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Tournament Poker >> MTT Strategy

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Bond18Moderator
has great shoes


Reged: 11/03/03
Posts: 5444
Loc: Blogging, you know where.
Things it took me a while to learn part 1, Stack Sizes
      #12372281 - 10/05/07 09:52 AM

When I read over SSMTT I often see a lot of the same mistakes over and over. I also see a lot of mistakes I used to make a lot, and Id like to do what I can to try and dispense some concise information that will answer a lot of the basic questions. Sometimes there are habits you make or misinformation youre given and end up creating bad habits, so Id like to write a series of posts/articles to address some stuff, that may seem fairly basic to some, but will hopefully clear up some common misconceptions.

Id like to start with stack sizes and their relevance.
1. 10 BBs and under. Basically, any hand youre playing at this stack size is a shove. This is pretty common knowledge. However, with the increase in stars antes, and the high antes tilt already has, it very often becomes correct to start open shoving in the area of 15 BBs.
When talking about shoving ranges with antes Ive recently been turned onto a way of adding up youre stacks relative size that I really like, known as true BB. What it comes down to is that the true BB is 2/3rds of the starting pot. So if the blinds are 500/1000 with 100 ante at a 10 handed table then the starting pot is 2500 with a true BB of 1666. So if youre sitting on the button with a hand like A5s and 15 BBs, you can simply open shove since you have under 10 true BBs.

2. 14-21 BBs. Most (but not all) of the time you have a 14-20 BB stack you shouldnt be open raising with hands that cant call a 3 bet. There will in fact be spots where because of very weak/tight players behind you that you can in fact raise/fold this stack size, but for the most part this kind of stacks use is more so in restealing all in than open raising. This is in fact an optimal sized stack to resteal, though many players these days are very aware that this is an optimal resteal all in stack so be mindful of players who are aware of what this stack size indicates.
3. 22-30 BBs. With this kind of stack you have more room for open raising, but for the most part restealing all in has become a bit to large in most (again, not all) circumstances. Also, when I say restealing I mean shoving hands that dont really want calls. However, with this stack you should be restricting your open raising range a little bit more than 30+, moreso in early position. With this kind of stack though, I would still be highly aggressive in opening pots in late position as long as the players behind me arent huge risks to resteal. In the low 30 BBs a go and go is very often the best option when thinking of how to play a big unpaired hand pre OOP. Say you have 32 BBs and a villain in LP makes it 3X. If you have AQ you should be going to like 9-12X and shoving most flops, although if you really hit it hard and think villain will bet you should check shove instead.
4. 30-40 BBs. The important part about this stack size is that a lot of people try to resteal with it pre. For the most part, especially in out of position spots, 3 betting this stack intending to fold to a 4 bet shove is pretty bad. This can be done in the upper 30s in a few spots (and I would vastly prefer to do this in position than out with this stack) but for the most part if you 3 bet a stack of 35 BBs or less you are putting to much of your stack to justify a fold pre flop unless villain flips up his hand and shows you that youre 2 outing or something. At this stack size you can open raise a ton, especially If youre playing at lower stakes where people wont resteal on you even after the antes kick in.
5. Over 40 BBs. At this stack you mostly have the full arsenal available to you. You can resteal with the intention of folding, you can raise pre, get 3 bet, and 4 bet hoping to cause a fold, you can flat call in position, and you can open youre full range.


Thoughts on what your opponents know about stack sizes: Most people have a good idea that when their 10 BBs or under they should be open shoving anything they play. When you see someone at 8 or 9 BBs whos been open shoving suddenly min raise or 3X you need to be aware that hes got a big hand a ton of the time. A really important thing to watch in people is there understanding in stack sizes and what their shoving range is light on a short stack.

When it comes to restealing stack sizes most villains have a concept of this without actually knowing they know. Yea, that doesnt make a lot of sense, but let me put it this way; most villains know to shove a bigger range over your button raise with 15 BBs than 25 BBs. Even though their bad, and they dont understand why their doing this, they can tell that 25 BBs feels like to many chips. However, some villains will be totally unaware of these things and try restealing marginal hands for a huge amount of BBs, especially out of position since playing in a reraised pot OOP is most bad players absolute nightmare.

Also, a ton of your villains (and way more ranked p5s than you could imagine) dont realize how bad it is to open raise with the intention of folding at 13-20 BBs so once you see a guy do this you realize that you can resteal off them when effective stacks are this size.

Okay so I think thats about it for now, Im going to sleep fairly soon, but if you guys have any questions or want me to elaborate on certain ideas just ask and Ill go into it all. Ill probably write part 2 tomorrow.


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ettorek
member


Reged: 09/26/06
Posts: 171
Re: Things it took me a while to learn part 1, Stack Sizes [Re: Bond18]
      #12372319 - 10/05/07 09:57 AM

Great post sir: what I was looking for!

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bogey1
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Reged: 04/10/07
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Re: Things it took me a while to learn part 1, Stack Sizes [Re: Bond18]
      #12372409 - 10/05/07 10:06 AM

Quote:


3. 22-30 BBs. With this kind of stack you have more room for open raising, but for the most part restealing all in has become a bit to large in most (again, not all) circumstances.

4. 30-40 BBs. The important part about this stack size is that a lot of people try to resteal with it pre.




Great stuff, but those two lines have me confused. 22-30BB is too large to resteal all-in, but 30-40BB has a lot of people trying to resteal (not all-in?).

I'm not sure what you're advocating with those stacks sizes in a resteal situation. Well, 22-30 you mention the go-n-go, but what about 30-40? Is it still a go-n-go?


