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Auto-Rebuying in Cash Games
The Auto-Rebuy option is available in the PokerStars client under: Settings > Buy-In/Rebuy > Auto Rebuy (Cash Games). For some new players, this option might seem like bad idea. The fear is that it is easier to lose track of how much money you are losing in a session. With proper bankroll management, however, automatically topping up to 100 big blinds is a great idea, especially if you are careful to avoid playing stakes where you are likely to be a big loser in the first place. Let's explore why this setting should be enabled for the serious aspiring player.

Staying Deep with Weaker Players

The deeper the effective stack (the largest stack out of yours and your opponent's) the more scope there is for mistakes and gaining a big edge. If you play a shallow stacked version of the game, such as Spin N Gos, you will have a smaller edge over a terrible player than at a cash game with 100 big blinds in play. Let's imagine that the player to our right is very loose and splashy and has been lucky enough to run up his stack to 250BB. While it is not possible to top up to match this guy's stack, we can make sure that we always have 100BB or more by enabling the Auto Rebuy (Cash Games) option in the lobby and telling it to reload to 100 big blinds. This maximises our edge and takes full advantage of our favourable position on this weak opponent. If we are fortunate enough to double up our 100BB stack against someone else, we shall be nicely poised to play deep pots against the mark at the table, increasing our EV further. Had we let our stack dwindle to 60BB, a double up would be less effective and we would have to avoid more marginal pre-flop spots since our potential pay-out would be less. This bring us to our next point.

We Get to Play More Hands

Not only is playing with a deeper stack more profitable in a game where we have an edge, it is also more fun and allows us to enter more pots with some more speculative hands. This is true because of the concept of implied odds. Implied odds are the measure of how favourable the ratio is between our investment to see the flop (or the next card post-flop) and the average estimated pay out if he hit our hand. For example, if we are 100BB deep and a tight player with spewy post-flop tendencies opens from UTG to 3BB, and we are sat in the CO with 33; we will have a very profitable set-mining call. If, however, we had let our stack fall to 50BB or so, folding would be mandatory. It's always more fun to be able to get involved in pots than have to wait around. The deeper you are, the more pots you can enter due to implied odds being more favourable.

It's Better for Our Development

Playing with deeper stacks also allows us to experience more of the complex situations that poker throws our way. Being able to 3-Bet preflop and then have room to fire three barrels allows us to spot favourable situations in which we might choose to make a triple barrel bluff. If we never have the stack depth to triple barrel in a 3-Bet pot, then we do not get to practice this skill. Many of the really fascinating teaching points in poker occur post-flop with some money left behind. Frequently playing with a short stack causes us to miss out on many of these opportunities to learn and enjoy the game.

It Simplifies the Game in a Nice Way

Sometimes having 74BB and at other times, 86BB, complicates things unnecessarily. It forces us to learn how to handle awkward stack-sizes and SPRs (stack to pot ratios). There is enough to learn when starting out in this game without having to also worry about how to size your 3-Bet differently to disallow your opponent a profitable 4-Bet/Fold because you have 64BB instead of the standard 100BB. Make life easy for yourself and teach your brain to work in 100BB stacks whenever possible. Of course, there will be times when other players have not reloaded and present you with an awkward effective stack-size to negotiate, but we do not have to add to these times by neglecting to auto reload ourselves.

Deeper Stacks Allow More Room to Manoeuvre

At 100BB stack depth, there are options like check raising the turn and shoving the river. Opponents have to think twice about overplaying top pair and the like. We all fall in love with the glamour of poker. Our first experiences of the game are often gazing in awe at a televised pot where one guy owns the other with a huge river check-raise bluff. Playing at 100BB stack depth, in cash games, is a good way to ensure that you have the room to execute such romantic plays, should the correct occasion arrive. It is hard to find spots to brag about if you're only options are to shove or fold the flop because you started with 35BBs.

Summary

  • Deep stacks increase our edge on weaker opponents.
  • Deep stacks allow us to enter more pots profitably, increasing our enjoyment of the game.
  • Deeps stacks allow us to experience a richer array of spots, accelerating our understanding of the game.
  • Maintaining a stack of at least 100BB stacks avoids having to make awkward sizing and range adjustments pre-flop.
Deeper stacks give you more room to execute more complicated and impressive plays.
All of this is achievable simply by enabling the auto top up option so if you're a player who avoids this setting, it might well be time to rethink matters.
 
Do you use the auto-rebuy function? Comment  below.

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