Would you chop evenly three way with a big chip lead?

LotsOfChips

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So I was playing at a fairly well established home game tournament for the first time last night, and managed to build a pretty substantial stack by the time the bubble broke. I had about 45% of the chips, another player had about 40% and the short stack had about 15%. As soon as we hit the money, everybody at the table (including the host, his wife, and two other players who had busted) proposed a chop in order to start up a cash game.

Pre-game they said that the prize structure was 50/30/20. I looked at the stack sizes, and asked if they were suggesting an even split, or one based on stack sizes. They looked at me like I had two heads, and said "even, of course". I replied that based on stack sizes, I would consider a 40/40/20 split. The short stack said that because third place already paid 20%, he wasn't going for that, and I said that because he had so few chips left, I wasn't interested in an even split. We dealt another hand, short stack went all in, other guy called, short stack won, and now the stacks were fairly close (or at least closer). I said that I would now go for an even split. The other players were softer than I am, which is pretty soft, and I probably could have taken them down, but as the new guy I didn't want to be a total jerk. (I'll wait until they know me better before I do that):ROFL: :ROFLMAO:. We chopped and started the cash game.

Was this the right thing to do? Should I have agreed to an even split right away? Money is money, poker is poker, and winning is winning, but I suspect that if I refused I probably wouldn't be overly popular at the table in the future. If I had won, it probably would have colored their opinion of me, and if I ended up in third I'm sure that everybody would have thought that I deserved to get the short end of the stick.

How would you have handled it?
 
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Jeevansluck

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So I was playing at a fairly well established home game tournament for the first time last night, and managed to build a pretty substantial stack by the time the bubble broke. I had about 45% of the chips, another player had about 40% and the short stack had about 15%. As soon as we hit the money, everybody at the table (including the host, his wife, and two other players who had busted) proposed a chop in order to start up a cash game.

Pre-game they said that the prize structure was 50/30/20. I looked at the stack sizes, and asked if they were suggesting an even split, or one based on stack sizes. They looked at me like I had two heads, and said "even, of course". I replied that based on stack sizes, I would consider a 40/40/20 split, but the short stack said that because third place already paid 20%, he wasn't going for that. We dealt another hand, short stack went all in, other guy called, short stack won, and now the stacks were fairly close (or at least closer). I said that I would now go for an even split. The other players were softer than I am, which is pretty soft, and I probably could have taken them down, but as the new guy I didn't want to be a total jerk. (I'll wait until they know me better before I do that):ROFL: :ROFLMAO:. We chopped and started the cash game.

Was this the right thing to do? Money is money, poker is poker, and winning is winning, but I suspect that if I refused I probably wouldn't be overly popular at the table in the future. If I had won, it probably would have colored their opinion of me, and if I ended up in third I'm sure that everybody would have thought that I deserved to get the short end of the stick.

How would you have handled it?
So next time you are at my game, and I'm short stack, and we are heads up, you'll split with me 50/50, for being a great host?? Yea???
:sneaky:
 

BGinGA

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I will seldom refuse to chop if using ICM to calculate the payouts. But I'm not taking a -EV money hit, ever.

At 45%/40%/15% in chips, ICM payouts are 37.3%/36%/26.7%. Short stack is correct, he was getting hosed with your offer.
 
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Jeevansluck

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Absolutely! All you have to do is ask (and have a cash game waiting to start)!

Classy answer from a classy guy! Noted my friend!

Working the Cash game for sure. Would you be interested in some pre-tournament cash game for the next one? Can you get to my home early? You'd be the first one I'm asking. I'll send you an email....but I think pre-game is the way to go. Then when the tighties show up, they will get jealous of the ES cash chips we will be throwing around....
 

Quicksilver-75

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Most nights we plan on two games. If it’s looking like we can get a second game going We will often agree to split the pot accordingly. But if stacks are fairly even we will split evenly and leave an extra $20-$40 ( or Rebuy money) for one, face up play-out. But the option to play out a chip lead is never frowned upon and often encouraged.
 

upNdown

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I will seldom refuse to chop if using ICM to calculate the payouts. But I'm not taking a -EV money hit, ever.

At 45%/40%/15% in chips, ICM payouts are 37.3%/36%/26.7%. Short stack is correct, he was getting hosed with your offer.
If you're in a situation where the blinds are escalating so fast that you're playing bingo, you won't take a small hit, to get a deal done?
 

