Tourney HELP NEEDED - The time has come to introduce my crew to T25 and I don't want to mess it up :o

pipdenny

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Hi all,

I joined this forum during the start of the pandemic looking to just buy some non-denominated chips.
I quickly learned about proper tournament structure, namely T25 base tournies, and have accrued some nice sets to play with when games start up again.

Well, the time has finally come to introduce my crew to the new ways. The way we played before was nothing like what I learned here (30-60BB, 3 different colored dice chips valued at 1, 2, and 4, yes I know)

We have our first game since the pandemic tomorrow, and I wanted to nail down my exact plan before showing up with my new sets and knowledge. I really hope it goes over well and that I am not totally shut down.

I know all about 10K starting stacks, but I'm thinking it may be a better transition to go with 5K stacks for our first game, with rebuys and addons.

Can anyone please help with a good starting stack breakdown for T25-base 5K stacks?
We are of the mentality of more chips = better
We will be playing 6-handed this Saturday.

Here is the breakdown of the set I will be bringing with me (CPS tournament - my first PCF set ever - I will save my paulsons for later :) )
Should be more than plenty
160 - T25s
200 - T100s
140 - T500s
180 - T1ks
100 - T5ks


Here's what I have for blinds (stolen from other threads):
15 min blinds? 20 min blinds? This is more of a casual game involving drinking and lots of table talk. This is not a very serious game and I expect plenty of wasted time between and during hands

Structure :
25-50
25-75
50-100
75-150
100-200 (end rebuys/addons??)
150-300
color-up T25 with T1000
200-400
300-600
400-800
600-1200
800-1600
color-up T100 with T1000
1000-2000
1500-3000
color-up T500 with T5000
2000-4000
3000-6000
4000-8000
6000-12000
8000-16000

I don't suspect we will reach anywhere near the end of this structure. Maybe somewhere in the 2000-3000 BB level?

I really want to arrive and be prepared to run this as smoothly as possible to ensure a nice transition into 'proper' tournaments
Any and all help would be HUGELY appreciated.

Thank you!!!
 
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I'm sure others with more experience and knowledge will chime in but I'll toss in my two cents.

I think your structure is solid and widely used.

For starting stacks and players that like bigger stacks I'd go with
25 x16
100 x16
500 x6

Have you played with re-buys and add-ons in the past? If you haven't I'd skip them for the first session or two. You don't want to change to much at once. Start with the proper structure and starting stacks and work from there.

On the times, I think you need to first determine how long you want the tournament to last. I'd go with 20 minute blind levels especially if there's a lot of table talk but do your best to keep things moving. Without addons and rebuys that should put you at no longer than 3 hrs and 40 min without breaks or at your 800/1600 blinds.

Good luck and enjoy
 

pipdenny

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We have always played with unlimited rebuys for the first hour. I plan to keep this going for the first game to keep things somewhat similar to what we are used to. We also also had a one-time full-stack addon at the end of the rebuy period.

Ideally the tournament will last about 3 hours. I wouldn't want it to drag out and put a poor taste in anyone's mouth.
 

Mr Winberg

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Here's what I would do:

10k instead of 5k. Same structur but skip 25/75

The reasons are that
a) You might as well introduce them to 10k stacks right away
b) You won't need lopsided levels (25/75)
c) If you have rebuys/addons, a good place to end them is after 150/300, so you will conveniently have a break for both administrating addons and coloring up. With 5k stacks, 150/300 is too late IMO.
d) You get to use more T1000, which is a nice natural workhorse for your end game. You might even get some T5k into play if there are enough rebuys, but with 5k stacks I don't see any chance for T5k chips.

Also, my suggestion is actually almost the same structure BB wise, it's just that you get that extra warm-up level. As you see it trails one level behind.

5KBBs10kBBs
25/5010025/50200
25/756750/100100
50/1005075/15067
75/15033100/20050

If you don't want that extra warm-up, then just start at 50/100 and you have exactly the same structure (BB wise) as your suggestion.

I just feel that if you're introducing a whole new concept to your crew, you don't want to have to defend "strange levels" as 25/75. Someone stubborn might use it as an excuse to shun the whole concept.


 

Mr Winberg

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Can anyone please help with a good starting stack breakdown for T25-base 5K stacks?
We are of the mentality of more chips =
If so, then definitely 20/20/5

If you go with my 10k recommendation, try 20/20/15, I do that sometimes but with ~20 players! The stacks at the final table are beautiful!!

Use T1000s for rebuys and add-ons, and when there are enough of them so that the T500 aren't really used anymore you can exchange a bunch for more T1000 or even T5k.

