Tourney Planning for my first tournament during xmas break. Tips? (1 Viewer)

Yenaled

Sitting Out
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
23
Reaction score
61
Location
London Ontario Canada
Hey people! I'm planning my first tournament and I'm going for up to 20 players (2 tables) (NLHE). I thought I would post a summary of my situation so you guys could let me know any tips or if I'm doing something wrong that could cause problems.

Chips:

-ceramic DDLM's
-starting stack 20,000:
- 2 x T5000, 6 x T1000, 6 x T500, 8 x T100, 8 x T25

Structure:

-blinds starting at 25/50
-blind levels increasing every 25 minutes with a 10 minute break every hour
-1 hour dinner break at some point

(Chips and structure based off of Christopher M. YouTube video. Thanks Chris, very helpful! Link:

Players:

So I basically made a list with everyone I know that has played poker before and have interest in participating in this event. I have a solid group of about 6 people that know the game pretty well, they're pretty reliable, and they're regulars at my weekly cash games. I also have another 6 or so that aren't regulars but I'm confident they will come. So the list is about 25, but I'm going to keep searching for people before I send them all an email with event details and accept RSVPs. Because I want to fill up all 20 people, I want to have more than that assuming that some will not do it. Maybe I will try to get it to 30 or 35. (I am being careful to only invite people I know and trust, or at least friends of friends that I trust).

Buy in/prize pool:

20$ (CAD) ? Seems like a good amount that everybody would be ok with parting with. Since my Birthday and Christmas are both coming up very soon, I am also asking my parents and other family members to sponsor the event to boost the prize pool. I don't know if they actually will but that would be cool.

Tables and Seating:

I have a poker table and 10 chairs. It's a 6 player table, 10 players will be tight but it will work. I will borrow a 2nd poker table from my friend along with 10 more chairs. Both tables will fit in my living room. The regulars don't like random seating for cash games but I will do my best to enforce random seating for this tournament to keep it fair.

Helpers:

My awesome twin sister said she would help out and act as the "tournament director". She has little to no poker experience, but I will coach her so on the day she can handle signing people in and giving them chips, moving players, keeping track of blind levels, coloring up chips (if she can handle that), ordering pizza, etc. All that good stuff. That's great because it takes weight off of my shoulders so I can focus more on participating. She is a good leader so she will do great. I don't have any dealers but I'm not concerned about that, we can just deal for ourselves and then someone who busted can volunteer to deal for the final few.

Payouts:

What percentage of the group should be paid? Standard is 15% but maybe I should increase that? Maybe 25%? Assuming I will have 20 players and pay 25% that's 5 players in the money, sounds good to me. Let me know what you guys think is best.

Questions:

Let me know if you guys think it all sounds good, I will keep working on my list of people, and then at some point in the next few weeks send an email with details about date, time, buy-in, rules, etc.

Is there a good strategy to get people to RSVP earlier rather than later? A lot of these people like to let you know like the day of if they are coming, I'm guessing because they place poker low on their list of priorities and will only come if they don't have anything better to do. But I need to know ahead of time how many people are coming for a tournament, right? Should I give extra starting chips to people that RSVP earlier? Or is there a better way? Let me know what you guys think.

Just generally is there anything that I should expect to run into and be prepared for? I want to be super prepared and have everything go smoothly so any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

Steve Birrer

Two Pair
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
365
Reaction score
269
Location
Idaho and MIssissippi
IMO a break, especially 10 minutes, is way too often. First off no break will ever be as short as the time you have scheduled. Second that's 15% of the time spent on breaks. I usually do every two hours.
 

tabletalker7

Full House
Joined
Aug 8, 2019
Messages
3,252
Reaction score
4,703
Location
Buffalo NY
1. A break of 10 minutes every hour is a good thing. Gives smokers a chance to go outside and drinkers a chance to hit the can.

2. Get "The Tournament Director" software for PC. It is well worth it.
 

Colquhoun

Flush
Joined
Apr 4, 2020
Messages
2,256
Reaction score
4,131
Location
Long Island, NY
Last edited:

Steve Birrer

Two Pair
Joined
Aug 16, 2017
Messages
365
Reaction score
269
Location
Idaho and MIssissippi
Agree wholeheartedly on getting Tournament Director.

Disagree wholeheartedly:) on a 10 minute break every hour.
1. Its easy to fold a hand and hit the head and be back before the next hand is played. Guys do that all the time.
2. Smokers can take a break and go out for a smoke anytime they want. And the two guys in my group do so without issue.
3. My group would rather be playing poker that taking breaks. The other problem is that it adds a lot of total time to your tournament unless you jack up the blind structure.

