Tournament variance advice

BenLeewoodBenLeewood Red Chipper Posts: 285 ✭✭
This is not a bad beat bad beat stories.

Tournament variance has really been getting ahold of me lately. I'm a studied player with very good instincts at this particular tournament. Of the 9 times I've played this tournament, I've cashed twice (both final table chops) and busted 7 times.

It's a $55 rebuy tournament at oceans 11 in CA. First place is typically $900-700. Top 10 typically pays.

I keep track of key hands I play in tournaments (especially the final hand when I bust).

I've busted out of the last 6 tournaments in a bad way. Every time I've had all the money in, with a dominating hand, where my opponent only has 2-3 outs. And boom!!!! In the I'm dominated!!!!!!

Just take my word for it. I played these hands well. Every one of them happened mid to late in the tournament. Usually with a gasp from the entire table with the flop/turn out draws I was suffering. All 6 were All ins with 15-20 BBs. So no short stack situation where I just needed to go all in with any Ace.

So I've been 80%+ all 6 of the last times I've been all in. And lost every hand. I'm talking over pairs, AK vs Ax, ect. These have NOT been beats where a flush or straight got there. All hands are big all in hands, where I was a huge favorite, just needing to dodge 2-3 outs with 2-7 cards to come.

I lay my head on the pillow just fine at night. Cause I know I got it in at the right time, just got unlucky. But 6 times in a row? It's a bit discouraging. I'm left with a terrible feeling where the deck is against me. Which I know is simply not true. I'm no stranger to poker. I know of the dreaded variance that can creep up on you. But I've never had it so bad, so many times in a row.

Should I consider playing higher stakes? Keep plugging away at the $55 tourney?

I'm not losing confidence on the tables.....but I'm starting to wonder if all my concentration is worth my time at this level. Do I need to seek higher stakes?


  • AustinAustin Red Chipper Posts: 5,483 ✭✭✭✭✭
    #1 Play within your bankroll
    #2 If money can easily be replaced and feel you have an edge then doesn't hurt to take a shot especially if you lose and still sleep well at night

    #3 There was a recent decision about SNGs where the hand they lost was to a 2-3 outer and variance was biting them hard. Even though that one hand was played well and got money in as 70-80% favorite the leak came before the hand even started.

    Are you finding yourself playing too tight until you are in push fold and then taking the bad beat? Some people run well when they first start and have no idea what variance really is, but I think that is not you since your a studied player.

    Another person advised only playing tourney if he was up playing the cash game, so he could freeroll the tourney so to speak.
  • kageykagey Red Chipper, KINGOFTAGS Posts: 2,241 ✭✭✭✭✭
    there's a reason they call tournaments... "donkaments."

    First: An ROI of 2 out of 9 is actually quite impressive.
    If Phil Hellmuth revealed how many tournies he's entered to win all his bracelets, I'm sure he'd be showing a 3-5% return.

    Second: a $55 rebuy is not a true test of poker skills. 15 min blind levels means that if you never played a hand to a raise and kept most of your initial 7k stack, you need to go all in within 2 hours and you must win the all in.

    If it were me, I'd save my money for the "deepstack" tournies on the 1st Sat of the month or the ones with $10k-$100k prize pools and longer run times.

    I tease a friend of mine who plays in all the crappy weekly tournies at our casino as being a waste of time. But he likes the comradery of the games. And the idea that it's over quickly without investing too much time.

    So you should ask yourself if you're playing for money, for practice or for the fun.
    If it's for profit - I'd recommend playing in the tournies that require the most skill.
    If not... carry on.

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