A more standard breakdown would be 12/12/7 for 5k and 12/12/5/6 for 10k.
 

philhut

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Here are some 5k stack options

===========8/8/4/2 ==================12/12/5/1 ================ 16/16/4/1 =================== 20/20/3/1

1s8sBF6.jpg
 

utgtrash

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5k with rebuys is a great format - you might pick 15 min vs 20min rounds if there's a lot of rebuys, and hopefully ppl get more serious and play faster after the rebuys end. will be fun with a lot of chips at that point. and wow, finishing up with 1ks and 5ks will really get everyone pumped about it!

good luck and a well run tourney is the best!
 

Mr Winberg

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We have always played with unlimited rebuys for the first hour. I plan to keep this going for the first game
Ideally the tournament will last about 3 hours.

I'm a bit worried about this. Let's use the structure you suggested with 15 minute levels. That means that rebuys end at 75/150, which IMO is a good level for ending rebuys with 5k stacks.

If all add-on and 2 rebuy, that's 70k in play, meaning it should end around the 1.5k/3k level. Probably later considering this:
I expect plenty of wasted time between and during hands

But even if it ends at 1.5k/3k, if you factor in two 10 minute breaks that means your levels after the break would need to be just 11 minutes long! With lots of wasted time between and during bands, that could be like 3 hands per level!

I would strongly consider either ditching rebuys or add at least an hour.

3h with rebuys probably worked in the past due to:


5k with rebuys is a great format - you might pick 15 min vs 20min rounds if there's a lot of rebuys, and hopefully ppl get more serious and play faster after the rebuys end. will be fun with a lot of chips at that point. and wow, finishing up with 1ks and 5ks will really get everyone pumped about it!

With two rebuys, everyone adds on, that's 70k in play and the T500 are probably never colored up. There will probably be just T500 and T1000 in play.

Even if everyone rebuys and adds on, that's 90k in play. The T500 probably gets colored up during heads-up play. Still, it'll mostly (if not only) be T1000 in play. Maybe 70×T1000 and 4×T5?

Not trying to rain on a parade, just trying to enlighten the OP.... and promote my T10k suggestion ;-)
 
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pipdenny

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I have a lot of planning to do, I wish I was off work today!
When I get home I'm going to set it all up in my head/on paper with several backup plans.

I like the idea of 10K starting stacks and skipping the 50/75 level. I also like the idea of maybe 20/20/7/4 starting stacks?

Thanks for the advice! please let me know if there are considerations I have not thought about, or might have missed having never set up a proper tourney before
 

Mr Winberg

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When I get home I'm going to set it all up in my head/on paper with several backup plans.
Very good idea. Play out the tourney's events like rebuys, add-ons, and color-ups, and make sure you like the result.

Also, please consider my concern regarding the tourney time of 3h. I think you are miscalculating that one.

I also like the idea of maybe 20/20/7/4 starting stacks?
Mr Winberg approves :)
 

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I also like the idea of maybe 20/20/7/4 starting stacks?
I'm a bit late to the party here, but absolutely a big fan of bigger quantity starting stacks, especially for players that aren't as familiar with traditionally run tournaments, since having to make chance can be annoying at the beginning.

One suggestion for blind lengths is to have longer blind levels earlier in the tournament and then speed them up near the end. 20min per level should be enough for at least one orbit early on, and then as you get deeper into the tournament, you can reduce these to 15 minutes or 12 minutes.
 

pipdenny

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At 10k stacks, 6 handed, with lets say 3 rebuys and 5 addons puts us at around 140k total chips.
Tourney end would be 140k/20 = when levels are at BB 7k - around L13 or L14, which is around 4.5 hours (20 min blinds, no breaks)

At 5K stacks, 70k total chips
Tourney end would be 70k/20 = 3500 BB level - around 4 hours

Am I doing this right??

Seems difficult to get a sub-4hr game without turning it into a shove fest with <100BB starting stacks.
Maybe I can go with 5k starting stack, keep the 50/75 level, and hopefully not that many will rebuy and addon (everyone usually adds on, and lots of loose play makes for many rebuys too)

Maybe I can do half-stack addons for half-price? Not sure how that would go over with the crew.
Or perhaps 15 minute blinds, though with my crew this sometimes amounts to 2 hands played, depending on if a certain somebody shows up.

I need to find a structure that will work with minimal intrusion on my part to move things along. I don't want to have to shush people on my first go-around at this, making me seem like a stickler all of a sudden. It could be a recipe for distaste in the new ways
 
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Mr Winberg

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Can you share your old structure? We could translate it into base T25 and then see if it can be tweaked.

