Basic MTT Strategy

Posted by David Cowell on July 27, 2010 at 12:53 BST

Seeing as it’s that time of Year when there are some great online tournaments on offer and of course gukpt satellites, here’s some basic MTT Poker strategy which may be of use.

Multi-Table Tournaments can range in size from two tables to over two thousand tables, can be played live or online and follow either a freeze out or rebuy/add-on schedule. Whichever size or style of tournament you decide to take on, there a few tips that you might like to take advantage of.

Play for the right stakes. Although the size of the prize fund might be particularly attractive, always stick to what is most suitable for your bankroll. Most players enter tournaments with stakes at 1/20th of the funds in their account – you can always go higher after your first victory!

Allow enough time. There are no hard and fast rules about how long a tournament will take but if you are one of a thousand entrants, and you aim to be there at the end, allow at least five hours. This means that if you are starting a game at 10.00pm, you are not going to finish until after 3.00am – often even later!

Start off slow. Play your best tight poker at the beginning of the tournament. There is plenty of time to pick up chips throughout the later rounds, and no point in playing a needless gamble and taking yourself out. There will be enough small hands to collect during the first hour or so, and remember that your chips are your tournament life – once they have finished, so is your tournament.

Build up your aggression. Sometime during hours two to three of the tournament, you can start becoming a little more audacious. As the bubble approaches, other players start to tighten up for fear of being eliminated and out of the money. You can take advantage of this and start to build your stack more progressively. The deeper you look beyond the bubble, the deeper you will go.

Bubble Play. During this stage of the tournament, there will be players starting to become short-stacked as the blinds increase. Most common strategy for these opponents is “push or fold”, and there will be many times when you see players (normally with less than ten blinds in their chip stack) going all-in. You can choose to call or fold depending on the quality of your hand, but beware of somebody behind you also playing your game, in case you end up in a bigger pot that you want at this stage.

Final Table.

Well done, you made it. Just play this table like you would a single table Sit ´n´ Go – just you are all starting with uneven chip stacks. Look out for short-stacked players still playing “push or fold” and, if your own chip stack will allow it become more aggressive as the table reduces to three or four players.

Be prepared for a long Heads Up finish. More often than not, a stack of patience will beat a stack of chips, so be prepared for a two hour final table if needs be.