The Poker Clinic with Dr. Tom - Playing The Big One?

The Poker Clinic with Dr. Tom - Playing The Big One?

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Dear Dr Tom,

I consider myself a solid tournament player, but I realise I still have a lot to learn – I’m a small winner playing $5 and $10 sit-n-gos. I recently satellited into a major Sunday tournament, worth $215. Now, I suspect I will be torn apart in this tournament – it has a large field and is filled to the brim with online pros.

My question is: do I play the tournament for the experience or do I take the $215 and carry on playing my $5-$10 sit-n-gos?


Dear Brian,

Well, winning poker is a transferable skill, so if you can make money in a SNG you can probably make it in an MTT. There are some differences, however. If your SNG strategy involves folding your way till five players remain and then playing very aggressively in the hope of crossing the finishing line with a couple of double ups, this is not going to work in an MTT. Because it takes so long to reach the serious money, there is no equity to be had from folding and watching players get knocked out. On the other hand, if you play the early stages of your SNG creatively and actively, looking to accumulate chips while the stacks still have play in them, then you have all the skills you need for playing a MTT. The size of the field makes no difference: if you can do the breaststroke in a swimming pool it works just as well in the ocean.

As for the sharks – well, there’ll be plenty of fish as well. And there’s only so much the online pros can do against you if you’re a winner. Like everyone else, pros make most of their money from the incompetent and the steaming. As long as you’re feeding on the dead money at the same rate as them, you’ll fatten up too and you’ll be in the money by the time you have to deal with them.

Frankly, it’s wiser to play ten $20 MTTs with your booty and develop your game. But just imagine if you win the big one…

Tags: Tom Sambrook, Strategy,