In part one I finished by saying that I don't think you should risk a 20% chance of being knocked out to get 2000 chips early. Of course that's debatable, and different styles mean different risks for you to take. But I really feel that the best poker players in the world know that it's foolish to take risks early. Now I will agree, if you're a player like Greg Raymer, and you're bullying everyone and playing big pots and pushing, and trying to get it all in with every coinflip that you have the slightest edge, then yes, go right ahead; but I believe that the style is less successful in the long run. Don't get me wrong, he went on a remarkable run at the main event winning the first and going VERY deep the following year with 6000 entries... But as you'll notice, he took one bad beat and got crippled, and got all his money in with Kings and busted. That's NOT badluck... He won all sorts of races before, and had all his money on the line or close to it quite a few times to get the dominating chip stack. His expected chance of busting out on at least ONE of those hands was pretty high.
Now take a guy like Phil Helmuth or Phil Ivey, or Scotty Nguyen... I'd put Michael Mizarachi and Gus Hansen in that category as well, but they sometimes take hands too far and take bigger risks and play bigger pots most of the time. These guys might not win every year, but they are consistently dominant. I'd also like to put Mike Matusow in that category as he's adapted his game and plays great small ball poker, but there are points when he does take big risks too. He wins big and often, but he also goes all in to attack weakness, he at times pushes all in when a small bet would be just as effective. He's trying to get paid off for his big hands, and he gets his money in when he hits two pair against aces. He plays small ball, but he also shoves it all in when he know he'll get called and sometimes he's a 80% favorite.
So ok, you know that small ball is a great strategy, you know that power holdem is the way to go, but that still doesn't explain why you wouldn't want to double up when you're an 80% favorite. I didn't say that you wouldn't want to do that, I said you don't NEED to do that early, and I'm going to give you the argument of why I don't think you should.
First of all, look at Scotty Nguyen... Finished 11th at the 2007 WSOP main event... outlasting like 8000+ people. Scotty has said before that he NEVER likes to go all in whether he's calling or moving all in. I did see Scotty Nguyen all in, but he had the nuts. I saw him play a big pot, but he had a big hand. It wouldn't suprize me if Scotty Nguyen made it as far as he did without being all in more than 4 times and in a field of 8000 that's amazing.
Second of all is the earlier the all in the MORE you are risking. I showed you in the last post why you're really only expected to get 2000 chips more, but you're risking being out 20% of the time. But the reason you are risking MORE early, is because ALL the pots you COULD be taking in RISK free if you fold the hand, you don't get to 20% of the time... So if you want the REAL expected value of folding vs calling all in, you have to say okay so if I fold I can probably pick up 10000 chips through the course of the tournament virtually risk free. I live to see another hand, I move on, I steal blinds, I end up picking up the nuts and getting all my money in, etc... Well if you fold, you'll see that situation 100% of the time because you'll live to see another hand... your equity(expected value) is 10,000 chips risk free, plus your equity from the risks you do take. If you call on the other hand, your equity is only 80% of that because 20% of the time you wont get the chance to accumulate all these chips. 80% of 10,000 is 8000... So NOW we find out that you gave yourself 0 edge by calling this all in... NONE... we've already established the fact that you only have one player with more chips, so you don't gain anything there at all. So you're really taking risk to get knocked out when in the long run, you haven't gained ANYTHING...
Alright, I have a feeling yall need some more convincing. That's why I'm here... Well you might say well if you're going to risk it all which you probably will have to do eventually, if you do it now it keeps doubling... Ok well lets say you do get up against people with more chips than you and they're aggressive, and you make the moves on the bubble and in the money to double up a few times so that extra 2000 becomes 4000 which becomes 8000 which at the final table becomes 16000. So now the arguement is, okay, well your expected value IS the same, but the 80% when you DO win the hand, you'll have more chips and more chips and it'll compound. Guess what... that 16000 is STILL NOTHING compared to the blinds. By the time you get to the final table a double up will mean SOOOOOOooooo much more in chip position anyways. Okay, so you have 16000 extra... By the final table, you'll have say 160,000 in chips, blinds will be 5000, 10000. Whoopdeedoo if you took a 20% risk of being knocked out it only equates to less than 2 big blinds?! You have 176,000 instead of 160,000
And because you didn't take any risk that would knock you out earlier, lets say you pick up aces. NOW you can take the 80% chance to double up... It means SOOOOO much more in chip position, and will allow you to steal so many mor blinds... So 160,000 double up brings you to 320,000. OK, now you'll say, yeah but if you took the double up early and you take this you'll have 352,000... You forgot one thing... Your chance of being knocked out is 20% greater if you do that.... Where as if you want to compare apples to apples and why it's so much better to pass up the all ins early, you have to realize that in order for your chances of survival to be exactly equal, you have to give the person who didn't double up early an extra 80% chance... I know, you won't pick up aces if you fold anymore than you would, but I'm saying you either have 2000 more chips early extra by taking an extra 20% chance of ellimination early, or you have 144,000 even considering all the "compound interest" with exactly EQUAL amount of a chance of ellimination... And here's the thing... By the time you finally take that extra chance to equal things out, You'll have already been DEEP into the money! So with equal chances you have 144,000 more by doubling up later... with unequal chances (taking the double up late as well) you have 32,000 more (about 3 BB extra) at MAX, and you get no money an extra 20% of the time, compared to you getting money everytime, and a 20% increase in survival.
You may say "well because of that move you might have a guy covered next time and can afford to take another risk without getting knocked out later" And "you might be able to wait longer for a hand"... That's BS! 2000 more will mean 4X the big blind later, and even if a guy has 10000 and you would have 9000 at that time had you not doubled up, now you only have him covered by 11000 and your 2000 chips means nothing because 99% of the time if you lose you'll be knocked out within the next 10 hands max anyways. Well your chance of surival is 20% greater by folding... that's huge. Now when does chip positioning matter the most? At the END of a tournament. You see, early everyone could double up and double up again, a double up doesn't even mean that big of a move in chip position, and certainly doesn't guarentee you win any more blinds or any more money overall... On the other hand, a double up in the final table usually means you either knocked someone out or close to it, and the chip positioning allows you to bully people and take extra blinds, increasing your position, as other people don't mess with you because they'd rather fold their way up a spot or two in the money first. That double up can allow you to forgo moving all in long enough for people to knock each other out, you move two spots up in cash and buy time to pick up a hand that gives you the win. Where an extra 4X the big blinds really means nothing in the middle of the tournament, it means EVERYTHING now. folding 40 hands extra could mean the difference between making hundreds and making thousands... okay so it gets 5 handed so it's 20 hands extra to see... well most structures the top 3-5 is when the money skyrockets. Which is exactly why ALL the risk you ever take should be as late in the tournament as you can.