Tourney WSOP Satellite League - Points Structure (1 Viewer)

B0mbp0t

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Didn't want to hijack the recent league thread, as this feels a bit different. Looking for advice on my league points structure.

I've run a league the past 4 years to send a player from our group to the WSOP Main Event.

The first three seasons the points/game structure was:
  • 10 games, all finishes count toward total points
  • Simple points formula: If we had 16 players in the league, a game winner would get 16 points, last place would get 1 point. Yada yada.
Points results were:
  • Season 1 - Seat winner went on megaheater and locked up the seat by Rd 8.
  • Season 2 - 1/2 of players still had a shot at the seat at the final game, seat winner had two 2nd place finishes and three 3rds, but no win all season
  • Season 3 - 1/3 of players still had a shot at the seat at final game, seat winner ultimately had two 1st place finishes and a chopped 1st place finish
Last season, I wanted to try to incentivize winning over just nursing a stack to a 6th place finish or something. Plus I wanted to provide an ability for a player to get coolered the first hand in a game, but not have their season tanked as a result. So I changed to:
  • 11 games, only top 10 finishes count toward total points
  • Big jumps for top 3 finish. With 13 players, we went (from 1st down) 24,20,16,12,10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1
In the end, every player had a 1 point finish except for one (who had a 2 points finish), so the drop of a game didn't seem to make a difference.
Points results were:
  • Season 4 - 1/3 of players still had a shot at the seat at final game, seat winner ultimately had two chopped 1st place finishes and a total of six top 5 finishes
Season 5 will likely have closer to 18 players, but I'm not certain if that will impact the points much. I guess my questions are:
  • Do you think there's any reason to drop a finish? I'm thinking I'll just have 10 or 11 games, all finishes count.
  • Which points formula of the ones I did (simple, or bigger points for bigger finishes) is better?
  • Do you have a better formula than either of these?
And if it matters, here's some more details so that you can see format and what's at stake throughout season:
  • T100, 30k stack, BBA, 40 min levels each game
  • No reentry/rebuys
  • Multiple prizes (so finishing it out is incentivized)
    • Season prizes
      • 1st - $10k seat
      • 2nd - $5k seat
      • 3rd - full buy-in for league is refunded
    • Individual game prizes
      • Two WSOP-Circuit seats up for grabs for winners of two specific games (normally the two preceding the next circuit stop at Cherokee)
      • Half of buy-in for league is refunded to final game winner
Thanks in advance (and apologies for length of post).
 
A few talking points:

-- if you want to incentivise attendance, make all event finishes count (no dropped scores).

-- if you want to reward performance (and discourage stack-nursing), award points to only the top 25% to 33% of the field using a non-linear points structure.

-- do not allow chops (or if allowed, both of the chopping players get 2nd place points and split the $$). Players wanting to earn 1st place points must play for it.

For a field size of up to 18 players, I like the following relatively simple structure that awards a maximum of 6 places (1/3 of field size):

1st = 21
2nd = 15
3rd = 10
4th = 6
5th = 3
6th = 1

If any given field contains less than 18 players, deduct 1 point from each awarded finish for each missing player (i.e., a 16-player field would award 19/13/8/4/1 points to the top 5 players).

If you plan to cap the field at only 15 players (vs 18), then start the points structure at 15 pts for 1st and 1 pt for 5th (deducting 1 point for each missing player).
 
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Thanks for the input, @BGinGA . I appreciate it!

I'm going to plug these numbers into the previous seasons and see what the results look like.

BTW - we sort of did what you suggest for chops - 2nd place awarded to each for tiebreaker purposes, but they split 1st and 2nd place points between them.

Edited to add after @DaneWoj made me think of it, in case it makes a difference:

Everyone is in every game, in terms of $. They can choose to have a proxy play for them if they wish (can't use same proxy more than once), or let their chips blind off and see where they end up (this has never happened). So we always have the same number of players in each event of a given season (though proxies aren't eligible to win the circuit seats).
 
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Our WSOP league awards points to each player. This helps create an illusion to players out of the hunt that makes them feel like they still have a shot even though they still need nearly a top 3 finish to get a spot. Nothing more discouraging than playing a bunch of events and being behind the guy who min cashes once.

We only count just over half the events towards point totals. Life gets in the way and doesn’t allow everyone the ability to play every time. This also helps push ppl to play for the win. They have to beat their previous worse score to have the score even count.
 
Didn't want to hijack the recent league thread, as this feels a bit different. Looking for advice on my league points structure.