Seems difficult to get a sub-4hr game without turning it into a shove fest
Correct, with addons.
Only rebuys and it gets easier.
Freezout and it can definitely be done.
 

pipdenny

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Our old structure was a joke, even sadder is that we have been doing it for over 12 years now
There was always something inside me that knew I didn't like the structure. It favored deep pockets who can afford to shove in weird spots and just rebuy. It wasn't until joining this forum when I got to realize exactly why I didn't like it (tiny starting stacks, huge jumps in blinds, Bingo-style play, etc)

Dice chips:
Whites value = 1
Reds value = 2
Blacks value = 4

Starting stack 20/10/5 = value of 60
Big blinds either started at 1/1 or 1/2
unlimited rebuys for first hour-ish, addons at end of rebuy period

blind structure was something like:
1/1
1/2
2/4
3/6
4/8
5/10
6/12
7/14
etc...

Couple of HUGE jumps in the early levels, really diminishing the value of the starting stack. Very tough to play without shoving often.
This led to a lot of limped pots and mostly min-raises if raising at all. Barely ever any 3 or 4 bets preflop.
Lots of table talk, barely make it through an orbit between levels, and very often would extend the blind timer due to distractions, talking, smoke breaks, etc.

Still lots of fun, don't get me wrong. It is after all just a reason to gather and have a good time. In terms of good poker though, not so much.
 

Mr Winberg

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Here's what I would do:

10k stacks, 4h tourney incl breaks (calculated to end at 3k/6k). 3h just won't work.

The first four levels are the splashy rebuy-levels, so just 15 minutes each. 50/100 to 150/300, then 1st break, color-up, addons

Now the freezout portion starts. The whole tourney is 240 minues, total break time is 20 minutes and we've used up 60 for levels 1-4, so 160 remain. That's around 18 minutes per level (9 remaining).

An alternative is to have 20 minutes but merge some levels to get down from 9 to 8. E.g., instead of BBs 600, 800, 1200, 1600, 2000 you do 600, 1000, 1400, 2000.

Which you choose is a question of preference.

very often would extend the blind timer due to distractions, talking, smoke breaks, etc.
Aha, so it wasn't 3 hours?

Instead of focusing on the tourney length (levels+breaks), focus on how long you want you poker night to last. Is it 4 hours? 5? 6? Then, you set the level lengths and break lengths and you do not ever touch the clock! Ever! If someone spills beer over the whole table, well then better clean it up quickly cause the clock's ticking!

If you pause or extend the clock, the players won't feel a need to speed up. Why should they? The clock will pause anyway. But if the clock's always ticking then it will show then how much time they're wasting.

If they complain, just calmy say that the tourney is set to end around a certain time and that you for that reason can't pause or extend the clock. My 0.02
 

auto

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For T10k tournaments I use 12/12/5/6.

If you decide to go with a T10k tourney & and want more chips in your stacking stack a couple of options you could also use are:
12/17/4/6 or
16/16/4/6

I keep the clock running and I only pause it if there needs to be a ruling.

Let us know how your game turn out.
 

pipdenny

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Here's what I would do:

10k stacks, 4h tourney incl breaks (calculated to end at 3k/6k). 3h just won't work.

The first four levels are the splashy rebuy-levels, so just 15 minutes each. 50/100 to 150/300, then 1st break, color-up, addons

Now the freezout portion starts. The whole tourney is 240 minues, total break time is 20 minutes and we've used up 60 for levels 1-4, so 160 remain. That's around 18 minutes per level (9 remaining).

An alternative is to have 20 minutes but merge some levels to get down from 9 to 8. E.g., instead of BBs 600, 800, 1200, 1600, 2000 you do 600, 1000, 1400, 2000.

Which you choose is a question of preference.


Aha, so it wasn't 3 hours?

Instead of focusing on the tourney length (levels+breaks), focus on how long you want you poker night to last. Is it 4 hours? 5? 6? Then, you set the level lengths and break lengths and you do not ever touch the clock! Ever! If someone spills beer over the whole table, well then better clean it up quickly cause the clock's ticking!

If you pause or extend the clock, the players won't feel a need to speed up. Why should they? The clock will pause anyway. But if the clock's always ticking then it will show then how much time they're wasting.

If they complain, just calmy say that the tourney is set to end around a certain time and that you for that reason can't pause or extend the clock. My 0.02

I'm going to go with this for today. Thank you for all the help!!
10k stacks, probably 20/20/7/4, rebuys until first break, addons at the break.
15 min levels until first break, then 20 mins.

