4

In a turbo deep tournament I recently played, a lot of players kept joining during the "late registration" period. My question is why?

I can see two bad things with this: first of all, you miss the very early stages where blinds are low and people are being a little bit crazy. I think this is a stage you'd want to be in, because if you don't get good cards, you can just fold and only lose some small blinds, but if you do get aces or something, and can get it all in with 1 or 2 others, you're in a pretty good position to double or triple up... and if it doesn't work out, you have time to rebuy.

Secondly, if you come in late, there are going to be a lot more big stacks around you, which makes it more likely that you'll get pushed around by them.

So, why do people come in late?

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If you late register, all pots you play will be much more significant, compared to pots you play in the earlier stages of the game. Players can opt to late register, because playing the earlier stages is simply not worth their time. Their hourly rate is higher when they late register.

Another reason is, some players like to gamble. They prefer short-stacked poker and don't really care if it is sub optimal. Or they just randomly registered for some tournaments, where some of them happen to be in their later stages.

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I think Raymond's answer is great, concise and covers most of the points. I want to add two extra points as an answer.

Some people are turbo specialists, and their edge in these situations can be significant over several of the players in the tournament. Often people, regardless of if it is a mistake or not, tighten up as the tournament reaches the end of the buy-in or rebuy period as they look to protect what they built during the early stages of the game. A player who is comfortable with aggression during this stage, even if they late buy-in, can amass chips very quickly during this stage. If they can get these chips quickly they can often go very deep in these type of tournaments and for a minimum time investment. I.E. they will gain chips quickly and can make a good run, or bust quickly and can move onto the next game.

Another point is that casual players don't tend to care about the clock or the stage of the tournament, they just want to play.

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