Tourney Is 10 too few for a second table?

atomiktoaster

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We have ten tonight, and a couple tables that are both a little tight with more than 7 or 8. Is there any downside to starting with 5 people at each table and then combining at 7 or 8? I haven't had to deal with this issue before.
 

BGinGA

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Cash or tournament? What game(s) is/are being played?
 

Mental Nomad

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I'm assuming tournament - I think it will play weird - five already feels like final table, never mind when one player is knocked out and you're playing with four. If your table really can't accommodate 10, though, you may have no choice.

If you can handle a squeeze at 10, I'd say suffer through it until the first two bust out, and use the second table for a cash game.

If you're allowing rebuys, it may be wiser to open two tables with 5 if the 10 is really tight, because it may take longer for two to bust out - but I'd combine the tables as soon as two bust out.

On the plus side, at a table of 5, the proper hand holdings are much looser than a full table, so people should get heavily involved more quickly, which leads to the first two bust-outs quickly, which lets you combine tables soon.
 

brains613

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If a tournament, keep in mind that the blinds will be coming around really quickly, and the starting stacks and clock should be adjusted to reflect that.
 

atomiktoaster

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Tournament NLHE (it's tagged tournament, but not obvious in the thread), plan was no rebuys, T1000 tournament starting at 5/10 shooting for two 2 hour sessions.

Cash chips will be available, but game would have to be paused/ended for 2nd session.

Social game, $10 buy-in, high variance appreciated (no casino play experience from any players, varying amounts of home game time).
 

Mental Nomad

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If a tournament, keep in mind that the blinds will be coming around really quickly, and the starting stacks and clock should be adjusted to reflect that.

Good point. I'd even consider counting and syncing up the deals if they get too out of whack, in case one table is going around much quicker than the other. The table going quicker is likely to have the first bust-out, and after that, it will go even faster with only four players!
 

atomiktoaster

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Good point. I'd even consider counting and syncing up the deals if they get too out of whack, in case one table is going around much quicker than the other. The table going quicker is likely to have the first bust-out, and after that, it will go even faster with only four players!

Luckily nobody else is thinking about hands or blinds per hour, tournament pace or variance (so I won't get any complaints, I just have to justify the decision to myself). They are all thinking about room to put their beer somewhere, which will be tight with 10.
 

ChaosRock

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Those are my thoughts exactly...

The only thing I'd try to do differently is to combine at 9 and not 8, table permitting of course. I think the difference between playing 4-handed and 5-handed in different tables might be too much... The 4-handed plays 25% more hands comparatively... But if you can't fit 9 for final table, 8 it is, no problem...



I'm assuming tournament - I think it will play weird - five already feels like final table, never mind when one player is knocked out and you're playing with four. If your table really can't accommodate 10, though, you may have no choice.

If you can handle a squeeze at 10, I'd say suffer through it until the first two bust out, and use the second table for a cash game.

If you're allowing rebuys, it may be wiser to open two tables with 5 if the 10 is really tight, because it may take longer for two to bust out - but I'd combine the tables as soon as two bust out.

On the plus side, at a table of 5, the proper hand holdings are much looser than a full table, so people should get heavily involved more quickly, which leads to the first two bust-outs quickly, which lets you combine tables soon.
 

manamongkids

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I hate to say this, mostly because I'm a pessimist. I wouldnt be shocked if someone dropped out last minute.

Hopefully, it swings the other way, and you gain last minute players! Then you will def need a 2nd table
 

atomiktoaster

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I hate to say this, mostly because I'm a pessimist. I wouldnt be shocked if someone dropped out last minute.

Hopefully, it swings the other way, and you gain last minute players! Then you will def need a 2nd table

Always a possibility, though the flakier regulars have already said no, and the new guys probably feel a little more committed. They're all from work, so I've touched base with most of them today. I'd be really surprised to pick up a late addition though.

Thanks for all the input guys. Despite all the concerns from serious poker players, I'm gonna go ahead for extra elbow room tonight. One of the guys was ready to bring a can of loose change to play with instead of chips so if the pace is a little off, it should go unnoticed. I'll change it up next time if any of the issues pop up.
 

Mental Nomad

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Idea:

Open with two tables of 5. Play normally until one person busts out.
Play until you hit the next level of blinds. If you're still at 9 players total, do the following:
1. Let the blinds bump up, but freeze the clock.
2. Freeze the play at the 4-person table.
3. Play the 5-person table until one drops.
4. Combing the tables for 8, and start the clock on level.

Then you end up with five buy-ins distributed among four players from both tables.

Freezing one table (and the clock) may slow action a little, but with five players at the table, you should see a lot of pot involvement, anyway. The overall progression should still be much faster than a 10-person table running until 2 get knocked out.
 

