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Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 3:39 pm
by ikelos
Hi all, its been a long time since I wrote an article.
The truth is that over the few years I have not been playing that much of poker untill recently.
I had been busy with work, but now that my career is more mature I find myself having more weekends to enjoy the game of poker ^^

Back in 2005 to 2008, I mostly played cash games...cause those games were really juicy. A typical full ring table would usually have 2 to 4 fishes!
But now.. times have changed, you see a table filled with 12-20 tabling TAG regulars... its really hard to make money in the cash games.

So where have all the loose players gone? The answer is Tournaments!

From 2008 to 2010 I didn't really play much, 2011 I came back and grinded up 4900 multi table tournaments. Mostly playing the 180 man turbo sngs, buy-in sizes are $2.50 $8 & $15.
I averaged a return of investment of 10%, not a lot but decent enough to make a profit and thats all you need. Make a profit and grind out the volume!

Why play 180 man turbo MTT Sng?
1) They are fast and furious, pretty exciting stuff~ It only takes 1.5 hours to finish one
2) The payout is great, don't aim to finish ITM... top 3 is where all the juice is.
3) The volume/liquidity is great, for $2.50 they start like every other min, for $8 & $15 takes about 3 to 5 times to pace
4) You can multi table 12 to 20 of them together, really good stuff for grinding the volume out
5) There are a lot of fishes and even the regulars aint that strong (all the sharks are in the cash games)... once you played often enough and have their stats you can beat them

Early Game
Early levels the stacks are deep enough to play some real poker, usually I like to see more flops here. But generally I'm still tight.
Hand Range when I'm first to open up the pot
Early Position - AQ+ 99+ (only the top 5% of my hand)
Mid Position - A9+ 55+ KQ KJ QJ JT+ ( widen up a bit but still conservative, try to play 10-20% of my hands )
Late Position - A2+ K9+ QT+ Suited connectors 45+ all pairs 22+ (don't try to steal so much, play like 30% of my hands)

Overall I'm having a vpip of about 15%, some regulars are nits that play like 5% of their hand. That's boring poker.
But on the other end if you get too loose and play over 25% of your hand u will be branded as a loose player, in that sense u will have difficulty stealing blinds in mid/late game. Play tight for now and use your image later.

Often you see pots opened in early position and calls pilling it, go ahead and call with suited connectors and pocket pairs. If you flop well you can easily double up.

If I get strong hands like AK or QQ+, I will just go ahead and make a big raise and try to get committed to double up.
AQ and 99-JJ are good hands to raise against limpers or single openers, but be wary.. these are not the hands you wanna stack off with when faced with strong resistance.

Mid Game
The blinds have picked up and the antes have kicked in, people have on average 5 to 10 times the pot (5-10M)
I usually like to open up my game here and steal more often, you already know who are the tight players and if two of them sits to your left go ahead and min raise ~ take down their blinds!
The regulars will normally just 3 bet shove u with like 3 to 5% of their hands and you can fold comfortably.

When I'm short, like below 5M I like to shove in to steal the blinds which can boost my stack by over 20%!
If I get called by a premium hand, I pray hard to double to stay in the hunt.
If I get defeated at least I exit with a bang~

The thing here is that I am trying to grow big or get bust out fast~

Short Stack Shoving
Early position - A8+ KJ+ 22+
Mid position - Ax K5+ Q7+ J9+ 22+ 45+
Late position - if the blinds are tight have the courage to shove any 2 cards when you are on the button or cut off position, you need to grow!

Mid game players are still taking their time and do not call you that light. But if you are called, often you will see AJ+ or a strong pair.
Some regulars can make gusty call against your shove with hands as light as A2+ KJ+, take note of them and be careful against them. You will need more hand strenght to take their blinds down.

The blinds are like 400/800
Here you will notice who are the one trying to grow their stack and who are the one trying to nit into the money.
Usually most ppl are trying to nit into the money, here I get even more aggressive! Often opening shoving to take uncontested pots down, play like a maniac and try to bring a big stack into the money, you will need the fire power to finish top 3.

I always have a mind set on getting at least 20,000 chips going into the money, I need a big arsenal to take the tournament down. I don't care about busting out, finishing into the money for a small profit is NOTHING worth your time,
ALWAYS PLAY FOR TOP 3! Top 3 or nothing!

Always remember its better to finish 1st once than 20 times 10th to 18th!

The blind are like 600/1200
Players are in the money and often they will get comfortable and loosen up.
Good poker is by playing the opposite of what others are playing, if they are opening up I will be tightening down. Back to the conservative mode, here I am mostly waiting for decent hands to pick off the short stacks.
Hands like 77+ AT+ are your defense card to net against the short stacks, have the heart to make good calls when the pot odds are right.

