Specific Rebuy MTT series strategy plan (very long)

TessaiTessai Red Chipper Posts: 14 ✭✭

I started the Crash Course MTT, Handreading book and now want to discuss a spefic tournament format.
I'm planning on playing a tournament series with a leader board price pool consisting of 8% of the tournament buyins in a live casino nearby. Here I would like to discuss my game plan / strategy and ask for advice. I will number the questions consecutively, so you can better refer to them.

Tournament boundary conditions:

16-33 players; max 11 players per table (2-3 tables). Regular 18-28 players participate.
13 tournaments until the leader board price pool goes to the first 4 players 40,30,20 and 10%
150$ buyin +12$ fee +12$ leader board jackpot.
10.000 starting chips, rebuy and addon = 10.000 chips. Rebuy is possible at 9.999 chips or less
lvl's are 20 minutes with no ante:
20/40; 40/80; 100/200; 200/400; end of rebuy phase after 80 minutes of play
300/600; 400/800; 500/1000; 700/1400; 1000/2000; 1500/3000; 2000/4000; 3000/6000; 4000/8000; (it's basically a turbo tournament)
Final table @ 10 players, pay out structure 50% for First, 30% and than 20%. Often there is a deal with 4 or 5 players left.
Tournament Price pool ca. 5000$ and leader board price pool after 13 torunaments ca. 5000$ as well.
Leader board points awarded: 10th =2 points, 9th = 3 points, …, 1st = 11 points

Player pool composition:
No real pros
3-5 “recreational-pros“ / regs probably winning money in this tournament on the long run and are in the top ten of the leader board, mostly good players tight and more tight.
3-4 LP/A chip spewing players financing the tournament with 1-4 rebuys, regular players
1-3 young super NIT's, no regulars, can't play the rebuy phase.
4-6 middle aged men, tight “online” tournament play, understanding NL Holdem, nothing special, playing above their limit / don't want to rebuy late in the rebuy phase, but will if they loose early all of their chips.
A few gamblers familiar with poker
Rest are unknown not regular players, probably online tournament players
No tourists

Tournament procedure:
Rebuy phase:
Harrington's M per lvl compared to starting stack: 1st =166; 2nd = 83, 3rd = 33; 4th = 17
10-25 buyins, mostly by the spewy, regs and gamblers
Chips are flying around, a lot of action, A lot of limping, many player per flop
Nits and tight online players blind down unless they get a great hand or LP good hand
Mostly post flop play, players rarely get all in preflop

Post rebuy and before final table phase:
tournament becomes tighter
less limping, but still too much limping
Most players ignore Harrington's M massively and are blinding down, even down to a M of 1-3 without going all in (allin only with a premium holding, e.g. AK,JJ+) And give a comment when I turn up AT holding short stacked, “this is not a good hand”. It's like they want to blind down to the final table, even thought top 3 are payed ...

Q1: Should I rebuy at the end of the rebuy phase, if slightly below 10.000 chips? Even thought the rebuy only gives me an additional 10.000 = +11 M? (blinds are 300/600)
Additional information: Almost all players are left in the tournament, average chip stack between 15.000 and 18.000 chips. I will rebuy, if below 7.000 chips, this is just buy my gut feeling. How can I do the math?

Final table play:
with 10 players left, tournament becomes more tight and is dominated by the big blinds and small M's, bc of the fast blind structure and short 20 min. lvls. But most players don't play accordingly and blind down to 1-4 M's waiting for very good hole cards.
Average M is about 7 for the Rest of the tournament. With about 2 big stacks some players are always below 7.
less limping, but still some limping
Players usually agree on paying the 4th and 5th place 150$
if the remaining four or three players have about the same stack, deal.

Tournament Strategy and past results:
I cashed in 2 of 7 tournaments (4 player deal) and had on average 1 rebuy
I played about 45% of the hands in the first two levels, 100% with a raise or calling a raise. I have a loose aggressive image, wanting to commit all my chips. I semi bluff and value bet 100% and try to steal pots on the post flop from the tight and nits. Goal is to build a big chip stack.
Rebuy when below ca. 5.000 chips
Q2: is this too loose? Should I reduce Preflop raise and VPIP percentage?
LVL 3 & 4 VPIP is reduced to about 25%, looser in LP and tighter in EP. I would love to play more, but the blinds are already so high, that I have to give up some of the worse hands.
Q3: How is my current rebuy phase game?
Q4: How is my Rebuy plan, should I rebuy directly after the first hand and play with 20.000 chips?

