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Old Jan 11, 2008, 3:56pm   #1
moculon
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Default Every +EV Move??? (tournament question)

I've read a lot of forum posts here and elsewhere discussing tournaments and making every +EV move that comes along to maximise long term performance.

I have have a thought on this and would love some feedback from anyone who plays some of these MTT's (180+).

Firstly since later in the tournament there are a lot of 'free' chips if you steal from weak players and wait for some shortstack mistakes, I think taking a 55/45 flip early is less worth it. That $1500 chips you gain could be picked up in two amounts from some nice post flop play or one lump later... seems too loose to just take any +EV call early on. Sure late on when doubling your stack with 15 people left would increas your 'real' money expectations. So is surviving the first hour nearly always always better than surviving it 2/3 of the time but with more chips each time?
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Old Jan 11, 2008, 6:24pm   #2
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If you think you have an advantage over the field then you would prefer to shy away from slightly +EV situations early on for all or large proportions of your chips. The reason being that you will be able to find better spots whereas if you make the close call early on and it does not go your way you are out.

Taking every +EV move is a good way to play in cash games but not all the time in tournaments although this is probably more of an advanced thing and other players may have a better idea on this.
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 7:55am   #3
deuce65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by moculon View Post
I've read a lot of forum posts here and elsewhere discussing tournaments and making every +EV move that comes along to maximise long term performance.

I have have a thought on this and would love some feedback from anyone who plays some of these MTT's (180+).

Firstly since later in the tournament there are a lot of 'free' chips if you steal from weak players and wait for some shortstack mistakes, I think taking a 55/45 flip early is less worth it. That $1500 chips you gain could be picked up in two amounts from some nice post flop play or one lump later... seems too loose to just take any +EV call early on. Sure late on when doubling your stack with 15 people left would increas your 'real' money expectations. So is surviving the first hour nearly always always better than surviving it 2/3 of the time but with more chips each time?
I think it depends on your point of view. I actually find myself much more willing to make these sorts of moves then when I first started playing (obviously though, it depends on the specific situation, but this is in general). Please note that I do not mean this to be advice, simply my opinion on the topic. Also, I don't know what level you are playing at. Four reasons:

1. What makes a 55/45 play +EV in a cash game? Well, we know that in a cash game, over the long term, the results should even out, with us getting the (slight) best of it. Now if you consider a TM to be an isolated incident, then it doesn't make sense to take such a risk. But a TM isn't an isolated incident, anymore then one particular hand is in a cash game. We can always buy into another TM, just as we can reload in a cash game. The long term might be longer with TMs, but it still makes sense to think in terms of the long term.

2. I think accumulating chips early is underrated. It presents you with options that the other players simply don't have.

3. Ultimately, you are going to have to get involved in coin flip type hands if you intend to win. I don't see the advantage in delaying the inevitable, unless by delaying it, we reduce the number of times we have to be involved in such situations (in which case, it would make sense). I think taking such a situation early though can actually reduce the need for it later on.

4. If I realize you aren't willing to play in such situations, I am stealing your blind every chance I get

Anyways, as I said, I do NOT mean this as advice, just some thoughts of mine on the topic. And of course, as always, this is entirely dependent on the specific situation at hand.

One last thing:

"So is surviving the first hour nearly always always better than surviving it 2/3 of the time but with more chips each time?"

I would tend to prefer the latter scenario.
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 10:27am   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deuce65 View Post
1. What makes a 55/45 play +EV in a cash game? Well, we know that in a cash game, over the long term, the results should even out, with us getting the (slight) best of it. Now if you consider a TM to be an isolated incident, then it doesn't make sense to take such a risk. But a TM isn't an isolated incident, anymore then one particular hand is in a cash game. We can always buy into another TM, just as we can reload in a cash game.
But in a cash-game you pay a little rake all the time, and in a tournament you pay a huge fee at the start and then you play "for free". And you want to play as much for free as you can to maximize the ROI.

To show the principle why it is sometimes better to turn down +$EV moves, imagine you are playing a heads-up single-table tournament. You expect to win 60% of the time, and in the very first hand your opponent raises all-in.

You are 55% certain you will win the pot (and thus the tournament) if you call. And you are 59% sure you will win if you fold (you lose your blind by folding). Calling is +EV, but it is still better to fold. The same principle applies to MTTs.

That being said, most players who turn down +$EV moves hoping to get better opportunities later, turn down way too much.

I think the best way to deal with this is to fold/check when you are unsure whether a move is +$EV or not and take every +$EV moves unless you have a strong feeling turning down a specific +$EV move is better.
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 10:59am   #5
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"But in a cash-game you pay a little rake all the time, and in a tournament you pay a huge fee at the start and then you play "for free". And you want to play as much for free as you can to maximize the ROI."