But at the end of the day its your tournament and you have to decide what you think is the best approach for your group and it might take a couple of tournaments for you to hone in on what is best for your situation.
 

Yenaled

Sitting Out
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
23
Reaction score
61
Location
London Ontario Canada
Agree wholeheartedly on getting Tournament Director.

Disagree wholeheartedly:) on a 10 minute break every hour.
1. Its easy to fold a hand and hit the head and be back before the next hand is played. Guys do that all the time.
2. Smokers can take a break and go out for a smoke anytime they want. And the two guys in my group do so without issue.
3. My group would rather be playing poker that taking breaks. The other problem is that it adds a lot of total time to your tournament unless you jack up the blind structure.

But at the end of the day its your tournament and you have to decide what you think is the best approach for your group and it might take a couple of tournaments for you to hone in on what is best for your situation.
I don't think I will have any smokers, we are a younger crowd. But I will take your advice and shorten the breaks. It will take actual experience to get it right and this is my first time so I'll just go with something and hope for the best
 

PARADOX

Two Pair
Joined
Jan 17, 2021
Messages
357
Reaction score
220
Location
US
1. A break of 10 minutes every hour is a good thing. Gives smokers a chance to go outside and drinkers a chance to hit the can.

2. Get "The Tournament Director" software for PC. It is well worth it.
+1 for these tips. Get the Tournament Director a day or two before your tourney to learn the software and take full advantage of the free trial period.

Schedule 10 min breaks every hour to 80 mins (In Your Case 75 Mins). Time them when you will be doing chip up. You can always skip the break if players want to continue, you're done with chip up, or after any other time.
 

Yenaled

Sitting Out
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
23
Reaction score
61
Location
London Ontario Canada
Get rid of the $25 chips n just start blinds at 100/100 or 100/200 im telling you $25s are a waste of time
nah man I spent a lot of money of these chips, I want to use them! Although to save time I could take out the 5ks to cut the starting stack in half and then I can still introduce them later with colouring up
 
Joined
Nov 17, 2014
Messages
132
Reaction score
108
Location
USA
Having played on a sub-optimal poker table (read too small for the number of players) I will state that I prefer a cloth over a large table. Playing on a cramped table is no fun at all. A padded rail and speed cloth may look nice but most of my players prefer playing on my dining room table with a cloth and a thin pad underneath. I've postponed building my folding top because of this. Unless you have a 10 person table I would forgo the 6 person table.
 

BigSlick4523

Flush
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
2,103
Reaction score
970
Location
Michigan
Oh ok you already got the chips but yeah I use to do alot of tourneys n I just got rid of $25s but to each their own good luck
 

BigSlick4523

Flush
Joined
Nov 14, 2014
Messages
2,103
Reaction score
970
Location
Michigan
Having played on a sub-optimal poker table (read too small for the number of players) I will state that I prefer a cloth over a large table. Playing on a cramped table is no fun at all. A padded rail and speed cloth may look nice but most of my players prefer playing on my dining room table with a cloth and a thin pad underneath. I've postponed building my folding top because of this. Unless you have a 10 person table I would forgo the 6 person table.
if anything go buy one of those 8ft folding tables at like costco or sams club for like $80 those work decent for 8-10 people
 

Frogzilla

Full House
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2017
Messages
3,555
Reaction score
5,083
Location
Frisco, TX
What are you asking for your parents to help sponsor..sodas and snacks? Maybe a cheap trophy? Definitely don’t boost the prize pool.

As to what to expect, be ready for a couple inevitable late cancellations, a couple stragglers, with any large group just be ready to roll with it.

Finally, what’s going on during the last half of the tournament? Loser’s cash game? Have that planned out too
 

Yenaled

Sitting Out
Joined
Feb 16, 2021
Messages
23
Reaction score
61
Location
London Ontario Canada
What are you asking for your parents to help sponsor..sodas and snacks? Maybe a cheap trophy? Definitely don’t boost the prize pool.

As to what to expect, be ready for a couple inevitable late cancellations, a couple stragglers, with any large group just be ready to roll with it.

Finally, what’s going on during the last half of the tournament? Loser’s cash game? Have that planned out too
why not boost the prize pool? And I have no plans for the last half, I was thinking they would just hang out and spectate remaining players
 

DeeVee8

Straight
Supporting Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2016
Messages
833
Reaction score
1,315
Location
Fleming Island, FL
If you get 20 players and 25 min levels, this will go for a long time, imho. If that's what you're looking for, great!

I haven't seen your structure, but I'd guess the tourney will end when there is 20k in the pot pre-flop. So like...6k/12k or 8k/16k. Offhand I'd recommend 20 min levels and breaks every 90 to 120 min.
 
Top Bottom