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Theory: Variance vs. Style

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Theory: Variance vs. Style

We all can agree that in an MTT in which we have a large skill edge, we'd like to reduce variance as much as possible (without sacrificing too much EV).

It seems to me, the general consensus is that players who 3bet and 4bet very frequently, who barrel off more often, and who make more call-downs have higher variance than those who are super TAG. Obviously, results seem to show that LAGs do very well in tourneys, which I suppose people could explain in one of a few ways:

1) There are more LAGs nowadays

2) People who succeed as LAGs are better players, because it takes more skill to be a LAG

3) LAGs do have much more variance, but they have so much more EV that it's worth the trade-off

I'd like to enter another explanation and see what you guys think of it (or perhaps people already think this… I'm not in touch with the MTT strategic community):

Good LAGs experience significantly LESS variance than the standard/strong TAGs.

Strong TAGs get most of their edge by playing better hands than their opponents. However, these edges come into play in large pots. After all, if you have to wait around to catch a hand (folding your antes and blinds), you need to win some medium-large pots when you actually do have a hand (yes I realize TAGs can/do bluff too… I'm simplifying). Given that TAGs fold most hands, then play medium-large pots with a big edge, their results are very dependent on winning these big pots. So, even if I'm a TAG and I get KK in v ATs, or top set in vs. a flush draw, I'm out of the tourney 1/3 of the time in just that one pot. If I run KK into AA, or an overpair into bottom set, I'm out. This part is true of LAGs as well, but….

Yes, LAGs do play large pots, but most importantly, they play a ton of small-medium pots (with an edge). When a LAG makes a +EV blind steal, +EV 3bet, 4bet, or flop c/r, he's playing a small pot with an edge. Yes, he finds himself in more large pots, but the fact that he has so many opportunities throughout a tournament to realize small edges makes him not nearly as dependent as his TAG counterpart on winning the big flips, 60/40s, or cooler situations. By entering many small pots with an edge, he's essentially decreasing his average bet size and making more bets (bets meaning, like, +EV gambling bets, not actual flop/turn bets).

Anyways, I think you get the point. Do people agree/disagree? Is there any way to model this to provide evidence to support or refute it?

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