Friday, February 01, 2008

When to Gamble in MTT Tournaments - Adam Stemple

Gambling is a part of poker. Sure, you try to avoid it as much as possible--push out hands that are drawing to beat you and win without a showdown, get your money in with as big an advantage aspossible, fold when you're sure you're behind. But in tournaments, there are times when you are going to be forced to gamble. You'll need to slowplay those aces occasionally, move all-in when you know you're behind, maybe call a raise preflop with a hand you normally wouldn't. The key is to know the right time to do it. Pot odds (which is a big umbrella that includes actual odds, implied odds, and reverse implied odds) are the major factor in all poker decisions. But in tournaments, another factor comes into play strongly: the tournament situation. The tournament situation is comprised of a lot of factors, but the main ones I consider when deciding whether to gamble or not are:

1. How far I am from the money or the next jump in payout
2. My stack size in relation to my opponent
3. My stack size in relation to the blinds/antes (My "M" in the parlance of Harrington on Holdem. If you have not read his books you need to if you want to play in tournaments.)


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