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Old 06-15-2021, 07:36 PM   #1
tomshooter
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How do you win your chips in MTT’s?

I was sitting in a tournament today after running my 5,000-starting stack to 100,000 and it occurred to me I do not know what I did to acquire those chips. Sure, I can go back and look at individual hands and see what hands I won with but I am talking about generalizations of types of poker hands that are most successful. We all know that position is important but just how important is it as a % of chips won in any given tournament. I realize that each hand stands on its own and the are many different variables but I am thinking that even a game as complex (and luck dependant) as poker must have some truisms. I also realize my sample size will be very small but I am hoping it still prove relevant.

What I asking for from this post is a number of things that I could track on a spreadsheet. Things that you think might contribute to your chip win rate in tournaments. For example, Position, Aggressiveness, continuation bets. Bluffs, etc. I am hoping to have less than 10 Columns.
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Old 06-16-2021, 08:39 AM   #2
Yeodan
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Re: How do you win your chips in MTT’s?

This is a very broad question that is extremely hard to answer.
In general you win chips when you play good poker and your opponent makes mistakes. This can literally be anything.

First you would have to define "win chips"
Are we talking about a single tournament or a single hand?
Or are we talking long term over 1.000.000 tournaments?

In a single tournament you win chips by getting lucky.
In the long term you win chips by consistently making better decisions than your opponents in similar situations.
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:05 AM   #3
tomshooter
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Re: How do you win your chips in MTTÂ’s?

Yes I understand what you are saying and I agree but I am thinking there must be some underlying truisms that exist that lead to success. Maybe its easier to think of in a cash game. If I do this my win rate over the long term will increase. I may not win the hand but if I continue to it in the long term it will contribute to my overall success.

There are things that everyone says are important such as position. Given that there are also many other things that go into a decision to play a hand a certain way it may be impossible to quantify its success rate but I would like to try. If I accept that in the long run these other factors even out (I realize that may be a stretch) then I should be able to say that position is the nth most important factor in my success. The importance of position would depend on other factors of my play that would make it even more or less important to my win rate.

Also since I am going to have to decide why I won the hand my basis is going to come through. I may say I won the hand because of A while others might say it was because of B. Each hand I win may have more than one reason so I may have position and aggression as both being winners. By putting each win on its own separate line in my spreadsheet I may start to see a pattern of things that in combination are a killer.

When I took up chess I memorized the starting moves in different chess openings but i quickly realized that just knowing them was not enough. I need to understand why certain moves at certain times were considered superior. I also needed to know which opening suited my style of play and which I could discard (unless forced to play buy my opponent). I am trying to do that in a small way with poker.

Last edited by tomshooter; 06-16-2021 at 09:06 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:50 AM   #4
Yeodan
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Re: How do you win your chips in MTT’s?

Poker is probably too complicated to just sum up the most important things that make you win.

When I think about what makes me win it's never about a single hand.
You should think of it in terms of a single hand that is played 1.000.000 times where the roles are reversed each time.
So each player plays the hand 500.000 times from both positions.

If you value bet "better" than your opponent, you will end up winning more over the long term.
Say you bet 50 on the river, but it's a spot where you have to call 60, you missed some value there.
When you reverse the hand and your opponent does bet 60 and you call, your opponent has won money in the long run.

But this goes the other way around too, if you value bet too much, your opponent may end up folding more and you still miss value.

Same goes for bluffs, semi-bluffs, protection bets, calling, raising, ...


As a beginner I think the most important things to learn are:

1) Basic concepts:
- Value of position
- EV (expected value)
- Equity
- Fold equity
- Pot odds
- Implied odds + reverse implied odds
- SPR
- Standard bet sizing
- 3 reasons for betting
- aggression!
- Probably forgetting some?

2) Proper ranges for each position/situation.
This includes how to adjust your range depending on your opponents.
Not just playing proper ranges yourself, but also learning how to estimate your opponents ranges for each position/stack size/play style/mood/ICM/...
Since all other decisions are based on these ranges this is, imo, the most important skill in poker.
It's hard to just study this, this comes from experience mostly.