I've run a league the past 4 years to send a player from our group to the WSOP Main Event.

The first three seasons the points/game structure was:
  • 10 games, all finishes count toward total points
  • Simple points formula: If we had 16 players in the league, a game winner would get 16 points, last place would get 1 point. Yada yada.
Points results were:
  • Season 1 - Seat winner went on megaheater and locked up the seat by Rd 8.
  • Season 2 - 1/2 of players still had a shot at the seat at the final game, seat winner had two 2nd place finishes and three 3rds, but no win all season
  • Season 3 - 1/3 of players still had a shot at the seat at final game, seat winner ultimately had two 1st place finishes and a chopped 1st place finish
Last season, I wanted to try to incentivize winning over just nursing a stack to a 6th place finish or something. Plus I wanted to provide an ability for a player to get coolered the first hand in a game, but not have their season tanked as a result. So I changed to:
  • 11 games, only top 10 finishes count toward total points
  • Big jumps for top 3 finish. With 13 players, we went (from 1st down) 24,20,16,12,10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, 1
In the end, every player had a 1 point finish except for one (who had a 2 points finish), so the drop of a game didn't seem to make a difference.
Points results were:
  • Season 4 - 1/3 of players still had a shot at the seat at final game, seat winner ultimately had two chopped 1st place finishes and a total of six top 5 finishes
Season 5 will likely have closer to 18 players, but I'm not certain if that will impact the points much. I guess my questions are:
  • Do you think there's any reason to drop a finish? I'm thinking I'll just have 10 or 11 games, all finishes count.
  • Which points formula of the ones I did (simple, or bigger points for bigger finishes) is better?
  • Do you have a better formula than either of these?
And if it matters, here's some more details so that you can see format and what's at stake throughout season:
  • T100, 30k stack, BBA, 40 min levels each game
  • No reentry/rebuys
  • Multiple prizes (so finishing it out is incentivized)
    • Season prizes
      • 1st - $10k seat
      • 2nd - $5k seat
      • 3rd - full buy-in for league is refunded
    • Individual game prizes
      • Two WSOP-Circuit seats up for grabs for winners of two specific games (normally the two preceding the next circuit stop at Cherokee)
      • Half of buy-in for league is refunded to final game winner
Thanks in advance (and apologies for length of post).
What is the buyin structure for this league? I’m very curious how the money works with both main event + other prizes. Is there some $ set aside for the winner of each game?
 
@Senzrock

Last season buy-in was $1,650 each, 13 players, 11 games, $150/game. Payouts were:
  • 10k seat for series winner, plus $275 in per diem
  • 5k seat for series runner up, plus $275 in per diem
  • $1,650 for series 3rd place
  • $1,700 WSOP-C main event seat for winner of round 3
  • $1,700 WSOP-C main event seat for winner of round 7
  • $825 to winner of final game. This is the only game that gets any cash payout
Had 6 different people take home a prize of some sort, which made me really happy. And I feel that having prizes late in the season keeps players invested (have only had 1 player ever bail, and it was b/c they moved 1,200 miles away during our pause for Covid).
 
we sort of did what you suggest for chops - 2nd place awarded to each for tiebreaker purposes, but they split 1st and 2nd place points between them.
The problem with the split-points approach is that it can promote collusion, and can be unfair to other players who are also in the hunt for points.

Splitting the 1st/2nd points still awards more points to each than just finishing 2nd, and those extra points can cause a player to bump somebody else down in the standings -- without having actually earned them.
 
@Senzrock

Last season buy-in was $1,650 each, 13 players, 11 games, $150/game. Payouts were:
  • 10k seat for series winner, plus $275 in per diem
  • 5k seat for series runner up, plus $275 in per diem
  • $1,650 for series 3rd place
  • $1,700 WSOP-C main event seat for winner of round 3
  • $1,700 WSOP-C main event seat for winner of round 7
  • $825 to winner of final game. This is the only game that gets any cash payout
Had 6 different people take home a prize of some sort, which made me really happy. And I feel that having prizes late in the season keeps players invested (have only had 1 player ever bail, and it was b/c they moved 1,200 miles away during our pause for Covid).
Very interesting! Would you be open to sharing your initial "outreach" emails where you pitch this to your player pool? Do (for lack of a better word) less skilled players have reservations about the initial $1650 cost? How are the 11 dates determined, is there a schedule published ahead of time with all of the games set or do the players help shape an ongoing calendar?
 