50-100
75-150
100-200
150-300
*BREAK* End rebuys/addond/color-up T25 with T1000
200-400
300-600
400-800
600-1200
800-1600
*BREAK* color-up T100 with T1000
1000-2000
1500-3000
*BREAK* color-up T500 with T5000
2000-4000
3000-6000
4000-8000
6000-12000
8000-16000

Should be about 4 hours, 6-handed, depending on how many rebuys and addons. I downloaded tournament director as well and have been playing around with it.

If there are far fewer rebuys/addons than anticipated, should I be adjusting anything? Or just let it end earlier?
My calculations were with 3-4 rebuys and 5 addons. This could be much less now that I think about it, given the new structure.
 

Mr Winberg

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If there are far fewer rebuys/addons than anticipated, should I be adjusting anything?
Not really, even if the total chip count doubles (or is cut in half) that's just 2 more (or 2 less) levels.

You could reduce the levels to 10 minutes after the level where you want it to end. That way it won't run as late if it for whatever reason lasts more levels.

Good luck, and most of all: Have fun!
 

Alex Lundstrum

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Should be about 4 hours, 6-handed, depending on how many rebuys and addons.
Rule of thumb is that tourney will end when BB=7% of total chips in play. Depending on size of add-on and length of breaks, this might run a bit longer. One option is to remove 400-800, 600-1200, 800-1600 and replace with 500-1000 and 700-1400 (do the same with 4000-8000... etc.). I'd also bump out the break for coloring up 500s. While they aren't necessarily needed at this point, players won't need a break after 40 min, just leave them til the end or until a natural break time.
My calculations were with 3-4 rebuys and 5 addons.
I always assume a 50% rebuy rate and 100% add-on. Usually a bit of an overestimate, but should get you pretty close.
I downloaded tournament director as well and have been playing around with it.
If this is going to be a semi regular or regular event, play around with the point score systems and seasons/league. Also total number of hits. Makes for some fun smack talk at end of year. Also, you can load template of previous tourneys to save time when setting up your next one, don't start entirely from scratch.

Best of luck, what you have looks to be a really solid tourney. Hopefully the players take to it.
 

Mr Winberg

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One option is to remove 400-800, 600-1200, 800-1600 and replace with 500-1000 and 700-1400
Great minds... ;-)
An alternative is to have 20 minutes but merge some levels to get down from 9 to 8. E.g., instead of BBs 600, 800, 1200, 1600, 2000 you do 600, 1000, 1400, 2000.


I'd also bump out the break for coloring up 500s. While they aren't necessarily needed at this point, players won't need a break after 40 min, just leave them til the end or until a natural break time.
Agreed about the break, but I'd still remove the T500. They are probably down to three players at that stage, it'll probably just take 30 seconds to color them up.

@pipdenny, how did it go?
 

pipdenny

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Yesterday was the first live game we played since the pandemic started. We spent the last 12 years playing tournaments pretty consistently, but the way we were doing them was sub-optimal to say the least. I spent the last year learning about tournament structure, chip breakdowns, starting stack conventions, and acquired quite a nice collection of sets.. and it all led to this moment.

And folks...it was perfect! I cannot express how grateful I am to you all who helped me with last-minute preparations in this thread, and of course all of those who helped answer my questions over the last year. I spent countless hours mulling over past threads, taking notes and absorbing as much info as I could.

My crew was super open to the new structure, and they loved it! The blind progression and starting stack I went with were PERFECT. The game lasted 4hrs 49mins, but that was including all the scheduled breaks as well as pauses for smoke breaks and even dinner.

I was pretty nervous to be honest. It felt like it was a make or break situation. I felt a lot of pressure in the past year to make the first game perfect, hoping not to get shut down. Nothing even close to that happened. Perhaps that speaks more to some subtle and admitted insecurities I sometimes have.

Everything was so smooth, including change-making, colorups, “deal-behind” method, and rate of play. Keep in mind these are all things we have never done before. The knowledge I’ve gained so far on this forum made it happen, and I am super stoked and forever grateful to you all!

There was kind of a lot of pot splashing, and some change making happening before the betting round was over, but I didn’t say anything for now. When I bring out my ‘premium’ chips, I may have a quick word about banging them around, but I’ll save that for a later time. This CPS set worked perfectly, and I kind of wish I held off on buying the other sets after experimenting with starting stacks with my crew. My other sets will not be able to handle 20/20/7/4, but no worries, I’ll introduce 12/12/5/6 next time :)

I even got to bring my Barrington table with upgraded felt and deep cup holders! Again, not possible without this forum! This was the highlight of the night for my crew I think (no more dice chips on a glass-top patio tables ughh)

8AF1CBD2-4B80-4209-9929-61FB3E43B3EC.jpeg
 

fritterbaker

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This
Yesterday was the first live game we played since the pandemic started. We spent the last 12 years playing tournaments pretty consistently, but the way we were doing them was sub-optimal to say the least. I spent the last year learning about tournament structure, chip breakdowns, starting stack conventions, and acquired quite a nice collection of sets.. and it all led to this moment.

