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  • Gareth James

Embracing and Lowering Your Variance


I received a question in the private Facebook group this week that asked about why our shortstack strategy should or might change as we get deeper into a tournament.

Let's take this hand as an example:


As you can see Hero is sitting on the Button with ATo and just over 16BB. We have a decision to make as to whether we think raise/calling or shoving is the best option. (To be honest, raise/folding can be OK versus opponents who never jam here without the nuts.)

In the early stages of a tournament I think this is a perfect spot to raise/call versus aggressive opponents. We want to give our opponents the chance to jam here with suited Aces and Broadway hands that they would otherwise fold if we shoved. We should be happy to embrace the variance in this spot since over the long-term we will win far more by raise/calling than just open shoving.

If, however, this is close to what I like to call, "The Business End" of the tournament, then a shove makes a lot more sense. At this stage we don't want to allow our opponents to jam over our raise, thus forcing us to call off. The variance of raise/calling is very high and is something we want to avoid.

I definitely recommend jamming when on the last few tables or even on the final table itself. While we miss out on more opportunities to double up, we also avoid busting a large chunk of the time and at this stage of the tournament we would like to bust less often if we can.

If you would like have questions like this answered, then sign up for The Classroom or for monthly coaching and you will have access to our private Facebook group.

Good luck out there!


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