DarPodo

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Just keep 2 tables of 5 and call it a 6-max Tournament. Combine again at 6. Play will be fast and fun all night, and best of all, comfortable!
 

Mental Nomad

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OK, I just thought of a crazy tournament variant for your situation. Needs two tables, accommodates about ten people. I call it, "Seven-Up."

- First seven people to show up get to buy in at the table; game begins.
- Next three people buy in at the second table and wait.
- When the first table is down to three players - that is, four have busted out - the second table hits seven players. Shuffle up and deal!
- When the first table finishes, the three players there sort out the chips for new buy-ins. And wait for the first four bust-outs from table two.

There are a couple of cool things about this setup:
1. Since there are two separate games in play at many times, you get more total games in.
2. There are always at least four people playing - as soon as it drops to three players, the other seven get to start a new game immediately.
3. Everybody actually gets more play time, because there's a lot less time with a large number of people waiting for the next game to start.
4. The last three to show up may be forced to wait, but usually one or two are late, and everyone else is forced to wait. No more!
5. Whoever waits up front probably makes up the time in extra playing time due to the fact that multiple games will start more quickly during the night, anyway.
6. Whoever is doing really well is collecting money. Whoever's having bad luck at least gets back into play more quickly instead of sitting around a long time.

I think this formula scales well:
- Start the game with 2/3 of the players; 1/3 wait.
- Start the second game as soon as 2/3 are out of play again.

So if someone cancels and you're going to have nine players, consider playing "Six-up."

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Just keep 2 tables of 5 and call it a 6-max Tournament. Combine again at 6. Play will be fast and fun all night, and best of all, comfortable!

I like the idea, but I think you'll occasionally have one table go to heads-up before the other table drops to four. Loose starting requirements and rapid short-handed games accelerate the table that's already ahead.
 

atomiktoaster

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I kinda want to try Seven-up "FOR SCIENCE" but I can't figure how to deal with the blinds. Do you have two separate timers going? Also, what's the effect of 30% of the field sitting out from the early blinds? They just drop in with a slightly short stack (compared to table average).
 

Mental Nomad

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Yeah, two clocks with two separate blind progressions. Two separate tourneys, each tourney is seven people.

I use BlindValet and, because of my line of work, I have spare computers and laptops all over the place. You can also run it on a smartphone or tablet.

The first three people sitting out aren't part of the first tournament at all; they never drop into it. They're just waiting for the second game to start, which will start as soon as four drop out of the first tournament.

Instead of running, say, three 10-player tournaments, you'll probably six or maybe even seven 7-player tournaments, because you start the second tournament before the first even finishes, and you often have two running at once. You may even get 8 in, because 7-player sit-and-go is inherently faster per person than a 10-player sit-and-go (fewer player decisions per deal.)

If my math is right, a group of 10 players doing repeated 10-player tournaments will, on average, have four people sitting out. A group of 10 players with two tables playing a Seven-Up tournament will, on average, have less, 3.25 people sitting out. In Seven-Up, even when you account for three extra people sitting out at the start and finish of the night, you'll still have less than 4 people sitting out, on average.

Crap, now I have to prove that last part to myself... that it's still less than 4 people sitting out even when you account for the opening and closing lag...

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OK, here's a side-by-side for a Regular 10-player tournament (whether it's on one or two tables) and a Seven-Up! tournament with 10 players on two tables.

For the Regular side, on the left, first column is the number of people in the game, and the right is number sitting out.
For three full tourneys, you average 4.0 sitting out per "stage."

On the Seven-Up! side, there's a column for the number of players in each Tournament, and in the middle, the number of people sitting out. Assuming almost the same number of "stages" as for three Regular tourneys, you'll get in six Seven-Up! tourneys, and average only 3.77 people sitting out, even assuming all ten player show up right on time and you start the night with exactly three sitting out.

SevenUpComparison.JPG

(Green highlight shows the start of a new tournament.)



Six-Up! does even better, on that measure. Only 2.38 people out, on average.

View attachment 6084



It's basically two 6-player Sit 'N Go's. Much easier to explain that way.

Probably works well for about ten players, give or take one or two.
 
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TheDeezer

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Sounds to me that the game is at such stakes you have room to be creative. It is all about the experience. The $$ is a side bar in this scenario. I would be flexible as a player in your spot and let you just go with what seems at the time fair based on head count. Good luck !
 

BGinGA

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I would never freeze the clock under any circumstances for any tournament -- unless play is also stopped.


The only thing I'd try to do differently is to combine at 9 and not 8, table permitting of course. I think the difference between playing 4-handed and 5-handed in different tables might be too much... The 4-handed plays 25% more hands comparatively...