Post rebuy phase strategy:
Play according to the regular tournament strategies of “Harrington” and “Kill them all”
I'm adapting easily to table dynamics, opponents and hands, this is one f my strength
Playing for first place and not for leader board points. Leader board cash is nice to win but not substantial to change tournament strategy.
Take advantage of the “blinding down” guys by stealing and loosing up slightly

Here is one curious thought of mine. It makes me “feel bad” raising all-in a lot with a small stack, when so many others are blinding down. Even if game theory dictates it. It looks loose and I don't get respect. This turbo tournament is crying for shoving all in out loud, because of the fast blind structure and the small Ms. But I want to stick to it, I play to win.

Q5: What about an ICM strategy? How should it look like?
This tournament beeing a turbu with lots of small stakes play, this will be most important for winning play. This is my next learning step. I want to come up with an ICM strategy according to the payout structure. I will post this the following days as a reply. First guess would be to start at about 14 players left, because many of the player pool try to make the final table and play way to tight with small stakes (I don't no why??? but they do...). So I will have to take advantage of the pre-final table phase. And than final table with 10 players down to 4 like an STT? (payout 3)

BTW My Bankroll is about 4.000$ only for the tournament series, should be enough.

Do you have general advice's and comments?

Thanks a lot!


  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,388 -
    edited December 2018
    Do the rebuys include the $12 fee and $12 to the leaderboard pool?

    Also, is it a true rebuy or a re-entry. That is, if you hit 0 chips and rebuy, do you stay in the same seat?
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  • LoveFishLoveFish IllinoisRed Chipper Posts: 94 ✭✭
    You are opening 45% of hands in 20 minute blind levels? Way to high. Get down to 20% or less, avoid the limp pots with shitty hands.
  • TessaiTessai Red Chipper Posts: 14 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Do the rebuys include the $12 fee and $12 to the leaderboard pool?

    Also, is it a true rebuy or a re-entry. That is, if you hit 0 chips and rebuy, do you stay in the same seat?

    it's a true rebuy. E.g. you can rebuy with 9.999 chips or less.
  • TessaiTessai Red Chipper Posts: 14 ✭✭
    LoveFish wrote: »
    You are opening 45% of hands in 20 minute blind levels? Way to high. Get down to 20% or less, avoid the limp pots with shitty hands.

    Thanks for your comment. Why should I play only 20% in the early stage of the rebuy tournament?
    With a M of 166 and 83 I have high implied odds and should play at least like in a cash game and additionally I can rebuy. My thought is, that I need to play as many hands with the fish and with the uncreative players, which are easy to read. With this reasoning I should loosen up a lot. Or did I miss understand something?
  • TessaiTessai Red Chipper Posts: 14 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Do the rebuys include the $12 fee and $12 to the leaderboard pool?

    Also, is it a true rebuy or a re-entry. That is, if you hit 0 chips and rebuy, do you stay in the same seat?

    missed the fee question...
    there is no 12$ fee for a rebuy, but a 12$ leader board fee is included. So a rebuy costs 162$ and the initial buy in 174$
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,388 -
    I'll give a full response to your various questions later, but 45% VPIP is pretty nuts irrespective of stack depth.
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  • TessaiTessai Red Chipper Posts: 14 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    I'll give a full response to your various questions later, but 45% VPIP is pretty nuts irrespective of stack depth.

    Thanks for the comment. Maybe I'm totally wrong with my rebuy phase strategy. so lets discuss it a bit.
    I have played the tournament 6 times now and I recapped all the hands I played in the first 2 blind lvls, see picture below. That was my actual range. I always raised about ~200-300 chips being the first one in even with limpers in front and called raises up to ~200-300 chips.

    My reasoning is, that I can double up with at least 5%+ of my flops, even with the worst cards in that range like 64s or 45u. For the times my opponents are not paying my 5% hits off, I compensate with bluffs, if i don't hit. Plus my oppents will play much looser against me and pay off my big hands.
    Of course I play 45%+ in late position and way less in early position.

