Just last week we discussed the concept of fold equity, or the additional value that you get from a hand when an opponent might fold to your raise. If you’re not totally clear on fold equity, we definitely recommend that you review this thoroughly.
Getting to the point at hand, fold equity is especially important in poker tournaments as the blinds increase. After all, most players’ tournament life hangs in the balance at this stage, and they’re not going to call raises with ATC. Of course, the reverse happens too where deepstacks can be overly-conservative, which leads to a lot of folding. Keeping this in mind, let’s discuss a couple types of tournaments where you gain extra fold equity.
In general, there will be a ton of scenarios where you get fold equity in turbo tournaments. The blinds are increasing rapidly in turbos, which leads to a lot of short-stacked play among everybody. And the better you understand fold equity in these events, the better long-term results you’re going to have.
For instance, if you’re in a super turbo where everybody starts off with 20bb, it won’t take many blind levels before the average stack is a short stack. At this point, having an 8bb stack isn’t that bad because of the fold equity you get by raising in various situations. Assuming you were on the button preflop in an unraised pot, and the blinds had stacks of 6bb and 9bb, you could no doubt get some fold equity here.
People often say that you should play fairly conservatively in deepstacked poker tournaments – especially in the early stages. However, there are plenty of situations where you can gain some fold equity in the early going when others are playing conservatively.
For example, if everybody’s starting with 200bb in a deepstacked tournament, and you’ve got some really tight players to your left, you can get a lot of fold equity from the cut-off and button. Just be careful not to bet out too much when stealing in these deepstacked situations before the risk could be much greater than the reward.
You can get good fold equity in any type of poker tournament, but you should especially be mindful of this concept in deepstacked and turbo events.