Tourney Feedback on League Idea RE: Championship Game

Moxie Mike

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Background: The Moxie Poker League is entering it's 5th season soon.

The league is comprised of a 6 event regular season (RS), culminating in a championship game (CG) at the end.

$10 is raked from every RS entry fee to fund the CG prize pool.

CG eligibility required participation in only one RS event. The entry fee to the CG for players who've played in 1 or 2 RS events is $100; $50 for those who played in 3 or more RS games. There's usually around $5-600 o

League standings are determined using the [25,18,13,9,6,4,3,2,1,1,1,1...] method.

Un until this point, league standings determined the starting stacking in the championship game, with every player starting with 40,000 chips + whatever bonus chips they've earned in the RS.

CG bonus chips can be earned 5 different ways:
  • T1000 for every bounty collected throughout the season;
  • T1000 for every player that a player outranks in the final regular season standings;
  • T2500 for every top-three regular season finish;
  • T2500 for every event a player has won throughout the season;
  • T5000 for finishing the regular season ranked #1 in the standings.

As a point of reference, here are the final standings for season 4:

RANKPLAYERTOTAL POINTSEVENT 1EVENT 2EVENT 3EVENT 4EVENT 5EVENT 6Starting Stack Add-OnTotal Bounties1stsTop 3sOut-Ranks#1
1Nasty Nate92918213252560,00026000500010000140005000
2Stiletto Sandie540618618630,0001200005000130000
3Crown Royal Dave532591321330,5001100025005000120000
4Dave à Trois50049253926,0001000025002500110000
5Moxie Mike496261813424,000900005000100000
6Peachy Patti461825100219,50030002500500090000
7Big Sivits37012519117,00050002500250070000
7Hitchcock Blonde Lavonne371131401819,00070000500070000
9Triple J17131111014,50060000250060000
10Captain Ben16201001311,50040000250050000
11North Pole Troll140340615,00010000040000
12Queen Alexis130119114,00010000030000
13Tulip123033213,00010000020000
14Hardcore Bob114110411,00000010000
15Hurricane Shane2110000000000

The point of awarding bonus chips to top performers is to reward them with an advantage in the CG, and allow mid-season newcomers an opportunity to accumulate chips for the CG.

The point of the CG is that it rewards league participation with an event that contains a decent amount of dead money. The privilege of playing in this event is still afforded to players who participate less frequently, but they have to pay 2x as much to get in - which essentially denies them the equity earned by other qualifiers.

In other words, an unraked $50 entry fee into a game with a ~$5-600 first place prize is great EV; a $100 buy-in to that same game not so much.

Through 4 seasons, despite starting with the CG with as many as 100,000 chips (500 BBs), the CH chip leader to begin the tournament has never even cashed in the event. This leads me to believe that starting with a mountain of chips when everyone is at least 200 BBs deep isn't really much of an advantage and doesn't serve as a sufficient reward for their RS performance.

So I'm looking at alternative ideas to reward top RS performers that doesn't de-incentivize participation from those who've had a bad season. Here are some ideas so far:

Instead of so many starting chips, we could cap the starting stacks at something like 60k (an arbitrary figure) and instead award a cash prize for all 'chips' earned above that threshold.

For example, if we took 25% of the C.E. rake ($580 was collected in Season 4 so $145) and awarded it proportionally in place of chips beyond 20k, 5 players would have gotten a little bit of cash (or a credit toward their buy in):

PlayerC.E. Bonus ChipsProposed CapExcess% of Total ExcessCash Prize
Nasty Nate60000200004000057%$82
Stiletto Sandie30000200001000014%$16
Crown Royal Dave30500200001050015%$17
Dave à Trois260002000060009%$10
Moxie Mike240002000040006%$7

This still would have left $435 added to the C.E. prize pool.

Last season, Nate ran away with the points lead and so it was more top heavy than usual. But in Season 3, only 3 players would have qualified for a cash prize and it was much more evenly distributed:

PlayerC.E. Bonus ChipsProposed CapExcess% of Total ExcessCash Prize
Crown Royal Dave45500200002550048%$60
Moxie Mike33500200001350025%$32
Triple J34000200001400026%$33

Another idea I had was to provide the option of either taking the bonus chips at the start (like we currently do), or at any time during the game including if they get felted. That would be an advantage for players with chips in reserve.

Yet another idea was to provide the option to take the money or the chips.

We could also cap the cash prize at $50, making the CG a freeroll for the RS points leader. Applying the $50 cap to the points leader in order would also allow us to set the max chips threshold for everyone.

I'll stop there. Anything you like here? Anything you'd absolutely object to? I've asked my core players for feedback - and while some responded most of them just said they'd be happy with whatever I decided.

Any thoughts, ideas or feedback would be greatly appreciated.

