Tourney How Many Big Blinds Do You Start With? (1 Viewer)

MoscowRadio

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For all of the tournaments I host for our group, which I'm hoping to turn into a league soon, we always start with 250 BBs. So...

What's your preferred starting stack in terms of BBs, and
Where do you start them from? IE: 5/10, 25/50, etc.

I'll probably have more questions in the future as to how to score players in a league. If there's a mathematical equation I could use that anyone knows of that is useful please feel free to post it here.

Thanks!
 

links_slayer

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For T1,000 up to T2,500 tourneys I start at 5/10

For T5,000 to T10,000 tourneys I start at 25/50
 

p5woody

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200 BB - T10,000 starting blinds 25/50

I think the CT weekly online league uses this formula for points: points =10*(SQRT(number of players/place finished)) - 5
 
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Bloody Marvelous

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I vary it. 100BBs for rebuy tournaments, 200 for freezeout tournaments, 250~300 for deepstack tournaments.

Starting blinds depend on the starting stacks. Usually start with 10/20 or 50/100 to prevent doubling the blinds for the second level.

10/20 ==> 2,000~6,000
50/100 ==> 10,000~30,000

Since I mix different buy-in tournaments and both rebuy and freezeout tournaments, I use the following formula:

Points = Prizemoney / SQRT (Players * (Buy-in + Rebuys + Add-on)) * 100 / (1 + Rank)
(Prizemoney is the total prizemoney in the prizepool, not the prizemoney won by the player)
 
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ChaosRock

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I like 200BB with stacks of 20K starting at 50/100. If I need the tourney to end a bit quicker I do 15K stacks for 150BB... 20 min levels always.
 

Mental Nomad

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In no-limit, 100BB is roughly the threshold for "big stack poker," where all general principles apply. As you go lower than that, implied and reverse-implied odds slowly get factored out.

For a regular tourney, if the second blind level doubles the first, I like the idea of starting with at least 200 BB, so that someone whose stack is relatively untouched can still be playing "big stack" theory at the second level, but 100BB is acceptable. Put differently, I prefer a start with at least 100 BB of the second level of blinds, whatever that is. :)

For turbos, I feel less than 100BB is acceptable, but not much less.
 

Mojo1312

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In no-limit, 100BB is roughly the threshold for "big stack poker," where all general principles apply. As you go lower than that, implied and reverse-implied odds slowly get factored out.

Can you cite your source?
 

BGinGA

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I vary it. 100BBs for rebuy tournaments, 200 for freezeout tournaments, 250~300 for deepstack tournaments.

Starting blinds depend on the starting stacks. Usually start with 10/20 or 50/100 to prevent doubling the blinds for the second level.

10/20 ==> 2,000~6,000
50/100 ==> 10,000~30,000

^^ This is ~exactly~ the way it should be done, imo. Bloody marvelous.
 

TexRex

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Moscow, when it comes to rating players, there are a lot of ways to do it. I think the first thing to do is try to figure out what you want to measure. What are your ratings supposed to determine?

Poker lends itself to so many different ways to run a tournament, let me use football for just a moment to explain. Looking at high school, colleges, and pros, high school rules vary by state. There are some real differences that can be outcome determinative. Colleges play by one set of rules, but each conference does things a little differently. The pros have everyone playing by one set of rules interpreted the same way. Most high schools play with 12 minute quarters; colleges and pros with 15 minute quarters, but measured differently. What they all have in common is this – the team with the most points at the end of the game wins. And for the most part, the way you score points is similar.

In poker, there will be huge differences between winners depending on game(s) played; how deep the stacks are; how the blinds go up; how long the blind rounds are; whether there are re-buys, add-ons, and if so how many; whether you play with one or two decks of cards; rules; etc. Even the day of the week might alter things. If you have players with normal day jobs, you might have less time during the week than on weekends. All of those variables will affect your results.

I personally like to see different formats, but I’m even more interested in the why behind a format. So I’ll explain what I was trying to measure and how I decided to try to measure it.

I’m limited to doing it once a month so I have a monthly game. I wanted to measure the best overall performers over the course of a year. It seemed to me that to really measure that, we needed a consistent format for our monthly game -- same game, stacks, blinds, etc. Otherwise I’m measuring something different every time. I think if we played weekly, we could vary more and still generate valid results. I think weekly would be even better as a true measure since I think determining the best players takes a season more like baseball (162 games) than high school or college football (10-12 games). 10-12 games is just very short.

