Help me settle a debate -- taking a risk

LeChiffreLeChiffre NetherlandsRed Chipper Posts: 540 ✭✭✭
edited March 6 in Tournament Poker Hands
Hero is in a live MTT with bad players against whom hero has an edge.
He has 35bb which is around average.
No payjumps in the near future.

Hero finds himself in a situation where he can make a call for his tournament life which in chip EV is only 1BB.

Go for it or not?

I find myself in a group discussion where a friend of mine and myself argue in favor of going for it, the rest seems to disagree.

Main argument from my side:
Doubling up has huge value, not only in terms of the chips we will be having but also, and more importantly, in terms of future EV as we can apply pressure etc.

Main argument from the other side:
No need to take a risk for such a marginal EV when we can outplay our opponents instead. Better spots will pop up.


How do I convince them taking risks like these is what makes you win tournaments (or am I wrong)?


  • Brews_and_CardsBrews_and_Cards Red Chipper Posts: 101 ✭✭
    You mentioned no payjumps, but are we already ITM?

    If ITM, I would certainly go for the riskier play. In my, albeit limited MTT experience (1 live and 75-100 online MTTs), you can go card dead for an hour and find yourself short stacked, edge be damned. So flipping for a double-up with a decent holding is more appealing to me. I've never made a deep run or won a tournament without winning 2-3 big flips, or sucking out in at least one big hand.

    If we're still outside the money, I'm more hesitant. I'm going to let the bad players continue making mistakes for me to capitalize on. I can apply plenty of pressure with the looming bubble against bad players who are more likely to have the goal of just min-cashing.
  • blindraiseblindraise Red Chipper Posts: 228 ✭✭
    Whats the payout structure, what's the blind structure, whats your goal? Are all questions I think need to be answered before answering this.

    I'm personally in the mind state of 1st or nothing due to the MTT structure my casino offers; I'm looking for every single +EV situation and trying to get as many chips in as possible. I'm not worried about tournament life due to the high variance that relates to tournaments, but thats probably why I dont play many tournaments.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,612 -
    At some level it's just a math question. And there are very few ITM spots where a close chipEV call is correct. I completely agree with the philosophy that, in large-field MTTs in particular, you're shooting for top 3, but the risks you take should invariably be as the aggressor.
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  • Keith BrandtKeith Brandt Red Chipper Posts: 19 ✭✭
    In any casino game, including poker tournaments, you always try to maximize EV. A decision that would yield the best results over a theoretical billion tournaments run in a computer simulation is the best decision right now. A decision that yields +1 bb is the best decision, as long as there isn't a decision that would yield even more. Sure, there's variance to consider that doesn't factor in with a billion simulations. But if you can't stand the variance, you need to move down in stakes.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 2,612 -
    I don't think that's completely true. Whenever you take a +EV decision, one of the outcome trees is that you bust and no longer have an opportunity to make +EV decisions. This is why cash games and tournaments are different. In the specific case offered by the OP I think ICM usually makes the point moot anyway.
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