Head Hunting

My latest poker strategy article, Head Hunting, is now appearing in 2+2 Magazine. It’s anĀ attempt to, not solve, but build some intuition around how to value bounties in knock-out tournaments.

The trickiest problem of all is that you can only collect bounties if you have more chips than your opponents, which means that there must be some disjuncture in chip value. To understand this, consider that everyone else has 7,500 chips and you have 7,499. How much would you pay to be able to add a single chip to your stack? I don’t know to put an exact number on that, but considering that that chip would give you a shot at collecting $500 bounties, it must be a good deal more than $0.1133. Losing a single chip, however, would cost you less than that, because that chip would be nowhere near your last.

Let’s consider another hypothetical. At 50/100, you are in the big blind. You and the player on your right both have exactly the 7,500 starting stack. The action folds to the small blind, who moves all in without looking at his cards. Assuming that you are of exactly average skill in this tournament, what should your calling range be?

Please give it a look and let me know what you think!

2 thoughts on “Head Hunting

  1. The difficulty in valuing bounties is magnified by the stages of the tournament. Having one less chip than the rest of the table early in a tournament has less value as there is less chance that you will be able to stack someone. However, having one less chip than the rest of the table when everyone is less than 20BB and the “bingo” phase of most one-day tourneys begins is enormous.

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