Bingo Nightmare

I’ve been running kinda bad for the last two days, apart from two very solid performances in the Emerald MTT games Thursday where I took #2 and #1 in consecutive tournaments.

Otherwise, I’ve just been having a typical game where I’ll go up early, winning a big hand, then bleed the chips back to the table, or get destroyed in a hand where I made a mistake, then try to mount a recovery which doesn’t quite get there, and go out. I’m working on avoiding the “one big disaster hand” and the “bleeding continuously” problems, but am pretty exhausted from playing so much lately that the answer likely is to take another extended break from the tables. Which fortunately is happening regardless because I have a vacation coming up and won’t be able to play anyway.

But last night I had insomnia, and in the early hours of the morning I decided I’d try dropping down to low stakes and see how I did there. I signed up for the tournament that happened to be open at the time, and it was a rebuy tournament. It was the 6:15 AM Bankroll Builder B&R, 500 chips to buy in.

I’m seated at my table, and every single hand there’s at least 1 all-in, but more often 4-5 even 6 players all in, every single hand. And it’s preflop shoving, no strategy or subtlety to it at all. They’d lose all their chips, then immediately rebuy, again and again, apparently endless rebuy is a thing? Who knew? It must have stopped allowing rebuy at some point, but i didn’t stick around long enough to see when that was.

It started out just one player doing it, but soon everyone at the table was doing it, like an 8-way russian roulette game, everyone committing suicide only to ressurrect themselves at the end of the hand.

The table even notified me that we’d wait 20 seconds after each hand to allow players to re-buy. So, literally, there was no penalty for busting. In fact, busting just penalized the rest of the table, who’d then have to wait up to 20 seconds while you clicked the rebuy button. And of course this happened EVERY. SINGLE. HAND. With a 500 chip buy-in it was more like we were all playing unlimited bankroll at a table with a 500 chip ante, Texas Hold’em Junior style play where everyone gets to see the river and find out who made the best hand without having to worry about things like decision making, skill, or the mental game. It was purely put your coin in the slot, and pull the lever, and watch your money disappear…

Some players did end up with ginormous stacks as a result of winning a multi-way all-in situation, and once they had 5+ buy-ins worth of chips, they were basically invincible, able to call the whole table all-in hand after hand, with only 20% of their stack at risk to win a collective pot of 3-6 all-ins worth of chips, so actually reasonable pot odds for them to have +EV playing this way, but it was almost entirely random who ended up with these stacks. I don’t know what cards they’d fold, but it was like their range went all the way down to 6-2 offsuit.

It was tremendously stupid.

I couldn’t play the table. I just folded continually until I was down to about 50% my starting chips, not once did I see a pocket pair or any two cards that I’d care to play with in this manner, knowing that if you were in a hand at all, you were going to be all-in no matter what, and almost certainly before seeing a flop.

Eventually, I was put in the BB, with a hand like K9s, and by this time the blinds were up pretty high, and half my stack was gone, so I decided to just end it, and shoved. Didn’t win, of course, and didn’t care to rebuy.

This was the true bingo h-e-l-l. I hope to never find myself at such a table again where I put chips in that I couldn’t immediately walk away from an get them back once I’d realized what a horrid mistake I’d made.

Sounds normal for that tournament. The rebuy option doesn’t stay open long (only until the first break, 24 minutes in), but everyone is trying to get a good stack, so they are in a good position after the break. It is also a bounty tournament, so people are trying to collect some of those along the way. If you don’t want to deal with the bingo, join late. Late registration lasts 15 minutes, so joining late can keep you from rebuying too often and you don’t have to deal with the bingo very long. People play actual poker after the break.


I didn’t care for Bankroll Builder the 1st time I played it because it looked like a bingofest but learned the strategy to win here in the forum and now enjoy it on occasion.
As bahia mentioned the rebuy period doesn’t last too long and after that it becomes a normal MTT.
The idea is to accumulate as big of a stack as possible before the rebuy period is up (incl buying at every opportunity) and then playing normal poker.
You might notice too, the rebuys are pretty cheap.


Sorry for the late reply, @puggywug, but I thought I should add the obligatory 500 B&R strategy link to this thread as well. You may have found this info already, but adding it here can’t hurt (it may help some future readers as well).