Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

Rush Poker Tournaments - Update

Well, I said on Friday I'd play a 'bunch' of Rush tournaments... well, is 2 a bunch? Anway, some interesting discussion on many of the forums + my own experiences so far to mention today. And hey, I did cash in one of them too!Before I go through the 2 rush poker tournaments I played, lets start with the thing that caught my eye about the debates on some of the larger poker forums... for other forms of poker there is a consensus as to the right way of approaching a hand or situation and the wrong way (to the point where someone suggesting stepping outside of these lines can be ridiculed... yeah, really!). For Rush tournaments there is a polarization of views.

Some people are absolutely and totally convinced that super-tight / set-mining is the right approach during the early stages (for example) while others are 100% sure that you should be raising any 2-card and 3-betting super-light from the get-go.

So, who is right? Neither - or both... depending on how you look at it, and for me this leads to an interesting chain of thought.

Firstly if everyone is aggressive then staying super-tight is hugely profitable, especially when they are bad enough to pay you off when you strike a big hand. Conversely, if everyone is super-tight then being aggressive is a massively positive play, especially those combing tight pre-flop play with a 'fit-or-fold' after the flop are easy to get chips from. However, there are other factors which are even more important...

The first is that people do seem to have 'a strategy' which they are not deviating from, these strategies are both easily exploitable and are made possible by the table changes stopping your opponents realizing that players are doing the same thing over and over again. If you can figure it out, particularly over-aggressive opponents who keep on firing barrels, then you have a great source of chips... take notes, color-code people - and do it from the start! Second, people forget the fundamentals of tournament play... stack sizes (!! come on Rush fans, it matters!!), position, bet sizing and hand reading. They appeared to be focusing so hard on whichever 'correct' strategy school of thought they subscribe to.

Tournament basics will give you a huge edge in these games. Finally, we have recreational players, these are fun games and rightly attract players who enjoy poker as a passtime. They make their own raft of mistakes including calling too often (as in cold-calling raises), over-valuing hands and being weak at the bubble... your strategy needs to adapt to take advantage of this behavior as well as the polarized rush-specific strategies. Ah well, enough if the heavy thoughts. I played 2 lower level games - would have liked to have played more but friends and family had to take priority over the weekend. The first was a $1 (yes, one!) buy-in I lasted most of the first hour before busting with a pair of Kings (no bad beat stories allowed in this blog, but to the guy with 3-10 suited in mid position would be... cold calling my raise was a mistake, thinking middle pair was good on the flop 3-handed and calling a 3/4ths pot bet was a mistake, calling a 3/4ths pot bet for which put you down to just 500 chips on the turn was a mistake and, well, congratualations for hitting your 3rd 10 on the river!).

Lasted long enough to realize that these games are fast as far as the blinds are concerned as well as the hands! Before the 2nd (a 3+ rebuys) started, I figured that since it is the time since your last blind that counted I could slow down a little each big blind and catch my poker breath a little. Got off to a bad start and did rebuy a couple of times, there was a lot of open shoving, and those I saw called (sit out for the multi-way ones, then open up the notes windows for each player before the hand ends) were pretty light. To be honest the speed of the blinds was surprizing... and while I cashed for a little more than the min (mid-division of the cashers) this was nota pleasant experience, nothing worse than being card-dead a medium small-stack at the bubble where 3,4 and 5 bets are the norm! Anyway, no complaints - genuinely entertaining games... and my strategy?

I'm in the tighter school! Gl at the tables, Mark

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