And folks...it was perfect! I cannot express how grateful I am to you all who helped me with last-minute preparations in this thread, and of course all of those who helped answer my questions over the last year. I spent countless hours mulling over past threads, taking notes and absorbing as much info as I could.

My crew was super open to the new structure, and they loved it! The blind progression and starting stack I went with were PERFECT. The game lasted 4hrs 49mins, but that was including all the scheduled breaks as well as pauses for smoke breaks and even dinner.

I was pretty nervous to be honest. It felt like it was a make or break situation. I felt a lot of pressure in the past year to make the first game perfect, hoping not to get shut down. Nothing even close to that happened. Perhaps that speaks more to some subtle and admitted insecurities I sometimes have.

Everything was so smooth, including change-making, colorups, “deal-behind” method, and rate of play. Keep in mind these are all things we have never done before. The knowledge I’ve gained so far on this forum made it happen, and I am super stoked and forever grateful to you all!

There was kind of a lot of pot splashing, and some change making happening before the betting round was over, but I didn’t say anything for now. When I bring out my ‘premium’ chips, I may have a quick word about banging them around, but I’ll save that for a later time. This CPS set worked perfectly, and I kind of wish I held off on buying the other sets after experimenting with starting stacks with my crew. My other sets will not be able to handle 20/20/7/4, but no worries, I’ll introduce 12/12/5/6 next time :)

I even got to bring my Barrington table with upgraded felt and deep cup holders! Again, not possible without this forum! This was the highlight of the night for my crew I think (no more dice chips on a glass-top patio tables ughh)

View attachment 704726
Looks AWESOME, how have your other games gone?
 

Josh Kifer

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We do mostly T25 based tourneys, based off of the old Poker After Dark setup.

20 min blinds. Starting stack 8/13/5/4/2 (stacks can vary to help assist the timeframe, but it's built for a 20k starting)

100/200
150/300
200/400
300/600
400/800
600/1200
800/1600
1k/2k
1500/3000
2000/4000
2500/5000 etc.

Starts at 7pm, over by 1130-Midnight.
 

legonick

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I have not read the entire thread, but have you considering starting out with a T100 base tournament? T25 is awkward because they quickly become turd chips that need to be chipped up. T100 doesn't have this problem. It also seems to be allegedly gaining traction in the poker tournament landscape.
 

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Yesterday was the first live game we played since the pandemic started. We spent the last 12 years playing tournaments pretty consistently, but the way we were doing them was sub-optimal to say the least. I spent the last year learning about tournament structure, chip breakdowns, starting stack conventions, and acquired quite a nice collection of sets.. and it all led to this moment.

And folks...it was perfect! I cannot express how grateful I am to you all who helped me with last-minute preparations in this thread, and of course all of those who helped answer my questions over the last year. I spent countless hours mulling over past threads, taking notes and absorbing as much info as I could.

My crew was super open to the new structure, and they loved it! The blind progression and starting stack I went with were PERFECT. The game lasted 4hrs 49mins, but that was including all the scheduled breaks as well as pauses for smoke breaks and even dinner.

I was pretty nervous to be honest. It felt like it was a make or break situation. I felt a lot of pressure in the past year to make the first game perfect, hoping not to get shut down. Nothing even close to that happened. Perhaps that speaks more to some subtle and admitted insecurities I sometimes have.

Everything was so smooth, including change-making, colorups, “deal-behind” method, and rate of play. Keep in mind these are all things we have never done before. The knowledge I’ve gained so far on this forum made it happen, and I am super stoked and forever grateful to you all!

There was kind of a lot of pot splashing, and some change making happening before the betting round was over, but I didn’t say anything for now. When I bring out my ‘premium’ chips, I may have a quick word about banging them around, but I’ll save that for a later time. This CPS set worked perfectly, and I kind of wish I held off on buying the other sets after experimenting with starting stacks with my crew. My other sets will not be able to handle 20/20/7/4, but no worries, I’ll introduce 12/12/5/6 next time :)

I even got to bring my Barrington table with upgraded felt and deep cup holders! Again, not possible without this forum! This was the highlight of the night for my crew I think (no more dice chips on a glass-top patio tables ughh)

View attachment 704726
Just came across this thread again after following it along a few months back. Makes me smile to hear how well your game went. Sounds like you absolutely nailed it, and the setup looks great.

Looking forward to updates the next time y’all get together and play!
 
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