Today we are going to look at what happens when you actually make it into the money. Let’s start by reviewing the 1000 player field payouts.
|Place||% payout||Total Buy-ins||Place||% payout||Total Buy-ins|
Once you have actually made the money and are guaranteed that min-cash of 1.9 buy-ins, it takes a long time to gain another 1.9 buy-ins. You have to survive from 117th to 45th before you double your prize. (granted that 54th is close to double…) So right after you cash, the value of surviving crashes. You have to make it 18 spots to get more money and then you only add .16 buy-ins. The value of playing to survive here is very low.
All the payouts before the 16th-18th places are grouped in blocks of 9 or more. This has the effect of creating some mini-prize bubbles. But those pay jumps are very small. The first is only .16 buy-ins, then .18, .25, .31, .39, .50… In the grand scheme, while this is real money, you should rarely alter your strategy to try and ensure that small bump. The cost in terms of running deep quickly outpaces the gain. The rare exception would be if you are very short and it looks like someone else is about to go broke.
The first place you should start to consider the value of surviving again would be as you approach 18th place. Here, the payouts start to change every three spots. And then you are quickly approaching the final table situation we discussed in the second article in this series.
When you make the money in a poker tournament, your focus should now be on playing deep into the tournament. With this particular payout schedule, just over 50% of the money goes to the top 5 spots. If you aren’t getting to the top of the payouts at a decent rate, then you are going to have a hard time making money in poker tournaments.
To wrap up our overall view on surviving versus accumulating:
When the tournament starts, everyone should be playing to accumulate chips. This shouldn’t change for anyone when 50% or more of the field is left.
After you pass the 50% of the field point, you can start to think about surviving a little bit if you have 30 blinds or less. And when you get within the last 15-20% of the players, the short stacks should start to think about surviving, the medium stacks, maintaining, and the large stacks, accumulating.
Once you pass the bubble, all players should look to accumulate and increase their chances to run deep in the tournament.
When you reach the point where payouts are no longer by the table, usually with 2 tables left, the value of surviving magnifies for all. It continues to grow right up until there are two players left. Then you just play for the win!
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