Tourney T5 Tournament Structure I put together before researching...well...anything (2 Viewers)

Preditor

Pair
Joined
Aug 10, 2023
Messages
180
Reaction score
255
Location
Los Angeles
3 months ago a friend of mine wanted to host a poker tournament. She had never really even played before, but wanted to host something at her house and thought this would be a fun way to build some community.

Since she hadn't played and I had done a lot of home games growing up, she asked me to help her. I didn't really even think about looking up forums like this (and it had been 10 years since I played), so I just came up with this format myself thinking this would be a one time thing.

Well... it's kind of gotten popular. We're about to host our third one, and have 9 people coming. If everyone who is out of town came, we would find ourselves hosting a two table game made up entirely of amateurs! So I have spent the last month researching a lot of things of how to prepare for that if it happened, and have definitely learned a lot if I were to start things over.

I am sure I am going to get eviscerated for some of the decisions I made lol. Give your honest thoughts, but remember I put this all together on my own before really consulting the internet! But if this sustains through the end of the year, I think I am going to invest in a nice chipset with denoms, go to a T25 tournament, and make this even more of an event.

CHIPS:
Got 600 used chips I found online in LA. Actually real nicely constructed, though they're branded and not uniform on each side (much to my OCD's dismay). But a guy had them custom made for a company, got a surplus, and was selling thousands of them. $80 for 600. Four colors, no denominations, so I can make them anything I want.

DENOMINATIONS:
WHITE: T5s
REDS: T20s
BLUES: T50s
BLACKS: T100s

STARTING STACK:
Here's where a lot of you will go crazy...
20W / 15R / 10B / 5Bl = $1400 + $100 bonus for showing up on time

At the time this felt like a real easy way to remember what chips you were supposed to have (20/15/10/5), and it makes an equal 50 chips for everyone. It may not "be" a lot, but it "feels" like a lot for the people I am playing with.

I color-up the chips after the second hour and make the whites 500s. We usually make change for the reds when we do that, but have not officially "colored them up" yet.

STRUCTURE:
BUY-IN: $30 buy-in
REBUY: One-per-person in the first hour of the tournament. Can rebuy either full ($30 for T1400 more chips) or half ($15 for T700 chips). Can also top off in the first hour, but starting stack cannot exceed T1400. Each time we've have one person do a full rebuy.
PAYOUT: 25-30% of field + 1 person break even. I.E. if there's 5 players, 2nd breaks even ($30) and 1st gets the winnings. 10 players? 4th breaks even, and top 3 get proportions of the winnings. We decide as a group the exact amounts before play.

BLINDS:
20 minute increments with a 10 minute break every hour.
5/10
10/20
25/50
***BREAK***
50/100
75/150
100/200
***BREAK***
150/300
200/400
250/500
***BREAK*** (usually final 2 at this point and trying to get things over with)
500/1000
1000/2000 (usually ends here)
2000/4000


So again, I am sure a ton of you here will have feelings about this. And I am looking for any feedback! But please just kindly remember my audience: most of these people have never set foot in a casino. What changes can I make to make this more efficient, but also doesn't confuse everyone? Or should I wait until the end of the year and just make a big change at once if we decide to keep doing this?
 

Attachments

  • IMG_6443.jpeg
    IMG_6443.jpeg
    197.1 KB · Views: 91
Here's where a lot of you will go crazy...
Nope - that bit’s OK. ;) 150BB is a good starting stack.
I was tilted the section before…

The very next game I would make the Blue chip 500 and start with an extra 5 black instead. That way when your last level has a $2000 big blind you only need 4 chips for the minimum bet, not 20.

There’s other stuff I’d do differently, but this is the first and biggest change you need.
 
First, the seller lied and those are absolutely cheap plastic chips. But at that price you weren't really ripped off.

Color isn't relevant so you're good there. There are some standards but they vary a bit Maybe make a card or poster for what color is what denomination in case anyone needs to check, but after a few sessions folks should remember.

Denominations themselves should relate to the structure you're playing and you shouldn't recycle chips into new denoms if possible. I don't use 5s but quite a few here do. If you go that route I would recommend you use 5s - 25s - 100s - 500s. The value progression is in jumps of 4-5x and allows for fewer chips to be needed and no recycling.

I usually want the starting stacks to equal between 100 and 250 starting Big Blinds. So with a start of 10/20, anywhere from 2000-5000 stacks would be good. You can do a bit less if you want to speed up the game though. I wouldn't go less than 1500.

Buy-in is fine, rebuys are fine though I prefer just a full buy-in option. Nothing really wrong with a half option though. Payouts can be a bit suggestive. I usually pay first plus one spot for every 9 players. So 8 players pays 2 spots, 10 pays 3 spots, 19 pays 4 spots. I don't think that's common though so I'm sure you'll get good advice from others to give you options.

For your structure you should try to avoid doubling the big blind with the possible exception of the first two levels.

I don't do T5 tournies so others may have better options but this could be a better solution:

1000 starting stacks (I started 5/10 instead of 10/20, so it's 100 big blinds)

White - 5, Red - 25, Black 100, Blue - 500

20 white - 16 red - 4 black. Only use the blues to color up or rebuys or if you go with 2000 starting stacks you can add 5 more black and one blue.

I've put a pretty deep structure here. At 1000 starting chips with 9 players and let's say 3 full rebuys you'll have 12,000 chips on the table. Your tourney will usually end on or before the big blind is 20% of the chips in play, so around 600. With 20 minute levels the structure below would run around 6 hours with breaks. With 15 minute levels it would be around 4.5 hours. You current game is just under 4 hours. If you pull the 10/15 and maybe the 25/50 below you can shave off another 30-40 minutes.

