Understanding why player profiles must change in a sit and go tournament.
written by Marty Smith
everyone essentially plays a similar style in the late stages.
Somebody recently emailed me asking about how tracking an opponent's profile during a sit and go tournament is useless because tournaments require a far different strategy than limit ring games because of the escalating blinds.
This comes from previous articles and videos I produced showing how to categorize your opponents into some definitive animal-like caricatures that have somewhat predictable patterns.
Here is the bottom line for profiling in sit and go tournaments. He is right, and I am right too! Yes, there is a lot of value in profiling your opponents. I have shown this to be true while demonstrating the features of my profiling system while tracking opponents using Holdem Indicator. But the question of its relevancy is debated when the blinds escalate to the degree that a player's Mzone may have reached the red danger zone.
What that means is that no matter what type of profile you put this player on in the early stages of a sitngo tournament, by means of survival that player will be forced to converge into a battle of chicken, wits, and hole card strength.
Often times, against numerous "mousey" opponents there may be 5 or more players left battling for prize money and 3 of them may be red zoned. That means there will be many all-in contests of which some surprising show downs may occur.
You see, whether you are a mouse, a jackal, an elephant or a lion, your holdem indicator profiles will have all converged near the end of a tournament. A mouse will become more jackal-like. A lion may become more like an elephant, and a Jackal may be come more like a mouse. You can mix and match these anyway you like, but the point is, profiling is far less reliable in the later stages.
This dynamic is also the reason why those players that exhibit the most aggression often place in the money. That is what I mean when the game of 'chicken" in poker starts, because strength always goes to the preflop raiser. He could have anything, but one thing he surely has is a handle on the fact that if he doesn't do something the cards will not be there to save him.
Therein lies the wits about using position at this stage, while exploiting vulnerability. Making preflop raises are the way to go here - in fact minimum raising is best because the blinds are so high, that alone should do the trick. If you are reraised, then by all means fold or make a calculated decision based on risk, pot odds and hole card strength.