I tried to figure out what things in poker are measurable. By doing only freeze-out tournaments, I eliminated buy-in amounts as a measure. That got me down to 6. One, money won, to me long term is the most valid criteria, but for a league, I think it’s a lousy thing to measure. The reason is some players come to have fun and play for social reasons. They don’t mind the competition and ratings, but if they are constantly reminded that they are net donators, they are less likely to keep coming. It’s not good for their ego, and it’s not good for your game. So I don’t use that criterion.

Our players are evaluated on 5 criteria. From easiest to accumulate to hardest to accumulate those are [1] points, [2] how many other players they knockout of a tournament, [3] final table appearances, [4] in the point finishes, and [5] tournament wins. We measure players on overall performance for the year, and then we also divide each category by per game performance. Each of those counts equally (10% of standings), but they aren’t really equal.

Suppose we have 30 players. There will be 327 points for the tournament; 29 KO’s (assuming no chop), 10 final table appearances, 7 in the point finishes, and 1 tournament win. Points will range from 102 down to 3 per player. You could argue that points and in the point finishes are the same, though I do think they measure something slightly different. Points measures how high you finished while in the points measures how often you finished in the top 7. In the points is similar to final table, but I think someone who made the final table deserves something more than those who didn’t. Those are the reasons I measure things the way I do.

We have up to 30 players (3 tables). Our scoring system is based on one from Bluff Magazine. Points are made up of two factors -- participation points multiplied by their finish points. Participation points = # of entrants/10. If we have 25 players, every player gets 2.5 points, and the in the money places are multiplied by that number. At 25, we pay 6 places. Here’s how the finish points work – 34, 21, 13, 8, 5, 3, 2 for the 7 in the money places. All other places give 1 for finish.

Players
Points to the top 7 -- 34, 21, 13, 8, 5, 3, 2 (for last in the points position)
28-30 – pays 7 places
21-27 – pays 6 places
15-20 – pays 5 places
10-14 – pays 4 places
6- 9 – pays 3 places

A 30 player tournament would work like this:
1st – 102 pts
2nd – 63 pts
3rd – 39 pts
4th – 24 pts
5th – 15 pts
6th – 9 pts
7th – 6 pts
All others – 3.0 pts.

Each player’s score every category is then compared to all other players. They get a score for a category like a baseball batting average (.387 for example) that represents the percentage of points they got compared to every other player.

While I measure 10 and each counts 10%, you can look at the numbers and realize that tournament wins will boost you more than any other thing for two reasons. It gets you the most points for the tournament, and there are only going to be 12 wins in the year. Thus, a player who gets 2 wins will get .167 in that category, while someone with no wins will get .000. If that player entered only 10 games, his score for per game performance will be .200.

For final table, we have 1 tournament a year where we only take 9, but all others, up to 10. That means at most there would be 119 final table appearances for the year. Since it’s possible for two or more to be KO’s while on the bubble, it might be fewer. There will be 84 in the point finishes. You could roughly estimate that a final table appearance is worth 84/119 of an in the points finish. So even though we weigh them equally, they aren’t equal.

The system rewards players according to how many participate whether they finish at the final table, in the points, or win.

I can’t say that the way we’ve done is perfectly balances the varying factors, but so far, no one has convinced me there is a better weighting system.

Our tournaments are deep stack – 25,000 to start, SB/BB 25/50 (start with 500 BB), 20 min blind levels, designed to end with 30 players at the 4:00-4:20 blind level (level 13).

All of our players pay the same amount for each tournament. Our end of the year game is a Main Event type event – bigger buy-in, longer planned tournament, and bigger payouts, but all participants start equal. It doesn’t count in our standings except to break a tie.

I don't think our way is better than all other ways. But I do see some people who put together formats that I do not think measure what they say they are trying to measure. For example, in multi-table events, I don't think it makes much sense to try to distinguish between the first two players out when others might show up later and enter. That rewards those who show up late. We instead reward quality performance, not better degrees of poor performance. I think ours does a good, but not necessarily great, job of measuring what I'm trying to measure.
 

Mojo1312

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The number of players, the progression of the blinds, and the length of the rounds deserve an equal amount of consideration as the size of your starting stacks when you are setting up a tournament. A 20 player 100 big blind tournament with 30 minute rounds is going to play differently from one that follows the same incremental blind structure with 250 big blinds and 15 minute rounds.
 

BGinGA

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Tex, you are correct - there are lots of ways to skin a cat.

