How to Win Small Buy-in, Large Field Poker Tournaments
While cash games will always be a primary focal point for poker, multi-table tournaments are now a much favored format both for live and online poker players. In particular, players love the low buy-in, big field events that afford opportunities to win huge returns on relatively small investments.
You'll never win 100 or 500 or even 1,000 times your buy-in during a cash game session (unless the session lasts for a long time). But it's often at least a possibility in large field MTTs to enjoy a huge windfall-like ROI, which makes them all the more attractive to many.
888Poker ambassador Dominik Nitsche has enjoyed a lot of success in small buy-in, large field events over the years. Two of his three of his World Series of Poker bracelets have come in such tournaments — one in 2012 when he overcame a 4,620-entry field in a $1K no-limit hold'em event to win $654,797, and another in 2014 when he topped a 2,043-entry field for a $335,659 prize, also in a $1K NLH event.
At this summer's WSOP, our Sarah Herring spoke with Nitsche specifically about strategic considerations for low buy-in, big field events, and he shared a few worthwhile insights for how to approach them.
One benefit of such tournaments is the relative softness of the fields, especially early on. But as Nitsche notes, the structures tend to go a little more quickly in these tournaments, which means it's good to get there on time and to be ready to play right away.
"That doesn't mean taking risks early on, it's just means that I try to play hands" and get involved from the start, because "there will be people who give their chips away," Nitsche explains.
He goes on to point out how, in many cases, there will be more opportunities during the early levels to pick up chips easily against loose and/or inexperienced opponents than will be the case later as both the better and tighter players emerge and chips can become harder to come by as a result.
Nitsche also adds some concrete advice about how you should think about the payouts in such events, emphasizing making the money first, then trying not to concern yourself too much with payout differences until the final table where the most significant money is to be made. Take a look: