Tourney T- Base Preference for Tournaments

Which Base Chip Do You Prefer in Tournaments?


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Poker Zombie

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Curious on your analysis on the economical benefits of T25 base in more detail.

I too am unclear why T25 would be more economical. If the number of BBs is the same and the blind progressions equivalent, shouldn’t it require the same number of chips regardless of the stakes? You still need enough of each denom in the progression to run the tourney.

I would have to re-research it again. I posted it back on the Blue-wall, but ChipTalk has since disappeared. At the time, I only compared T1, T5 and T25, and T25 was the most economical of those three. It is possible that T100 is even better, and that T500 may be even better yet. Those were not computed, because in 1005, nobody really talked about T100 base sets. Times have changed.

Also, I should also state that the most economical will vary from host to host. If you always fill a table of 8, your needs will be different from someone who has 18 players this month, but only 12 players the next month. More people missing from filling out a set is extra cost not being used.

Needs will also vary based on blind progression. For example, of my two T500 sets, one tops out with a T1,000,000 and the other with a T100,000. If your structure goes through fewer chips, you may need more of each denomination (or make change more frequently). If you rapidly speed through the denominations (like my T1,000,000 set), you need slightly fewer as they have less time to get "unbalanced" between players. I can use just 6xT500 oer player in the Million set, but the 100,000 set I should need 8x per player for the same amount of change making.

The blinds themselves are also a huge factor. Take the following two T25 structures...
L1 25 50
L2 50 100
L3 150 300
L4 200 400

L1 25-50
L2 25-75
L3 50-100
L4 75-150
L5 100-200

In the first example, you never need more than 3 T25s to fold through the blinds, and that is the first level, when the T25s are equally distributed. The rest of the tournament, you need no more than 2 T25s per orbit. In the second example, you need as many as 5 T25s in the blinds, and that's in level 4. You could get away with 8xT25s in the first structure with occasional change needed (and almost always available from the pot when betting is complete). The second structure requires 12xT25s, a 50% increase in set-cost for chips that will be removed from play at first color-up.

Not a commentary on the structures, both are excellent (or flawed). Just saying that your structure will impact your chip needs, and chip needs affect the economics of the overall set.
 

Poker Zombie

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So are you saying when you use a T5 structure, you use T25 starting stacks? Because all that really matters regarding the ability for early round limping is the number of big blinds in the starting stack. Or do you think it is somehow a psychological thing?
I use less than a T25 starting stack.

More importantly, the level progression is not equal with the T5 structure. The T5 structure starts with 500 BB, but after the T5s are raced off, the "starting stack" is 100 BB. The tournament then progresses like a 33% average increase T25 structure. Think of it as a 3 hour T25 tournament, with a 1 hour introduction, for a 4 hour poker night. Newbies rarely get eliminated before getting in an hour and a half of play, and usually 2-3 hours.

Limpers tend to limp until they see they are the first to run out of their T5s. But burning through all of them is still just 2 or 3 T25s. Therefore they feel like they are doing something wrong and can change it. Meanwhile, they are actually down very little. Thus getting the new player from complete newbie status to ABC player for the cost of a small and a bid blind.

The last thing you ever want to do, is felt a brand-new player in the first hour. They will feel like they were conned, and won't come back. At the same time, you can't soft-play them either. Thats where an uneven progression structure comes in.
 

Dix

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My players like big stacks (and they cannot lie?). More people seem to show up when we played with 25-30k instead of 10k. As a math guy, I hate to tell them that its the same, given the proportion of the starting blinds. :)
Oh how many times have I had this exact same conversation......

(in the parking lot while on break of a local tourney)

Joey Doughnuts: I don't play in SoPo because you only start with 12,000 in chips.

Dix: Yea, but it's really no different here.... mathematically. The starting blinds to stack ratios are effectively a wash. (240BB vs 250BB) Their blinds start at only 25-50.

JD: Exactly, you can win a big pot early down there & it's only a couple thousand.

Dix: ........... :banghead: :whistle: :whistling: :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:

At this point I didn't even bother going over how the blind structure flow of that tournament beat the snot out of the one we happened to be at.... by a crap-ton.

I probably should also note that in a cash game this guy also called my 1/2-pot turn bet with what he thought was a 4-outer. Which was only a 3-outer because one of 'em would have given me the nut flush. :D

Like it seems as most in this topic do, I also prefer T25.... but, there's only one of the local tourneys in the area using it. Everyone else (including our Legion Hall) is using T100. Mostly, I guess, because the general player population is like my friend "Joey D".

What kicked off that whole conversation was that he said he doesn't do well in SoPo because he's "too aggressive".

Ummm... no.... "it's because the relative skill level is higher down there, and you're too loose, & call too much with marginal holdings". But, I didn't say that out loud. :D
 
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Taghkanic

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Thanks for the explanation... Honestly, I still don’t really get it.

Any structure can be scaled up or down to mimic another. One could in theory devise blinds and starting stacks at any stakes which wound up needing fewer actual chips, by making small tweaks to the starting stacks or blind structure. But that doesn’t seem to be the issue.

But if you are trying to mirror the same proportional values, I can’t how/where a big difference comes in, as far as how many physical chips are needed to accomplish it.

If you just take the denoms you would use for a T25 and multiply their values by 4 or 5 to determine what you need for a 100/200 start, and buy them in the same quantities, shouldn't it work out very closely to the same thing?

Just trying to understand, not being argumentative.
 

Dix

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That's where the blind structure & how it progresses comes into play. (which is what PokerZombie is getting at). Depending on how your structure progresses (which determines when you can/should color up) is going to effect how efficient your starting stack breakdowns are. Probably that even more than the lowest starting denom does.

But then there's always how that structure "plays" overall.

In the example from the conversation I was having above. The T100 tourney we were at colors up the 100 & 500 chips after 500/1000 at the 1st break. Then you sit down to 1k/2k. Followed by 2k/4k. So, the blinds double back-to-back. Which makes for middle levels that are effectively bingo with cards & chips. (a lot of the local tourneys around here step on their d*cks in exactly that same fashion).

Meanwhile, the T25 tourney I was referring to does not step on that particular landmine.
 

Taghkanic

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That's where the blind structure & how it progresses comes into play. (which is what PokerZombie is getting at). Depending on how your structure progresses (which determines when you can/should color up) is going to effect how efficient your starting stack breakdowns are. Probably that even more than the lowest starting denom does.

But then there's always how that structure "plays" overall.

In the example from the conversation I was having above. The T100 tourney we were at colors up the 100 & 500 chips after 500/1000 at the 1st break. Then you sit down to 1k/2k. Followed by 2k/4k. So, the blinds double back-to-back. Which makes for middle levels that are effectively bingo with cards & chips. (a lot of the local tourneys around here step on their d*cks in exactly that same fashion).

Meanwhile, the T25 tourney I was referring to does not step on that particular landmine.

Interesting. That sounds like a structure issue, less than a chips issue, which can be fixed to address the problem you mention.

For example, you could add 500/1500 and 1500/3K levels before and after 1K/2K, and color up again later. Slightly inelegant, but it works. (If 25/75 is OK, why not these?) separately.

Or extend the time of some levels before the large jumps, to compensate for the inflation. Again, not perfect, but it helps.

If it’s problematic having two interruptions within a short time, take off most of the 500s with the 100s, leaving enough to work with, and have the big stacks buy up the remainders. They probably won’t have to use them, and the host should only have to make a handful of transactions.
 
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TKEUofM

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We play T5 base with a $1,500 starting stack because it feels more like “real” money. Making $40 or $50 bets early on and then several hundred later feels more realistic. Betting several thousand at a time with a T25 base is money that our group would never see as realistic. In the end it’s all mental as the math is the same for proper ratios.
 

Dix

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For example, you could add 500/1500 and 1500/3K levels before and after 1K/2K, and color up again later. Slightly inelegant, but it works. (If 25/75 is OK, why not these?) separately.
I hear ya.... hell, even if they only inserted a 1k/3k before the 2k/4k it would be an improvement.

I seem to recall The WSOP having a 100/300 level because they'd just previously colored up the 25s.

But then, given my conversation above, getting them to realize it's called a small blind & not a half blind is a whole 'nuther sermon as well :D
 

Mr Winberg

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don't need as many physical chips
I don't think the difference is that big, but that's because I try to compare as fairly as possible. I find a lot of people who are used to playing T25-base tournaments with 200 BB and T10k stacks with blinds 25/50, 50/100, 75/150, 100/200 etc then compare that with T100-base tournaments with 200 BB and T20k stacks with the lopsided blinds 100/100, 100/200, 100/300, 200/400 etc.

If not using lopsides levels, a T25 base T10k should be compared with a T100 base T40k. Or, if using lopsided levels, one should be comparing T25 base T5k with T100 base T20k. In both cases, the difference in the number of chips needed is reduced.
not worrying about coloring up until at least halfway through the blind levels
The same argument can be used here. With "standard-ish blinds", the difference in levels before color-up between 25 base and 100 base (if either both or none have lopsided blinds) is just a single level.

Lopsided T25 base:
  1. 25/25
  2. 25/50
  3. 25/75
  4. 50/100
  5. 75/150
  6. 100/200
  7. 150/300 then color-up
Lopsided T100 base:
  1. 100/100
  2. 100/200
  3. 100/300
  4. 200/400
  5. 300/600
  6. 400/800
  7. 600/1200
  8. 800/1600 then color-up
So 7 vs 8.

Non-lopsided T25:
  1. 25/50
  2. 50/100
  3. 75/150
  4. 100/200
  5. 150/300
Non-lopsided T100 base:
  1. 100/200
  2. 200/400
  3. 300/600
  4. 400/800
  5. 600/1200
  6. 800/1600
So 5 vs 6

With that said, I think lopsided levels are much more natural with a T100 base, so your case can still be made. :)
 

Mr Winberg

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I will vote after my next tournament, I intent to try T100 base then.

One thing I like about the T25 base (which I don't find many people utilizing) is that you don't need that many of your lowest denom since the next denom ×4 instead of ×5. Instead, more chips can be invested in the early work horse, i.e. the T100. I feel that a 8/13/..., 12/17/..., or even a 8/18/... breakdown makes more sense than 8/8/..., 12/12/... or 16/16/..., but most people still do the latter?

With this approach you can invest in more chips where they count, and also the first color-up doesn't remove as large percentage of the chips.
 

BGinGA

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One thing I like about the T25 base (which I don't find many people utilizing) is that you don't need that many of your lowest denom since the next denom ×4 instead of ×5. Instead, more chips can be invested in the early work horse, i.e. the T100. I feel that a 8/13/..., 12/17/..., or even a 8/18/... breakdown makes more sense than 8/8/..., 12/12/... or 16/16/..., but most people still do the latter?

With this approach you can invest in more chips where they count, and also the first color-up doesn't remove as large percentage of the chips.
^ This is essentially the basis of the "T25-base is more economical" argument.

Fewer lowest-denomination 'blind' chips are required per starting stack (just 8 × T25, vs 10 × Tanythingelse). Since no more than 3 × T25 chips are ever needed to post a blind or compose a bet, fewer are needed per stack/player.

This is also true for T.25-base sets, except those sets are even *more* economical, since they don't suffer from the inefficient 2x-jump of T500-T1000 later in the event (using a T5-T25 increase instead, and requiring fewer high-denomination chips overall).

It's also true -- perhaps even more so -- for the T500-base approach.

Since no more than just 1 × T500 chip is ever needed for posting blinds or making bets, even fewer chips than 'normal' are needed for starting stacks -- 6 × or even 4 × T500 is plenty. Both of the following T500-base starting stacks are acceptable (and either is more economical in that regard than other set breakdowns, including T25- and T.25-base):

4 × T500
8 × T1000
10 × T5000
? × T25000
-or-
6 × T500
12 × T1000
9 × T5000
? × T25000

The ineffeciency of the T500-to-T1000 jump works against the economy of the T500 chip however, and actually makes it about a wash with the T25-base set..... although I think it's easier and simpler to implement and scale upwards.
 

Mr Winberg

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the T500-base approach
I will probably test this within soon, but it seems a bit of a shame that the T500 isn't around for that many levels. If doing a "standard" progression, you would go 500/1000, 1000/2000, 1500/3000 and then they're out? Or if you want to avoid doubling the blinds you'd go 1000/2000, 1500/3000 and then they're out after L2.

How do you get around that?

I would most likely do 500/1000, 1000/2000, 1500/3000, 2500/5000 and then color up before the next level (4000/8000), and make up for the early double and large increments by having long levels. That way it's around for 4 long levels.
 

Poker Zombie

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My first T500 set uses 500/1000, 1000/2000, 1500/3000. They are colored up after the first hour (20 min levels). However, only 6 per player are needed (change isn't very frequent), so it's still economical.

My second T500 set uses 500/1000, 1000/2000, 1500/3000, 1500/3000/3000BBA. The Big Blind Ante kicks in after the break, so the T500s stay on the table for 2 more levels that they aren't "needed", but that keeps them in play for 2 hours - and T500s do not tend to be overly cumbersome, because they simply do not get "bet" very often. "I call 2000" isn't usually tossing in 4xT500 chips, it's 2xT1000s. People rarely thing to raise "4500", opting for raises like "4000" or "5000".
 

upNdown

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I like T100, because that's what they're using in cardrooms and casinos. Back when they were using T25 in cardrooms and casinos, I though that was best.
We can nitpick all we want, but it really doesn't matter.
 

BGinGA

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I will probably test this within soon, but it seems a bit of a shame that the T500 isn't around for that many levels. If doing a "standard" progression, you would go 500/1000, 1000/2000, 1500/3000 and then they're out? Or if you want to avoid doubling the blinds you'd go 1000/2000, 1500/3000 and then they're out after L2.

How do you get around that?

I would most likely do 500/1000, 1000/2000, 1500/3000, 2500/5000 and then color up before the next level (4000/8000), and make up for the early double and large increments by having long levels. That way it's around for 4 long levels.
My T500-base blind structure (41% avg increases) uses the T500 chips for five levels:
500/500
500/1000
500/1500
1000/2000
1500/3000
remove T500 chips
2000/4000
etc.
 

JustinInMN

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My T500-base blind structure (41% avg increases) uses the T500 chips for five levels:
500/500
500/1000
500/1500
1000/2000
1500/3000
remove T500 chips
2000/4000
etc.

I am also doing base T500 as my standard. I have the exact structure as @BGinGA above except for skipping 500-500 and starting at 500-1000. Been doing a T150K stack of 6/12/12/3 of T500/1000/5000/25000.

The upside I see to the T500 is the first color up is the easiest in terms of removing the fewest chips (about 20% of starting stack removed versus 33%) which is helpful because this is also the color up with the most players.

I think T25 was popular simply because it is the "classic WSOP" format when it was a T10K starting stack to go with the $10K buy in. There is something to be said for the usefulness of a 4x jump here instead of the 5x found in most other chip jumps as well.

The other bases all have 5x jumps out of the gate, so I think that's why they aren't is as much favor. However, it's clear T100 is gaining steam in the BBA world, casinos seem willing to cut out the T25 chip entirely.
 
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Blind Joe

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I started playing in T5 tournaments so that's what I started hosting first, then I started hosting T25s because that seemed to be the norm when I started visiting forums like this. This year I switched to T100 and much prefer it. Only one color up late in the tournament, quicker and easier to bet and count bets/stacks etc.
 

upNdown

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I prefer T100 and voted that way. However, I built my set as a T25 because the chips were more economical to acquire. $25 chips are cheaper than 1K and 5K chips.
Very realistic consideration. I prefer base T100, but I was ready to build a T5 tournament set from the recent HSI sale because the big chips are so expensive and hard to get.
 

Mr Winberg

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Yeah, I've mostly played T25 base, and the purple $500 is the red-headed stepchild unfortunately. I like that they are more useful with a T5 base.

You should try what I sometimes do, which is T10k freezouts with 20/20/15 stacks for ~20-25 players. The final table is a sea of purple!!

A side note is that this is one of the few instances where I prefer a T2000 over a T1000. If introducing T1000 at later levels, the purple turns into the red-headed stepchild. This doesn't happen with T2000.

Edit: This post needs a pic
20201102_082230.jpg
 
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BGinGA

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T10k freezouts with 20/20/15 stacks
^ That is the base stack configuration for our league's Championship tournament.

Players start with chip stacks that are based on their season performance, which generally range from 20K to 50K. I add T1000 chips to the base stack as needed for each player. T5000 and T25000 chips are used for color-ups.

Not uncommon for the chip leaders to start with 100+ chips in their stacks, and the pre-tourney starting stack photos are magnificent. :)
 

BGinGA

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This is a statement that I simply don't believe is true. Unless, of course, you find some way to prove it... :whistle: :whistling:
Oh, there are a few pics on the site already. Best to go hunting now, before I ask the size of the biggest stack in some future giveaway contest. :)
 

Jake14mw

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So, our group has used a T5 set with starting blinds of 10/20, and a starting stack of 2000 for years. One of my cards mold sets has 100 as it's lowest chip denom currently. I under ordered chips for it, and am trying to figure out how much more to order in round 2. So, if we start with 100/200, and have 20,000 starting stacks, and allow one rebuy, what would the starting distribution be, and how many of each chip would you have in say a 400 chip single table set? Having the 500/1000 jump in the workhorse area is throwing me. Thanks!
 

