Tourney What factors influence the size of your add-on? (1 Viewer)


Dec 17, 2023
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Chicago, IL
[If you don't do add-ons in your tourneys, please sit this one out. I'm not looking to debate pros and cons of add-ons.]

For you veteran tourney hosts that offer add-ons, I'm looking for the how's and why's of the size (# of chips) you set your add-ons at.

I know the answer is always 'it depends on ___', but how do you personally fill in that blank? What do you consider too small and too big?

Personally the top factor I look at is how many BBs (at the start of the freezeout period) is the add-on putting into a stack. But another top consideration is making players feel like they're getting their money's worth, especially in a charity event.
Half starting stack for half price. Make it worth while, most people will do it. Adds a little extra to the prize pool. Too few chips and folks won't do it. Too big and it's a rebuy.
The way I’ve done it and players seem to like it is make the addon about the same as the buy-in.

So you can fire 3 bullets max - the buyin was 15k chips, rebuys were 15k, if you lasted to the break with a bullet you could get an addon for 20k chips, (and another addon for 15k if you had another bullet remaining.)

It’s simple, it gives players choices, but doesn’t require a lot of thought to determine if it’s worth it.
I have used add ons as a means of paying dealers. Half a starting stacks for half the buy in, and I make sure people know that the add on cash goes straight to the dealers.

At the union hall (self dealt but usually it hits my upper limit of 60 players), we have used the add ons for charity. I mean, seriously, what local food bank will turn down a $1500 donation from a labor union?
For home tournaments, I usually set the add-on amount at roughly 25% of the starting stack size (so a 5k add-on for a 20k buy-in, for example), and typically worth ~10bb at the point of purchase.

For charity tournaments, I structure it a lot differently -- a larger add-on size (50%-100% of starting stack) with a bigger relative cost. I also make the add-ons available both prior-to-start and during-play (between hands), not just limited to a one-time-purchase at some predetermined point in time. Why? The goal here is to extract as much $$ from players for charity as possible, while providing players ample reasons to give up their cash. A chip purchase for a $20 bill typically works great (easy to let go, easy to track, doesn't require change).
My add-on (if I’m offering one) is typically a players choice of a range of 60% starting stack for 50% buy/in.

I do a 10,00 starting stack tourney with a 2k on-time bonus for $100. Rebuy is same as buy-in. Add-on gets you 6,000 for $50, or 5,000 for $40 etc down to 2,000 for $10.

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