My biggest issue with your overall scoring system is the double-award effect you bestow on some of the following items:
Our players are evaluated on 5 criteria. From easiest to accumulate to hardest to accumulate those are [1] points, [2] how many other players they knockout of a tournament, [3] final table appearances, [4] in the point finishes, and [5] tournament wins.
The system rewards players according to how many participate whether they finish at the final table, in the points, or win.
Your points-per-finish system already inherently awards participants more points for a final table finish, finishing in the points, or winning -- by providing extra points when those things occur. Giving them even more points specifically for those accomplishments is simply handing out more points for something that has already been rewarded.
 

T_Chan

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Our league is in our 7th season and has evolved every season. We play 100 BB's typically, starting at 25/50 and each player get 5k to start. For points, we try to keep it simple, 100 for 1st, 95 to 2nd, 90 to 3rd and from there, each position gets 2 less points than the last, so 88,86,84 etc.. Not the fairest system, but again we try to keep it simple. We have a formula to determine starting stacks for our Finale game based on points and games played.

Our games run from 7:30pm and are usually done by midnight since we play on a weeknight. 15-20 minute blinds depending on attendance.
 

TexRex

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BG, points does not reward final table appearances. Points is the only criterion we use that measures the effect of the number of players. The effect of adding points as a separate category is that it reduces the value of KO's and final table appearances because they are effectively only counted once. I've thought of having # of participants as a separate category, but that wouldn't measure performance based on group size. I have thought about adding them twice, but that seems to put a premium on things that don't by themselves win tournaments, though you can't win if you don't make the final table. It is possible to win 12 tournaments a year and only have 12 KO's throughout the year. For whatever reason, some pretty good players don't KO a lot of people. Others seem to be good at KO'ing people, but not winning. For most though, the top players in other categories are also among the leaders in KO's.

For comparison purposes, I measure our players two other ways. One is without points, and it doesn't affect our who the top 3 are and their order, but it does affect how far apart they are with the gap widening without considering the effect of points. The other is without tournament wins and in the points as separate categories (Pts+KOs+FT). It has the same effect as not measuring points. Those reward KO's a lot more, though you could make a good argument that a guy with several more KO's is just a much better player than a guy with fewer, even though he might not be as good in other categories.

With all 3, the top 3 players are the same, but #'s 4-15 are not the same. However, I go back to my objective -- to measure the BEST overall player at the end of the year. I'm not nearly as worried about those not finishing at the top. For our annual rewards, we reward the top 2, and the top 1 of the sex that doesn't win the top award, and the person with the highest # of KO's.

BG, I'd actually love to have you look at what we use and give me feedback. Simply describing my system doesn't explain why I did what I did and it doesn't really give anyone a chance to view actual results.
 

Bloody Marvelous

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TexRex, I'm curious how you got to this point system? Was it a trial and error process to ultimately get where you wanted, or did you find this somewhere?

I've deduced that you're using the Fibonacci sequence for the points spread (0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, etc.), so I guess the formula you're using is:

Points = (Fibonacci money finishing position) * Players / 10

I can't quite figure out how the rest of your calculations fit into the formula.
I'm guessing the following calculations are applied somehow:

Tournaments won / Tournaments played
Final tables / Tournaments played
Players eliminated / (Players - 1)
Cashes / Tournaments played

The problem I have with using the Fibonacci sequence is that it grows to a linear progression (1.62x previous points). When combining that with the number of players I feel that you're punished far too heavily when fewer players participate.

First place @30 players will net you 34 * 3 = 102 points
First place @15 players will net you 13 * 1.5 = 19.5 points

Of course winning from 30 players is more difficult than winning from 15 players, but I don't think that should get you 5x as many points. Perhaps the rest of the formula evens things out a bit more.

Could you translate your points system into a formula?
 
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CO0LHand

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TexRex has a pretty great system. I spoke with him at length to get what I am currently using in my league with a few tweaks but it's pretty solid. I am currently running two spreadsheets, one that tracks a few of the stats mentioned earlier (final table/in the point) with a half value for KOs and another spreadsheet that doesn't use those two stat categories and gives more credit to KOs. This season we have only had 3 games but once I get a good sample size I will bring it here to show some of the more seasoned players what's going on and see which system is actually rewarding the better players.

Regarding the fibonacci sequence it works well because you aren't awarding points to an entire field, just the final 7 or 8 players that wind up "in the points." A win is always worth the same amount of points no matter if there are 10 players in a game or 200.

