Re-Buy Tournaments

January 6, 2010 |

The re-buy tournament is an unique type of tournament that many poker players love to play. For one reason if you go busto then you can obviously re-buy for more chips, and still be in contention to win the tournament. In this article I want to discuss different strategies one can take when they are playing a re-buy tournament. Because there are many factors that can come into play while playing a re-buy tournament, and if you are willing to gamble then you may be able to build a big stack early. If not just yell RE-BUY! Yet there is no shame in still playing conservative with your chips, and trying to pick off the people that are obviously there to gamble. Let’s dive right in shall we.

The first thing that comes to mind is having enough money in your bankroll to cover the re-buy tournament. If you have $400 in your bankroll then it’s probably not the smartest idea to play a $100 buy-in re-buy tournament. This is because if you double re-buy at the start of the tournament (which in my eyes is the smart thing to do, more on that in a second), then your already down to $200. With only $200 left in your account you can only double re-buy once more leaving yourself no money to purchase the add-on at the end of the re-buy period. My advice would be to drop down on the buy-in, and play limits that fit your bankroll. Since I mentioned double re-buying at the beginning of the tournament let me harp on that for a second.

I think it’s great idea to automatically double re-buy when the tournament starts, and continually do this when you are forced to re-buy. Yes it is more money but I feel that you are missing out on value if you choose not to do so. Let’s say the starting stack is 1,500 chips. You decide not to double re-buy, and play with the initial 1,500. You then get mixed up in a hand with a player that holds 3,000 in chips, and you proceed to doubled up off him. You are now sitting with 4,500 chips. If you were to double re-buy (starting with 3,000 chips) then you be holding 6,000 in chips after doubling off the same player. By not re-buying at the beginning of the tournament you are forgoing 1,500 in chips. Which can mean a lot if you continue to double up, because you are losing more and more value every time you do in fact double up. Now let’s talk some more strategy when playing these wild and crazy tournaments.

You will notice upon playing certain re-buys that these tournaments can turn into crap shoots. Some players are there willing to gamble, they will shove any two cards that they see, and they don’t care how much money they go through. The strategy behind this is that they want to build a massive stack heading into the later stages of the tournament or post re-buy period. This isn’t a bad idea if you have a bankroll to back it up if you happen to lose the majority of the hands. If you were to build a ’massive’ stack it puts you in great shape for the remainder of the tournament, and you can really play effective poker. Once the re-buy period is over these players will usually calm down, and start playing normal poker. Usually, not always. Now on the flip side, tight players at the table can really take advantage of players like this.

Unless the player that is playing every hand is on a ridiculous hot streak, you have the ability of picking him off when you pick up quality hands. Re-buys can be like a regular tournament, and players can sit on their chips until the right situations come there way. It’s not a bad strategy to wait on your quality hands to make a move, because you can take advantage of the players I was just talking about. Wait until pairs, AQ+, or even semi weaker hands when you are going up against a player that plays every hand. In the end you have to find the strategy that works best for you and stick with it. Stay in your comfort zone when playing re-buys or any type of tournament for that matter. Good luck at the tables.

Craig Fleck

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