MJ
 

Moxie Mike

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I ran the numbers with a proposed cap calculated as follows:

25% ($145) of the total championship rake collected throughout the season ($580) was distributed to the 5 players who's CG bonus chips were above the cap. The $50 figure noted below was chosen to make the CG a freeroll.

The cap was calculated by the following formula: $50/$145 = 34% * the points leader's bonus chips (60,000). So the cap was set at 20,690.

Total chips above the cap was 67050.

All players with excess chips above the cap received a piece of the $145 equivalent to their percentage of excess chips.

PlayerC.E. Bonus ChipsProposed CapExcessFixed Cash Prize Calculated Cash Prize %Calculated Cash PrizeModified Starting Stack
Nasty Nate600002069039310$5059%$8560690
Stiletto Sandie30000206909310n/a14%$2060690
Crown Royal Dave30500206909810n/a15%$2160690
Dave à Trois26000206905310n/a8%$1160690
Moxie Mike24000206903310n/a5%$760690
Peachy Patti1950020690n/an/an/an/a59500
Big Sivits1700020690n/an/an/an/a57000
Hitchcock Blonde Lavonne1900020690n/an/an/an/a59000
Triple J1450020690n/an/an/an/a54500
Captain Ben1150020690n/an/an/an/a51500
North Pole Troll500020690n/an/an/an/a45000
Queen Alexis400020690n/an/an/an/a44000
Tulip300020690n/an/an/an/a43000
Hardcore Bob100020690n/an/an/an/a41000
Hurricane Shane020690n/an/an/an/a40000
 

timinater

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I love the thought put into this. I think your best bet is the cash prize for league performance, handed out in a fairly simple way. Like prizes for the top three regular season players, or another simple method you prefer.

I won’t lie that my eyes glazed over reading this however. IMO, you’ll have good results with something you can explain in one or two sentences max. It doesn’t really matter how equitable or well constructed the system is if people can’t grasp it quickly.

KISS, basically.

Anecdotally, my championship event starts with an average stack of 20,000, and not many of the outright leaders have won, but they tend to cash with regularity.

Edit to add: I think lots of people want the chip advantage at the final event, regardless of past performance. They might feel it’s an equitable reward even if that hasn’t borne itself out. FWIW, I always look at these types of things through the lens of “what’s going to encourage attendance the most?”
 

BGinGA

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Not surprised with the chipleader's poor results in your championship events, as we've experienced the same thing -- despite usually having a significant chip stack advantage, our CG big stack has only won the event once in 16 tries, and it didn't happen until the 13th season. For reference, our CG starting tack sizes typically range from 200bb to 500bb+ (averaging 330bb) for an event that takes around 8 hours for eight players.

And FWIW, the shortest stack has never won it, either. The most CG winners (7 of 16) have come from the 4th-largest starting stack (public knowledge), so it's amusing to watch players actually hoping they finish 4th in regular-season points vs 3rd or 5th. :D

But the players still clamour for more starting chips. :)

As to your questions, i would tend to stick with the current plan of players earning more CG starting chips, with perhaps the option of 'spending' a portion of those earned chips up front towards a reduction of their CG entry cost. Let them decide if the extra chips are worth more on the felt vs cold hard cash.
 

MrCatPants

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My only reaction is it creates a lot of work to move around small amounts of money - in terms of the cash payments when above "cap".

What I did to handle the cap is, rather than doing add on chips, set a maximum stack and a minimum stack, and then built a formula to put points leader at the top, lowest point participant at the minimum, and calculate the middle players' stacks based on the spread between. Seems to work ok.
 

timinater

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My only reaction is it creates a lot of work to move around small amounts of money - in terms of the cash payments when above "cap".

What I did to handle the cap is, rather than doing add on chips, set a maximum stack and a minimum stack, and then built a formula to put points leader at the top, lowest point participant at the minimum, and calculate the middle players' stacks based on the spread between. Seems to work ok.

Very similar here, except we start at the desired average stack, and work from there. I find it makes the final table easier to plan since I know that if Y players qualify we'll have roughly 20,000 x Y in play. Our method is this:

Average chip stack will be 20,000. Ex: If the average point total is 50, the point multiplier would be established at 1 point = 400 chips. If you finished the season with 37 points, you would receive 14,800 chips to start the final table. The multiplier will be finalized at the end of the eight preliminary tournaments.

I like this menthod because your stack is a direct correlation to your points.
 

MrCatPants

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Very similar here, except we start at the desired average stack, and work from there. I find it makes the final table easier to plan since I know that if Y players qualify we'll have roughly 20,000 x Y in play. Our method is this:

Average chip stack will be 20,000. Ex: If the average point total is 50, the point multiplier would be established at 1 point = 400 chips. If you finished the season with 37 points, you would receive 14,800 chips to start the final table. The multiplier will be finalized at the end of the eight preliminary tournaments.

I like this menthod because your stack is a direct correlation to your points.
Yup, very similar. Mine just ensures that small stack is never tiny tiny and big stack is never more than double the average.
 
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