This is my thoughts about rebuying. Rebuy tournaments are the nuts. You can get a much higher ROI in rebuys compared to regular tournaments in theory, even counting your rebuys/addons. That being said, I think that a lot of good players have a poor strategy when it comes to rebuying/adding on. But, since I’m a nice guy I’ll let you know what’s up since you’re reading my blog.

The first factor is that adding on changes the value of chips significantly, so that in most structures of rebuy tournaments, rebuying is almost certainly -EV (unless you bust). For example in a $11+R tourney on Stars, the 2000 chips for a rebuy are worth only $8.89. You can actually make a decent ROI by avoiding rebuys and getting the add-on, even with a completely flat distribution of finishes.

I’m sure a lot of people will say that they have a higher edge deeper stacked; however, I can guarantee you from millions of cash hands that your winrate doesn’t vary THAT much based on effective stack size. Say you have a 2 bb/100 higher edge deeper; then over the 60 hands of the rebuy stage you’ll gain a whole whopping big blind extra.

The second factor is bubble factors. Some people say play chip EV at the start of tourneys; however, this is ignorant because 15% of the field gets paid, not one player. Kill Everyone does a great job modelling bubble factors based on stage of the tourney; and towards the start of a tournament the bubble factor is 1.1, meaning that gaining 1.1 chips is equivalent in EV to losing 1 chip. Therefore, not only are you leaking ICM equity by rebuying, you’re not benefitting as much from the equity other players are leaking to you.  As you can see, in this 9 man SnG, the player who opts not to rebuy gains a 5% boost to their equity relative to the prize pool.
The ICM implications at the start of a 9 man SnG are similar to the start of a MTT.

The ICM implications at the start of a 9 man SnG are about twice as great compared to the start of a MTT.

There is one way rebuying does benefit you: inflating your results on Sharkscope. I was watching videos of a guy on a training website and I looked up his results with rebuys included and he had like a 40% ROI; when I removed rebuys, it looked more like 10-15%.

Rebuy structures

3000 rebuy
3000 addon
474 entries 382 rebuys 342 addons
Value of rebuy/addon= $10

Pro move – Don’t rebuy or add-on, and gain value from those that do.

$11+R on Stars
2000 rebuy
3000 addon
143 entries, 180 rebuys, 107 addons
Chips = 967000
Value per rebuy = 4300/967000 * 2000 = $8.89
Value of addon = 4300/967000 * 3000 = $13.34
Value of $11 buyin + $10 addon = $22.23

Pro move – Buyin at the start and take the add-on.

$11 -turbo rebuy on Stars
2000 rebuy
5000 addon
1424 entries, 3275 rebuys, 936 addons=5635
Chips = 14,078,000
Value of rebuy = $8
Value of addon = $20

Value of $11 buyin + $10 addon = $28

Pro move – buyin right before the addon period starts, and save yourself the money you would lose rebuying if you bust.  You start with a 33% ROI right off the bat before even taking skill level into account.

Thanks for reading!