5/10
10/15 (optional)
10/20
15/30
20/40
25/50 (optional)
30/60
40/80
50/100
60/120
80/160
100/200
125/250
150/300
200/400
250/500
300/600
400/800
500/1000
 
I'm definitely not the authority on tournaments, but there are a lot of things for you to think about here.

First off, recycling your lowest denom immediately into your highest denom has potential for problems. It was worth 5 before the break, and now it's suddenly worth 500. If someone missed one at color up and only later discovers it, their stack went up by 1/3 for each white chip missed. Anyone who is unscrupulous could take advantage of this too.

Your choice of denominations is a little strange. 5-20-50-100 is an awkward lineup. It's generally best to have every denomination increase by integer multiples (typically 4x or 5x), or in other words each chip is breakable by the one below it. You could have avoided the first issue by doing something a little more standard, such as 5-25-100-500, or 1-5-25-100. I don't know that I'd recommend changing it now, since your players are not likely to want to relearn colors, but getting a good tournament set with more standard denominations printed on them would be my suggestion.

The blind structure is a little all over the place, you have rounds where it more than doubles and rounds where it goes up by only 25%. There are better structures which are more consistent.
 
And don't be disheartened by all the suggestions/criticism. You did ok for someone that hasn't done it in a while, you put in a reasonable amount of effort for a game you didn't even know was going to take off, and you recognized that there was room for improvement. Improving the game now in the early stages will benefit all of your players greatly if they start to play in other games or try to take the game more seriously. Fixing things now will be a lot easier than doing it later. Good luck and take advantage of this board!
 
Exciting to see someone in the same boat as me. But we still need to work up to that many players. Stuck at 5 for now...
 
And don't be disheartened by all the suggestions/criticism. You did ok for someone that hasn't done it in a while, you put in a reasonable amount of effort for a game you didn't even know was going to take off, and you recognized that there was room for improvement. Improving the game now in the early stages will benefit all of your players greatly if they start to play in other games or try to take the game more seriously. Fixing things now will be a lot easier than doing it later. Good luck and take advantage of this board!
Not disheartened at all! I've been reading posts here for a week and expected some snarkiness. Like Carza wrote above, I hope new tournament hostees can find it safe to post here.

I thought poker night was going to be a one-and-done deal, so like you said, I want to make it optimal now that I will be hosting this for the foreseeable future.

Luckily for me, I know I am the ONLY person in my entire group who cares about this stuff :ROFL: :ROFLMAO:. No one else has joined Poker forums to figure out tournament optimization lol.

So appreciate all of the feedback.
 
Exciting to see someone in the same boat as me. But we still need to work up to that many players. Stuck at 5 for now...
If it helps at all, we invite a ton of people through Paperless Post. And we make sure everyone knows beginners are welcome. I have found that most people who haven't played are super reticent to come at first. But when they do come, they have a blast and invite a friend next time. Part of that is about curating people you know will get along together.

Paperless Post is your friend. Invite people via cell phone, and set up automatic RSVP and event reminders.

We usually invite 20 expecting 25-50% of those invited to come in any one month. If it gets a few days out and we have less than 6 or 7, we privately invite a wider group of friends.
 
I totally missed that you changed the value of the whites mid game. :wow:

Don’t do that.
I completely get this. Right now coloring up usually just happens when there are two players left, but I am looking into alternatives.

One option is to change chip denominations and make the blues T500s. I am reticent to do that though since the people who have been coming are used to the denoms now. If I do change it, I want to just get an entirely new chip set (I've been researching hard) and make it a T25 tournament.

I am also considering getting some cheap placards for now too as a stop-gap.

I just need to be careful making changes though. I know I'll be seen as a stick in the mud for what is supposed to be a fun and friendly friend night.
 
I just need to be careful making changes though. I know I'll be seen as a stick in the mud for what is supposed to be a fun and friendly friend night.
I totally get this, but look at it this way. Your players will have a great time because the game runs so smoothly. They won’t appreciate the details/effort (such is the life of a host) but they know at a macro level it’s a good game.

And you may have memorized the colors/values before the first game, but I doubt changing them will be a big deal.

Just my $0.02.

Good luck!
 
I just need to be careful making changes though. I know I'll be seen as a stick in the mud for what is supposed to be a fun and friendly friend night.

Where you're only a few games in, doing it now will be easier than waiting. If you make a poster with the values people will transition easier.
 
Where you're only a few games in, doing it now will be easier than waiting. If you make a poster with the values people will transition easier.
Absolutely this. Change now and early. Waiting longer until fixing that blue chip will only make the weird value more entrenched.

To avoid the reuse of the white chip you could get a few racks of a different/new colour. Doesn't have to match the set, is early days yet. If the game takes off and lasts you will want to upgrade and replace the set entirely anyway. Current set could be used for side games for those who bust early.
 
Absolutely this. Change now and early. Waiting longer until fixing that blue chip will only make the weird value more entrenched.

To avoid the reuse of the white chip you could get a few racks of a different/new colour. Doesn't have to match the set, is early days yet. If the game takes off and lasts you will want to upgrade and replace the set entirely anyway. Current set could be used for side games for those who bust early.
Thanks. I actually completely changed it around a couple of weeks after I posted this and posted my new structure here.
 

Create an account or login to comment

You must be a member in order to leave a comment

Create account

Create an account and join our community. It's easy!

Log in

Already have an account? Log in here.

Back
Top Bottom