Tourney Request for Tourney Structure help: BGinGA

Zippity

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Hey BGinGA,

I know you're a pro at designing stacks. I have a friend who is hosting a poker party for his 30th birthday and he wants to use his own chips (which I have no problems with) since he got a brand new set of poker chips.

He has asked me how to set up a tournament that would run for 4-5 hours for approximately 10-15 people. He only has the following denominations: 5, 25, 100, 500, 1000. He does have a few 5000 chips, but has expressed he'd rather not use it.

Could you help design a good starting stack and lay out the blind structures?

You're such a godsend. Thanks!

Z
 

links_slayer

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I'll give my 2¢ (even though I'm not Dave...)

Assuming he has enough chips to accomodate it (this info is left out of OP) I would recommend the following:

T1,000 Starting Stacks:
10 x 5
10 x 25
7 x 100
(1/2/3 x 500 if you want T1,500/T2,000/T2,500)

Here is the blind structure I have loaded into Tournament Director for T1,000 to T2,500 tourneys (time is not usually a constraint for us):

5 / 10
10 / 20
15 / 30
20 / 40
30 / 60
50 / 100
75 / 150
100 / 200
150 / 300
200 / 400
300 / 600
400 / 800
600 / 1200
800 / 1600
1000 / 2000
1500 / 3000
2000 / 4000
3000 / 6000
 

Mr Tree

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Dave you should start charging for this service (after giving me input for S@P II of course)

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1416677172.242938.jpg
 

Zippity

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I know there's an art involved in this.... I tried recreating it myself, but I can't really figure out an acceptable formula for doing it.
 

BGinGA

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He has asked me how to set up a tournament that would run for 4-5 hours for approximately 10-15 people. He only has the following denominations: 5, 25, 100, 500, 1000. He does have a few 5000 chips, but has expressed he'd rather not use it.

Could you help design a good starting stack and lay out the blind structures?

Can't realistically do starting stacks (or blind structure, for that matter) without knowing the number of chips available (per denomination). Be glad to help once that info is provided.
 

Big Jilm

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I can't post the word doc I have for this, but I can copy/paste it. For future games with different numbers of players or desired lengths, use this:

BLIND STRUCTURE


Introduction

Your goal for designing a blind structure for a No-Limit tournament is to create a game that rewards good poker skills, while increasing the blinds over time to encourage the tournament to finish within a reasonable amount of time (say 2~3 hours).
In general, low blinds favor the better players. As the blinds start increasing, there is less room for players to maneuver -- eventually, the shorter stacked players will be forced to go all-in preflop.


