Best method to attack a 1 advance (out of 7!) Tourney?

Discussion in 'Blackjack Tournament Strategy' started by BughouseMaster, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    Blackjack enthusiasts & fellow tournament players:

    First off I want to say that I hope each and every one of you are doing well and staying safe in these trying times amidst the whole COVID-19 mess currently going on!
    **WARNING** Lengthy post. Skip the 1st paragraph if you want to get to the meat of this topic.

    Let it be known that I'm a very competitive person in all the things that I'm relatively skilled at (chess, trumpet, bughouse, ping pong, piano, and now, Blackjack!). Probably about 8-10 years ago I learned about the blackjack tournament scene on the Gulf Coast, when Beau Rivage repeatedly sent me free junket flights from Houston including 3 night stays (from my Vegas play at MGM properties mostly in my years of going there every year for my annual National Open chess tournament since 2003!). For some reason, it wasn't until about 2010 or '11 that I finally took them up and started going. Boy did I get hooked! Blackjack is the only game I play at the casino (unless I get free slot play or free entries for slots/etc) and I started learning about the biweekly tourneys happening on Sun & Wed at Hard Rock with a total $1000 prize pool and enjoyed playing those and the Beau Rivage when they coincided. I even dabbled in the small weekly Vegas tourneys and cashed. Eventually I was able to get 2nd for $15K at the Beau using the opposite betting method and of course getting lucky on my all-in wagers with minimal oppositional chip counting. Having said this & being a professional chess & trumpet player that I am, I'm a much more skilled and knowledgeable player today than I was at that time, as I ordered Casino Tournament Strategy and read the book cover to cover but am still always wanting to improve my tournament play!

    Now, to cover the title of this thread. When I started getting back into the BJ scene by playing in the Hard Rock (now monthly event) in Oct 2019, I was able to advance in December's tournament by going all-in the first moment the button passed me pretty much every round in the quick 12-hand event. Then, as I learned from some of you experts here, it's better (and more strategic, I would agree!) to wait until the last time the button passes you to make the big move. This was especially true for me at the final table in Dec's tournament bec had I done what I normally did (all-in as soon as button passes me provided that most other players bets are small) than I would've had a quick exit!

    Then, I learned in addition to waiting until the last time the button passes you about the 1/3 -> all-in method which I implemented successfully in rd 1 of the $150k Harrah's tournament in the end of Feb, but that tournament took more than just 1 out of 7 so it wasn't as cut-throat as these monthly ones at HR! Let's face it, folks. The ONLY way you're gonna be that sole person advancing against 6 other opponents (aside from sheer luck) is by winning your large (all-in) bets & getting a lil bit luckier than the rest when it really counts! Yes, there will always be (very) lucky people getting to the final table by having a really lucky run to get there; but don't think you can convince me for one second that they'll have a very high chance making it there another time with zero to little strategy!

    I really like not only waiting until the last/best chance to make your move but also implementing Wong's 1/3 -> all-in progression in case your deficit can be covered by only betting 1/3 of your chips as opposed to all-in. However, in the last HR tourney this month, I was down 6000-8000 both times the button passed me on hand 10; so I was essentially forced to go all-in and unfortunately drew a face on 12 both times while sitting in the same chair (seat 3) against the same dealer on the same hand! What are the odds?

    At Hard Rock, this is what it takes to advance to the final table:

    Round 1 & rebuy round: Be chip leader out of 7 players.
    Quarterfinals: Top 5 out of 7 advance (easiest round to advance).
    Semifinals: Just like Rd 1, must be the chip leader as only the top person on each of the 6 tables advances!

    In an event with only 12 hands each round, I strongly feel that using a combination of the 1/3 -> all-in method when the button passes you yields the highest % chance that one can advance. If betting 1/3 of your chips makes you the leader, why risk the rest of your chips by going all-in since you'll still have another chance even if you were to lose? Would you agree with me? Why or why not? What do you think is the best method to advance in this top 1 out of 7 format?
  2. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    39 views and not a single reply.

  3. Monkeysystem

    Monkeysystem Top Member Staff Member

    You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar on this site.
    PitchMan, KenSmith and Dakota like this.
  4. Monkeysystem

    Monkeysystem Top Member Staff Member

    Anyway to get to your query,

    With only 12-hand rounds and one advancing from 7 you have to have more luck than skill to advance.

    At some point you will have to win a hand with a big bet out there. The one-third progression you are talking about works fine early in such a round. It has an approximately 70% probability of increasing your bankroll by one-third. If you do it early in the 12-hand round and succeed, you will have to be really diligent in protecting your lead. That means looking for tells, betting patterns etc. so you can defend most effectively against the players seated to your left.

    If you wait until later in the round, the ones who are ahead of you will be betting bigger and your one-third progression may not be enough.

    I like to use what I call a three-fifths progression. It's essentially the same thing as what Wong talks about when he suggests setting yourself up for a one-third progression. Betting one-fifth of your bankroll automatically accomplishes that. You have about a 60% probability of increasing your bankroll by 60%. If you lose the one-fifth bet, go all in. If you win the one-fifth bet, start a one-third progression. All of the ways it can succeed increase your bankroll by 60%.

    Another benefit of the one-fifth bet to start the progression is that it disguises your intentions for one hand by looking like a random aggressive bet.

    Progressions using rigid fractions only work in formats where you can go all in. Also, they work better when the opponents you are trying to catch are seated to your left. When they are seated to your right, you only need to bet enough to barely take the lead if everybody wins the hand.
    The_Professional and gronbog like this.
  5. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    That obviously goes without saying; however, I posted the initial message TWO WEEKS ago yet not a single fly was caught.... just how long do you expect me to wait for a reply?

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