Hints, Tips, and Strategies for Re-Entry Tournaments

Re-entry tournaments are hugely popular, especially in the modern online poker era so it's worthwhile brushing up in your strategy.

There was a time when rebuy tournaments were all the rage. This time shifted to re-entry tournaments, which are similar but with a couple of key differences. Re-entry tournaments make up the bulk of online poker MTTs, so it is worthwhile brushing up on your strategy for these games.

Re-entry tournaments allow players to buy back into the same tournament they busted from. Some events allow buying back into the same Day 1 or flight while others make you wait until the next available starting day. Most online poker tournaments are done and dusted in a single day. This means re-entry is only available while late registration is open.

Anyone re-entering a tournament is treated like a new player. They receive a fresh starting stack and are assigned a fresh seat. On the other hand, rebuys keep you in the same seat with the same opponents.

How Many Times Can You Re-Enter in a Re-Entry?

The number of times you can re-enter dictates your approach to this format. Players with an edge over their opponents, the better players, should be prepared to re-enter as many times as possible. Daniel Negreanu is a fan of this format and often buys back in as much as the structure allows.

These tournaments required larger bankrolls than standard freezeouts. Always plan to make at least one re-entry and budget accordingly.

Re-Entry Tournaments Are Tougher in the Latter Stages

Be prepared for a much tougher run-in once late registration closes. This is because the better players, who naturally have larger bankrolls, re-enter if they bust. In addition, the solid players often have larger stacks because they play loose while they can buy back in. Compounding the problem is the fact amateur players usually fire a single bullet then head home when felted.

It can be disheartening to see a talented player bust only to face them later in the tournament because they bought back in. However, it is the nature of the beast and part and parcel of this format.

Play Looser But Do Not Go Crazy

Some players approach these games like they are possessed. They splash around in pots and rack up entries like they are going out of fashion. It does not make you cool if you fire half a dozen bullets in the same tournament. Try not going wild just because you have another entry behind you.

However, you should play slightly looser if you can afford to re-enter. This is especially true during the early stages where you can take higher variance lines. Play draws fast and consider taking coinflips. The re-entry period is a great time to build your stack for those tough latter stages. Play your big hands very aggressively hoping for a double against looser opponents. It is a good idea to limit your bluffs because they are more likely going to get called. All these things combine to make bad beats more likely. Can you handle them?

It is worth tightening up as late registration nears closing, especially if you have a healthy stack. Others desperate to improve their position begin playing extremely loose. Conversely, consider going bananas yourself if you have a short stack less than the starting stack. You will either double up, which is great, or bust and re-enter with a fresh stack. Either situation is a win-win.

They Are Still Poker Tournaments

It is easy to get carried away thinking re-entry tournaments are something special but they are poker tournaments at their core. They play like a traditional freezeout once the re-entry period ends, so treat them as such. Indeed, look out for players failing to adjust to the freezeout section and take full advantage of them.

Lastly, practice playing with deeper stacks if possible because these tournaments have more chips in play. This leads to deeper stacks at the business end of event. Mistakes are more severe when you make them with a deep stack.

Brad Johnson

You name the game, and you can bet your bottom dollar that Brad has either played it or placed a wager on it! Brad calls himself a natural gambler, and someone who gains as much enjoyment from writing about the crazy game of poker as he does playing it.


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