TexRex's system also assigns points to players who get in the final table since that could be argued to be a 'skill' in poker.

Overall I used a lot of his system, tweaked it a bit for my liking, and put it all into a google spreadsheet so I don't have to do any calculating. Overall it really works well and has made statkeeping and ranking almost plug-and-play for me, I can't help him enough for talking me through it.
 

BGinGA

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BG, points does not reward final table appearances.

Of course it does. The mere fact that tourney finishers 1st-9th (or 1st-10th) score more points than spots 10th+higher (or 11+) rewards those who make the final table. All I'm saying is that giving them even ~more~ points for doing so is rewarding those positions twice for the same accomplishment (finishing 1st-9th). Not saying it's wrong, but it is what it is. I also think it is unnecessary to award the extra points separately, because they could easily be folded into the basic points system (of course, tracking final table finishes isn't the same as rewarding them, and tracking still may have some intrinsic value). However, I personally think that "making the final table" is an overrated concept, especially for a small tournament. There is really nothing special about finishing 10th vs 11th, imo -- it's all meaningless hype based on an artificial boundary.

I'd be glad to look over your points stuff, however. Shoot me a PM if don't have my email addy.
 

Bloody Marvelous

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Graphing league points

Regarding the fibonacci sequence it works well because you aren't awarding points to an entire field, just the final 7 or 8 players that wind up "in the points." A win is always worth the same amount of points no matter if there are 10 players in a game or 200.

If that's the case I misunderstood TexRex's post. As I understood it only the players who finish in the money get points, and not the top 7 regardless of fieldsize. Though it does solve the problem of wildly varying league points, it does seem odd to award the top 7 players of a field of 10 (leaving 3 players with the base points), and the top 7 players of a field of 200 (less than 5% of the field).

I've graphed the pointspread based on how I initially understood TexRex's point system for 6-30 players based on the following description (I've added the red text):

Participation points = # of entrants/10. If we have 25 players, every player gets 2.5 points, and the in the money places are multiplied by that number. At 25, we pay 6 places. Here’s how the finish points work – 34, 21, 13, 8, 5, 3, 2 for the 7 in the money places. All other places give 1 for finish.

Players
Points to the top 7 -- 34, 21, 13, 8, 5, 3, 2 (for last in the points position)
28-30 – pays 7 places -- 34, 21, 13, 8, 5, 3, 2
21-27 – pays 6 places -- 21, 13, 8, 5, 3, 2
15-20 – pays 5 places -- 13, 8, 5, 3, 2
10-14 – pays 4 places -- 8, 5, 3, 2
6- 9 – pays 3 places -- 5, 3, 2

A 30 player tournament would work like this:
1st – 102 pts
2nd – 63 pts
3rd – 39 pts
4th – 24 pts
5th – 15 pts
6th – 9 pts
7th – 6 pts
All others – 3.0 pts.

Graph.jpg

As you can tell, there are huge point jumps when more players are paid out.
 
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Bloody Marvelous

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Graphing league points (part II, the sequel)

As a comparison I've graphed the league points from 6-30 players based on the formula I use (at $25 buy-in, and no rebuys). Since I'm leaving out rebuys and add-ons the shape is pretty much determined by the simplified formula: Points = SQRT(Players * Buy-in) / (1 + Rank). I've multiplied the results by 100, but that's just a cosmetic thing. You can leave that out if you don't want it.

I'm awarding points to every player (based on the concept that just because you didn't finish in the money, doesn't mean you suck at poker), but you can cut the points off at a certain point if you want.

Since I'm using the Square root, the points for first place don't double when the number of players double. It goes up by the square root of 2 (1.41). The same would happen if you double the buy-in from $25 to $50. So first place in a $25 tournament with 20 players gives you the same amount of points as first place in a $50 tournament with 10 players. If you keep the buy-in the same throughout the league, you can leave that out of the equation as well, bringing the formula down to its most basic form: Points = SQRT(Players) / (1 + Rank).

Graph 2.jpg

To compensate for the occasional bad run you can also count the x best scores. So if your league has 12 games, only count the 8 highest scores. This will also allow players to miss a couple of games, and not be out of the running.
Or do it the Olympic way, and remove the best 2 and the worst 2 scores, so a luckbox doesn't score high just because he won a single tournament.
 
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TexRex

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SpeedSix, I think my head is spinning, and I created this system!

