Thursday, March 7, 2013

Zig When They Zag

After reading Snyder’s The Poker Tournament Formula 2, and then watching any number of Tournament Poker Edge videos or reading most conventional wisdom (CW) poker books, I have been left a confused. On the one hand, I a lot of what Snyder writes makes a whole lot of sense to me. On the other hand, his advice often runs counter to CW. Chief among these inconsistencies is how loose to play in the different stages of a tournament.

Snyder generally advocates loose play early in most types of MTTs. When other players are timid, you should attack. Build your chip stack and then wield the bully club. He (facetiously) states that he plays pocket pairs, suited connectors, unsuited connectors and gappers, and any other suited or unsuited cards, especially in LP in unopened pots.

In comparison, pretty much every TPE video, not to mention Moshman, Harrington, Gordon, et al advocate playing a tight-is-right approach in the early stages of an MTT, as you want to let others do battle while you observe them and build yourself a nitty image. If others are getting mixed up in pots when the blinds are low, stay out of the fray.

So who's right?

Well, I actually think both are. Chip Utility (CU) discussions aside, the key point is that you should always do the opposite of what your opponents are doing at the table. When they're tightening up, you should loosen up. When they're aggressive, you should be more passive. Zig when they zag, and the profits are more likely to come your way.

Now if I can just reconcile the whole idea of cEV and CU....

All-in for now...
-Bug

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