Generally if you open raise and get 3 bet shoved, sometimes the range can be wide if there is some light bets in their range.. so before you fold the hand instantly Always Consider the Pot Odds. 1 to 3 I am always calling, 1 to 2 I will often call unless villian's 3 bet % is very tight (say 3-5%)
If you get 1 to 2 pot odds, remember you only need to win 33% of the time or higher to make it profitable!

Final Table
When in the final table, the most important thing to take note is the ICM (independent chip model), if you don't know what it is... well in my simple words its that you make money by watching others clash and get busted out.
I tend to play it tight untill we get down to 6 handed where often the regulars often play too tight and u benefit a lot playing loose short handed games.

How to prepare well for final table player?
Play more 9 man and 6 max sng, you will learn how to play 3-6 handed a lot more well~

Final Three
The final 3 is where the prize difference is the MOST. Typicaly 1st place is worth more than twice the amount of 3rd!
The difference between a 10% ROI regular and a losing regular with 0% to negative 5% return is knowing how to play short handed or Not.

How to play well? Its hard to teach but on the button play most of your hands, often the blinds have nothing and raising takes it down. If you are in big blind, defend a lot more often and 3 bet a lot more often.
Its a big game of chicken! Have the balls and you will take the top prize down!!!

very nice article sir. we've missed having your writing. keep it coming =]

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:08 pm
by DM101
Felix is back with some fast and furious MTT action!!!

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 4:27 pm
by felixleong
hope you guys enjoy it~ I thought I had quit poker haha, never thought I would come back in 2011 to grind up some serious volume.
2012 will be a year that I continue to grind some volume.
Done over 1.5k MTT in janauary. Hope to go for 5k tournaments at least this year, and maybe 10k

hope u guys have as much fun as me playing 180 man turbos ^_^

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 9:28 pm
by dunkel
great article felix!

what's your roi over 1.5k tournaments? specifically for these 180 man turbos?

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Tue Jan 31, 2012 10:19 pm
by felixleong
180 man turbo ah.. I really dunno leh... maybe like 5-10% nia but strong regulars make a lot higher roi, maybe like 20-30%
I usually go more for volume, so lower roi.

One of the super regular is uaredead lol, 10% roi but insane volume~ ... &rc=864498

you can find my stats for 2011 at ... ml?t=2&rc=

But i dunno how to filter the turbo 180 games

stats for january 1.5k tournament here ... &rc=711733

30% roi but running hot... should come down to 10% by year end i guess

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 3:29 pm
by chenghao
What configurations do you make for your tracker / HEM ?

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:34 pm
by tcs
chenghao wrote:What configurations do you make for your tracker / HEM ?

yeah i am also curious. :D

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 5:03 pm
by felixleong
I use poker tracker 3, been while me for like 7 years liao LOL
configuartion wise I use close to the default
Hands played / Vpip%
Preflop raise % / Aggression %

for tournaments i set vpip% if lower than 20% to show in red, if over 20% to show in green

but when making key decisions i often open up the box to see the other stats
some key stats i often use are as below

3 bet % - how wide they will 3 bet me... 3-5% is tight, 10-20% is loose
fold BB to steal - if they fold like 80% of the time or more, I'm gonna rob their blinds all the time haha
attempt% to steal blinds - 30% is decent, I will only defend my blinds with quality hands. 50% or more is pretty loose stealing range, I will 3 bet often to defend and show some toughness

cbet flop % - a strong player will cbet 40-60% of the time, its hard to tell whether they have or not have hand. If he cbet 30% or less he is only bet with at least a pair. If he cbets 80-100%.. you gonna make stands and raise him light on the flop or float him

still got other stats I use.. but hard to explain

hope this helps haha

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:22 pm
by Donkdwan
35% ROI is sustainable at the 2s, 25% at the 8s and 15s, just check out top regs like LilBigKahuna, Camzace, bfizz11, jabracadabra, 903060 etc....

10% ROI are just average reg, there's definitely more money to be make in this games.

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Wed Feb 01, 2012 9:32 pm
by valkyr
eh felix you spoiling the game larh

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 7:53 am
by Afternoon

Nice article, good to see you back. Kakis here would definitely benefit from your sharing.


Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Thu Feb 02, 2012 2:17 pm
by felixleong
thanks haha ^_^

Just trying to return some back to the poker community

Recently I'm getting quite addicted at the hyper turbo heads up~

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:07 am
by dilkkz
grinding large field MTTs now but after reading this... I think I'll consider starting 180s. great post OP :)

Re: #12 - Degen Leong's Guide to Winning 180 Man Turbo MTT S

PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 3:41 pm
by maxiaoling
Your strategy is very sound. I usually shove with 99+ afrer 400/800 if I have less than 10BB, and increase my shoving range at late positions. However, I realize that the no. of regs. in the 180 man tourneys has increased significantly, there is at least 30-40 regs anytime, especially during 10-12pm.

There are alot of them who are adopting the same strategy now and not expecting to just cash in after bubble, so it has been increasingly harder to get into the top 3. As such, my ROI has came down on these tourneys quite significantly as well.