Hear it From the Pros!
The world of online poker is booming rapidly, and India is no exception. In an extremely short span of time, our country has witnessed a massive rise in numbers – both in terms of players and in the kind of guarantees offered. Today’s generation has seen these changes first hand– and we now live in a time where 10L GTD tournaments are a daily affair.
Over a year and a half ago, PokerBaazi.com announced a tournament with a guarantee of INR 1 CRORE – The MoneyMaker. Back then, a tournament of such magnitude was unheard of and no one (including us) expected the event to attract the kind of numbers that it did. Fast forward to today, 8 Editions of the event have been hosted, with the guarantee being smashed every single time. As if this wasn’t enough, the ante was upped earlier this year with the introduction of Multi-Day tournament The GameChanger – promising a guarantee of 2 CRORE. The result – a massive field of 3788 players and an unreal prize pool of INR 3.78 CRORE!
Multi-day Tournaments of this kind are no doubt the latest trend in Indian online poker. Many operators have introduced these events in the past few months. Massive events and humungous prize pools – all at an extremely reasonable buy-in. What’s not to love! The concept is a huge success, attracting anyone who knows anything about poker to come give it a shot. As far as value for money is concerned, it’s a no brainer!
While these tournaments are much like any other, there are a few aspects of this format that vary. Strategy implemented in these events depend on multiple factors, and these are best summed up by some of the biggest pros and previous winners from the Indian poker fraternity:
Prashanth Sekar (iveyleague) -GameChanger Champion 2019
“Multiday events will always have massive guarantees which is very good for ROI and for the ecosystem. It is important to approach each day as a separate tournament. Think of it as a series of tournaments. Given this, it is important to budget in terms of bullets for the entire “series” while also factoring in your bankroll.
Day 1 Strategy - Classic conundrum of Survival vs Chip Accumulation. Compared to a single day tournament, Chip Accumulation takes precedence over survival since you have more flights/chances. The goal is to get into Day2 with as big a stack as possible as that maximizes your EV of winning more chips in future situations. Do not hesitate to take spots that you would normally pass up on. A classic situation would be the “bubble” scenario of the last level of Day1. Let’s say you are a mid-stack and you could comfortably make Day2 by tightening up. Here is where you need to show courage and take spots. Taking marginal spots would result in you busting out or making a massive stack. Go for the spot. All the money is up top.
The last flight of Day1 is where people tend to get more aggressive as everyone wants to make it to Day2 and others who already made Day2 want to make it with a bigger stack. This is one of those situations where you adjust and wait for your spots. But don’t shy away from a good spot yourselves.
Hammer the Day1 Bubble – If you find yourself in a good stack at the last few levels of Day1, it is in your best interest to bring your Thor’s Hammer and win chips as it maximizes your future EV.
Day2 Strategy – Be well rested. Multiday tournaments give you that luxury. Utilise that and come out well prepared. In single day events, when you run deep you won’t have the luxury of taking a long rest and thinking out your game plan. Scout out your field. Treat it like a new tournament. Forget all the baggage of Day1 be it the beats or the coolers. You need to come out fresh. The game is going to be shallower and stacks are going to be swingy. Accepting this fact will make your life easier. You could bust out 100 BBs in a matter of 10 mins. You could also run up a 10BB stack into the Chip Lead in the same time frame. Overall emphasize on patience and pick your spots wisely.”
Ujjwal Narwal (MrRobot) – Serial Crusher
“I'd say that players should fire bullets wisely. If it's a 1 Day event then you can/should (depending on your roll) fire bullets till last min of late reg when it's a high value tourney say 1Cr gtd. But in a multiday there's no need to rebuy at 15bb in 1A if there's going to be a 1B! Also worth noting - none of the players on FT of GameChanger were in top 10 stacks going to Day2. So you’re wrong if you think you can't make it even if you're a shortie!”
Shravan Chhabria (FishStars) – Serial Crusher
“Well I think you got to keep it simple and treat it as any other tournament, because your decision about a hand cannot change depending on what time of the day it is! Having said that, you need to keep in mind that you cannot win the tournament that day or the next day - so it's very important to set small goals and take each session as it comes!”
Rubin Labroo (kornkid) – Serial Crusher
“The new kind of online tournaments you get to see these days are the multi day tourneys. Big guarantees spread over multiple days. These are further divided into two kinds – Freezeout (generally with more number of flights) and Re-entries (less flights but can rebuy multiple flights the same day). In my opinion there are different strategies to approach them:
For Freezouts, I prefer registering early, when I get 100-150bigs. This is because it’s important to get that early double up and then pressurize people. You see people tightening up. Even maniacs will get super tight and play mostly the top of their ranges. Because here the ROI is on the time invested. You don’t want to play for 5 hours and then make loose jams in the last hour unless you still are at the starting stack.
For re-entry multi day events, it’s okay to register comparatively late 70-80 bigs. You don’t mind gambling because other people will be gambling too. In the last hour of the game you’ll see a lot of shorties jamming equity hands against you. How often are you good with ace king in a multi-way pot over and over again? My strategy would be to make a stack and gamble less in the last few levels.”
Abhinav Iyer (griezzman) - Serial Crusher
“Multi-day tournaments have become quite popular, after the format’s success at the first ever GameChanger and almost all sites following and hosting multi-day events. My strategy has been to try accumulating chips and bag big. Chances of you running deep are higher in Day 2, with a lot of short stacks qualifying to Day 2. Trying to bag big may lead to firing a few bullets which brings me to my second point which is to outline a fixed amount of entries for the tournament. Bankroll management is super essential as the up-top prize can carry you away to fire additional bullets when you’re getting say <15-20bb. Try not to tilt if you’re not doing good, focus on other tables and re- enter the next day!”
Well now that the strategy’s been covered – here’s where you can use it!
June 5-9 will see PokerBaazi.com play host to The ValueBomb – a 1 CR GTD tournament with a buy-in of only INR 2500! With 4 starting flights, this event is set to become India’s Biggest High Value Tournament. All that’s left now is for you to make your way to the felts and put these invaluable tips to use! Good Luck!