3) Streets of value
Learn how to estimate which hands are worth how much value.
This is extremely dependent on the situation.
In one spot TPTK could go all-in 200bb deep.
In another spot TPTK could be an easy check or fold vs even a small bet.
Again, you can study this, but it comes mostly from experience.


The first step is learning to understand (not master) the basic concepts.

After that you build experience learning ranges, both your own and your opponents. This is more of an art than actual hard facts. Ranges change to the extreme depending on the situation.

Meanwhile you're also building experience with streets of value. When do I just have a 1 street value hand, when do I have 2 streets, when do I have 3?

I think those are the core concepts to get going.
There are tons and tons of advanced concepts to work on once you've build up the experience to understand and use these basic/core concepts.

All the more advanced stuff requires a thorough understanding of the more basic stuff, which you get by experience, so play a lot and pay attention to these things!

You don't have to fully master any of these basic concepts, you just have to build a basic understanding and implementation of them and then keep working on them and you learn more and new things.
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Old 06-16-2021, 09:54 AM   #5
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Re: How do you win your chips in MTT’s?

Here are some examples.
Remember to think about these situations as if we're playing them 500.000 times from both positions.

You know pot odds, but your opponent doesn't.
You make a good fold where you're not getting the correct odds to call.
Your opponent makes the call because he doesn't understand pot odds.
You've just won money.

You play a proper pre-flop range, your opponent plays a range that is too wide (too many hands)
As a result your opponent is forced to make mistakes post-flop because he has too many hands in his range.
As long as you don't make any major mistakes post-flop, you will make money just by showing up with a stronger range.
You can make plenty of mistakes, your opponent will too. It's very hard to come back from playing too many hands pre-flop.

You know a good estimate of your opponents range so you can make some good folds/calls against his range.
Your opponent doesn't so he's making bad folds/calls against you.
You're making money.

You properly value bet 3 streets, since you know your hand is worth 3 streets.
Your opponent, in the same situation, only bets 2x, not knowing how much his hand is worth.
You've made money.

...
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Old 06-16-2021, 02:36 PM   #6
tomshooter
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Re: How do you win your chips in MTT’s?

I understand what you are saying and I agree that I process a lot of information in a short period of time(some that is conscious and some that is subconscious). I think that as 30 second time clocks become more the norm you will need to process the information in a different way. Some of you processing will need to be more automatic. I was just trying to work on that. By the way I love the time clock so no complaints there.

I am a small winner lifetime but like everything else I do in my life i want to get better. If I only read books that other are reading and play the same as them i am not getting ahead i am only keeping even.

I thought my quest might be in vain due to too many variables but that does not make it without merit. Thank all those who responded to me.
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Old 06-16-2021, 07:33 PM   #7
Yeodan
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Re: How do you win your chips in MTT’s?

Once you start studying GTO, there are no more courses or study materials.
Well there are some, but most of the info is not available out there.
There's even still tons of info that is completely unknown to anyone player poker.
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Old 06-22-2021, 01:49 AM   #8
JoeSlim
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Re: How do you win your chips in MTT’s?

There's no substitute for playing good poker. The people in tournaments who somehow have a 4x starting stack in level 2 never win. You win big pots and small pots alike, and you need to pick up both to have chips in later stages. In order to win a tournament, a player has to accumulate chips in virtually every way possible.

Also a little bit of chaos theory is involved in tournaments where a missed extra big blind in your stack (and out of someone else's) could mean a player not getting felted 2 hours later who felts you a few hours after that.

It would be interesting to see data on pots won by a tournament winners throughout their respective tournaments (maybe use a recurring tournament / same structure), recording number of players involved, saw flop, turn, river, limped, single raised, 3b, 4b, and most importantly number of bbs. No 2 will be unique, and I hypothesize that certain styles of accumulating massive stacks early (e.g. when reg is still open) almost never yield wins in large field MTTs.
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Old 06-25-2021, 03:57 AM   #9
rm81
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Re: How do you win your chips in MTT’s?

Win flips and a little maneuver known as the New York City back raise.
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