LotsOfChips

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Classy answer from a classy guy! Noted my friend!

Working the Cash game for sure. Would you be interested in some pre-tournament cash game for the next one? Can you get to my home early? You'd be the first one I'm asking. I'll send you an email....but I think pre-game is the way to go. Then when the tighties show up, they will get jealous of the ES cash chips we will be throwing around....

PM sent...
 

upNdown

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And for what it's worth, I'm always chopping in this situation. I figure if I don't want to chop, i won't play in a game where it's customary to chop, to get a cash game going.
 

LotsOfChips

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I will seldom refuse to chop if using ICM to calculate the payouts. But I'm not taking a -EV money hit, ever.

At 45%/40%/15% in chips, ICM payouts are 37.3%/36%/26.7%. Short stack is correct, he was getting hosed with your offer.
I didn't think to ask for an accurate chip count and run it through an ICM calculator, and I for sure didn't realize that the short stack had that much equity (if anything I thought that he had a pretty slim chance of surviving, based on his play to that point). Thanks for the perspective, I'll definitely take that into account if it occurs again.
 

tabletalker7

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Last time I played in someone else's home touney, it was set up as winner take all (only 9 of us playing at start). I was the short stack (it was about 65/35) and I offered the bigger stack a little larger portion of the cash for the chop. I thought he earned it by having more chips. I would expect the same if roles were reversed. You might have offered low to the short stack, but it certainly should not have been an even split.
 

LotsOfChips

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And for what it's worth, I'm always chopping in this situation. I figure if I don't want to chop, i won't play in a game where it's customary to chop, to get a cash game going.
Thanks. The issue wasn't so much about whether to chop, but more about whether to chop evenly. For sure it seemed customary to chop, and for sure there were people waiting for the cash game. I just thought I had more equity than it turns out I did.
 

Jeevansluck

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I say...

Mehhh, maybe you should have split for more. Anytime I've chopped, I've always had a deal based on stack size.

But, you made new friends. Played in a cool new home game right around your home. What a score. Few bucks more you might have squeezed are nothing compared to what you got. Next time you play them, you can go for the jugular in the end. Great way to introduce yourself, make friends, get in a new poker game in winning fashion anyways.

Just a win win Bart! IMHO:tup:
 

BGinGA

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If you're in a situation where the blinds are escalating so fast that you're playing bingo, you won't take a small hit, to get a deal done?
My offer in the OP's scenario would have been 35%-35%-25% with the last 5% going to the winner of a three-way flip. Reasonable equities with all three having an even chance of +EV profiting.

But no way am I chopping even three ways.
 

davin

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I will seldom refuse to chop if using ICM to calculate the payouts. But I'm not taking a -EV money hit, ever.

At 45%/40%/15% in chips, ICM payouts are 37.3%/36%/26.7%. Short stack is correct, he was getting hosed with your offer.
Spot on!!!!
 

Mr Winberg

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I didn't think to ask for an accurate chip count and run it through an ICM calculator, and I for sure didn't realize that the short stack had that much equity (if anything I thought that he had a pretty slim chance of surviving, based on his play to that point).
I think that even without a precise calculation you need to offer the shortstack more than what he's guaranteed. With 20/40/40 you offered him absolutely nothing (since he was guaranteed 20). He had absolutely nothing to win by accepting, which he realized himself:
The short stack said that because third place already paid 20%, he wasn't going for that
If he had "a slim chance", that slim chance needs to be reflected in the offer. IMO if not using a ICM calculator, a first good step is:
removing everyone’s 3rd place money from the pot.
That gives everyone 20% plus whatever equity you figure they have of the remaining 40%.
 

BGinGA

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the remaining dough after removing everyone’s 3rd place money from the pot.
That gives everyone 20% plus whatever equity you figure they have of the remaining 40%.
And note that 45%/40%/15% (chip stacks) of the remaining 40% (payout) is 18%, 16%, and 6%, or when added to the 20% payout each (already removed), equals 38% / 36% / 26% -- which is pretty close to the actual ICM:
At 45%/40%/15% in chips, ICM payouts are 37.3%/36%/26.7%.
The 0.7% differences are due to the short stack's chances of finishing higher (1st or 2nd) and the big stack's chances of finishing lower (2nd or 3rd).
 

