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Poker's top online players answer your burning questions. Brought to you by PokerStars.com
In your opinion, what’s the maximum amount of rebuys you should do in a micro-rebuy tourney – for example, $3.00 + rebuys?
- Wendy, in Ukraine
Seven times. Next…
Okay, as is always the case in poker, the answers to this question vary widely. The best answer is simply what you feel comfortable with. However, you asked for my opinion, so that’s what you're going to get.
There are many “rebuy professionals” that feel the more money they put on the table, the better off they’re going to be when the rebuy period ends. They will shove in any two cards and either they will run very good and amass a large number of chips, or they won't run so hot and spread the wealth all over the table. The idea is that if they do lose the chips, they will easily get them back from their weak opponents after the rebuy period ends.
This idea is flawed in that there is absolutely no guarantee that they will get those chips back. They or their opponents may move tables and those chips that they’ve so generously given away can be kissed goodbye. They will also cost themselves a substantial ROI (Rate of Interest) percentage, which is everything in multi-table tournaments. And even if they do manage to accumulate a ton of chips after the rebuy period ends, there is still a long way to go before those chips are actually worth what they spent on them. The value of a big stack is worth so much more in the later stages of a tournament, closer to the bubble, where you have bullying leverage.
I will personally spend whatever it takes to get me past the rebuy period. I usually play a maniacally tight/aggressive game where I shove my monsters and fold most other hands. However, if the pot is offering me a good price, I will also play drawing hands. Many players, especially in the lower limits that you’re asking about, won't even notice that you basically sat out for the first 20 minutes, and then open shoved with AA. You will usually get plenty of action, no worries.
Sometimes, however rarely, you will play a rebuy period where the other players at the table are playing a rather straightforward game where there is no open shoving with K6o. Just play your straightforward game as well, as you probably won't get the action you want when you do shove.
In conclusion, a good rule of thumb to go by is to not rebuy more than first place pays.
I'm sure I'm not the only one who will agree with this analysis: Whatever two cards a short stack is holding seem to come up in a winning combination on the board way more than they should, when the short stack goes or is forced all-in. If things are not happening naturally, shall we say, in this scenario, how do I know other aspects of the game are not being controlled?
- John, in Colorado
Well, my take on this is that if the site is controlling those cards and allowing the short stack to survive, they’re only costing themselves business! You would think the general idea would be to get the players out of that tournament so that they can go and play in another. If they are intentionally keeping the short stacks surviving, they might want to rethink that business plan.
However, this is a very common and understandable fear in online poker, that the site is controlling the cards to somehow benefit themselves. In this case, it wouldn't make any sense logically, but in some cases… it just might. I get a substantial number of these questions, and I will be addressing more of these concerns in future articles in some detail.
I’ve been playing for a few years (6) making a modest living playing low stakes poker. I have tried to move up and can't seem to relax, even though my bankroll is plenty big enough to handle it. My bankroll is over $5k and that is almost my net worth. Averaging 250-500 a week does fine for a college student. My question is what kind of bankroll vs. personal worth, and how do I treat this money. For example, should I keep it marked for poker or allocate amounts for tourneys, sit ‘n goes, and cash? Should I keep moving up as my bankroll grows or continue to grow it at smaller stakes even though the % increase is shrinking?
-Jonathan, in Seattle
My first piece of advice: Take advantage of that cheap living while you can! More and more college kids are getting into poker these days and if you're disciplined enough and play well, it is the best time to do it. You usually don’t have the cost of living hanging over your head, so it is much easier to build that roll.
Now, I don't know if you are trying to build this bankroll to live off, to build your net worth, or to just have some extra money lying around to throw a kegger. But if you are essentially living off of the money, set enough aside to keep comfortable and your bills paid for a couple of months. And keep an amount in your bankroll that will keep you playing a solid, fearless game.
Playing within your bankroll should be your top priority. It all depends on your comfort level, but a good rule of thumb I go by is 30-40 buy-ins for sit ‘n goes, 25-30 buy-ins for cash games, and about 50 buy-ins for tourneys. Move up and down in limits accordingly.
There are a thousand different opinions on this, but I recommend dropping down in limits if you reach the plateau for that lower limit. For example, you are playing $11 sit ‘n goes and run your roll up to $800, so you move up to $22s. I will move down limits if I drop all the way back down to $400, or 30-40 buy-ins at the next level lower. This gives you the time to get acclimated to the new, higher level and even weather a few bad beats.
Lastly, it is important that you pay yourself for your play. A system that has worked well for me over the years is to pay myself 5-10% of my current bankroll per week. No matter what kind of week you've had, reward yourself for your play. This keeps the game fulfilling, your bankroll a-building, and the kegs a-chilling!
On that corny note, pass me the tap. Let’s play some beer pong! Thanks for reading, folks. Cheers.
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