How to handle early and middle stage MTTs

Freerolls serve very few purposes, but one of their roles is to get players familiar with how multitable tournaments work. Those who took it one step at a time and played their fair share of freerolls have a general idea of what is the proper play in the early and middle stages. While there are several similarities, it is the differences that stick out like a sore thumb and the sooner players learn them, the better the results will be. Perhaps the first thing that one needs to understand is that in multitable tournaments you will be playing against motivated opponents, unlike freerolls who are preferred by beginners and casual players.

Essentially there are two types of multitable tournaments, with some accepting rebuys and add ons and others where players will need to make the most of their initial stack. In the first case, players can afford to be more creative in the early stage but this shouldn’t turn into recklessness. Many players commit the mistake of forcing an all in with mediocre hands as soon as possible, so that the rebuy will leave them with enough chips in front of them to keep them competitive. The main downside of this strategy is that on the long run you will lose twice as much money than intended and make variance even worse.

When playing multitable tournaments, you need to accept the fact that you are chasing elusive profits and in the overwhelming majority of cases you won’t win anything. What players need is a consistent bankroll that will enable them to stay afloat and survive a lengthy downswings, but first and foremost discipline. Even if the tournaments present them with the chance to rebuy or make an add-on, this feature shouldn’t be abused because losses pileup quickly and are very difficult to offset.

Things are considerably simplified in regular tournaments where no rebuys are allowed, because any mistake committed in the early stage usually leads to an untimely elimination. On one hand, players know exactly what their exposure and can lose more than the buy-in, on the other hand the pressure is amplified. The natural reaction is to limit the number of hands played and increase the aggressiveness factor, and there is nothing wrong in speaking to premium hands played from late position.

The blinds grow relatively slow in a multitable tournament, which means that you can wait for top pairs without fearing the fact of blinds on your starting stack. As the early stage of the tournament comes to an end, players need to adjust their strategy on the go and make the necessary changes. Due to the fact that the blinds increase and the entire stack amounts for roughly 40 big blinds, players can no longer afford to play only premium hands.Those who know how to loosen up without gambling their hard won chips, are the ones who will put themselves into the driver’s seat as the bubble draws near.

The strategy depends on the size of your stack, with short stack players being compelled to play fewer hands and attempt to double up. If you have a decent amount of chips in front of you, you can take some chances and risk to steal blinds, while avoiding confrontation with short stackers. Some interesting points are made here

Assuming that you find yourself in the fortunate position of amassing enough chips during the early stage of the tournament, you can afford to keep your opponents under pressure. They don’t expect a tight aggressive player turning into a loose one overnight, and this will present you with the ideal opportunity to steal pots. Players are easy to push around when they have something to lose and in the middle stage of a multitable tournament they are equally concerned of the time and money invested so far.

First Zoom poker tournaments debut this month

When PokerStars first introduced Zoom technology the critics said that it will fall flat and players would never make the transition from traditional poker. After several months, the concept gained enough traction to encourage the online poker company to launch a series of Zoom poker tournaments. They will debut on March 14 and the events will be a part of the immensely popular MicroMillions series which drew huge crowds last year.

One of the things that makes the competition so exciting is that it presents regular players with the same chances that highrollers usually enjoy. The buy-in can be as low as $0.1 and those who are skilled enough to claw their way up to the top by winning a string of qualifying rounds, can hope to win a share of the $5 million prize pool. Many unknown players scooped tens of thousands of dollars last year, and their success story serves as a source of inspiration for others.

The idea behind Zoom poker tournaments is that everything is played at an accelerated pace, and players are moved from one table to the other as soon as they fold their cards. This meets tight aggressive players halfway, as they no longer have to wait to be dealt great cards and they will play their A game without getting bored. There is no better opportunity for PokerStars to further promote its revolutionary concept than by making it a part of the MicroMillions series.

Zoom poker will be played during initial stages of the tournament, but when the action shifts to late stage the format of the game will revert to a more conservative style of play. Given the fact that the standard buy-in is around five dollars, pretty much any poker enthusiast can sign up without striking a devastating blow to his bankroll. A total of 100 tournaments are scheduled for this grandiose event, and Zoom poker will only represent a small part.

The most important tournaments of the series will take place on March 24 and the prize pool is $1 million guaranteed. Regardless of what event they plan on joining, PokerStars players should check out whether the company runs online qualifiers. When it does, players should take advantage of the opportunity and put their luck and skill to the test, to further decrease the costs.