Poker tournaments which follow the re-buy and add-on format tend to attract a lot of players on the basis of generous guarantees offered by the online poker rooms hosting the games. At the start of a game you may well find some of these tournaments very much undersubscribed, but due to late registrations and “second chance” re-buys, the games frequently fill up and offer higher value prizes to the players finishing in the bubble.
The number of places getting paid (the bubble) in any tournament with late registration can change from the time the tournament starts until no further registrations are being accepted, however what is unique about re-buy and add-on tournaments is that the size of the prize fund continues to grow until the first break when players still involved in the game can make a final add-on to their chip stack. This means that although the bubble does not get any bigger in size – e.g. there are no additional places paid out – the value of the winnings that each “cashing” player receives is worth more.
This makes being successful in a re-buy and add-on tournament more rewarding than in a regular “freeze-out” and worthwhile getting involved in if you are a solid multi table tournament poker player. However there are several factors you should take into consideration before you go registering for the next re-buy and add-on tournament scheduled on your favourite poker web site:-
The play during the first few hands is very loose. Some players will risk their tournament life on a coin flip decision when they know that they can re-buy back into the tournament and not be at too great a disadvantage. Many other players will deliberately allow their first blinds to lose on the basis that they can re-buy more chips immediately and give themselves a chip advantage. Both these plays mean that the player has paid double the buy-in in their opening hands with the latter strategy being the most advantageous.
Nearly all players who are still in with a chance of finishing within the bubble will pay for an add-on during the first break, so if you have paid your original buy-in, made at least one re-buy and paid for an add-on, you are looking to spend three times the advertised price of the tournament buy-in if you want to have the best chance of picking up a prize – a cost you should consider before entering into an R&A tournament and the level of which should be influenced by the amount you have in your bankroll. (For example – if you intend spending 3x the buy-in during a tournament and have $200.00 in your account, you should be playing in $3.00 R&A tournaments, rather than $10.00 tournaments).
Re-buy and add-on tournaments are very different from the standard freeze-out poker tournaments new poker players will be used to, and the change in the flow of play from loose at the beginning to tight once the add-on period is completed takes a little getting used to. The advantage of playing in these types of tournaments is that should you bust out early, you have not lost as much money as you may have if you were to compete in higher value tournaments and yet with the majority of players adopting a 3x buy-in strategy, the prize funds are almost as much as they would be in a freeze-out tournament of three times the value.