My system was designed for no more than 35 players in a tournament, and since I only have 3 tables, practically we are limited to 30. Sorry, I should have mentioned that.

The first year, I used something like this, but tweaked it in each of the next two years. While I created it, I did discuss this extensively with Poker Zombie and one of the guy's in my game, and less extensively with some others in my game. I got ideas from the various poker sites as well.

While the system does ultimately rate players from #1 to #42 (in 2014 for example), I am not concerned with most of those places. I wanted a way to measure the best few performers so the system is designed to reward stronger performances. I'd say it's more like college football than anything else. There are 12 games, and they all count. Our tournaments are designed to be 4 hours long and are high skill tournaments. It is very hard to get lucky and win a tournament, and winning just one with one strong performance would not put anyone near the top. The top players typically perform well 5-7 times in those 12 tournaments.

OK, first, we award points to the top 7 finishers x the participation points. The rest of the players at the final table, bottom 3, only get participation points. Thus, points don't reward all players who make the final table since #8 and #30 get the same number of points. On points, the system does reward the the top 7 performers. The top finisher with 30 players would receive 2x as many points as the top finisher with 15 players. The number of points to the top 7 is exactly proportional to the number of players.

The final table rewards those who made the final table, the last 9 or 10. So far this year, we've had 38 players attend 3 games. We've had 29 final table appearances in those 3 games, but only 21 in the point finishes.

Each score is for all players is totaled. This year, after 3 games, there have been 348.6 points; 35 KOs; 29 FT appearances; 21 ITP (in the points) appearances; and 3 TW (tournament wins). Each player's total is divided by the total in that category to 3 places. For example, the top player so far has a Total Points score of .185, meaning he has 18.5% of the total points. That .185 is 10% of his score.

Given that we've has 12 - 12 - 14 players so far, the KOs, FTs, and ITPs are fairly close. Normally KOs would be much higher if we'd had the 20-21 we've averaged the last couple of years.

The per game performance is divided, and each player's score is counted equally. I know in theory this is not equal, but it gives us a total. I could have designed it to multiply those 5 categories by the number of games played per player, and added that total, but then it's average group total not a players per game average. Again each players score is divided by the total.

A player with one really strong performance might do well in this category and remain near the top in standings all year. We had that happen in 2014 when the winner of the Jan. tournament played only that game before his death. Despite playing in only one game, he had the best per game performance of anyone. But knowing that could happen, I decided that players must play in 7 to compete for awards.

One of my players (the guy who actually built the spreadsheet for me) suggested that we divided their total performance by 7 if they'd played fewer than 7 and let the scores (or chips) fall where they may. We ran it both ways to test. Ultimately that did not change the top performers.

Then all 10 scores are added together to get a total. Varying things as I responded to BG's issue earlier does make a difference after the top 3 players, but so far, the top 3 are unchanged as to order regardless of the 3 different ways I do it. I'll monitor that. What that really seems good for is letting players say, kind of like college football teams used to, "I'm #4" while another says "I'm #4." I don't care how many are #4 -- we only give awards to the top 3. They weren't #1, 2, or 3. When I have a full seasons' worth of stats, I think comparing systems is easier and it's easier to see who fits where in the various systems and judge how valid that is.

All of the games have paid 4 places. Attendance has been down this year; normally we pay 5 (15-20players) or 6 (21-27 players) places. We've kept money out of the evaluation entirely. Our places paid is not related to the evaluation system at all. We pay spots based on entrants, but we award points to the top 7. I'm not sure what we'd do if only 6 showed up, but I haven't had that problem in a long time.

I was originally going to include a $ won element, and even have it be the key element. But I must credit Poker Zombie with pointing out reminding the donators that they are donating probably leads them to quit coming. They certainly don't need that fact pointed out. So I didn't include that.

Having said all of that, WOW! -- I appreciate all the discussion on this. I'd like to have the best system, but I've already figured out you can continue to tweak it, and everyone has their own ideas about what exactly makes up the best performance.
 

TexRex

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I'm not sure I got everyone's questions answered.

Bloody, you did misunderstand the system, but I understand why. I had one line about points, and then talked about payouts without explaining we always give the top 7 extra points.

Here's what I dislike about your system when you have more than one table. Since it rates players down to the first one out, it seems to me there are a couple of problems. I'd like to see your response to both.

