WHY ARE MID/LOW-STAKES TOURNAMENTS UNIQUE AND HOW CAN YOU EXPLOIT THEIR SPECIAL CHARACTERISTICS?

WHICH FACTORS MAKE LOW/MID-STAKES TOURNAMENTS VERY DIFFERENT FROM THE HIGH-STAKES ONES?

Huge fields  >>  you should never worry that your opponents can make a note and counter-exploit you: they might make notes, but chances are they’ll never have an opportunity to use them

Noone has enough individual notes  >>  regulars make their decisions based on their reads on the population –> you can find many spots where you can go against the tendencies of population to make extra profit

Numerous extremely weak opponents  >>  you should pass on a lot of marginally profitable moves knowing that most likely someone in the next 50 hands will offer you a stack on a silver plate

Rake is higher than at high-stakes  >>  another reason to avoid marginally profitable moves if those require risking your full stack (rake works a bit like icm)

Lack of postflop skills  – your opponents may learn early street strategies from charts purchased, but most of them are totally lost on late streets (turn and river)  >>  you should prefer lines that delay actions to turn and river, so you can commit chips with much more info about their ranges

 

Statistics in stables showed that early stage winrate has a surprisingly low effect on the total ROI. The main profit of tournaments is to be made in the late stages: in low/mid-stakes very few of your opponents are competent in ICM spots, shorthanded game, let alone heads-up  >>  your primarily goal should be to avoid early-stage clashes and get into the late stages as often as possible, even with a short stack, so you can actually profit on the serious mistakes they make.

Also, as lowstakes opponents are not icm aware + their main leak is paying off/stacking off too light >> the extra value of having a huge stack is not as significant as in a skillful field: you mainly going to play for value anyway.

Looking at this list you can guess I’ll mostly advise going the exploitative way. However in order to maximize your hourly it’s important to have a strategy which is easily applicable for mass multitabling. So my approach is not as extreme as that of some masters of the exploitative school, I generally try to avoid superwierd lines and sizings in order to keep the strategy simple.

In the next weeks I’m going to publish several posts targeting the most crucial areas where you need to adjust.

Although I firmly believe my advices are valid and useful, none of the reads is beyond questioning:  feel free to drop hands to any post confirming or disproving my statements!

To kick-off the blog here is a €10 tournament I won recently on Winamax  (filtered for hands where I put money into the pot).

If you log in (registration is completely free) you can read dozens of comments i made street by street, breaking down the reasons why I deviated from the standard plays:

Low-stakes Winamax tournament victory:

Valdemar 'Luigi' Kwaysser

13 years as professional poker player 10 years experience as poker coach. Born Hungarian, living in Valencia, Spain. 36 yo, married, happy father of two. Founder of CheckDecide

Leave a Reply