Learn How To Play Poker, Useful Casino Articles, Online Casino Tips

Listing top quality poker articles for you to learn tips and tricks for playing online; including handy Online Casino Articles, Roulette Tips and Blackjack Articles
Chip Accumulation vs. Chip Preservation?

Traditional poker theory describes two tournament-playing philosophies: chip accumulation and chip preservation. To reach a coveted final table and eventually win a tournament, you need to accumulate chips. However, you can’t win a tournament if you don’t survive, and it’s sometimes best to preserve chips in search of a better opportunity. Both these ideas are important, but I firmly believe that the chip preservationists overestimate the impact that their perceived skill edges have – especially late in tournaments when the average stack size is on the order of 10-15 big blinds.

Learning From The Best

If you’re getting 1:1 on your chips, you should be willing risk your tournament life any time your chances of winning are greater than about 60%. And if you’re getting more than 1:1 on your chips, then your chances of winning can be lower. I get this 60% from modeling tournaments as a series of double-ups, using typical payout structures, and looking at the effective winning percentage of the best online tournament players, whose ROIs tend to be on the order of 100-200%.

In practice, top tournament players won’t risk their tournament lives unless they have bigger edges early in tournaments (when blinds are small and fields are weak) and smaller edges later in tournaments (when blinds are high and the riff-raff has been weeded out).

Watch the best tournament players both live and online, and you’ll see that they aren’t afraid of mixing it up and taking risks. From my own experience, I can say that I use to focus almost exclusively on chip preservation. Since adopting a less fearful stance, my results in multitable tournaments have been much stronger poker hand.

Accumulation and Preservation Don’t Have to be Opposites

Focusing on chip accumulation means that you shouldn’t be scared of putting your tournament life on the line. Today’s tournament poker’s top players show no fear, but you’ll notice that they don’t seem to face elimination very often.

This happens because of pot-size control. Sometimes, poker’s best tournament players elect to call in situations where aggressive play would be the norm in order to keep pots small in questionable situations.

The world’s best tournament players embrace the fact the hold’em is a game that happens across four betting rounds; they aren’t afraid of having to make tough decisions, and they don’t make large, questionable overbets all-in simply to avoid having to make decisions. Instead of going all-in, they make raises that leave them with some chips.

Have no qualms about juicing up poker pots in which you have a big edge. But when you’re in marginal situations, adopt measured lines of play, and you’ll find that you can accumulate chips without constantly risking your tournament life.

Article by Tony Guerrera

Click To Play Poker For Money

Return To Articles
eXTReMe Tracker