Designing a blind structure, and the M concept:
Magriel's M can be thought of as a measure of how desperate a player is in a tournament. As a player's M starts to shrink, his ability to play "good" poker diminishes.
A player's M is calculated as:
M = Player's Current Chips / (Big Blind + Small Blind + Antes per orbit)
As a rough measure of how the blinds restrict a player:
* M>20 -- A player is unrestricted
* M~10 -- A player is close to the danger zone and must play more aggressively with weaker hands
* M<=5 -- A player must move all in preflop
You'll probably want to start your players off with an M>20 and less than 100 -- unless you want a fairly long game. Starting with an M of around 30~50 will allow your players plenty of room to maneuver, while allowing you to increase the blinds gradually for a 2~3 hour game. Longer tournaments will typically start players with much deeper stacks. The WSOP, for example, starts the players with an M of 133.
Examples:
* T2500 w/ 25/50 blinds, players start with M=33
* T5000 w/ 25/50 blinds, players start with M=66
Similar to a player's M, the overall tournament M (tM) is a measure of how a tournament is progressing. Typically, a tournament will end around the time when tM = 10. It is possible for the tournament to end sooner, but it's hard for it to end too much later (unless your players are VERY passive).
tM = (sum of ALL chips in play) / (Big Blind + Small Blind + 2xAntes)
Sum of all chips in play = Number of Players x Starting stack + Rebuys + Addons
If you want the shortcut method to ballpark the required blinds:
No Antes:
Small Blind = Sum of all chips in play / 30
Antes:
Small Blind = Sum of all chips in play / 40
Ante = Small Blind / 3
Given these new bits of knowledge, we'll refine our goal for creating a tournament structure:
We want to allow the players to start with a reasonable M, and increase the blinds gradually such that tM=10 when we want the tournament to end.
Number of blind levels:
Typically, you'll want your blind levels to last at least 15 to 20 minutes so that you get at least one full orbit at a full table. For a 2 hour tournament, you have time for eight 15 minute levels. For longer games, you have the option of increasing the number of levels, or increasing the time between levels (or both!).
Blind structure Rules-of-thumb:
* Having more blind levels allows for slower blind increases
* Starting players with a larger M means that the blind increases will be more aggressive
* Avoid having level jumps of more than 2x the previous level
* Try to design your structure to color out low denomination chips as the tournament progresses
* You'll want your final blind level such that tM ~ 10
* Feel free to place additional levels after the predicted end point for the tournament to insure that the game ends for certain
Construction example:
Starting chip stack T1500, 10 players, no rebuys/addons
2 hour tournament -> 8 levels at 15 minutes each
We know our 8th level should have SB = 1500x10 / 30 = 500, BB=1000
If we start our 1st level at 10/20, players have a M=50 (good).
So our structure looks as follows:
[10/20], ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, [500/1000]
Filling it in using our rules-of-thumb:
[10/20], [15/30], [25/50], [50/100], [100/200], [150/300], [300/600], [500/1000]
We see only a few 2x jumps in the blinds, otherwise the increases are fairly gentle.
An alternate method to tournament structure construction is to compute the final blind level, and use our rules-of-thumb to work backwards for the desired number of levels.
Example:
Starting chip stack T3000, 10 players, no rebuys/addons
8 level tournament, no antes
Ending blind level: SB = 3000x10 / 30 = 1000, BB = 2000
[1000/2000], ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?, ?
Using our rules of thumb:
[1000/2000], [800/1600], [500/1000], [300/600], [200/400], [100/200], [50/100], [25/50]
End result:
25/50
50/100
100/200
200/400 (color out T25)
300/600
500/1000
800/1600 (color out T100)
1000/2000
Now, we just need to check the starting M. Starting M = 3000 / (25+50) = 40 -- good! We'll also need to check to make sure that we're coloring out the low denom chips at a reasonable time.
 

TexRex

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Here's another way to measure it. I'm not sure if it's really measuring the same thing.

There are five main factors in tournament design.

  1. The ratio of starting chips to the big blind (SC/BB). A tournament is deep stacked if over 150, very short stacked at 100. A player is considered to be competitive at 50 BB, short stacked at 30 BB, seriously short stacked at 20 BB, and desperately short stacked at 10 BB.
  2. The blind times. 1 hour or more is considered slow; 30 minutes about average, 15 or less very fast, and under 10, lightning fast.
  3. The blind increases – how rapidly they go up (most increases should be 1.33-1.6 – 2.0 or higher is considered too high).
  4. Skill factor (SF). Skill Factor is significantly based on how long it takes to be completely blinded out if you never played a hand. Generally there are 6 skill levels of tournament. A 1 is a total luckfest; 2 is mostly luck; 3 is some skill; 4 likely requires some skill to win most of the time, but even a poor player could have a lucky night; 5 requires skill to win and rarely would a poor player win it; and 6 requires a high skill level to win (generally poor players simply have no real chance of winning and are dead money in these tournaments).
  5. Patience Factor (PF). A Patience Factor is the square of the time it takes to be completely blinded out if you never played a hand. The higher the patience factor, the higher the skill required to win. SF and PF don’t measure the same thing, but there is a high correlation between the two.
The more patient a player can be, the better his chances are of only entering pots where he has a strong hand.

