The two rebuys I regularly play are the 30 dollars rebuy on Paradise at 6:00 PST and the 10 dollar rebuy on Stars at 7:15 PST.

My strategy changes, but varies widely with the table make up. Sometimes you sit down on almost every hand someone is all in. With in 15 minutes there are huge stacks at the table. Other times there is fairly normal betting,raising and folding with pots well below the size of your chip stack.

If the play is wild, the only thing u can do is join the party with your best hands. I will probably launch all in with AK, AQ, and pairs medium and up and calling with other hands as I can just to see the flop. This type of table play is ideal for rebuy tourneys as you are going to need a big stack and doubling or tripling through people is the only way to do it.

If the play is fairly normal, at the beginning, not much to say that has not been said. Be patient, however, a lot of times people will really loosen up after about half an hour and a couple beats. Then the gloves come off and it is time to gamble up. Just get your chips in on your best hands and let lady luck guide the way.

A rough rule of thumb for rebuys is you need to be prepared to pay at least 5X your initial buy in as an entry fee. So if it is a 10 dollar buy in, you need to be comfortable with spending 50 to get past the rebuy period. If that is too much money, you are playing at the wrong tourney. Scared money becomes other peoples money, almost always.

I know a lot of people hate R/A tourneys. Those same people complain about pocket aces. And those same people are losing poker players.

The rebuy/addon tourney is simply another wrinkle, that requires an adjustment to your strategy. It actually favors the best players even more as they can adjust their play from one phase to the next without anxiety. Many players can not adjust their play. They play loose/tight/passive/aggressive and stay that way until their chips are gone.

To sum up, my thoughts on the Rebuy/Addon’s are to play modestly tight/extremely aggressive in the first hour and pre-plan to pay at least 5X’s your initial entry fee.


This situation plays out throughout all tourneys many times. You are in the blind and your hand warrants a call into raiser who are raised you say 3x the BB. Now the flop comes and he comes charging at you again with that same size bet. This is the repping bet that ripptyde talks about. Ace high board, check to the raiser, the raiser reps the ace with a strong bet.

Three choices here fold, call, re-raise.

In order, I would fold if my hand is legitimately weak and the pot is of little value to me relative to my chip stack. Even if you have the read he is bluffing, it is not always correct to re-raise. If the value of the pot is minor, it is best to often times let it go for a better opportunity. Your reads are not always correct (right?) and it simply is not worth the risk to re-raise 9X the big blind just because you think he is bluffing. We can all remember the times when we finally thought we could get a piece of the action player and came away missing a limb.

Calling, although seemingly the weak play, can be correct. If you have flopped the joint or have a big over pair to the board, a call may be warranted. It may be the only way to get an aggressive player to pay you off as many strong players will smell a trap with the first re-raise and lay it down, although they will aggressively hang themselves into a crying caller. Done that many times myself.

Remember, there is no such thing as a bluff-call. Calling with crap is a weak play made by losing players. Find a better use for your chips.

Lastly, the re-raise, by far the most fun. A re-raise here is ideal anytime you think you have the best hand and the pot is large enough to take the risk. The re-raise here gives you an ally, that is your opponents fear. His greed drove him to raise the pot before the flop and on the flop, and now you are taking him to new emotional territory, fear. Suddenly, he is no longer driving this ship, you have just effectively told him, ” screw you and the horse you rode in on.” You also doubled your ways to win, he can fold or you can win at showdown.

This a special situation to re-raise which you may not have considered. Your chip stack is relatively low, but still strong enough for a powerful re-raise. The flop and your hand are such that you know you are going to the river with this one win or lose. Example, you have AJs and you catch 2 suited cards on the flop that is 9 high or you have QJ and the flop is 893 rainbow. If you are going to the river anyway, shove them all in on a re-raise. A portion of the time, the raiser will fold and you will take the pot right there with no further risk. This also goes back to the count to 10 then begin rule, I will often reflexively call in these situations then see the showdown on the river when I have missed and wonder why I didn’t at least try to push out that pair of 5’s or something similarly weak.

This post has only addressed a heads up situation. In a multiplayer pot, it is correct to call far more often.


