Originally Posted by Arjonius
You're thinking within a theoretical universe where other factors aren't worthy of consideration. But how often does this actually happen?
How far should you go to avoid the chance of losing your tournament life? If it's not worth taking a 50/50 flip, then what's the magic number where it is worth it? 67/33? 75/25? 90/10? And how do you figure out what that number is?
Or how about if you're the one with the larger stack? Is it worth taking a flip for half your stack? 1/4? 1/3? Otoh, how much better than 50/50 do you have to be to make it worth risking 3/4 of your stack? 2/3? 9/10?
Your thinking is sub-optimal, and you're defending it by using selected scenarios in which it works out. But how does that it works out some of the time justify playing the same way the rest of the time too?
In any of these situations, remember that the more you need to be favored, the less likely such a situation is to come along. Plus, since you're avoiding +EV situations you don't consider good enough, you have to expect that even if a good enough situation arises, you're more likely to have a smaller stack than either more or the same.
For me, personally, the answer to the question "how far should I go to avoid this" is "as far as it takes", when the tournament is within its first 5-6 blind levels or so. That is way
too early, I feel, in online micro stakes tournaments with 100-200+ participants, to willfully engage in an all or nothing risk. As to your other points, first, I don't see where in this post you expand what these "other factors" I should be considering other than the factor I've outlined before--if I lose, there is 0 chance for a comeback--are. Second, not a single word I've said about avoiding all-in calls applies whatsoever if my stack is the bigger one. If my stack is bigger, but not by much, I'll definitely at least consider a call if I either I have good cards or the player in question is reckless. If my stack is significantly
bigger than the all-in, say if a super short stack makes a shove, I'll often call with marginal hands to get the chance to have one less person in the tournament.
You've accused me of using "selected scenarios" to make my point, but the fact is the point I'm making is in fact a conclusion exclusive to such scenarios as I've outlined. If these conditions are met:
1) I have a smaller stack than the all in shover
2) It is early on in the tournament
3) I believe that if I call, I am ahead
Then, I will fold. If any
of these three variables change, I will change my outlook. Say, for example, it's later in the tournament, I'm getting somewhat close to the money bubble, and someone shoves with a bigger stack and I believe I'm ahead. Then
, I would likely call--because getting at any chips you possibly can and not passing up +EV opportunities is far more paramount than in the early stages, because you set yourself up far more reliably to get not just in the money, but deep in the money that way.
I'm not a total noob, here. Consciously, I realize that every move one makes in poker is situation dependent upon a dozen or more variables. I just have trouble following my own advice when the chips are down.
Better to double up from 10,000 chips than from your starting stack of 1,500, I say.