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Saturday, June 19, 2010

Another goal for Grade 2

While I continue with my Rush game development I've discovered another type of tourney that I really enjoy, but it has also highlighted a glaring weakness in my MTT game. It's a weakness that wasn't as evident in the 45-turbos because those are smaller MTTs that don't go through all the ebbs and flows and stages of larger MTTs.

The tourney I've discovered is the $4.40, 135-man Rush SnG on Tilt. I absolutely love them. Because of the structure, the size, and the fact that they are Rush tournies, these particular tournies have a real MTT feel about them. The major advantage of these over regular tournies is that you can cycle through crap hands much more quickly so you can really play a good amount of poker within the structure of the tourney. And the fact that it only takes an hour and a half from start to finish is great for someone like me with limited time to play poker. These SnGs are the closest thing I can get to playing a large-field MTT within my time constraints, and they are actually enjoyable to play.

So anyway, what I've come to realize about my MTT game is that I have a good feel for the early stages, and a good grasp of shortstack play, but where I really struggle is in the mid-late stages particularly when I have a healthy stack. The last thing I want to do is bust out before the bubble when I'm sitting with a top 5 or top 10 stack, so I tend to become very cautious against stacks that can hurt me. The result is that I miss out on value when I have decent hands and fail to take advantage of opportunities to potentially accumulate chips. In a fast-structured tourney, this can have a disastrous effect one's success - a healthy stack can quickly become a shortstack. So although I've gotten off to great starts several times, and have cashed a few times, I haven't been able to go really deep (my best finish has been 7th).

What I need to do is work at overcoming this psychological barrier and be willing to put my healthy stack on the line late in the tourney, even if it means the risk of busting out. What I need to do is learn to adopt the attitude that my objective in a MTT is to accumulate as many chips as possible, regardless of how healthy my stack is at any point in time. The only times that would warrant a less aggressive attitude would be at the final table and perhaps right at the bubble.

So if that's my goal, the question is how to train myself to change my mindset. What I've decided to do is to find some really cheap tournies to use as a training ground, where I can work on this aspect of my game and not feel the sting of busting out. Unfortunately there are no Rush tournies below $4.40 on Tilt, so I've decided to use the dime, 360 turbos and $1.10, 90-turbos on Stars as my training ground.

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