Tourney Why start at 25/50 rather than 5/10?

jbutler

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i don't run and very, very rarely play tournaments, but of course, as a proper chipaholic, i'm pretty regularly refining my preferred tourney breakdowns for a set that i don't need and will not use. i've always been curious why the vast majority of tournament structures start at the 25/50 blind level and therefore have T25 chips as the lowest denom in play.

most of the tourneys i have played in and enjoyed used a 200BB starting stack, so i'll proceed with that as the norm. from what i can tell, starting with T5 chips would almost always eliminate the need to make the awkward jump between T500 and T1000 chips. even if you run a 30-man tourney starting with T2000 stacks, you'll only need 120 T500 chips in play at the end and therefore there would be no need to go to the next denom.

i would think there's a reason so many more games use T25 as the lowest denom, but i can't figure out why that might be other than that it's what people are accustomed to.

anyone have any thoughts?
 

Bloody Marvelous

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Couple of reasons.
  1. The WSOP. The WSOP has always linked the number of chips they give out to the buy-in. At first it was 10,000 chips for $10,000. Then they thought they'd try deeper starting stacks so they upped it to 20,000 chips for $10,000. Then they though... wait a moment... if 20,000 chips is better than 10,000 chips, then 30,000 chips is even better than that. And so they start the blinds at the Main Event at 50/100 for a 300BB deep tournament, which makes your smallest denomination 25. Lots of tournaments look towards the WSOP for a guideline on how to structure their tournament.
  2. 25 as the lowest denomination sets it clearly apart from cash games. In cash games $1 or $5 chips are usually the smallest denominations on the table. You see a table with 25 as the smallest denomination, you know it's (probably) a tournament.
  3. The progression of 25/50 50/100 75/150 looks better in the beginning of a tournament than later on. If you'd start with the 5 as the lowest denomination, then going from 40/80 to 50/100, and then to 75/150 doesn't match the 400/800 600/1,200 800/1,600 blinds later on. Making the 50/100 and 75/150 kinda oddball rounds.
If you look at online games though, they usually start with the 5 chip as the lowest denomination. Then again, online you can still bet in increments of 1 even when the blinds are at 10,000/20,000. Cuz well... it's a computer system, and computers don't care what numbers you input.
 

Ben

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Because invariably the first/only question you get from the people you most want at your tourneys is "how many chips do we get???"

Blind structure = irrelevant. As long as you can say a number that is many thousands, they will come. :cool:
 

BPTDirector

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People like to bet bigger numbers. That and live tournaments I've played at casinos have always started 25/50.
 

atomiktoaster

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You can get away with 8 or 12 T25s per player, but you have to bump it to 10 or 15 T5s if that's your lowest denom. That can mean more chips in your set. Plus, I feel like you end up needing more T5s for levels like 40/80 than 150/300.


On the other hand, it's much nicer to start a casino set with redbirds, since $1000s can be crazy pricey.
 

BGinGA

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Both Bloody and atomik presented several sound reasons why T25 is a popular low-denom chip for tournament set (WSOP model, distinguishing cash v tourney, # of chips required).

Another is that it is inherently easier to bet/count/think in units of 25 (and 100) than it is in units of 5. It just comes more naturally to most folks. In reality, a similarly-structure tournament will run exactly the same regardless if it starts at 5/10 (or 10/20) vs 25/50 (or 50/100). But in general, the math is easier for most people in the T25 event. I've never timed it, but I'd take the under that fewer hands/hour get played at a T5 event.
 

jbutler

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Another is that it is inherently easier to bet/count/think in units of 25 (and 100) than it is in units of 5. It just comes more naturally to most folks. In reality, a similarly-structure tournament will run exactly the same regardless if it starts at 5/10 (or 10/20) vs 25/50 (or 50/100). But in general, the math is easier for most people in the T25 event. I've never timed it, but I'd take the under that fewer hands/hour get played at a T5 event.

i think this might be the only persuasive factor to me. it's strange that this is true, but i find it to be so for myself as well. definitely preferable to have as many even-hundred BB sizes through the tourney as possible. odd that people have very little problem doing math based on a 300 chip BB, but seem to be slightly delayed in thinking about a 30 chip BB.

i think ben's comment re: perception of starting stack size regardless of the number of blinds is also valid, but might not be independently sufficient to motivate to start with T25 imo.

the number of chips needed in starting stacks is identical using the stacks i'm accustomed to (10/10/7/2 for T5-500; 8/8/4/7/2 for T25-5k).
 

jbutler

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30-person tourney. Or are you restricting your events to males only?

When it's girls like in your avatar, I'm sure he'll make an exception ;).

what can i say?