There are two different formulas to determine how long a tournament will last. One is when Antes (A), Small Blind (S), and Big Blind (B) added together equals 5% of the total amount of chips in play (T), the tournament will end. This is expressed in several ways, but one is A+S+B = T*.05. A second formula is when B equals 5%, expressed as B=T*.05.

I’m fairly certain these formulas provide a reasonably accurate way to measure the length of a tournament based on personal observation of tournaments I’ve been in and based on comments by others at other tournaments. A particular hand could affect that and shorten the time.

Our monthly tournament was Friday night. It ended when there were 19 BB still in play by the second formula, and when A+S+B was 12.78. It ended slightly later than anticipated, but not by much. In my experience hosting though, 80-90% of the time, the tournament ends within 1 blind round of both formulas.

Had our tournament ended when expected, one round sooner, there would have been 28.75 BB.
 

justsomedude

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My home game is T10,000 and we typically go 4-5 hours. We have a very similar chip set to what you have with 25, 100, 500, 1000, and 5000 (but we rarely use the 5000), so our setup may help you...

We just played Friday, dealt first hands at 6:30pm and wrapped up head's up play at around 11:15pm. We use a timer app, to keep things moving, and no antes. We started with 10 players, ran 20-minute levels, and 10-minute breaks. If no one wants the break, or we only need it for some bathroom/pizza breaks, we cut it short. We eliminate the 75/100 level, because we like to keep things moving. We ultimately finished on level 13. If you're playing with 15 people, I would plan on things possibly going a few more levels (add another break and a 6000/12000 level if you think you'll need it). We end up having 500's and 1000's on the table through head's up play. We usually end up not coloring up the 500's as listed below, because we only have 3-4 players by then, and the 500's aren't a big deal.

25 / 50
50 / 100
100 / 200
-- Break, 10min - Rebuys & Addons End
150 / 300
200 / 400
300 / 600
-- Break & Color up 25
400 / 800

600 / 1200
800 / 1600
-- Break & Color up 100
1000 / 2000
1500 / 3000
2000 / 4000
-- Break & Color up 500
3000 / 6000
4000 / 8000
5000 / 10000

Our T10,000 stacks (with 10 or less people):
20 x T25
15 x T100
6 x T500
5 x T1000

Our T10,000 stacks (with 11 or more people):
16 x T25
16 x T100
6 x T500
5 x T1000

I've also used a 12-7-6-6 distribution with smaller chip sets.

I hope this helps!



- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

In a follow-up to my previous post, here's our structure with %increase and times also listed. As previously noted, we remove the 75/150 level to keep things on a good pace. Keeping it in is certainly the smoother approach, and avoids two back-to-back increases of 200%. With 15, I'd plan for 6hrs of playing time. If you're closer to 10, you should be done in 5 hours or less.
 

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BGinGA

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In a follow-up to my previous post, here's our structure with %increase and times also listed. As previously noted, we remove the 75/150 level to keep things on a good pace. Keeping it in is certainly the smoother approach, and avoids two back-to-back increases of 200%.
Your increase numbers are wrong. Math is hard.
 

BGinGA

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You misunderstood. Not saying the structure is wrong, but the listed increase numbers are incorrect. Going from a 50 bb to a 100 bb is a 100% increase, not 200%.... and all the other increase numbers shown in that chart are incorrect, too.
 

justsomedude

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You misunderstood. Not saying the structure is wrong, but the listed increase numbers are incorrect. Going from a 50 bb to a 100 bb is a 100% increase, not 200%.... and all the other increase numbers shown in that chart are incorrect, too.
Oh - I downloaded that sheet, and never checked it.

HA!

Good catch.

- - - - - - - - - Updated - - - - - - - - -

YGoing from a 50 bb to a 100 bb is a 100% increase, not 200%....
Fixed that shnizz...
 

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