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Top 4 strategies for winning in MTT from Leo DonLeon

Pro tips to crush poker tournaments

Leo DonLeon, our MTT coach, has prepared four interesting tips that can improve your game in MTT. The trainer talks about the pros of late registration, the importance of ante, building a perfect schedule, and using filters to break down the game.

Use late registration

Start the tournament with 50-70 big blinds.

It will help you to play more tournaments during one session. The more tournaments you play, the more you can win. In addition, a bigger distance will help you to overcome variance.

At the earliest stages of the tournaments, there are too many multiways. The more players in the pot, the higher is the chance someone has a strong hand. It means you cannot use the full power of bluff. As a result, your game becomes straightforward. Basically, you just sit and wait for strong hands.

When joining the tournament late, you play less deepstack pots. As a result, the game becomes much simpler and you make fewer mistakes. Deepstack game is a strong point of cash players. If you switched to tournaments from cash, early stages may become your bread and butter. Otherwise, skip it.

Know ante size

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Ante size differs from site to site.

Its 0.125bb on Party, 0.1bb in regular tournaments on Stars, and 0.15 in Bounty Builders. The numbers may seem irrelevant, but in practice, they influence pushing ranges. Ignoring ante means missing a lot of profitable spots. The higher the ante size, the more hands you can play.

Compare these two charts:

10% ante (MTSNG) for 15BB stacks

  • UTG (6.8%): 88+, AJs+, AQo+, KJs+, QJs+
  • UTG+1 (7.4%): 88+, ATs+, AQo+, KTs+, QJs+
  • UTG+2 (8.7%): 77+, ATs+, AJo+, KTs+, QJs+

15% ante (Bounty Builder)

  • UTG (9.4%): 77+, ATs+, AJo, KTs+, QTs+, JTs+
  • UTG+1 (9.8%): 66+, ATs+, AJo+, QTs+, JTs+
  • UTG+2 (10.1%): 66+, A9s+, AJo+, KTs+

Watch the structure of the tournament in the lobby and prepare the right charts for different structures before the game. The best tool to build preflop charts is ICMzer2. The program is rather difficult for beginners, but we can learn you do use it. Poker software mastery is a part of our training course. To join it, just click the button below.

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Create a Stable Schedule

The more players in the tournament, the bigger are the prizes, and the higher is variance. To make the strikes of variance softer, play more tournaments with low average field size (AFS). The right balance is 70 to 30 in favor of small tournaments.

In smaller fields, the prizes are lower, but you get in the money more often. In addition, you will reach the final tables more often. The more final tables experience you have, the better are your chances at the final stages of the bigger tournaments.

Start bigger tournaments at the beginning of the session. It will allow you to use the time more effectively. If you jump into deepstacks or high AFS tournament in the middle of the session, by the end of the poker night, you will play only one or two tables.

To build an ideal schedule one room is not enough. Play several rooms. Thus, you can pick the best tournaments with the softest fields and the best guarantees.

Want to get more information about the benefits of multirooming? We have a separate article about it.

Use filters to break down the game

Here is the list of interesting filters you probably have never heard before:

  • «BB greater than» This filter allows to analyze and find the leaks in the game at different stages: early, middle and late;
  • «Bustout hands» This filter allows to find the decisions that cost you tournament life. Usually, on this list, you will find the most expensive mistakes.
  • «Facing All-in Bet». This filter will help you to find the hands, where opponent put all-in and you had the decision.

Want to get more information about building a perfect tournament schedule, updating the charts for tournaments with different tournament structures, and learn to use Holdem Manager filters like a boss? You can discuss all these topics and many more with a professional coach in person. You can even get one trial lesson. Everything you need to do is to click here or the button below and sign up.

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