You know, that is an interesting way to look at it. I will be honest, I never really thought of it that way.

"You expect to win 60% of the time, and in the very first hand your opponent raises all-in."

You are 55% certain you will win the pot (and thus the tournament) if you call. And you are 59% sure you will win if you fold (you lose your blind by folding). Calling is +EV, but it is still better to fold. The same principle applies to MTTs."

One thing this ignores is time. This isn't the best example I think, but think about a similar situation where you know you are the favorite to win (think, small pocket pair vs AQ off or similar). Would you rather lose 10 minutes in though or 4 hours in? From a "play'" standpoint, the latter is better, but from a money making standpoint I think the former is better.

Also, if the people around you know you have this mentality, won't they steal you broke? If a player identifies you as unwilling to commit your chips, couldn't they just go all in all the time? You're probably not going to get AA, KK, etc. in time to matter.

I do not mean to suggest that one should always take these risks; obviously there are situations where one should turn down a 55/45 bet. Where I am coming from though is that I think people turn these sorts of situations down too often when they can be profitable.

Usual disclaimer, I do not mean anything I say as advise on how one should play. I am simply interested in the various ideas that surround this situation.
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 12:25pm   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deuce65 View Post
One thing this ignores is time.
Yes, less time spent per tournament is an advantage of taking all +$EV moves. But if your aim is to maximize ROI, and you thus turn down some +$EV moves, your most profitable buy-in is likely to be a level higher than if you take all +$EV moves. And it is more profitable to make 2X every two hours than X every hour and a half.

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Also, if the people around you know you have this mentality, won't they steal you broke?
Smart question. They will raise looser, yes. But if being too loose is one of their leaks, they are only changing their game for the worse. Too tight players will start playing better, though.

So when you are considering the EV of folding, you should theoretically take this into consideration.

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Usual disclaimer, I do not mean anything I say as advise on how one should play.
Don´t be so modest. Don´t be afraid to be ridiculed if you say something wrong. Just act like you know everything and throw in a "" or something when you are wrong. That´s what I do. Any people making fun of you are probably dumber than you anyway. That has at least always been the case with me.
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 8:56pm   #7
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"Don´t be so modest. Don´t be afraid to be ridiculed if you say something wrong. Just act like you know everything and throw in a "" or something when you are wrong. That´s what I do. Any people making fun of you are probably dumber than you anyway. That has at least always been the case with me. "

Wait, are you implying that I am NOT the greatest in the world? Actually though, I much prefer it when people ridicule me. They are either an idiot, and I ignore them, or, more commonly, they know what they are talking about and I am the idiot, and I learn something. But more seriously, I just don't want anyone going out and actually following my "advise". It works for me, but that doesn't mean it would work for them. I prefer it more as a sharing of ideas.

"Smart question. They will raise looser, yes. But if being too loose is one of their leaks, they are only changing their game for the worse. Too tight players will start playing better, though.

So when you are considering the EV of folding, you should theoretically take this into consideration."

I am not advocating being a maniac (though that can work if you are the right sort for it). What I am saying though is that I think there is a lot of easy money to be had early on and I think it is poor play to not try and take advantage of that. As you get further in, the players are only going to get better (or rather, be better) so why avoid hands against weak opponents when you will have to face stronger ones later on?

"Yes, less time spent per tournament is an advantage of taking all +$EV moves. But if your aim is to maximize ROI, and you thus turn down some +$EV moves, your most profitable buy-in is likely to be a level higher than if you take all +$EV moves. And it is more profitable to make 2X every two hours than X every hour and a half."

I suppose this depends on the level one is playing at. For instance, if you only have enough money to buy in once, then it makes sense to turn down marginal advantages (no one would bet their life savings on a 55/45 chance, for instance). If on the other hand, you can buy in many times, I think it is better to take such advantages. And so, in that regard, I actually think one is better off playing lower, not higher, if they were to play this way.
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 9:19pm   #8
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Its more of a chip value question IMO.

Your chips in a cash game are at face value. E.g. $1 = 1 chip.
So in a cash game - if a move is EV+...then take it!

However in a MTT the value of your chips changes.

Thus your first 1500 chips are worth more than doubling up. Losing your 1500 gives you NOTHING - but doubling up to 3000 chips - doesn't double your chances of winning (although it should improve them).

Later in the game things change again as blinds increase the value of your 1500 chips drops due to pressures and stack sizes compared to forced bets.

This is an over simplification and HOH 1/2 describe it much better - but you get the gist.