Example 1
19 players, 2 tables. T1 w/10 and T2 w/9.
Part 1 -- Tables play at the same rate. On the same hand, T1 and T2 both have a player eliminated. Low chip stack at T1 sees a player at T2 all-in. He is going all-in, but decides to think until the hand is over. Then he goes all-in and loses. Did that player really perform better than the first guy whose table finished its hand faster?
Part 2
-- T2 plays slightly faster. The first guy out is at T2 when T2 has played 20 hands. Before that hand is finished at T1, a player from T1 is eliminated, but T1 is on its 19th hand. Your system seems to reward the player out first at T1 more than the one at T2, but in reality, the player KO'd first lasted one hand longer.
Part 3 -- This problem gets more complicated when you have several tables and they play at different rates. I remember once we joked about how much fun another table was having since it seemed to have life of the party types at it. Tables just don't always play at the same rate.
Part 4 -- (This happened in our game one night.) Player KO'd at T2. Sue moves from T1 to T2, but in the process loses a hand. She plays one hand at T2. Meanwhile, T1 has 3 quick hands in a row, and on the third, 2 players are KO'd. Just so happens Sue is the one moved back to T1. Sue has a low stack, and is the next one out. No one complained because our system doesn't reward this performance with anything other than participation points and KO's if she got any. But an interesting discussion after the game. Sue (not her real name) was upset about the double change, but she was in the seat where both tables needed a player. Someone commented she probably lasted longer than 2 others because of losing hand sin the switch. But was she really better than night than the 2 eliminated from her table?

Example 2 (these come from our game)
3 tables, 9 players each.
Part 1 -- Player KO'd at T3 first hand when his A high flush that he flopped got called by a guy with a medium pair who incredibly called the all-in on the flop, then got runner-runner for 4 of a kind. Call him Joe. That was Joe's only KO, though he managed to go out on the final table bubble. Honestly though, Joe played poorly. After that first hand, 4 other times Joe called all-ins on the flop from players who had vastly superior cards. No kidding, 5 times in a row Joe caught runner-runner to win all 5 hands. Comically, Joe actually had the better hand when he went all-in on the flop, and his opponent got runner-runner to win. Poetic justice I guess. But I can't help but wonder if Joe's performance really was better than the 16 people who went out before him based only on the time they went out.
Part 2 -- T3 was brutal -- 8 of those players were among the best players. T1 is the easy table with 1 solid player at it. T2 is mixed. T3 loses two players, then came an odd progression of events. Players from T2 and T1 shuffled to T3, which proved to be a graveyard for them. When we tabled up to 2 tables, every single KO had occurred at T3. The second out at T3 was a very solid player and I think better than any player at the other two tables on most nights.

To me, when you start trying to decide which player is best among the lower finishers, it's just a lot of speculation. Too many factors go into it. On the other hand, I think getting to the FT is easy to distinguish. There might not be much difference between #10 and #11, but at least #10 made the FT. The difference between #11 and #25? OK, I see that, but what about #16 and #17? Or any other consecutive numbers.

Plus, it can be hard to track when players go out almost simultaneously. I'd hate to think that I didn't win an award because of the Example 1 Part 1 issue, but it seems it could.

Maybe you could give me a perfectly good explanation, but it just seems to me there are a lot of questions.

Now, for a one table tournament, I think it's much easier to rate from top to bottom. There were no variables like speed of play or quality of competition to complicate it.

That's why I went the route of only trying to distinguish between measurable differences that mean something. I don't know that we did that perfectly, but I do think the first two years the best player for the year came out on top. I think those who won awards were among the best players. I think we had some really strong players who didn't win awards too.

I'll also say this. It seems to me that with my system of rewarding the best performances and treating the worst of them equally (in theory #11-30), it clearly distinguishes players based on good performances, not their worst. Maybe the difference between two players was one of them finishing in the points one more time instead of trying to settle it on the basis of #22 and #23 in one tournament.

Of course, the most important thing is do your players feel like the system rewards the very best player(s) at the end of the year?
 

Bloody Marvelous

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You ask valid questions, and yes, in your examples, if someone finishes higher that person will receive more points. But because of the shape of the curve, the advantage in points you get is negligible compared to what you get when you finish in the top.

