Monday, January 31, 2011

Begone with the Double Guarantees

Well, Double Guarantee week has mercifully come and gone on full tilt, and I for one will be looking forward to getting back to the regular number of donkeys running in the nightly mtts instead of everything featuring hugely inflated fields with many players running up to four different entries at once in each tournament. I mean, don't get me wrong -- I loved the chance to play for hundreds of thousands of dollar prize pools any night of the week for not a crazy amount of buyin, and I took full advantage, playing tournaments like the nightly 75k -- 8pm ET with a $165 buyin -- that I do not usually participate in due to my bankroll restraints just to get a few shots at what was a 300k+ prize pool basically every night of the week.

But, given my analysis before the week began and the nice work of CK and some other bloggers who ran across the multi-entry mtt feature in their travels last week, I stuck to my guns and never bought in more than twice to any of the multi-entry double-guarantee events over the last week. In fact, I actually never multi-entried them at any time, as I only used the multi-entry feature (when I did use it at all) as a rebuy option instead, on two or three occasions buying back in to a tournament after an early elimination. As a result, I did not fall victim to what probably a great number of players in these events did, as their ROI plummeted due to the multiple buyins, turning their couple of min-cashes from net profits to net losses in the tournament as a result. This is one of the most insidiously deleterious effects pointed out about multi-entry tournaments in general, although I would argue that in the hands of the right player -- say, a Shaun Deeb for example -- having the ability to run four entries in a single mtt is over the long haul a profitable as opposed to a losing proposition. But for the vast majority of mtt participants on full tilt out there, multi entries will just equate to multiple buyins lost when you are not one of the lucky ones to make it to the final two or three tables out of the 2000+ and 3000+ person fields commonly out there all this past week on full tilt.

That said, by playing only one entry at a time in these vast-field multi-entry events, without a doubt I put myself at a huge disadvantage in terms of being able to make deep runs. Not only was much of the competition in these tournaments playing four times as many entries as I was, but even in comparing individual entries, you can "play them off of each other" when you have more than one simultaneous entry in much the same way you can play two adjacent blackjack hands off each other to derive an extra benefit on each merely from the fact that you are playing two hands against the same dealer and the same dealer's cards at the exact same time -- if one entry has already amassed a big stack, you can play faster and looser with the other(s), and vice versa. And my insistence on playing at this level of a disadvantage -- not wanting to hack away at any chance at a net profit by ponying up three or four buyins just to sit at a table in a 3000+ person mtt -- really showed in my results, and in general in the results of those people that I follow who play full tilt mtts with any regularity. Twoblackaces had a nice four-digit score in a $2 multi-entry Rush poker tournament early in the week, but other than that, I don't know anyone I pay any real attention to who exactly killed it this week, or really had any big cashes at all. Personally, I posted mediocre cashes in the 40k/80k twice over Double Guarantees week, once in the 75k/150k, and once in the 35k/70k, but none of them were deep enough to make it worth my while, or ultimately even to get all that exciting to be honest. Even though none of these were min-cashes and I managed to get through roughly a third or a half of the field of ITM players in each instance, in the end I was barely picking up a full buyin of net profit on the deal, making it nothing worth noting as far as actual tournament success goes. I was very, very close to making a nice run to a cash in the 150k two other times this week -- running QQ into AA and JJ into KK both near the cash bubble in this big tournament that featured around a 350k prize pool all week long -- and I also survived about 85% of the field in Sunday's 1.5M guaranteed multi-entry tournament, before slamming headfirst with AK into AA on a predictably Ace-high board in a heads-up pot. But that is exactly the kind of thing that makes surviving these massive donkeyfields to get into the final few tables so difficult in the first place. With that many people to outlast and outplay, it is just that much harder to avoid running into that inevitable pocket Aces, or to get donked by some poo-flinger, in particular by one of his poo-flinging entries that he is purposefully playing fast and loose with because he's already amassed a top-25 stack with one of his other entries in that same tournament.

I enjoyed Double Guarantees week on full tilt. But a week was more than enough exposure for me to Multiple Entry Land. I am confident that my ROI will be better with single-entries for most of these tournaments, and now I'm just left hoping the site doesn't read a mandate into the extreme popularity of their tournaments last week basically from start to finish, and start making some of my favorite nightly mtts multi-entry for good.

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