As I was playing a 90-player SnG on Full Tilt earlier, I noticed about 95% of the players playing these tournaments make floundering plays that they really have no idea why they are making them. These tournaments start out with small blinds and you have a fairly deep stack of $3k in chips. Because of this format, there has to be specific reasons for the plays you are making.
First of all, I see a ton of players making position plays. Trying to steal blinds from the button, trying a squeeze play, etc. There is no need AT ALL for these types of plays early in the tournament. Why would you want to steal $90 worth of blinds when you have a $3k chip stack? The answer is that you wouldn’t, but many players think they are supposed to make these types of plays because they have read somewhere that they should. However, most of the time they just end up getting themselves into trouble.
If you want a simple strategy for playing tournaments such as a 90-player, it is this: simply see as many hands as you can and try to catch a monster. The way I build my chip stack in these games is not to make big plays with A-K or A-Q, but to play suited connectors and pocket pairs. In this way, you can trap a player who cannot lay down face cards or big slick when you hit your flush, straight draw or hit trips.
You don’t have to raise a ton and get carried away and you shouldn’t be playing hands like Q-9 off suit, that is not what I am saying. But, if you can catch a big flop with cards like 5-6 suited, you can end up doubling up off a player you plays K-Q way too strong.
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