So I get a request on face-book yesterday asking me about how to go about learning MTT’s. This is not the first time that I have got this one. I am no MTT expert and have done nothing worthwhile in that field, but I have gone through the steps and seen others (most notably Sahil Agarwal) learn and evolve their game through hard work and dedication. Yesterday there was such a request by a new member in the PokerGuru skype group as well. I think Aditya ‘Donkab0mber’ Sushant’s Milly chop has had a mini-Moneymaker effect among the Indian poker playing community.
Now before everybody starts splashing about their bankroll trying to bink milly’s, I think new players would be well advised to keep bankroll and variance in mind. As mentioned yesterday the new member in the skype group wanted to grind MTT’s with a 400$ roll. I don’t know what the gentleman’s skill levels are, but 400$ is not the roll to start grinding large field tournaments even if your average buyin (ABI) is just 4$. Unless you luck out, you are most probably gonna go bust.
Also before trying to bink Milly’s or buying into 100$ MTT’s online, it wouldn’t hurt to study them and prepare and arm yourself to beat them. I am listing out below 10 things that an ‘online MTT novice’ would be well advised to do:
1. Read the following 4 books: Kill Phil, Kill Everyone, Raisers Edge, Secrets of Professional Tournament Poker.
2. Get subscription to [url]www.tournamentpokeredge.com[/url] (TPE) Download their podcast (which are free) on your smart-phone and listen to them while travelling etc. The subscription anyway is just 25$ a month. Ridiculous value for money for the content that they have. They have decent winning MTT regs in their roster. Watch at least one video a day. Listen to at least one podcast a day.
3. Get this software called ‘Poker Stove’. It is free and is available online. This is a great learning tool and will be required when you discuss hands, hand ranges and equities with your peers. Also get ‘Universal Replayer’. This is a hand history replayer (which is also free and available online). Whenever you play a tournament, note the tournament id on a notepad somewhere. Whenever you run deep, request PokerStars/site you play on for your hand history file on that particular tournament. It is in the requests menu on PokerStars software.
4. Get on skype. Make a personal skype id and join one of the skype study groups. PokerGuru skype group will be a good start. Leave your id on this thread and you will be added to it :
5. Start posting hands on forums like our own desi PokerGuru forum:
The two plus two forum:
Don’t just post them and read the advice, but discuss your thought process with the people posting. Don’t be defensive while arguing. Be rational, humble and absorb.
6. Get ‘Holdem Manager’ or ‘Poker Tracker’. These are programs which give you real time statistics on your opponents on your screen (also known as HUD – Heads up Display). Learn how to use them correctly. There are free videos available on their sites or on Youtube. Also TPE has quite a few videos on how to setup your HUD.
7. Download the ‘push fold call bot’ excel sheet file attached at bottom of this blog. Play around with it. Plug in the situations that you find yourself in and see whether you are shoving/calling shoves correctly.
8. If there is another Pokerguru Mentorship Program (PGMP) announced, get in on it. Over a period of 3 months, MTT tricks and techniques will be spoon-fed to you for free by the best MTT player (Intervention) in the country.
9. If possible, get one of the successful MTT professionals to review your hand history. Or review them along with your peers in the skype study group.
10. Have at least 200 Buyins (BI) for the stakes that you intend to play at. A conservative and better BR plan would be to have 500-BI. MTT’s have huge variance. This is a well known and often repeated fact. Better to be well padded for this variance. Also in my opinion, players make better poker decisions if they have deep BR.
Edit: 11. Thanks to Infusion_leo, Saby, for this one: Read this amazing article :
It is not enough to just do the above steps. A lot of play volume is required. MTT’s require a lot of time investment. One has to at least put in 8-10 hours of play daily.
As for myself, I have done most of the above steps but I am in no position to give that kind of time daily and thus have moved my focus to cash games.
After a lot of procrastinating, sometime in middle of May I have set my target for rest of the year. The target is basically volume based. It is to put in around 25K+ hands per month / get GoldStar VIP level every month. By end of May I had put around 35K. June till now has been around 4K. I don’t know what stakes I will be playing at by end of year. I have been stuck at 10nl/25nl forever. However this has been due to cash outs taken to take shots at Goa tournaments. Since Goa tournament scene is almost dead, I will not be cashing out and I am hoping to move up stakes by end of the year. The only splurge (if you can call it that) would be to buy some Sunday MTT action or maybe play some Sunday MTT’s myself.
Hoping that I buy into someone of you and you bink the Milly!! glgl to all of us 😉