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The Importance of Inflection Points in a Tournament (Dan Harrington in ‘Poker Wizards’)

The Importance of Inflection Points in a Tournament by Dan Harrington

(Extract from the book ‘Poker Wizards’)

There are key times in a tournament where a significant change is often occurring in the size of your chip stack in relation to the size of the blinds. At these points, accepting a 50-50 chance or better is often the right way to go because it can earn you enough chips to do extra things in the tournament. Having a shortage of chips takes away a lot of your options and reduces your playing strength. If you’re a superior player, you’re capable of taking that type of chance at the appropriate time.

Most people don’t understand that point. They think that survival in the tournament is the only way to go—but it’s not!

You have another consideration, too. You have to end up in the first three spots in the tournament to make big money, and must do something unusual to achieve that. Most players hurt their chances of winning by not taking a chance when they should.

There are four separate zones based on the relative number of chips you have remaining. There is the Green Zone where you have 20 times the big blind or more. That’s where you’re safe and can execute a lot of different plays because you have a lot of chips. The Yellow Zone is when you get down to between ten and twenty times the big blind. Some of your opportunities become limited and you start to feel a little uneasy.

At ten times the big blind or lower, you are in the Orange Zone. That’s where your options become severely limited. You have to look for opportunities where you think you’re a favorite and can double up your chips. You definitely have to go for it. When you get down to five times the big blind or less, you are in the Red Zone and your situation has become really critical. You’re just looking for any opportunity where you’ve got anything going at all. Even if you’re an underdog, but there’s a chance that you could have the best hand, you have to go for it right then and there.

When you have three units or less, you are in what I call the Dead Zone. That’s where you’re just floating, waiting for someone to pick you off. I advocate that you don’t ever get to that zone.

Warwick Dunnett:

Remember….Most people think that survival in the tournament is the only way to go—but it’s not. Sometimes you have to accept a higher level of risk if you want to make it to the top few spots.

This is Warwick Dunnett with your Poker Tip of the Week.

Posted in Dan Harrington 1 month, 1 week ago at 8:32 pm.

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