Ran Deep in the "poor man's" $10k last night on B. nearly 1300 runners. I had quite a stack early, but called off twice against players with 12-13 BB with 88 (ran into KK) and AJ (ran into AK). I was conflicted by my coaches insistence that I make more of these calls and the "feel" of where I was in what I call the "middle aged man" stage of the MTT where the 10-20BB stacks play too tight. I made both these calls and lost, then as a short stack won Ax vs. a big pair and AK vs. QQ to build back up from 7 BB to 36 BB. In the end, I caught a BB making a "stack size" decision to shove on me, thinking I couldn't call (I raised from the cutoff). Live I would have folded. Here, instead of folding I tanked for a while and decided that unless I really see something I need to call here with AJs. He shows 8c6c and immediately flops 2 pair. GG me. BUT, that is a GREAT WAY to go out 98th. Sure it was disappointing, but only as measured by the result. The play was correct.
There is much to digest in retrospect, but I recall watching those old WSOPs from the 20th century :) and they would always note the giant stacks spewing because they "could not change gears". I now realize what BS that was. It's not about changing "gears". It's about having a feel for the "leg" of the MTT at that moment at that table with that villain and knowing if its appropriate to call off light. What I have LEARNED is that the default should be YES, which can be modified to NO if you have a healthy stack and you get the feeling his range is narrow. This is the opposite of my previous thinking, where the default answer was NO unless I was 80% sure I was ahead. Big difference.
And how does the difference manifest itself? Less min-cashes. Ok, last night WAS a min cash. But I played to WIN.