JustinInMN

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So, if we start with 100/200, and have 20,000 starting stacks, and allow one rebuy, what would the starting distribution be, and how many of each chip would you have in say a 400 chip single table set? Having the 500/1000 jump in the workhorse area is throwing me.

Right so I would suggest something like stacks of 15/5/6/2 (or even 15/5/11/1) for base T100 with a T20K start. So that's at least 28 chips in the starting stack (or 32 if you go with option b. Times 10 players accounts for 280 or 320 chips, plus extras for color ups and rebuys should get you to 400.

The buy would be about 150/50/60/140 of T100/500/1000/5000. Because of the short hop between 500 and 1000 you can get by with few 500s, same as in a base T25 set. This way you do all your color ups by introducing T5000 chips and have plenty extra for re entry.

If you do 15/5/11/1 the buy would be 150/50/110/90. Puts more T1000 in the starting stack and still fits plenty of T5000 for reentries.

You can round these figures as you need for buying requirements or barrel preferences, the point is, plenty of ways to approach this to keep the buy to 400 chips.

If you wanted to be tight, some version of 10/4/7/2 could work as well. Plausibly, a 10 person set could be under 300 chips here.

But hope that helps you start with your figuring.
 

Jake14mw

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Right so I would suggest something like stacks of 15/5/6/2 (or even 15/5/11/1) for base T100 with a T20K start. So that's at least 28 chips in the starting stack (or 32 if you go with option b. Times 10 players accounts for 280 or 320 chips, plus extras for color ups and rebuys should get you to 400.

The buy would be about 150/50/60/140 of T100/500/1000/5000. Because of the short hop between 500 and 1000 you can get by with few 500s, same as in a base T25 set. This way you do all your color ups by introducing T5000 chips and have plenty extra for re entry.

If you do 15/5/11/1 the buy would be 150/50/110/90. Puts more T1000 in the starting stack and still fits plenty of T5000 for reentries.

You can round these figures as you need for buying requirements or barrel preferences, the point is, plenty of ways to approach this to keep the buy to 400 chips.

If you wanted to be tight, some version of 10/4/7/2 could work as well. Plausibly, a 10 person set could be under 300 chips here.

But hope that helps you start with your figuring.
Thanks, I appreciate the help. My initial reaction to the 15/5/11/1 idea was, wow almost half your stack is the lowest denom, that's a shame since it's the first colored up, but then in trying to put a blind schedule together, those 100s would be used for maybe 6 rounds? I will have to think about it some more, but it seems that the 100 as the lowest denom seems so odd because that inefficient 500/1000 jump seems to be in a crucial spot. To me, this is the advantage of starting with the 5, no odd jumps until way later, and you have the chips for any blind amount you need. If you start out with 100/200, what is the second level, 200/400? It seems awkward to me. I will have to do some re-reading in this thread.
 

JustinInMN

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My initial reaction to the 15/5/11/1 idea was, wow almost half your stack is the lowest denom

I absolutely see what you mean. But if you think about it, the corresponding base t25 stack of 12/12/5/6 has that same sort of deal. 10/4/12/1 is probably a more proportional starting stack from that standpoint. Then the amount removed is about 40% instead of over 50%

If you start out with 100/200, what is the second level, 200/400? It seems awkward to me. I will have to do some re-reading in this thread.

I would do 100-200, 100-300 (to avoid the early double), 200-400, 300-600, 400-800, 600-1200, 800-1600 before the color up. So that's seven whole levels that could be played, so maybe that's an argument for keeping that many T100s in play. But honestly, since you brought up the above point, I am starting to think you're right and the 10/4/12/1 breakdown makes more sense from a standpoint of not overloading blind chips early. This could be a 300 chips set if you order 100/40/120/40 of T100/500/1000/5000, but you would come up just short on having enough chips for 1 rebuy per player. Or doing the tighter 10/4/7/2 would be an order of 100/40/70/20 + 50 extra T5000 for color ups and one re-entry per player.
 
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