This is a discussion on Winner Takes All Tournament Strategy within the online poker forums, in the Tournament Poker section; I won a place in a small (50ish player) tournament with a pretty decent first prize. There are some other prizes but they are not
I won a place in a small (50ish player) tournament with a pretty decent first prize. There are some other prizes but they are not significant - essentially all the value is in the win.
My normal tournament strategy is to take it easy in the early levels, try and feel out how other people at my table are playing, play reasonably tight (super nitty in early position). If a couple of players make mistakes and I can get to middle blinds with a better than average stack that's great but I'm OK with an average or somewhat below average stack.
In a winner takes all situation do you need to stay ahead to stand much chance of taking the prize? What adjustments would you make for a winner takes all tournament? Should I be happy to gamble more early?
think about the icm aspect of a double or nothing tourney, the icm says that you should play very tight, with a winner takes all the icm would dictate that you play very loose
-chip accumulation would be very important
the best way is to Play slow in the beginning if it s a deepstack one .. Play solid game. of course if it s a Turbo then you have to go for it from lvel 1. the Moment you have 20/25 bb , just go for it from that Moment..
well since you're going to lose roughly 96% of the time (more if you are bad) yes push every "thin" edge you can, hell even if it's a slightly losing long term play i wouldn't worry about it much, get yourself that massive stack.. Otherwise it's not worth the time you spend on it, i'd prefer to bust out early giving myself a real shot than to play tight for an hour and then bust out anyways.
ya im with others and is too late but I would have went for it right from the start probably. Early and often and push till cant push no more. Is really hard to win a winner take all. Every hour of poker to me is different in cards etc... is how I evaluate it myself. I dont push too hard with large fields but a small field if card dead man this would be difficult would rather do a 50 player heads up tourney
To be a winner at winner take all tourney you have to master all types of games: full table, short hand and heads up. You can't win by sitting tight and wait for your opponents to bust out. You have to accumulate chips until you have it all. Of course this type of tournament involve a lot of luck. I still remember the time Pokerstars hold 5K winner take all tournament every week. People are rich at that time
a winner take all tourney is essentially a cash game with rising blinds. you have to win all of the chips and should be pushing any perceived edge (this doesn't necessarily mean over-bet jamming too deep, however). altho in truth, you should be pushing basically any edge in any tournament generally until fairly late (say 70% of field gone+). chip-equity and $$-equity don't really diverge in a tourney until the prizes are in play.
with that said, in practice, i would expect people to be playing hands like 8+ out draws faster in the early levels to either build a stack or bust. so you may need to consider stacking off in early levels with TPTK type hands when draws are present, where you normally wouldn't.
tournament where the winner takes it all very difficult to win, your AA can beat KJ opponent already in the final CBT and you will take 2 or 3 place, then you need to make you very very much time lucky )
I have used these tips to win a few live and online tournaments of significant size. Please save any digs outside of constructive critisism for sombody claiming to know it all. these are just some things I have noticed, picked up, or used to get lucky a few times. Timelines and levels are all objective and remember these tips come from "arguably the worst poker player ever"
Right from the start play a wider range (levels 1-5) when its cheap to mine sets, straights, and flushes - drive the fish and TAG players off of their top pairs in an effort to reach your first goal of tripling your chip stack. I like to triple my stack by level 4 if AAP. Avoid all-ins and suckout by not being committed to hands that need to be folded even after some bargain mining investments.
Most TAGs are only playing a smaller range in this early mode of chaos and will be unsuspecting of you using this strategy. They will catch on, but just as you change up to your next mode...
Level 5 - 10 settle in comfy for some long-term TAG play and when you hit a hand try your hardest to set traps even with regs via extended use of time bank and an added check, or two, or three. This is usually good for one or two traps per table change - any more than that and you will get made
Levels 5 - 15 Avoid all-ins unless you are beating up stragglers with small stacks and be mindful of those who suckout - use your HUD.
go for medium sized pots in levels 8 - 20 not being afraid to shove according to your personal predetermined shove policy.
You are going to have to get lucky more than a few times to win so shove with calculated risk assessment.
During this long and boring part of the tournament, practice your poker math and calculate pot odds, outs, and implied odds, fold equity, ICM whatever your bag is, for every street if possible. Have a pad and pen, calculator, desktop tools and apps ready(if online) - this is dual purposing your slow time by exhibiting good tournament play while training hard for future play.
If you are in the top 20% Top 10% is optimal) by level 15 your on track. - the goal will be to hit the final table in the bottom 40% of chip stacks.
Bubble play - steal, steal. steal, loose and aggressive on the bubble. min raise bets scare the crap out of anyone happy to min cash so take all their blinds and anything else they leave hanging out as they can be bought for almost nothing - look out for others who play to win and see if you can get a physiological partnership going by not challenging each others steals.
When making the final table, the bigger your stack the better but being in the bottom 50% is usually my MO and almost does not matter as long as you are safe from blinding out.
Absolutely no need to be chip leader as the final table skill-set range among players is such that a majority of chip stacks will change hands a few times especially if there is a chip leader with more than 100% lead.
A chip leader will more than likely add to pot sizes and usually gets sucked out on, or flat out beat a few times by all-ins he thinks he can grab with an inferior hand.
Take advantage of the leaders cushion - if he has a stack advantage, he will have psychological exploits so look for him to try and bully small stacks with inferior-hand all-ins and your chance to double up 1,2, maybe even 3 times - less in live play.
I have always been the small stack at least for a bit at every (online) final table except for 2. Do not get discouraged if you go from leader to last place in stack size at the final as anyone can win in just a few hands. Again, I have won a few tournaments just after being the shortie.
One last time- Be aware of the final table dynamic that can make the short-stack at an 8 handed table the winner of the tournament just a few hands down the road.
Don't get overly emotional about bad beats at the final table as chances are, if your there now, you will be there again and on the other side of that beat next time. Remember it is a game and odds say we will get beat - a lot.
So look at every downturn, bad beat, wrong decision, as a lesson learned or a credit in your universal poker account - it always pays off sooner or later.
Mark or tag your hands for later review and when your done, it is a great tournament if you can count your mistakes on one hand. lay them out afterwards, embed the remedy in your brain and never make those same mistakes again.
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Forget ICM, gather chips (mainly) from weaker players, prepare to take huge flips if necessary to beat another good player. Play for big pots and forget about other places than 1st, as it is actually better to bust quickly than end up being 2nd. Many players play this kind of tournaments (like satellite with just 1 prize) like regular ones, use that to your advantage etc.
It depends on the numers of entrants, but my strategy on those tournament is to play super tight on the begin, after playing more and more agressive on position , the most important vector is always luck on theese kind of tournaments
undoubtedly aggressive style of play in these tournaments is the key to success in my opinion. however, the opponents will be waiting for your mistakes. it would be a shame to get into a pocket pair of aces