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What should I compare my stack size to?

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  • What should I compare my stack size to?

    I was playing in a $125 buy-in tournament starting with 10,000 in chips. The tournament started with 30, ten player tables. Alternates and re-buys could be seated as other players busted out. One re-buy was allowed up until the end of the first break, so the total number of entries was about 350 when level 5 began.

    Soon after level 6 started, I was moved to a new table. I glanced up at the tournament clock which showed the average chip stack. I looked down at my stack and felt good that my stack was 2 1/2 times the average. But then when I looked around at the other stacks at my new table, I saw that I had the second shortest stack! Almost every other player could put me out of the tournament in one hand.

    What strategy should I have employed? Should I have played tight and waited to be moved to yet another table? Does the average stack size for the tournament have any value either in this situation or any other situation?

  • #2
    You should play according to the effective stacks. If the effective stacks are 30 bbs, then you should play in a way that reflects a 30 bbs stack. Then as you get reads on your opponents adjust to them to exploit them.

    But sitting around and nitting it up hoping to get moved will blind you out more often than not.

    Q score (ratio of your stack to tournament average) was mentioned by Harrington in his series, but unlike M, no one ever bothered with worrying about their Q score. That would indicate to me that it is a non-factor to most pros and therefore, should be a non-factor to me.


    • #3
      You should not worry about the "average" stack as it is almost completely irrelevant. You should instead focus on the effective stack size and play accordingly.


      • #4
        I don't think much at all about overall average chipstack. Like you, I'm much more interested in the average stack at the table I'm playing, and my relationship to that amount. That's much more relevant. Like jj says, effective stack is far more important regardless of whatever the overall average is.