When you watch the tourneys on TV, you always see the big hands colliding. AK vs. QQ and this big dramatic showdown. They slow down the dealing to a crawl so the audience can analyze the odds step by step. The announcers have plenty of time to talk about previous hands and the biographies of the players. They even take the time to put definitions up on the screen for crying out loud. All show business.

Most of the poker is not played in these hands as we well know. Most poker is small pots, a lot of folding, a minor exciting re-raise here and there. A when it is all said and done the majority of pots are won by one pair or less in my estimation.

Now you know, this TV type play is having an amazing effect on the action in the MTT’s. Lots of players are dumping money into their accounts and hoping to be the next Greg Raymer or Chris Moneymaker. Unfortunately, for them, they don’t know how to play boring poker. They just know how to call, raise and play way too many hands. Heck, Chris Moneymaker practically took out Sammy Farhah on a bluff to win it all, that must be how its done. Big bluffs and a cool pair of sunglasses. Allin to win, got to get a big stack in the first 15 minutes so I can survive all the way to the final table. Right?

Great poker is largely boring. You fold and fold and fold and fold. I personally see 22% of flops including small and big blinds. And in the midst of this morass of crappy cards, what is bound to happen, KK startles you, there it is, you have been waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for something to play. No one is letting you steal anything, the field is pushing and shoving every pot and the chips have been passed around in tidal waves, just not towards you. You are in one of those games where you think to yourself, I have no idea what ripptyde is talking about, because these guys all have suicide pact and there is no way I am going to get away with 4-7 move.

Now back on point, these hands like KK will make or break your tourney. You have got to win here, you’ve got the best of it right now and they are dying to give you chips. Do you push? How about a slow play? Maybe a mid level raise?

Here is my recommended strategy for this situation.

1. Take your bloody time. Take your hands away from the mouse. Take a sip of water or whatever.

2. Push if there is a likely chance of getting at least one call. This depends on the action, the size of your stack, and the size of the blinds. You have to win this hand so no fear, no regrets, no anxiety. You are putting all your chips in on your best hand, there is no greater poker play. You did you Absolute best on this night to win the tourney. No one can ask for more.

3. A mid level raise is suggested if shoving all your chips in is likely to scare out the field, but a mid level raise is likely to get you action. The goal here is to get as many preflop chips in the pot as possible. If you have been living on steady diet of 3X BB raises and the field knows it, this a great, sneaky way of getting inferior hands into the pot. The old he’s always bluffing raise if that is your table rep. This raise is best in late position.

4. Smooth call if in your estimation the level of aggression at the table is such that you are likely to be raised by the time the action gets to the BB. If at all possible, let other people bet this hand for you. If you want to catch fish, don’t beat on the water with a paddle, throw that line in there with as little splash as possible. You want people pot and/or emotionally committed when you drop the all in bomb, and allowing them to be the raiser will permit them to make strange calls.

Do not be afraid of these situations, when you do well in tourneys it will be because you doubled here on KK, and then an hour later on AA and so on. When your big hands win, you win, when they lose, you enter another tourney, no problem, you played well, played your best hand, they got got lucky. So what, one tourney doesn’t define anybody.


In Summary

Point 1: Tight is right in the first hour of a MTT.
Point 2: Shut your pie hole unless you are eating pie.
Point 3: Play where you belong.
Point 4: Stop telling bad beat stories.
Point 5: Specialize
Point 6 Be a Big Picture Person.
Point 7: Have Some Guts With the Nuts.
Point 8: Two Special Situations to Tighten Up.
Point 9: Thou Shalt Not Steal From the Wounded.
Point 10: Give Yourself 2 Ways to Win Every Hand You Play.
Point 11: Count to 10 Then Begin.
Point 12: Consider the Blinds.
Point 13: Consider the Implications of an All-in Bet.
Point 14: Analysis of the Weak Lead.
Point 15: Thoughts on the Rebuy/Addon Tournaments
Point 16: Analysis of the Strong Lead
Point 17: Let the Biggest Hands Bring Home the Bacon.

Next chapter:

Find all the chapters by soupie here.


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Win MTT Poker 05 - Rebuys, Strong Leads
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