So the answer is EV + Circumstances(Stacks/levels/reads)=Decision!

Obv if the EV is large enough then the circumstances can almost always be ignored (except bubble of sat with you on bubble and 3 AI before you etc).
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 9:38pm   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by staphros View Post
Its more of a chip value question IMO.

Your chips in a cash game are at face value. E.g. $1 = 1 chip.
So in a cash game - if a move is EV+...then take it!

However in a MTT the value of your chips changes.

Thus your first 1500 chips are worth more than doubling up. Losing your 1500 gives you NOTHING - but doubling up to 3000 chips - doesn't double your chances of winning (although it should improve them).

Later in the game things change again as blinds increase the value of your 1500 chips drops due to pressures and stack sizes compared to forced bets.

This is an over simplification and HOH 1/2 describe it much better - but you get the gist.

So the answer is EV + Circumstances(Stacks/levels/reads)=Decision!

Obv if the EV is large enough then the circumstances can almost always be ignored (except bubble of sat with you on bubble and 3 AI before you etc).
But in a cash game, losing your entire buy in gives you nothing either. You can of course buy in again, but then, in a TM you can always buy in again too.

The reason I advocate this is as follows:

Doubling or tripling up gives you a HUGE advantage for the early parts of the TM. You have options that don't exist for the other players.

If you are going to lose any way, better to lose 2 minutes in then two hours in.

As the TM goes on, the players get better and better. Or rather, the ones left are better then the ones earlier. Thus, it is more likely then that if you play a hand early on, that you would be facing a poor player, as opposed to later on when you would be more likely to be facing a good player. Wouldn't we rather face a poor player then a good one?

Yes as the TM goes on your chips become less valuable, and you are forced into "gamble" type situations. But if you win a few hands early, this can actually delay that, such that you can afford to wait longer before being forced into the inevitable "gamble" situation.

I think this comes down to how one looks at the game. I touched on this before but, if one looks at any specific hand as an isolated incident, then no, it doesn't pay to gamble, but if one looks at the big picture, i.e., longterm, then it does. I believe TMs are the same, if one looks at a TM as being a hand.



As always, I am not suggesting that one follow this specific strategy. What works for me may not work for you. With that said, I think it is extremely useful to listen to and hear what everyone else thinks on the subject (if for no other reason then it helps me rob you at the table
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Old Jan 12, 2008, 9:53pm   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deuce65 View Post
But in a cash game, losing your entire buy in gives you nothing either. You can of course buy in again, but then, in a TM you can always buy in again too.
Cash game chips are at face value - not making an EV move due to $ concerns means you have bad BR management and should move down.
Chips in cash equate directly to $ - MTT chips don't.
The reason I advocate this is as follows:

Doubling or tripling up gives you a HUGE advantage for the early parts of the TM. You have options that don't exist for the other players.
It gives you an advantage doubling up but not as huge as you make out- but always going for it with <5% change is not a great idea IMO

If you are going to lose any way, better to lose 2 minutes in then two hours in.
Depends if that second hour is ITM

As the TM goes on, the players get better and better. Or rather, the ones left are better then the ones earlier. Thus, it is more likely then that if you play a hand early on, that you would be facing a poor player, as opposed to later on when you would be more likely to be facing a good player. Wouldn't we rather face a poor player then a good one?
Yes poor players make more mistakes - but you should be able to adapt to the better players later - when the game itself is different.

Yes as the TM goes on your chips become less valuable, and you are forced into "gamble" type situations. But if you win a few hands early, this can actually delay that, such that you can afford to wait longer before being forced into the inevitable "gamble" situation.
Keeping out of the red zone is important - but you can as easily end up in the red with a marginal gambol early

I think this comes down to how one looks at the game. I touched on this before but, if one looks at any specific hand as an isolated incident, then no, it doesn't pay to gamble, but if one looks at the big picture, i.e., longterm, then it does. I believe TMs are the same, if one looks at a TM as being a hand.
Changing gears and adapting to conditions makes a good MTT play - a small EV+ shove doesn't.


As always, I am not suggesting that one follow this specific strategy. What works for me may not work for you. With that said, I think it is extremely useful to listen to and hear what everyone else thinks on the subject (if for no other reason then it helps me rob you at the table)
If we are playing hands with higher EV then your lower EV calls are known as suckouts if they win.
My comments are not saying play like a nit - they are saying small EV moves have less value than being aware of circumstances.

If you watch skeptix or similar play they are pretty tight early (not saying there are 0 moves) - if you made notes on them early and then made notes on only the late play - you will have 2 profiles with marked differences!
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