Using your examples in a 30 player $25 buy-in tournament, 12 players left on two tables, winner getting 1369 points, this is what would happen:
1.1: 12th place finisher gets 211 points (15.4% of 1st place points), and 11th place gets 228 points (16.7%). That's +1.3% because you decided to wait for the outcome of the all-in hand, which can be a valid strategic move in a tournament, the same as nitting up to get in the money.
1.2: I don't think this is really a concern. Everyone is in the same blind level. Also, this happens in every tournament, and I don't see that being rated as part of how difficult it is to reach the final table.
1.3: At 3 tables there are at least 21 players still in the game. The points advantage you get now is from 124 (9.1%) to 130 (9.5%): +0.4%.
1.4: Assuming Sue is moved when there are only 12 players left in the game, she just jumped from 211 (15.4%) to 249 points (18.2%): +2.8%. That's assuming that Sue would be all-in in that same hand as the other two players (4 way all-ins are pretty rare), and she would've lost.

These aren't huge jumps when compared to what you get if you win the tournament.

2.1: As I understand it Joe luckboxed himself from 26th place to 21st place. Luck is always a factor in poker, which is why you hold more than one tournament in a league. In this case Joe could've gone out with 101 points (7.4%), but managed to get himself to 124 points (8.7%) through sheer luck of the draw. A gain of 1.3%.
2.2: There's nothing quantifiable here. Are you saying that the two fish at Table 3 might have lasted longer had they sat at another table? Or that the solid player who was out second would have lasted longer? Probably yes. They would also have lasted longer if they hadn't run in to coolers or didn't get sucked out on. That's the luck of the draw (both in seating and in cards). You're not ranking the players based on a single tournament, but over a whole season. Let's, for argument's sake, say that the solid player could've finished 15th i.s.o. 29th. He could've gotten 183 points (13.3%), but instead got only 91 points (6.7%). That's 6.6% that he missed out on, which he can easily make up for in the rest of the season.

Here's the difference between the rankings you mentioned:
10th & 11th -- 274 (20%) & 249 (18.2): +1.8%. In your structure 10th may have made the final table, but he still didn't win any money, and gets the same ranking points as 30th place.
11th & 25th -- 249 (18.2%) & 105 (7.7%): +10.5%. Because going out as the 5th player, or as the final table bubble boy is a big difference in how well you played.
16th & 17th -- 161 (11.8%) & 152 (11.1%): +0.7%. Because there isn't much of a difference between these two places.

Could a small difference ultimately be the deciding factor? Yes, it could. But that small difference is where the winning player did do a little better that one time over the losing player, and when it's that close, it'd be a coin flip in any points structure.
Could players slow the game to get more points? Absolutely. But when the points difference becomes relevant we're already at the final table. If there's a big advantage to be had by slowplaying on multiple tables, you should be playing all tables hand for hand.
When two players on two different tables go out at the same time, the player who had the bigger stack is ranked higher.

I still can't grasp the way you award points. Perhaps you could post a spreadsheet of your system so others can play around with it, and see how it actually works.
 

Bloody Marvelous

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There's a couple of things I think unbalance your points system.

OK, first, we award points to the top 7 finishers x the participation points. The rest of the players at the final table, bottom 3, only get participation points. Thus, points don't reward all players who make the final table since #8 and #30 get the same number of points. On points, the system does reward the the top 7 performers. The top finisher with 30 players would receive 2x as many points as the top finisher with 15 players. The number of points to the top 7 is exactly proportional to the number of players.

...

I'm not sure what we'd do if only 6 showed up, but I haven't had that problem in a long time.

As I understand this you award the top 7 points whether there are 7 players (even first player eliminated gets points) or 30 players (you need to survive 23 eliminations before you make the points). I don't think I need to explain that finishing in the top 20% is a lot harder than being among the first players eliminated. I don't think the difficulty in getting 6 points for 7th place out of 30 compares to the ease of getting 5.6 points for finishing 4th out of 7.

Reaching the final table in a field of 30 is a lot more difficult than in a field of 15. Reaching the final table in a field of 10 or less is probably the easiest way to gain points.

The per game performance is divided, and each player's score is counted equally. I know in theory this is not equal, but it gives us a total. ... Again each players score is divided by the total.

A player with one really strong performance might do well in this category and remain near the top in standings all year. We had that happen in 2014 when the winner of the Jan. tournament played only that game before his death. Despite playing in only one game, he had the best per game performance of anyone. But knowing that could happen, I decided that players must play in 7 to compete for awards.

An average score could result in a player who performed well in the first 8 or 9 tournaments to stop coming to prevent dragging his score down. A cumulative score means that your points will only increase as you play more. Only counting the top X points (i.e. best 10 out of 12) allows players to keep playing to improve their scores, and/or not punishing them for missing games.
 

