice - and have notes on other players who - it is safe to say - are NITS. They have VPIP well under 20 and are never showing up with a hand that is outside of the 20ish percentile.

I try to vary my play style, but really for me - the opponents dictate how I play against them. If I see a loose stationy player I'm going to attempt to get into pots with him and spike 2 pair or better.
Likewise I'm hoping to hit sets or sooper strong draws vs the Nittier players.


What prompted this question is a hand I just played in a 4k guarantee 4.40 buyin at level 2 or 3. I made a pretty loose marginal call - which made me think about this topic.

You can check out the hand in the hand analysis section titled Loose play Early in 4k GTD
 
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Tony0

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Good thread I struggle with the same problem in micro MTTs I find this stage very awkward.

Since you will rarely get heads up to the flop I usually play hands that are strong multiway, suited connectors, pairs. Less of those that do not such as KJo.

My vpip is probably about 15% in the early stage. When folks tighten up I loosen off to about 20%.

I mostly flat as isolation raises rarely have the desired effect. It is depressing to raise to 4bb over a limper only to end up out of position 5 way on the flop!

I do not have a lot of success in the large field tournaments though, I look forward to the replies.
 
Luvepoker

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Really good post and I may add more to this later.

How to play is not just the question but part of it. It depends on the table as well. Take a simple hand like 78s. On the button you can raise it but depending on the last 2 players it could be a fold. On a table where raises and reasonable and very few 3 bets its an easy call on the button but on table with 3 and 4 bets happening its an easy fold. I dont worry about the percentage of hand played as a whole but play as the table allows. Someday early I an playing 30% of pots. There days 10%. I think playing reasonable hands early is smart but they need to be reasonable and you need to be good post flop. Take the 78s again. You call a raise of 2.5BB and flop a draw 100BB deep and the pot is 6BB. The raiser bets 1/2 pot and you call and the pot is now 12BB. The turn gives you the flush.He bets 8BB and you just call pot is now 28BB. The river is a blank and he bets again for 15 BB and you 3 bet to 35 and he Jams. What do you do? you have invested 45 of the 100BB you had left on the flop. what do you think he has where he is willing to stack off 100BB with? you 78o is very week but how many times do you see people go broke here with this type of hand? To play more hands you need to also be very good post flop to not go broke even with what looks to be a strong hand when it not that strong.
 
Leeyonah96

Leeyonah96

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Hi the Anmator,

Early- I am a loose player.
Mid- Tight
Late (Short Stack)- I jam hopefully I win the flip and double up
 
sharipov8090

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Diversity in poker pays off.If you play a versatile game, then it is much more difficult for your opponent to read your game.Of course, it is necessary to take into account the stages of the tournament and not forget about the bluff.
 
Jon Poker

Jon Poker

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Opening ranges are one of the easiest things do dial in as far as poker is concerned. There are tons of charts based on stack size that will help you out. I know we are a few ticks tighter when we are deeper simply because our tournament life is not at risk and we don't have a dying need to accumulate chips. This still doesn't mean you need to be over folding and playing too tight, or getting out of line and opening everything. I exploit fools who are too tight and I play lots of pots with fools that I know are out of line - those who are playing good solid poker are the toughest villans to play against - everyone else is just too easy.

All this said our preflop game is certainly one of the easiest to sew up -- I think you should take a more in depth look at post flop strategies instead of wondering when to deviate tighter or looser from conventional opening ranges. If you do raise pre - are you raising with intent to fold to a 3bet? Are you calling a 3bet? Would you consider 4 betting? What bet sizing would you use? How will you play the hand if you are OOP? What happens if you get check/raised?

Having a good solid preflop strategy opens the door to a good post flop strategy - for me, instead of going against/ trying to change what conventional GTO charts have us opening -- why not invest more time in learning to play better post flop?

At the end of the day for me, this is a super easy answer. And there are tons of charts who will put you right on the money. The rest of your game is up to you.
 
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fundiver199

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The early phase on an MTT is very much like a cash game the main difference being, that there is an ante, which in theory justify widening your ranges a bit. Sometimes though this can be countered by a table playing very loose and taking away most of your spots to raise first in. I agree with Jon Poker, that there is not much point in worrying about the preflop ranges, since they are very easy to learn, and they are not really all that much up for debate.

No its not profitable to open J8s UTG with 8 players left to act behind you, and yes it is profitable to open KQo, if it folds to you on BTN. So doing anything else than folding the J8s UTG and opening the KQo on BTN will be a mistake, and "wanting to play a certain style" is just a bad excuse for making preflop mistakes. Its much more important at this stage of the tournament to focus on good postflop strategy, because this is the time, where some hands will make it to the turn and river, and mistakes at these streets tend to be the most expensive.
 
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SPYDER1998

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in early stages its good to be loose preflop and play tight postflop.

It's also BEST to play VERY LOOSE on the Later Stages if you have good stack, as your opponent is getting TIGHTER trying to reach the money or trying to ladder up.
 
Adi8877

Adi8877

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I notice - and have notes on a lot of players - that have high VPIP 30+ and are often getting huge stacks early, or rebuying often.
I also notice - and have notes on other players who - it is safe to say - are NITS. They have VPIP well under 20 and are never showing up with a hand that is outside of the 20ish percentile.


I often play this tourney, too. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it. The structure is not for me, like the 11$ 15k gtd. it is enough deep, but for some reason - honestly i still dont get it exactly - i just way under my average results on the tourneys with this structure.

1., this is the tourney, where i dont care any stats about other players - even if i have enough hands from them -, as it is so mixed field, that it just confuses me. from the micro hobby players, through the low fishes, till the mid+ stakes top 1%, you can find everyone. so i just focus for my rules.

2., if i play it from the beginning, rarely get a table where is no players whose playing out of range, out of everything what you suppose, think worthy to follow, some of them can build a huge stack till end of late reg, and yes they dont care much the 3-4+ rebuys. Obviously they play without odds, because they want to have a comfortable stack at the end of late reg, in that case it is very easy to go deep, anyway.
So I always suggest they can have almost everything.
The other thing the preflop crazy open bets, like 4+ BB, sometimes even 6-10 BB, and plenty times there are still a multiway pot seeing flop at least.

3., i suppose we have similar problems with this tourney in the late reg phase, i just put it in the russian rulette category, try to make max 1 rebuy, if the cards coming and i can catch few early huge stack builder guy with the out of range, odds hands, it's great, i have a good chance to go deep, anyway just leave it, there are several other tourneys in that time what have a better structure for me and the field is not so wild...

Just my opinion about this tourney, i think analize generally a hand from early stage of this tourney is a waste of time, as often the hands, hand plays dont make sense at all, because of the above things.

good luck!
 
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Tony0

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The other thing the preflop crazy open bets, like 4+ BB, sometimes even 6-10 BB, and plenty times there are still a multiway pot seeing flop at least.


I really want to know what the best solution to this situation is. Opening bigger until they sweat is not as much as an option as it is in cash, where you can keep reloading.

In tournament you would be having too much of your stack on the line by the turn in most situations.

In response I prefer hands that make the nuts more often. Suited connectors, pairs etc.
Raise small first in <2.5bb
Very tight 3bet range. Mostly just flatting.
But always paying attention to the players and situation to change it up when it is good to.
 
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