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Bond18Moderator
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Reged: 11/03/03
Posts: 5444
Loc: Blogging, you know where.
Re: Things it took me a while to learn part 1, Stack Sizes [Re: bogey1]
      #12372506 - 10/05/07 10:18 AM

At 22-30 BB's is to large for a resteal where you don't want to be called.

I think a good stack for Go and go is like 27-33 BB's. These are rough guide lines and not really strict.

30-40 BB is mostly a bad stack to resteal, or that is 3 bet a hand you don't want to call a shove with. It can be done, and in some spots its the best play, but often not.

Some people will 3 bet a 30-40 BB stack with the intention of folding to a shove, and in the upper 30's it's a good play in some spots, but in the low 30's it's mostly (and again not always) bad.


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cheburashka
enthusiast


Reged: 06/03/07
Posts: 374
Re: Things it took me a while to learn part 1, Stack Sizes [Re: bogey1]
      #12372543 - 10/05/07 10:22 AM

Bond 4 mod!

Now I'm going to have to keep clicking the refresh button waiting for Part II.


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Perplexity
old hand


Reged: 07/17/06
Posts: 806
Re: Things it took me a while to learn part 1, Stack Sizes [Re: Bond18]
      #12372812 - 10/05/07 10:50 AM

Quote:

10 BBs and under. Basically, any hand youre playing at this stack size is a shove. This is pretty common knowledge. However, with the increase in stars antes, and the high antes tilt already has, it very often becomes correct to start open shoving in the area of 15 BBs.
When talking about shoving ranges with antes Ive recently been turned onto a way of adding up youre stacks relative size that I really like, known as true BB. What it comes down to is that the true BB is 2/3rds of the starting pot. So if the blinds are 500/1000 with 100 ante at a 10 handed table then the starting pot is 2500 with a true BB of 1666. So if youre sitting on the button with a hand like A5s and 15 BBs, you can simply open shove since you have under 10 true BBs.




Hmm @ "true BB's".

Are you saying that with M <= 6.67, it's fine to shove whenever you're open raising?

Am I missing some subtlety to "true BB" that captures something that the standard M calculation doesn't?

Edited by Perplexity (10/05/07 10:50 AM)


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Sherman
Carpal \'Tunnel


Reged: 06/21/05
Posts: 3999
Loc: Ph. D. School
Re: Things it took me a while to learn part 1, Stack Sizes [Re: Bond18]
      #12372878 - 10/05/07 10:56 AM

Quote:


Also, a ton of your villains (and way more ranked p5s than you could imagine) dont realize how bad it is to open raise with the intention of folding at 13-20 BBs so once you see a guy do this you realize that you can resteal off them when effective stacks are this size.





Is it only bad to open-raise/fold with this stack size b/c you can expect to do better by re-stealing? Or is there another reason it is bad?

Honestly, Betgo made a very controversial post quite some time ago where he considered 13-20 BBs kinda of like extra ammo that you could afford to get rid of (but of course you wouldn't just dump unnnecessarily) if you lost it b/c then you could play unexploitably at 10BBs. I still think he made a valid point.

I think this is especially true in SSMTTs and much less true at HSMTTs. The sole reason is this: Many players in SSMTTs still don't try to steal. I can't tell you the number of times I have tried to re-steal from a guy b/c I though he was "stealing for certain" in a $4 tourney, only to find he has AA.

Now I am not saying I don't re-steal in SSMTTs. But I target specific opponents for it. I won't just do it to some random b/c he is on the button and "has to be opening wide and I have a good re-stealing stack." That gets me in trouble.

Basically what I am saying is this. While 13-20BBs is ideal for re-steals, what do we do when opponents don't attempt to steal?

Good post Bond.

Sherman


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ssnyc
veteran


Reged: 08/01/05
Posts: 1587
Re: Things it took me a while to learn part 1, Stack Sizes [Re: Bond18]
      #12372920 - 10/05/07 11:00 AM

very good post bond...unfortunately on the run so haven't had a chance to fully process...looking forward to response as this is an area that we can all work on improving!

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runout_mick
setting the world right


Reged: 04/28/05
Posts: 2489
Loc: Edmonton, Canada
Re: Things it took me a while to learn part 1, Stack Sizes [Re: Bond18]
      #12373376 - 10/05/07 11:40 AM

Quote:


Also, a ton of your villains (and way more ranked p5s than you could imagine) dont realize how bad it is to open raise with the intention of folding at 13-20 BBs so once you see a guy do this you realize that you can resteal off them when effective stacks are this size.




I'd agree that at 13-15 bbs raise/fold sucks, but I think you can often find spots where raise/folding 16-20 bb stacks is totally fine.

Good post.

Edit:

As an example, blinds are 50/100, no ante. You have 1800 on the button w/ K9o, folded to you. BB has 550, SB has 2800.

I'm totally fine with raising to 300 to isolate BB and folding if SB reraises me.

Edited by runout_mick (10/05/07 11:50 AM)


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JammyDodga
addict


Reged: 07/06/06
Posts: 610
Re: Things it took me a while to learn part 1, Stack Sizes [Re: Bond18]
      #12373492 - 10/05/07 11:49 AM

Quote:


Also, a ton of your villains (and way more ranked p5s than you could imagine) dont realize how bad it is to open raise with the intention of folding at 13-20 BBs so once you see a guy do this you realize that you can resteal off them when effective stacks are this size.





Hi bond, nice post. Like this bit especially.

Are there any more common stack size related mistakes that you see alot and think are easily exploitable?


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