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  1. #1

    Default General strategy when holding a massive chip lead late on

    Hey guys,

    I was wondering about general MTT strategy when holding a massive chip lead late on. It seems to me that there are two approaches in this situation: play defensively or play aggressively.

    Play defensively (aka "What we have we hold")

    Pros:
    - Preserves chips
    - Probably optimal with respect to gaining a high finish
    - Seems a no-brainer when it works

    Cons:
    - Allows others to catch and possibly overtake you
    - Probably not optimal with respect to winning the tourney
    - Makes you look foolish when it doesn't work


    Play aggressively (aka "Bully the table")

    Pros:
    - Can accumulate more chips
    - Can knock out opponents to help gain a high finish
    - Probably optimal with respect to winning the tourney
    - Seems a no-brainer when it works

    Cons:
    - Risks losing your massive lead
    - Probably not optimal with respect to gaining a high finish
    - Makes you look foolish when it doesn't work


    Since both approaches seem a no-brainer when they work, but make you look foolish when they don't, what's a poker player to do?

  2. #2
    SNG/MTT Player
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Troutdale, OR
    Posts
    127

    Default Re: General strategy when holding a massive chip lead late on

    I think it mainly depends on what the other players are like at the table. If everybody is tight, then I loosen up a bit or if the table is loose, I tend to try to play tighter. I think you have to constantly adjust your strategy, playing at a final table versus just picking one and running with it.

    Great analysis though of the styles.

    PC

  3. #3
    DragTheBar Coach
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    @Katie_Dozier
    Posts
    49

    Default Re: General strategy when holding a massive chip lead late on

    Very interesting topic, and I really like the way you clearly laid out the pros and cons.

    I think the two biggest factors (once you are in the money) that should help determine much you veer towards playing these styles are:

    -The Payout Structure: In the extreme example where the MTT is winner take all, one should be inclined to play much more Laggy. Therefore the closer the MTT is to being winner take all (i.e. the higher % that goes to first), then the more inclined we should be to play aggressively since accumulation means more. The inverse applies (consider a double-or-nothing MTT).

    -Your Opponents: As PokerCrucible pointed out, this is a key factor. Are they great players adjusting well to your resteals, or are they players that sattelited in and place a disproportionate value to climbing the money ladder? The former should make you more inclined to tighten; the latter should make you more inclined to behave aggressively.

    Also, I think it is important to note that it will rarely be a black and white issue with regards to playing precisely one style or the other. As with most things in poker, hands are usually shades of gray with pros and cons sometimes pointing you in reverse directions. The important thing is to give the most weight to all the reliable information you have on the table, and accept that you will likely have to change gears in any tournament in which you run deep.

  4. #4

    Default Re: General strategy when holding a massive chip lead late on

    My first thought was that you should always play to win. However, like was said above, it depends a lot on the payout structure and your opponents. If you think you can coast into 3rd, and you consider a lot of the other players to be 'better' than you, then being conservative might be your best play. In general though, the gap bewtween 1st and 3rd (and lower) is big enough, that it's worth going for the gold.

  5. #5

    Default Re: General strategy when holding a massive chip lead late on

    Good advice all around. I think the payout structure is the most important factor personally. I usually pick the tighter style, as in the small ($5-$11) MTTs I play, people with med/small stacks start getting crazy and jamming with all sorts of crazy stuff and I hate getting 1/2 stacked by random hands. So I pick my spots wisely with premium holdings and keep building my stack towards final table. Look for those people who are getting pressured by blinds and stay away from big stacks. Pretty typical I guess but works for me. Of course, ALWAYS adjust for anything new going on...thats the game..gl

 

 

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