April 3, 2010 – 10:41 am | 7 Comments

I’ve compiled a short (just 7-pages) e-book, an introduction to the mathematics of poker. It’s basically covers how to calculate your expected value in a certain spot – starting with explaining what EV is, all …

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## WBCOOP 2010 So Far

Submitted by on January 30, 2010 – 8:23 pm4 Comments

So far I’ve played in two events of this year’s WBCOOP, finishing 233rd out of 1740 in Event #1, and and 329th out of 1876 in Event #4. It’s nice to be finishing in the top 20% consistently, at least I have a rough idea of where I stand.

I’m still not fully sure how I should be playing early tournament, to be honest. I’ve mainly been trying to play tight, and not risk too much. But because of that I’ve never really been able to build too much of a stack. So that’s enabled me to last past the first break, but by the time it’s around the second break, my stack isn’t really large enough to maneuver with, and I end up having to shove.

I think both times I’ve busted out, it wasn’t really a misplay on the hand that busted out. In the first one, I had about 15 big blinds, was dealt AQ. Large stack raised preflop, I re-raised and shoved. The large stack called, and showed QQ, which held up. I got it in bad, but I think at 15 big blinds, and with antes, I really had to make some sort of move.

Event 4 was just a really bad beat. I had pocket Aces, with just over 10 big blinds. The flop came K T 8, I got it all in, and my opponent showed JT. The turn came a T to knock me out.

So, I don’t think I mis-played either of these hands. But my main concern is that I’m getting in these spots in the first place. I don’t seem to be able to build a large enough stack, and because of that, once antes come in, I’m in a dangerous position and have to shove more often than I’d like. But I’m also worried that if I play too aggressively, I might bust out really early.

What do you think? What’s your strategy for the early stages of a tournament? Do you go aggressive, to try and double up early (and risk busting out early), or do you try to maintain your stack and grind it up stack slowly?

• Mac says:

First realize tournaments are always a “go for the win” strategy.

The top player that play the big events are sponsored by online sites so they don't worry to much about losing. They can just shove any 2 and hope to make a deep run.

Online it's the same, there is a lot of variance and when the blinds are big so is the variance.

Daniel talks about how the WSOP ME should be a shootout which would allow the stronger players to advance instead of having one luck box win because he sucked out for a few huge pots.

So what you should do is get it in, hope to double. If you sit there like everyone else you going to get AQ vs QQ because it's not like the guy will move in on q5 or something like that.

I was in a SNG not to long ago and I was short stacked with another guy with 2 big stacks who where folding.

I ended up winning the tourney because me and the short stacked shoved until the guy called and double and I had the lead.

Let's say we are waiting for AA KK so we can dominate. so we wait 110 hands to get it, how much chips will you fold off and will you even get action?

This is where small ball is key. Raise lots of pots, get big hands win small pots and get it in as a huge favorite or with the nuts.

You will never have the best of it pre flop, and it's pointless to wait when other are waiting.

How the \$10 dollar thing going for you? Any updates soon? I'll have mine on my site this week.

• Derrick Kwa says:

Definitely, I think small ball works well at these levels. Cashed in Event 4 of the WBCOOP, finishing 94th out of 1900+ players, so I'm happy with that. Definitely agree with the advice here, so thanks. =). I've never really been waiting for AA KK, been trying to play a small ball approach. It got me within the top 15% of all 4 WBCOOP events I played in, but only cashed in 1. So I think I still have a bit to improve on, but I'm decently pleased with where I stand.

Question becomes, though, when to get it in. In my last two events, I got sucked out both times. Flopped trips, getting it in and lost to a flush draw in my 3rd event. In the main event, I lost half my chipstack with QJ, after flopping top pair on a rainbow board, and losing the hand after he rivered a set with 99. Shortly after, with a short stack, I shoved with AJs, got called by A8o, and lost to a 8 on the turn. So yeah, I've generally tried to play small ball and play it safe – not getting it in too often. Question becomes to what extent, I guess.

As for the \$10 thing, I've kind of stopped playing the microstakes cash games for a bit. Experimenting with \$1+0.20 SNGs for a bit, I think there's more to be learned there.

• jason says:

i try to pick off fish, so i'm loose calling preflop, bluff at a lot of flops, and aggressive whenever i think i have an advantage.

• Titan says:

I've only joined about 4 tournaments so far, and all of them being FTP Big Money Guarantees, because I can't be bothered with the variance on SnGs where the prize money is not as enticing. Usually during these tournaments I go to a buddy's house to have a rail session, and I've finished in the top 5-10% in all of them. I think the key idea is to get solid reads on your opponents. Most of the people in there are usually fish, I've got a ton of notes on people being “retarded fish” in the tournament (no kidding). You should be stealing liberally when you've got a big stack, and shoving light when you're short. We go for the first place – During the bubble, when everyone is nitting it up to survive and get into the money, that's when we steal even more liberally, putting our stack at risk more often than before, because during this period of time the fold equity is through the roof.

Everything I've said above is just from my personal experience, it isn't professional advice whatsoever, so take it with a pinch of salt.