WedgeRock

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I'm also never chopping to your proposed percentages as the short stack, for exactly the reasons @BGinGA says. He shouldn't take 3rd place money when he has the *chance* of moving up a spot. As it turns out, one hand greatly increased his odds of not finishing third...

Paying 3 spots, I assumed you had ~16 players. But that would mean there was a second table for the cash game to start... So I'm gonna guess you had 9 players.

In a $20 tournament, first place would be $90, assuming it was a freezeout ($20 x 9 x 50%), while an even chop would be $60, a $30 difference. But if the tournament was a $50 entry, first place was $225 vs an even chop at $150, a $75 difference. Either way, it's 1.5 buy-ins, but the larger buyin makes the dollars more substantial.

I guess my point is, the less dollars involved, the more likely I am to chop and move on to what I assume is a more lucrative cash game.

And FWIW, there are ICM calculator apps that can figure out the money pretty quickly on the fly.
 

JustinInMN

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I didn't think to ask for an accurate chip count and run it through an ICM calculator, and I for sure didn't realize that the short stack had that much equity
If you want to offer 40/40/20 in that scenario you have to offer 40/40/20 of the remaining dough after removing everyone’s 3rd place money from the pot.

Exactly, this is where you went wrong. Even without an ICM calculation third place is guaranteed 20% of the price pool. As long as he has a chip and a chair his position is obviously worth more than that. If that was your best offer, he loses nothing by refusing and rightly notes that.

That said you shouldn't be expected to chop evenly either. You were right about that.

Without a calculator, I would have probably offered 40-35-25.
 

asian bino

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What we've done is move the tournament to one end of the table and have the cash game start on the other end. Easy to do if you are not playing on a round table.

You say tournament is 'well established' but if chip chops make the hosts heads snap around it sounds fishy.

When I don't want to chop, I usually say "Let's play a few more hands...." It's non-confrontational, (if Im trying to make new friends) and leaves the door open for reconsideration in 3-5 hands.

When the hosts suggested an even 3 way chop, I probably would have asked "What percentage of chips do you think I would need to get more than a third of the prize pool?" and let them fumble for an answer.
 

aaronroch

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New player at a soft game, sounds like you liked the game and wanted to be invited back... I’d have accepted the 3-way split (I think we call that a “+EV play?).
 

Mojo1312

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Hero plays in the tournament for x period of time to get to the money. He has the dominant chip stack and a skill advantage over the other two players who want to chop the prize pool evenly three ways. By investing the small amount of time it would take to get to heads up Hero will be in a position to agree to a 50/50 split for a 20% greater share than if he had agreed to a three way split.

Looking at it from another angle, how long would Hero have to play in the cash game to realize the same amount of profit he is giving up by agreeing to a split?
 

LotsOfChips

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I'm also never chopping to your proposed percentages as the short stack, for exactly the reasons @BGinGA says. He shouldn't take 3rd place money when he has the *chance* of moving up a spot. As it turns out, one hand greatly increased his odds of not finishing third...

Paying 3 spots, I assumed you had ~16 players. But that would mean there was a second table for the cash game to start... So I'm gonna guess you had 9 players.

In a $20 tournament, first place would be $90, assuming it was a freezeout ($20 x 9 x 50%), while an even chop would be $60, a $30 difference. But if the tournament was a $50 entry, first place was $225 vs an even chop at $150, a $75 difference. Either way, it's 1.5 buy-ins, but the larger buyin makes the dollars more substantial.

I guess my point is, the less dollars involved, the more likely I am to chop and move on to what I assume is a more lucrative cash game.

And FWIW, there are ICM calculator apps that can figure out the money pretty quickly on the fly.
9 spots, 3 paid, $20 entry, $360 prize pool (host rebought for $100 total, a few others re-bought multiple times as well). We ended up splitting $120 each, otherwise first would have been $180.

After this discussion, I see that I should have either:
  • done a semi-accurate chip count (I may have had closer to 55%) and used an ICM calculator, or
  • paid everyone third place and then split based on rough chip counts
In any event, I met a new group of players, remained on their invite list for future games, and went home with more money than I came with. I guess I consider that a winning evening!
 

Eloe2000

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Maybe it’s the American in me, but I generally hate the idea of chopping a tournament and even more dislike the fact that it is often expected and or pressured.
 
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