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  16-May-13, 19:54   #1
How to improve middle stage MTT play 0 
Joined: Oct '11
Location: Sweden
Age: 26 (M)
Posts: 952
It seems to me that my biggest problems in an MTT is the middle stages. Early in the tournament I tend to get a good stack and I'm sitting well. If I make it to the late stages I tend to be short stack but I think that suits me well at this time until I get close to the final table when I tend to either gamble up a big stack or drop out.

Now, the middle stage doesn't seem to agree with me. I usually sit there pretty with a decent amount of chips, usually over average. Then for some reason I still end up busting out before the money. I'm not sure if my game is starting to lose its touch or something or if I'm just not meant to cashing... Not really sure as to what my problem is since when I analyze my game I can't really find any big leaks and I usually suffer big hits due to bad beats and of course the occasional stupid play on my part.

What I'm after now is some tips on how you should be playing during this stage of an MTT in order to not go bust but not only get a minimum cash so I want to keep my stack above average.

  16-May-13, 20:33   #2

Joined: May '13
Location: Ireland
Age: 44 (M)
Posts: 54
Howdo erru,

Obv youre going to get a load o different angles in response to above post,
My general MTT strategy is to start very tight, I like to play smaller preflop, always leave room to get away from pot. I like to see a flop and even turn and know Im ahead before Im comfortable risking a sizeable portion of my stack. If I do flop a big hand or have it sewn up by turn , I will have disguised it enough that more often than not Im calling off with best hand and getting maximum pay or else Im losing the minimum and giving away very little info to table.

If Im lucky enough to get through to mid-stages where blinds are up and antes have kicked in Im starting to raise or fold 95% o time, calling or limping at this stage is just throwing away chips and by only raising you are sending a mssge to players around you. Position is everything here too and using it and your percieved table image can bring in a lot of uncontested chips, I will 3-bet bigger as game develops as now there are enough chips in middle to build/maintain stack.

Avoid multi-way pots, knowing your %% HU is one thing but V 3 others and its impossible to know where you are and also less likely to get paid when you do flop the monster.

hopefully this is of some help, the joy of poker is the many different ways to approach the game

  17-May-13, 04:30   #3
Joined: Apr '13
Location: Canada
Age: 30 (M)
Posts: 333
I think you should just keep playing like you were in the first stage plus a good reading of your opponent when you've been sitting with them for a while. Bad beat happens and there's nothing to do against it but if you realize what your ''stupid moves'' -as you named it- are, you can correct a leak and then try to move forward Smile

Keep upgoing I'm sure you'll make it to a fianl table pretty soon Smile

  17-May-13, 21:01   #4

Joined: Nov '10
Location: Serbia
Age: 31 (M)
Posts: 2077
Im not saying you are bad player but thing is that I see lot of bad players that are gambling early in MTT and they just spew chips later on because they dont understand that you cant be lucky all the time. Thing that you are saying that you always have stack above average after early position makes me thing that youre one of too loose calling type of players that will bust or make big stack early and then continue to get involved and call down with marginal hands. Its viritually impossible not to run into monster with solid hand and bust during a big MTT if you make loose calls and plays where youre shooting in the dark.
Most people dont understand that you can only bust early on. Big stack wont accomplish you much unless youre very aggro inteligent type of player.
Lets say for exemple you have tourney with 3k starting stack and 1k players in. You start gambling, calling reising often thinking that blinds are small and you can afford it. Soon you bust many players hitting 2 pairs flushes and str8 while they are having AA KK QQ JJ... You find yourself with monster stack lets say 25k. Now blinds are still low, maybe 50/100 and you dont have really anyone with big stack to double up you. so you end ub making flips for 3-5k and even if you keep that stack (hard to do cause you cant always run good). So you have huge stack but nothing to do with it really. Blinds are too small for you to abuse and chip up bu stealing.
Now avarage stack on final table will be around 300-400k. So you with youre 25k stack didnt do anything and with loose passive, spewing style of play you will for sure have spot where you will lose all chips because you are used to play QJ KJ J10 out of possition.

  17-May-13, 22:10   #5

Joined: Jan '11
Location: United States
Age: 54 (M)
Posts: 3361
I'm sure these Mobsters advice goes a lot further then mine, but by mid game I know where I stand and have a stable, above average stack. I slow my play down and usually only play my very best starting hands. I'll fold my blinds if I don't have a hand worth playing unless no one raised on my BB. I also don't chase if I have a good starting hand, but didn't hit on the flop.

That's all I have, but jovica is an excellent player with great advice!

  17-May-13, 22:40   #6

Joined: May '13
Location: Russian Federation
Age: 30 (M)
Posts: 541
If you have large stack at middle stage, you must play very tight. You have nowhere to hurry. If you unfortunatelly have short stack at middle stage then you should play slightly loose and aggressive. All in or fold.
Middle stage is a calm before the storm. Smile Everyone cherish their own chips and it's good for short stack players.

  18-May-13, 08:36   #7
Joined: Oct '11
Location: Sweden
Age: 26 (M)
Posts: 952
As you say jovica, there are lots of players like that. I basically just wait for a premium hand, let them do the betting and call down to the river and then all-in if I have a strong hand for a double up. I don't go calling anything. I've been known to throw away AA, KK, AKs and what not because it's a to risky board. I basically just use those donks playing style against them in order to get my stack. It works great 8 Times out of 10. I know that those small blinds ain't anything to worth stealing and just that I can afford them doesn't mean I play mediocre hands.

But för some reason, even if I have a big stack and play very tight, I can't seem to get that middle fase working for me...

  18-May-13, 12:02   #8
Joined: Apr '11
Location: Romania
Age: 52 (M)
Posts: 2414
The middle and late phases of a tournament are the most complicated phases. When should you go all-in, when should you get out of the way?
Strategy presets are only guidelines. Tournament Poker is constantly evolving, and nothing is ever black or white. There are many special situations where something completely different from the “conventional” solution is the most profitable. The very best tournament players will be able to think outside the box, and won’t be afraid to make special moves.
And most of hte times server won't let you get ITM
Good luck

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