VlYb6YF.gif
 

bergs

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I can see people being reluctant to use chips from their cash set in their tourney set, as it's somewhat of a security risk. Personally, I wouldn't care, but I wonder if that's why people normally run tournaments with a starting T25 chip.
 

jbutler

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I can see people being reluctant to use chips from their cash set in their tourney set, as it's somewhat of a security risk. Personally, I wouldn't care, but I wonder if that's why people normally run tournaments with a starting T25 chip.

yeah i would never use my cash chips as tourney chips unless they were played at face value in the tourney as well.
 

courage

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It's been a while but I've run a few tourneys using T5 as the lowest denom and it fits with comments above. I got a lot of objections from players: "did you lose your $25 chips?" "this is weird." Even after I explained they were way deeper in BBs than usual, they still disliked it. Personally, I think they felt less balla and didn't view it on par with a casino tourney. I should have just changed it to a cash game at the end of level 1 and collected face value for the chips.
 

TexRex

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I've found that when you are trying to get the fewest chips to maximize the money spent per player, 25 works better than 5 or 1. There is the change between 500 and 1000, but you don't need many 500s. If you are buying chips for dozens or hundreds of players, 1-5 chips per player adds up in cost. I think that's probably why the WSOP went that way, but I don't know for sure.
 

jbutler

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I've found that when you are trying to get the fewest chips to maximize the money spent per player, 25 works better than 5 or 1. There is the change between 500 and 1000, but you don't need many 500s. If you are buying chips for dozens or hundreds of players, 1-5 chips per player adds up in cost. I think that's probably why the WSOP went that way, but I don't know for sure.

what 200BB breakdown do you use with 25/50 that would allow you fewer chips than with 5/10?
 

TexRex

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Here's a comparison of a 200BB starting with 1, 5, 25
1-5-25-100-500-1000 -- 10x1, 8x5, 6x25, 2x100 (26 chips per player)
5-25-100-500-1000 -- 10x5, 10x25, 2x100, 1x500, 1x1000 (24 chips per player)
25-100-500-1000-5000 -- 8x25, 8x100, 2x500, 3x1000, 1x5000 (22 chips per player)
 

jbutler

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Here's a comparison of a 200BB starting with 1, 5, 25
1-5-25-100-500-1000 -- 10x1, 8x5, 6x25, 2x100 (26 chips per player)
5-25-100-500-1000 -- 10x5, 10x25, 2x100, 1x500, 1x1000 (24 chips per player)
25-100-500-1000-5000 -- 8x25, 8x100, 2x500, 3x1000, 1x5000 (22 chips per player)

yeah i wasn't proposing starting with 1s.

i would also never use that 25/50 breakdown. way too few 1Ks. using the breakdowns i would use (and those i've seen the vast majority of others use) there is no difference in the amount of chips needed between 5/10 and 25/50 starting blinds.
 

links_slayer

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I love my Three Putt Poker T5s :)

I use 10-10-7-x for T1,000+ tourneys, 12-12-7 for T5,000 tourneys, and 12-12-3-x for T10,000+ tourneys.

I haven't experienced (or maybe I just haven't noticed) any issues with T5 chips - and my crew is far from the brightest bunch.
 

Bloody Marvelous

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Here's a comparison of a 200BB starting with 1, 5, 25
1-5-25-100-500-1000 -- 10x1, 8x5, 6x25, 2x100 (26 chips per player)
5-25-100-500-1000 -- 10x5, 10x25, 2x100, 1x500, 1x1000 (24 chips per player)
25-100-500-1000-5000 -- 8x25, 8x100, 2x500, 3x1000, 1x5000 (22 chips per player)

I agree these are really weird breakdowns.
10/10/2/1/1? I'd rather give 10/10/7/2 = 29 chips total or 15/13/11/1 for 40 chips total
8/8/2/3/1 is odd too. Would rather give out 12/12/3/6 = 33 chips total. Though I can also see 8/8/2/8 = 26 chips working if your set's not that big.
 

jbutler

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I agree these are really weird breakdowns.
10/10/2/1/1? I'd rather give 10/10/7/2 = 29 chips total or 15/13/11/1 for 40 chips total
8/8/2/3/1 is odd too. Would rather give out 12/12/3/6 = 33 chips total. Though I can also see 8/8/2/8 = 26 chips working if your set's not that big.

my breakdowns would be:

5-500: 10/10/7/2 (i wouldn't use 1Ks in the set at all)
25-5K: 8/8/4/7/2

so exact same number of chips regardless for me.
 
