45 Man MTT Strategy

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45 Man MTT Strategy

Introduction to 45 Man MTTs

The trick to winning 45 man MTTs is to be tight aggressive and gain chips quicker than other tournaments.  Only the top 7 players make money, which means you need to ensure you build enough chips to get to the final table. 

The benefit to 45 man MTTs is that you only have to play with 44 opponents.  The tournaments are faster, contains less variance, and are usually full of more donks than your average 180 man or mid-sakes freezeout.

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Early Stage 45 Man SNG Strategy

As with all tournaments, keep it tight, playing just your best hands (AK, AQ).  I like to sit on my bad hands at the very beginning of these tournaments.  With blinds of 30/15 there isn’t any motivation for me to enter pots worth 45 chips.

Because these games are fought aggressively, you can’t expect to bluff everyone like you’re Tom Dwan.  Alot of bad players are too aggressive in 45 man MTTs, and this means you can’t turn super-agro and expect to win.  Slow and steady is my tip for this game. You will need to force yourself into pots depending on your stack size later in the tourney, but don’t fall into the trap of shoving all-in without the right cards too early.

A rule of thumb is to make the most of your position and play accordingly. Play your strong hands in early position, and open up your starting range slightly (suited connectors) in later position or on tighter tables. 

Remeber you can’t play too many speculative hands in 45 man MTTs, and if you get down to less than a 10BB chip stack you’ll need to be shoving or folding pre-flop.

In conclusion, you want to play a tight solid game during the early stages.  It’s nice to gain chips early, however it’s better to wait it out for the blinds to increase, before risking your stack for a relatively small pot.

Middle Stage 45 Man MTT Strategy

The blinds are about 50/100, and at this point around 30 players are remaining.  There will be alot of small stack players who havn’t double up, so people will be going out quickly until the final table/bubble.

Your middle stage 45 man strategy should be entirely based on stack sizes, position and blinds sizes.  The blinds enforce the pot size and by now you should be blind stealing.  This works well from late position, however if you have a healthy chipstack stealing from mid-position can be even more effective.

You might notice a tightening of play right before the final table. In that case, you can intensify your blind stealing efforts. You are going to need all the help you can get to win this tournament so keep attacking those blinds. Look for the tightest players at the table and steal from them as often as you can.

Overall you should be grabbing and stealing as many chips as you can get away with.  In my opinion you need at least 6k in chips for the final table to have a good shot of winning (blinds 600/300).  Targeting small stacks is important to do this: these players are desperate and most of the time will be shoving with any rag ace.

Late Stage 45 Man MTT Strategy

You should feel very proud of making the final table, however alot of the most important work is yet to be done.  There is pressure to dominate the final table and earn your 1st place payday.

This is probably the most difficult part of the tournament, because everyone will be going all out.  Blinds are very high relative to stacks, so the table will be constantly re-stealing and stealing pots.  You need to play super tight at this stage, and don’t both limping with any of your premium hands.  You should shove KK or AA preflop; if you don’t get called, unlucky.

The only other solid advice I can proffer is to look for good spots to push your money and perfect your reading on players.  In reality your opponents and their stacksizes are more important than your cards. 

In conclusion, get involved with the tightest opponents or those with the smallest stacks.  These will be the easiest to get chips from. 

My last advice is aim for 1st place.  This might sound strange – most people might think what else would they be doing in a tournament?  My point is you’ve got to continue playing aggressively and making risks to double your stack and oust opponents  – even given the post-bubble rapacity of final players.  There’s far greater reward in 1st place then settling for 6th in 45 man MTTs (trust me).   Heads up strategy is really important too.  For earning ROI’s in 45 man MTTs the heads up phase will play a massive part in the long term. Read our articles on that for extra help.

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