This article is long due, it should have been the first article to publish, but there were some topics I really wanted to write about first. Let me introduce today the most important factors you should consider when making a decision in a turbo tournament. We will focus on situation < 15BB to make the assumption its a push or fold.
I personally consider the stack size the most important factor in every decision. It is very important that you look at a relative stack size in comparison to the blinds. It is so important I dedicated an entire article to this topic: Turbo Tournament Strategy – BB vs M – It is all about stack size in big blinds.
The next important factor is your position. I usually make a distinction between BB, SB, BU, CO, HJ, MP, Early and have different ranges for all of those. I don’t worry as much about whether I am UTG1 or UTG2. The ranges should be fairly close in those spots that you might as well group those together.
Your hand is the third important factor. Wait what? My hand is only number 3? Yes, in turbo tournaments your hand is a lot less important than in almost any other form of poker. Turbo tournaments are a game of stack size and position – not so much about your hand!
The last important factor is payouts. There are many situations in turbos that basically never happen in normal tournaments and really tight folds are a must. Payouts also make mathematical analysis harder, because you have to attribute the payout nature with a mathematical model. The most commonly used way to model is the Independent Chip Model (ICM).
Stack size, position, your cards and payout are the most important factors in a turbo tournament.