Friday, Aug. 9, 2013

Poker Calculators and Multi-Table Tournament Strategies

There isn’t a poker calculator designed for multi table tournament (MTT) advice specifically, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be using one. In fact, I have used Hold’em Pirate for MTT’s exclusively and have reached a higher amount of final tables while doing so. Hold’em Pirate instructions don’t really mention it’s use in MTT’s, but you are reading this now because I have found through experience that Hold’em Pirate is excellent for MTT’s in assisting you with monitoring the table dynamics, measuring your true hand strength, and picking your spots against aggressive players.

Having a good feel for your table’s momentum or dynamics can help you combat an endless run of lousy cards. Taking down incidental, non-contested pots is the key to survival and tournament advances. But that requires intuitive information. If you use Hold’em Pirate like I do, the VPIP meter is invaluable in that regard. At a glance you know how your “collective table” is acting and how that is affecting the contested pots. So if you are not in position, or not getting pot odds, you are better off staying out of the action with a high VPIP table rating. On the other hand, a low (tight) VPIP rating with offer up ample opportunity to take down a lot of small pots while building an aggressive image for yourself.

Certain factors in MTT play have inherent value on your hole cards. AKos is much more powerful when you are a big stack, as compared to when you are amongst the short stacks and playing on the bubble. This exact situation happened to me last week in the Party Poker Million. I folded the AKos after an early position raise from a big stack, and a re-raise from another big stack. I felt my hand was at least counterfeited, and surely, I must have been up against at least a pair Queens. It was really a question of $500 bucks. I was short enough to know I was out of contention for big money, so I decided to go for some money. But knowing the true strength of my AKos in that spot was how I folded.

You are bound to run up against those aggressive type tournament players who are always in your face with pressure betting. They may be very good, but they may also be maniacs. Both are dangerous. Either way you need to know the VPIP meter in order to identify them. For example, if you are in late position and considering answering a 3x blind raise from, oh let’s say, DuecesCrazy99, all you have to do is check the Hold’em Pirate VPIP meter. . You can see that DuecesCrazy99 came into 68% of the pots, raised 40% of those times, and bet out at the flop 100% of the time! Even if you were on an extended coffee break sitting out, you will know from those numbers you are dealing with a maniac. A tournament pro, will probably be more selective than that, and pre-flop raise more, but will have a higher pot win rate.

As with most empirical poker calculators, Hold’em Pirate is like having a pro like Chris Ferguson or Dan Harrington over your shoulder offering up guidance when you need it.
About the Author

Marty Smith is webmaster of where all the online poker calculators are tested and reviewed, including Sit and Go Shark, Calculatem Pro, and Poker Spy. He is also editor of You can contact Martin Smith at [email protected]