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Here's a comparison of a 200BB starting with 1, 5, 25
1-5-25-100-500-1000 -- 10x1, 8x5, 6x25, 2x100 (26 chips per player)
5-25-100-500-1000 -- 10x5, 10x25, 2x100, 1x500, 1x1000 (24 chips per player)
25-100-500-1000-5000 -- 8x25, 8x100, 2x500, 3x1000, 1x5000 (22 chips per player)

What about color-ups?
 

ChaosRock

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Most of the arguments above are pretty solid. I just wanted to illustrate blind progression, number of chips to post the blinds and starting stacks and timing for color-ups.

I'm comparing the same blind structure, using 50/33/50/33% progression and reseting 25% at 100/1000/10000... That's the only way they can be compared... If not, not apples to apples anymore...

So, if we look at number of chips to post the blinds, the T5s structures uses more chips than T25s, 6.25 vs. 5.125... That translate to bigger need to have more lower denoms... Even assuming sort of the same need, stacks for the same number of BB are bigger for the T5s than T25s, both for 100BB and 200BB as you can see in the chart. Also, the T5s structure requires the lower denom chip to stay ot the table a lot longer than the T25s: 7 levels as opposed to 4 levels...

That's why I believe it more efficient to have T25s... Now, as I stated, blind progression and stacks can be massaged and results would vary but for comparison purposes I believe they should represent same progression, similar stacks, etc...

I agree with jbutler that TexRex stacks are very hard to play (agreeing with BM here!)... Too few high denom chips... It's a p-i-t-a to make change and in some cases almost impossible...

Here's the chart:

uPJM6vc.png
 

jbutler

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@ChaosRock, i'm not sure i understand your analysis. if i'm starting with the same number of chips and yet end up with more workhorse chips per player in one set-up, that would be preferable, no? the only reason for wanting to go with the structure that needs fewer chips is for the purpose of the cost of the set in the first place, not minimizing the number of blind chips in play.
 

ChaosRock

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@ChaosRock, i'm not sure i understand your analysis. if i'm starting with the same number of chips and yet end up with more workhorse chips per player in one set-up, that would be preferable, no? the only reason for wanting to go with the structure that needs fewer chips is for the purpose of the cost of the set in the first place, not minimizing the number of blind chips in play.

Not the first time I'm not understood!! LOL!!!

For the same number of BB in the starting stacks, you'll start with more chips using T5s than T25s... And those extra chips will stay in play just for a few rounds and then colored up (I don't believe the work horse chip is the lowest denom, but the second and beyond)... After the color ups the number will be a lot closer (true hopper horse imo)... I was trying to optimize chip count on the lower-end for the lower denoms. If the idea is to maximize count, you can always add chips! :)

To me, the number of chips is not that important in the analysis tbh... What bothers me the most is the fact the $5s will stay in play for 7 levels (increasing the likelihood of change being made) and then the T25 would be color-up only two level after that... That feel awkward to me...
 

BGinGA

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Nice write-up Paulo, and spot-on.
 
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Not the first time I'm not understood!! LOL!!!

For the same number of BB in the starting stacks, you'll start with more chips using T5s than T25s... And those extra chips will stay in play just for a few rounds and then colored up (I don't believe the work horse chip is the lowest denom, but the second and beyond)... After the color ups the number will be a lot closer (true hopper horse imo)... I was trying to optimize chip count on the lower-end for the lower denoms. If the idea is to maximize count, you can always add chips! :)

To me, the number of chips is not that important in the analysis tbh... What bothers me the most is the fact the $5s will stay in play for 7 levels (increasing the likelihood of change being made) and then the T25 would be color-up only two level after that... That feel awkward to me...

That's only because of your blind progression. Change 80/160 to 75/150 and now you are at 6 levels T5 3 levels T25.
 

BGinGA

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That's only because of your blind progression. Change 80/160 to 75/150 and now you are at 6 levels T5 3 levels T25.

Agreed, but still more inefficient.


And since it's a common discussion theme around here, here's my breakdown for T25-T100-T500-T2000 set:

12x T25
12 x T100
9 x T500
2 x T2000
------------
35 chips = T10000

When the T1000 chip is replaced by a T2000, the importance of T500 chips is dramatically increased. All color-ups should be performed with T2000 chips.
 

jbutler

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What bothers me the most is the fact the $5s will stay in play for 7 levels (increasing the likelihood of change being made) and then the T25 would be color-up only two level after that... That feel awkward to me...

that's a fair point and remains true even given the fact that i wouldn't use the starting stacks described in your table above. another reason to use 25/50 rather than 5/10.

i'm not sure why i originally wanted to use 5/10 and why it got me started questioning all this. i don't plan on ever buying a casino tourney set, so it's not due to cost. in any case, i think the efficiencies you describe and Dave's point regarding the ease of the math in 25/50 structures are enough to convince me to use 25/50 rather than 5/10.
 
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