TexRex

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Bloody, thanks for the answers. My system is pretty complex in terms of how it works, but very simple to run. You simply plug in the FT in order of finish, and then plug in the rest of the players names (I do it in alphabetical order). Then I go back and record each player's KOs for the game. I then hit "refresh" and the spreadsheet does all the calculations for me.

To clarify, Example 2 Part 1, Joe finished in 11th place, not 21st. I think that's what you meant though. In ours, Joe got 2.7 participation points x 1 finish point, or 2.7 points -- the same as everyone else who didn't get into the top 7. We absolutely agree on the challenge of making it through with more players. That's why our participation points is directly proportional to the number of players. So if we only had 7 players, the last finisher would get 1.4 points -- or less points than the guy who finished last in a 30 player tournament. But the top finisher would only get 23.8 (corrected from 71.4) points, whereas the top finisher in a 30 player tournament would get 102 (corrected from 306) points.

Your last question is a good one. Trying to figure out how to encourage a guy to keep coming after he's performed well in 8/9 tournaments is why per game performance only counts half and totals count half. Is it the right mix? Honestly, I don't know, but it's how I've done it until I can see a better system. All of the top players have attended the last tournament of the year the last two years (and we are in year 3). Our awards (which were worth about $10) are more about bragging rights, but this is Texas, so don't underestimate the value of that!

We had fully 10 players at our December tournament with a mathematical chance of winning our top award in 2014. If a guy at the top sat out, any one of those other 9 winning would keep them from being our Top Gun (the award for our top player). And that would be the 9 other players who have performed the best throughout the year. I think they are following the old adage, "The fastest horse in the race doesn't always win, but that is the way to bet."

One question I forgot to ask is this. Suppose you don't allow players to enter after the 2nd round. A player is eliminated on the first hand of the 2nd round. On the last hand of the second round, a new player shows up. Does he automatically finish with more points than the first out (or even several who might be out)? What if he goes out the very first hand he plays? One problem I have with ranking players all the way from top to bottom with more points is that late arrivals after someone is out rewards late attendance. It's a tough call. If a regular says he going to come, but will be there toward the end of the 2nd round, if he shows up in time, I think it's bad policy to turn him away if you allow players in that late merely because another player has already gone out.

I do agree that the guy who finished 11th out of 30 performed better than the guy who finished 30th. My system just says neither was good enough to reward for where they finished. The guy who finished 30th cannot have any KOs that game though, whereas the guy who finished 11th could have several. However, I've found that in almost every tournament, the vast majority of the KOs were by people who made the final table. Sometimes ALL of the KOs are by people at the final table.

I can see a legitimate criticism of my system that it's hard to distinguish between the mid- and lower-level players. I think that's true with any system. In my system though, there is no real gain to finishing 15th over 16th, or even 40th for that matter.

We allow players to enter through either the 6th round or the start of the final table, whichever comes first. I used to cut off entries after 2 rounds (40 minutes), but sentiment in our group was strong for getting their money in. That makes it possible for someone to come in when we are down to 11, which gives them a better chance of getting to the final table. It's not perfect, but it has the advantage of getting their money in the game. That's why I do it. I've tracked late arrivals and them getting in the money. Only 3 of the last 60+ (just under 5%) late arrivals made it in the money, compared with an average of about 25%. Of our last 210 in the money finishers, only 3 showed up even 1 hand late. So I'm not really worried that they will buy their way into the money. Statistically, it's rare and much easier to show up for the whole tournament and cash. In part because of that possibility though, we only reward final table and top 7 finishes. And no one who was already out is actually hurt. In fact, one more player in boosts everyone's points a little bit.

If I knew how to post a spreadsheet, I would. If you will PM me your email address, I'm happy to send it to you. Same to everyone else. I honestly would love feedback on it.
 
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Bloody Marvelous

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If a player tells me he'll be there, I'll have a stack waiting for him which will be blinded off until he arrives, or the late entry period is over at which point the stack is removed.

If the entry is prepaid, the stack stays on the table until it is completely blinded off. If that player happens to finish in the money (and unbelievably that has happened once), he gets his winnings the next time I see him. He of course also gets the points that go with that place finish.

It's a strategy that's open to anyone (sitting out that is), and if the other players can exercise patience, the chance of an unattended stack going very far is quite low. If you're unlucky, or just donking off your chips, and through that were unable to outlast a player who isn't there, then you get fewer points. That's just the way that cookie crumbles :).
 
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