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Why are tournaments not played like I have been taught?

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  • Why are tournaments not played like I have been taught?

    I have been studying a ton to learn tournament poker. I have watched and did very well on the video tutorials on pokercoaching and I have watched hundreds of hours of tournament streams and covering the reveled hole cards and playing like i was one player to learn hand reading and bet sizing etc. I know my "local" $50-$100 tournament buy-ins attract not to many competent players where people are calling with any two and calling raises with anything and not playing like I have learned. So I decided to try a deepstacks tournament at the Venetian and I thought I would see more "standard play." Very first hand UTG opens 6x BB. 5 callers! So my first thought is that this is no different than my local tournament. These kind of big initial raises with several callers happened frequently in the first hour. So I decide to play tight until I see further how these people are playing and that same kind of play continues where players are always raising 5-6x BB, then making C-bets pot size and other very non-standard bet sizing. So, I end up losing all my chips being ahead on flop and turn and just donkeys getting lucky on me when they hit a runner runner. I am not complaining about bad beats as it is mathematically going to happen, but I am wondering what kind of tournament do I have to play to start seeing play like I have been learning. Is this standard for very early in a tournament? Do I just have to survive getting a bad beat early on and play very tight for multiple levels before I see the play like I have been learning???

  • #2
    My guess is because you were watching online tournaments, analyses and hand reviews and “online” is really different than “live” ??

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    • #3
      Big difference between live and online as Borki said, and it's hard to say. I don't play live MTTs but JL and others have led me to believe that there are bad recs up to relatively high stakes, the breakout of recs to better players just shifts as you move up. Every game is going to be different so there's no hard threshold of where a game will start or stop having some type of play.

      But the thing to focus on is -- why do you want to see more play like what you've been learning? The last thing you want is competent opponents. If you're local MTT is really $50-$100 and everyone is really raising/calling with ATC for 6BB you have a honey pot, just play good cards and print money

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      • mct
        mct commented
        Editing a comment
        The main answer to I know how to play against these bad players and I wanted to find places to practice against competent opponents

    • #4
      online and live are very different animals . live you need to feel comfortable wih the buyin. live i will not bluff often but i will bet big vor value for instance . i have seen very poor players playing 1500 euro tournaments. live i will almost only 3bet linear and play pretty straightforward until the later stages , the last thing you want to do on live local tournaments is bluffing off your stack in marginal spots

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      • mct
        mct commented
        Editing a comment
        I am only talking live tournaments. I am always comfortable with the buy-in. So I guess I hear you saying is that I still have to play kind of straight forward in early stages of tournaments and survive bad beats, then I will see more spots later in tournaments. Just so frustrating to 3-bet with a premium and still get called by 4 people. Seems like trying to isolate early in a tournament is hard to accomplish even at the $1500 buy-in level.

      • Dilly
        Dilly commented
        Editing a comment
        If you regularly 3-bet with premium hands and get called by 4 people with hands they should not be calling with, you should be overjoyed. That means you're going to be playing huge pots, multi-way, where you put in 20% of the money, and have more than 20% equity. You're going to get coolered sometimes by junky hands that got there, but you're going to be winning way more than you are loosing in the long run. It's possible you're looking at too small a sample size which is near unavoidable at live MTTs, you need to be playing a ton of volume.

        I don't understand why you think you need to find places to practice against competent opponents, if you don't think there are many competent opponents in your game. If you have games with a lot of weaker players, study how to beat those weak players, and print money, easy game.

        Take this all with a grain of salt because I don't play MTTs but every coach on PC have repeatedly said things that go against "play kind of straightforward in early stages of tournaments and survive bad beats." Meaning no offense but it seems like the issue is in how you think about the game

    • #5
      The reason in my eyes is that your being taught to play optimally or well but your competition is not. Consequently you have to adjust. Villains are opening wider, betting poorly, calling too much and under bluffing.


      Learn the adjustments by asking specific questions.

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      • #6
        Reading your comments I get the idea that most of the people at your table are opening/calling too wide. The adjustment for this is too play tighter and play better cards than they do. JL said that like million times. Of course you will lose every now and then... even 72o beats 1 to 2 times out of 10 pocket AA. If you are properly bankrolled, put the volume in and it will be ok at the long run. And of it’s not - there is some serious problem with your game, because those kind of opponents are the easiest to win against. Good luck 👍😉

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