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Is it more +EV to play early and deepstacked in MTTs or as a shortstack in late stages?

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Is it more +EV to play early and deepstacked in MTTs or as a shortstack in late stages?

Basically, which one do you think is more +EV? Max late regging into MTTs has some obvious benefits. But I always thought that playing a tournament from the very beginning would give you a higher ROI. I've been questioning that hypothesis the last few weeks. When we're towards the end of late reg in an MTT, a big part of the field has already busted. A 50bb stack at this stage is obviously worth more than a 50bb stack in the initial stages. If you late reg at 20bb and get a double now that's a 40bb stack. The incentive to play from the very beginning is obviously to give ourselves a better chance to build a massive stack so that we improves our chances of reaching the FT with a big stack. But I feel like there's a possibility that late stage shortstack play is nearly as profitable, maybe more. (Also, when I say late stage I'm obviously talking about the stages when we have the last 20% or so of late reg left, and rebuy stack is somewhere between 10-20bb.)

My initial hypothesis is something I still feel confident in, but I feel like I'm also receptive to the idea that shortstack late stage play might yield a higher winrate/ROI, that it contributes more to our ROI. Since everything tournament related when it comes to macro level stuff is very much art rather than science, I wonder what the answer is. Or maybe I'm just completely off base and there are things that make the answer very clear that I'm completely ignorant of.

What do you guys think?

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