Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Back to the Action!

I hope everyone has had a nice summer. I sure did! After 5 sunny weeks in Florida, I’m recharged and ready to get back to the tables.

 I started off the fall by breaking my one of my own rules (typical). Rather than sticking to the single table knockouts, I played a slew of $4/180 man sngs and $10 mtts. I had several final tables in the 180s, but no top 3 finishes. I also got deep in one mtt busting out 29th out of 10 000 players. Unfortunately, it was a freeroll and all the real money was at the final table. All in all, I donked off too much of my bankroll without any significant results, but did have a lot of fun doing it! After that misstep, I moved back to the knockouts.

I have been running a 22% ROI at the $1.40 knockouts, but dislike playing at that level. The ROI is nice, but the amount of real cash has made me impatient. To remedy this situation, I started testing the water at the next level which is $4.10 ($3 buy in + 0.75 bounty + 0.35 fee). My first few attempts went well. So, I started running sets of 4 which is much more comfortable than the sets of 12 at the $1 level. I then moved up to sets of 6 and am now testing sets of 8.

Multitabling 6-8 tourneys seems to be my current sweet spot. I can comfortably follow the action on these. Moreover, by the time I’m ITM, usually half the tables have closed. Thus, I can have 4 tables open without any overlap on my screen which allows me to get the reads necessary for the endgame play. I don’t plan on adding more tables.

My results at the $4 level are nearly identical to those from the $1 level. I have played just over 100 $4 knockouts and including bounties have a 19% ROI. More importantly, my actual profit per game has more than doubled. I have had too many 4th place and 2nd place finishes though. I’ll probably play another 100 or so of these before considering the next level which is $6.75 (5 + 1.25 + 0.50).

I have been rushing to get to the $6.75 knockouts simply because that is the first level where the Pokerstars fee is down to 10% of the buyin. As I’ve said before, the high fees at the micro levels eat up too much of your ROI. Also, there doesn’t seem to be much difference in skill levels between the lower buyin amounts.

It is worth noting that I have also played a handful of normal single table sngs at the micro levels, usually due to registering for the wrong tourney... Anyway, I have noticed that the knockout games are much more aggressive during the early stages of the game. The play resembles that of a tubo, except that the blinds are moving nice and slow. By the time the blinds get to 100/200 in a knockout, the tourney is at the bubble or already ITM. Whereas in the normal sngs there are still 6 or 7 players left at this point. I believe this difference to be important.

In the knockouts, I play ultra-tight the early levels only playing hands that I know exactly where I stand postflop. Sometimes I’ll get big hands and double up early, but typically, I get to the bubble without having played many, if any, hands. The blinds are still so low that this is not a problem. One well timed reraise against the sb who thinks he can steal from you every round and you are back in the game. In the normal sngs however, you are forced to shift gears while there are 6 or so players left which seems to make it slightly more difficult to get itm.

To sum things up: single table tourneys are building my bankroll and multi-table tourneys are depleting it. I guess I’ll stick to the sngs then for the time being :)

Good Luck at the tables!
Roland GTX

PS: We need to schedule the next private game for August. Benko asked me to suggest a date. How does Sunday 22 August at 9 PM work for everyone? Benko’s answer will take priority. So, I won’t set up the tourney until I hear from him.


  1. "Multitabling 6-8 tourneys seems to be my current sweet spot. I can comfortably follow the action on these. Moreover, by the time I’m ITM, usually half the tables have closed"

    Does that mean you are non-itm/bubble-boy in the half that have closed? and is this then calculated in your approach (that you will fail getting itm in 50%)? Just curious about the approach/strategy for how many tables you are running at a time. I would be interesting to know Boku's thoughts on where the max. is without changing strategy.

    Anyway, to further a discussion on multitabling; I've been railbirding these two guys in the 180 turbos (Mrpaintball and EZ_Money0122). They had an interesting discussion at the final 2 tables (ITM) of a 3+R/180 where EZ (running 28 tables) complained to Mrpaintball for calling an AI with KJo. There were 10 left and EZ shuved his #1 overall stack from button against Mrpaintall (#3 or 4 stack) in bb. EZ had ATs, but Mrp hit the K on the flop. EZ complained, whereas Mrp told he had adjusted to the dynamics of the game (10 left, just before FT + the fact that EZ was a regular and would be shuvin with a very wide range of hands). I like both their statistics....



  2. Nice MrSmith!

    To answer your question. When playing single table tourneys I am ITM 50% - 52% of the time. This doesn't change with the number of tables I'm playing. I think 50% is fairly standard.

    However, the important part is placing higher than 3rd as often as possible when you do get ITM. If you play 2 games and bust early in 1, then you need to place higher than 3rd in the other in order to be profitable.

    This becomes even more important when playing larger tourneys. When playing the 45 man turbos I consistantly had more ITMs, 21% I think, than the profitable grinders. However, they had more 1st and 2nd place finishes. Two weeks ago I cashed in a bunch of 4/180s, but again missed out on the top places and thus lost money.

    Adjusting ranges is very important! I agree with both of the regulars you mentioned. Personally, I'm not calling off my stack with KJ unless I can afford to lose the hand. Nonetheless, the logic behind his call sounds fair enough. Once again, you see they are both playing to win rather than creep up another place or two...

    Roland GTX

  3. The 22nd should be fine, looking forward to it. MrSmith found me earlier today messing around at the 0.01/0.02 6-max cash tables. I just finished reading Harrington's latest book, "Harrington on Online Cash Games -- 6-Max No-Limit Hold'em", and thought I would give them a whirl starting at the very bottom. My results have been pretty good at the $6.60 and $13 6-max SNGs so at some point I'll be testing the $25 6-max SNGs as well as trying to move up the 6-max cash table ladder as another option. And the APPT is always there lurking in the background. If Harrington's book is to be believed, there are several areas I need to work on (3-betting, blind stealing, blind defending and defending against C-bets, among others). Not to mention using a HUD. I hope to have more time to try out PokerTracker or Hold'em Manager later this month.

    Speaking of the volcano, someone near and dear to me was actually on an island not too far away when it erupted. Closer to home is the mud volcano, a geyser of mud which began 4 years ago during some oil drilling and is still going strong, creating a lake of mud 10 meters deep which displaced some 30,000+ residents. We went to take a look a couple of weeks ago -- the dyke we were standing on then has since overflowed. A very odd natural phenomenon which scientists still don't seem to fully understand....