Absolutely. We start with 9 players/table (10 players max.), and 11+ players always requires two tables. Tables never have less than five players (except the final table) because we combine tables at nine.

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Just keep 2 tables of 5 and call it a 6-max Tournament. Combine again at 6. Play will be fast and fun all night, and best of all, comfortable!

With 10-12 players, this is a perfect solution.

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I like the idea, but I think you'll occasionally have one table go to heads-up before the other table drops to four. Loose starting requirements and rapid short-handed games accelerate the table that's already ahead.

Not if the event is being ran properly. The two tables should never be off by more than one player, and players are moved to maintain that balancce (typically the next BB player on the heavy table moves to the light table). Prior to combining tables at six players, there will be four and three on the two tables. Always. (unless two players bust simultaneously from larger-sized tables)
 
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Poker Zombie

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I know that you are being very casual, but I would suggest the TDA rule (#11): Number of Players at Final Table

Final tables will have the number of players at a full table for the event, plus one more player. (ex: 9-handed events seat 10 at the final table, 8-handed stud seats 9, 6-handed seats 7, etc.). No final table should seat more than 10. This rule does not apply to heads-up events.

This basically means follow DarPodo's response.
 

SixSpeedFury

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Always a possibility, though the flakier regulars have already said no, and the new guys probably feel a little more committed. They're all from work, so I've touched base with most of them today. I'd be really surprised to pick up a late addition though.

Thanks for all the input guys. Despite all the concerns from serious poker players, I'm gonna go ahead for extra elbow room tonight. One of the guys was ready to bring a can of loose change to play with instead of chips so if the pace is a little off, it should go unnoticed. I'll change it up next time if any of the issues pop up.

I lol'ed at this. Take your change that way >>>>>>
 

Mental Nomad

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The two tables should never be off by more than one player, and players are moved to maintain that balancce (typically the next BB player on the heavy table moves to the light table). Prior to combining tables at six players, there will be four and three on the two tables. Always. (unless two players bust simultaneously from larger-sized tables)

Rebalancing players is the right solution, but I just feel it's inconvenient in a home game scenario. People settle in and would rather stay put... You can choose who moves fairly, but it can still be disliked - and it definitely concentrates chips onto one table, which makes it an imperfect solution.

I don't share your hate of stopping the clock in this circumstance.
 

atomiktoaster

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Quick post mortem: did 5 and 5, combined at 8, both times the table with four had the second bust, too. It was my table, where I was keeping play moving.

It was extra short stacked, but still each game ran about 2.5 hrs, with a chop between the last two players, no hands played.

The guy who was bringing the spare change cashed big (beginners luck? ). He also shoved his stack into the pot before counting it. Twice...

We did have a cash game start, but they used the tourney chips before I had time to point out the cash set. The Craigslist table played well, but there were some issues with the legs bending and unlocking causing wobble.

I didn't cash at all, but one of the guys who had never cashed before and usually busts out first placed in the money for the first time, which was exciting.
 

BGinGA

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And everyone had a good time? That's the most important aspect of all. Also looking forward to hearing that newbie's trip report on changetalk.net.
 

atomiktoaster

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Yeah, I think they enjoyed it. One of my friends went on a rant or two about how caring too much about the game makes it no fun. He was rolling dice to size his bets.

I was more stressed than usual, with a lot more questions to field and things to explain. Plus I had some bad hands (and no chance to recover, given the structure). Pocket pair all-in pre-flop called by 83o and villain gets two pair. Next game, I completely missed 4 connectors on the board and get my two pair busted by a straight. Got to keep my head in the game...
 

atomiktoaster

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Dice. A great card capper, and a good way to give zero information about the size of your bet.. I like it... in a sick way.
It was a 20-sided, and he shoved on 20 and folded on 1. Got some people a little tilty. I'm pretty sure he didn't cap his cards, since it's too "try-hard" though.
 

Jeff

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I like when tournaments have to start short handed. It requires you adjust your game. :)
 

Jeremy

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My opinion is 6 mini per table --> For second table need to be 12 ... otherwise, blinds are coming too fast !
 

Bloody Marvelous

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Depends on why you do it.

If you want the tables to be max 8 handed or 6 handed, that can be a structure choice (or a requirement, depending on what games you play).
If your tables can only seat 8 players (like an octagon), then of course!
If you do it so you can accommodate late players, I'm all for that.

As you see, there are plenty of reasons why splitting 10 players over 2 tables is a great idea.

If, however, you only invited 9 other players, and your table can seat 10, then I say play at one table. That just keeps things simpler (no balancing/moving players/single dealer), and you can prepare the second table for cash games.
 
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