    I know that I give up much value preflop playing worse hands vs. better hands. But with these deep chip stacks the game really starts only on the flop and preflop doesn't matter. Or am I wrong?

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,388 -
    Sorry I haven't gotten back to this sooner. The OP brings up a lot of interesting points, some of which require quite a bit of explaining. So below I've addressed some of them, but I imagine there'll be more back and forth.

    The main issue as mentioned previously is that the opening range is wrong for this structure. Back around 2005 when rebuys got common online, some intelligent biscuits looked at the top-heavy pay-out distribution and the large field sizes (> several hundred) and reasoned that the way to generate the highest ROI was to build a huge stack early. Since these tournaments were rebuys and not re-entries AND the fields were huge meaning most tables remained intact before the rebuy period ended, this meant that a large number of rebuys inflated the number of chips on that table. So you would see even at level 1 multiway all-ins with people showing down all sorts of stuff.

    The important point to understand is that this extreme strategy was designed explicitly to finish in the top 3 or so of a large-field MTT. That's completely different to the tournament and leaderboard situation we have in the OP.

    Now I realize the OP isn't advocating the strategy I just described, but that massive opening range is, IMO, unsuited to this tournament/leaderboard set-up AND the player profiles. With typically 18-28 players and leaderboard points, this is playing much more like an SNG than a large-field MTT rebuy. The range given might just about work as a RFI on the button, but even there I'd lose the worst of the unsuited junk.

    Note that if this tournament regularly chops ~ 4-way, combined with the small entrants means we have no reason to adopt extreme ranges to build a stack early. In fact I think it's counterproductive. Your table image is essentially borderline maniac. This works against you when it's actually easy to accumulate chips on the bubble, and here you have at least 2 bubbles! It's set up to play tight early, to develop a tight image, then to abuse the crap out of the people trying to crawl onto the FT for leaderboard points, and then get into either the top 3 or the chop by surviving a bit longer. OP brings this up in Q5. Your ICM strategy should be attacking these multiple bubbles. That is easier if you haven't shown down 32o at level 2.

    As to the books you're using - you need something much more recent.
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  • TessaiTessai Red Chipper Posts: 14 ✭✭
    Thanks Kat,

    Ok you bring up some valid points. Let me think about that a bit more.

    Harrington is outdated, I know now. What about kill them all, is this still up to date? What tournament book for live play would you recommend me?

    BTW, I am doing the MTT crash course right now.

    Regarding Q5, while learning the ICMizer and applying it ti some common spots in the tournament, I realized that the "playing too tight" leak of the player field is even much bigger. Even I was too tight, thought w´that I was shoving much more than the average player.
    So it looks to me that developing a good grasp of shoving and the ICM "laws" of this structure will give me the biggest edge and also make live much more easy. I will focus on the after rebuy phase and the two bubbles for crunching hands in the ICMizer.

    Thanks a lot Kat!
  • TessaiTessai Red Chipper Posts: 14 ✭✭
    One general question on starting the rebuy tournament I described above.

    Lets assume I'm an above average player of the field. And I don't want to maximize the IRR, but I want to maximize the absolute profit.

    Should I directly rebuy 10.000 at the start of the tournament?
    In other words should I always rebuy while having less 10.000 chips in the rebuy phase?

    Pro: Yes to maximize the chances of winning and playing for first place.

    Con: Doubling the cost of the tournament while not doubling the chances of winning.

    Is there any rule or function to calculate?

    How much worth are the second 10.000 chips? They are clearly not as much worth as the first 10.000 chips.

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,388 -
    Books. For the last few years I've relied on training videos, but people I respect tell me the Jonathan Little series is good.

    I agree that the biggest mistake made by typical opponents is folding too much in the mid-late stages, and as usual in poker identifying then exploiting opponent errors is the way to go. Note that you can also fold part of your range exploitatively when shoved on from players who don't shove enough.

    I need to do some actual work on your rebuy question. My own policy is that in large-field online MTTs I always take an immediate rebuy and the add-on. In smaller, live settings I probably wouldn't, partly because the probability of a chop and the likely maximum prize is a relatively low multiplier of the buy-in. But it's way past time I actually looked at this analytically or asked Doug to simulate it.
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