When playing live tournament’ s like Goliath the first thing you should try to assess is your table and the capabilities of the players. Will they look to exploit you, or will they invariably play their cards and wait for premium holdings? As a general rule, opening top 15% of hands from Utg, utg1, utg2 seems a good starting point and from here you can adjust depending on a few factors.
Are EP opens getting called in a lot of spots?
If so you may wish to adjust by either opening to a bigger size at the same 15% frequency or lower it to a really tight range of say 7% utg 9-10% utg 1,2.
How well do my opponents play postflop?
If the answer is badly then I suggest opening your EP % up quite a bit. The worse the opposition is the more pots you should be playing. They will make more mistakes than you, especially postflop and you want to be there when they do.
Short stacked (sub 25bb)
I would only really open wide in ep off this stack vs a very weak passive table with little 3bet or squeeze action occurring and generally have a very tight ep open range whereby if we are 3bet we can often proceed by 4bet jamming our stack.
Big stack 50bb+
Depending on the table of course, I would advocate opening up quite a lot if there aren’t a lot of short stacks or 15-20bb stacks that can rejam on you. If players notice you opening very wide with a high frequency, they will be more inclined to jam on you.
Around a money bubble I would open up considerably if the right circumstances were in front of me. Ideally tight, weaker players who were waiting for premiums and a lack of big stacks that could call in position.
We have to be ready to make adjustments all the time in poker. Spotting table dynamics and adjusting your ranges to them is what separates good and bad players. Let’s say you have been opening a lot from early position. Let’s look to see who might try and exploit you by throwing in a 3bet and work out how you will proceed. If you, yourself are not very confident in your ability postflop then i would advocate a tight early position opening range. It’s very important to know your own image at the table. Do they view you as a wizard, fish, station, clown, too aggro in EP etc. Keen an eye out for good players that will try to exploit you and come up with a counter-strategy.
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