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Chip Leader

Tournament Chipleader Poker Definition

by Jesse Knight
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Chip-leader
Chip Leader - The person with the most chips. Often used as a watermark for tournament players comparing stack size.


Ultimately, a tournament is won by the player who wins all of the chips. The player with the most chips at any given point in time is known as the “chip leader.” This title will often change hands many times over the course of the tournament, and it has more significance in the later rounds than it does at the beginning of the tournament.

Having the chip lead is important for many reasons. The goal of a tournament is to win all of the chips in play. The chip leader is closer to this goal than any of his opponents. Having the chip lead also gives you leverage in many key betting situations. If you have it, you can bluff and steal blinds with impunity because getting caught is not likely to cripple you. Players especially take advantage of having the chip lead when approaching the bubble. Getting close to the money tends to make the typical player tighten up so they can secure a cash in the tournament and the chip leader is typically the beneficiary of such tight play. Having the chip lead also forces your opponents to use extra caution when engaging you because you can bust everybody that you go up against.

As the tournament progresses, the amount of chips the chip leader possesses becomes a watermark for the other tournament players. Players will evaluate the quality of their position, relative to that of the chip leader. Having the chip lead becomes increasingly important as the tournament progresses from the late stages. Player’s who arrive at the final table with the chip lead are often expected to win or place in one of the top spots.

Usage: Behind the Chip Leader, Who Has the Chip Lead, Tournament Chipleader, Chipleaders

Previous Poker Term: Chip Dumping
Next Poker Term: Chop

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