Very interesting! Would you be open to sharing your initial "outreach" emails where you pitch this to your player pool? Do (for lack of a better word) less skilled players have reservations about the initial $1650 cost? How are the 11 dates determined, is there a schedule published ahead of time with all of the games set or do the players help shape an ongoing calendar?
Sure thing, @Senzrock. I've attached the (scrubbed) flyer that I sent out for the last season. I made a few tweaks (mainly to points structure), but this is basically it. Once we have the final group locked, I have all the important stuff from the flyer put into a contract that everyone signs. Is it legally binding? Probably not, but hopefully the thought of never again being able to play in any of the games that the regulars put on outweighs any thoughts of chicanery.

For your other questions:
  • No reservations about the price.
    • I would say that the average player spends $360 in tourney entries each month between live and online games the greater group runs, so this isn't a huge jump
    • Out of the 17 players that we have had in the league over 4 seasons, 11 of them have won at least one seat to an event, so most think (correctly) that they're just a hot game away from a seat in some event
    • I think that some feel that the game itself is worth the $, whether skilled or not. It's a lot of fun
  • No up front schedule.
    • I use the WhenAvailable website to find the best dates.
    • I normally will send out a 2 month request 1 month ahead of time (so Oct-Nov availability will be requested Sep 1) and try to get 2 to 3 games in during that window if I can.
    • Other scheduling details are in the flyer
A couple other items of note, may or may not be of interest.
  • For this season + moving forward, I removed the requirement that the player play in specific WSOP Vegas events.
    • Some players enjoy/are more proficient at other games, so they can use that seat to play their preferred game
    • It also allows players to work their seat into their own schedule
  • I send out a request up front for dedicated dealers for the season (2 per table). If you commit to dealing, you don't have to bring food ever
    • If you bust, you don't have to stay to deal, but most of them at least finish their level, or stay longer
  • All non dealers have to bring a meal once (first non dealer to bust brings food next time). I cover any shortfalls
  • I used to have $1k of travel money for each Vegas seat winner, but killed that in favor of getting it back in form of a player getting their buy-in back. This was very popular
  • I do not pay out prize money until a day or two before they depart for the event. Unfortunately, circumstances can arise where a player is suddenly unable to attend, and the last thing I want to do is bother them/their family about getting prize money back. Fingers crossed it never happens, but I just want to be sensitive. This is fine with all players
Hope this is helpful in either ideas of what to do or what NOT to do....:)
 

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The problem with the split-points approach is that it can promote collusion, and can be unfair to other players who are also in the hunt for points.

Splitting the 1st/2nd points still awards more points to each than just finishing 2nd, and those extra points can cause a player to bump somebody else down in the standings -- without having actually earned them.
Excellent point, @BGinGA. We actually had that situation come up in the 2021-2022 season where one player (who was in contention) asked another player (who was out of contention) if they wanted to chop. Out of contention player immediately said that he normally would, but it wouldn't be fair to other players in contention.

But I do like your logic. Eliminates any possibility of it happening. I think I'll add this in for next year. Thanks!
 
Sure thing, @Senzrock. I've attached the (scrubbed) flyer that I sent out for the last season. I made a few tweaks (mainly to points structure), but this is basically it. Once we have the final group locked, I have all the important stuff from the flyer put into a contract that everyone signs. Is it legally binding? Probably not, but hopefully the thought of never again being able to play in any of the games that the regulars put on outweighs any thoughts of chicanery.

For your other questions:
  • No reservations about the price.
    • I would say that the average player spends $360 in tourney entries each month between live and online games the greater group runs, so this isn't a huge jump
    • Out of the 17 players that we have had in the league over 4 seasons, 11 of them have won at least one seat to an event, so most think (correctly) that they're just a hot game away from a seat in some event
    • I think that some feel that the game itself is worth the $, whether skilled or not. It's a lot of fun
  • No up front schedule.
    • I use the WhenAvailable website to find the best dates.
    • I normally will send out a 2 month request 1 month ahead of time (so Oct-Nov availability will be requested Sep 1) and try to get 2 to 3 games in during that window if I can.
    • Other scheduling details are in the flyer
A couple other items of note, may or may not be of interest.
  • For this season + moving forward, I removed the requirement that the player play in specific WSOP Vegas events.
    • Some players enjoy/are more proficient at other games, so they can use that seat to play their preferred game
    • It also allows players to work their seat into their own schedule
  • I send out a request up front for dedicated dealers for the season (2 per table). If you commit to dealing, you don't have to bring food ever
    • If you bust, you don't have to stay to deal, but most of them at least finish their level, or stay longer
  • All non dealers have to bring a meal once (first non dealer to bust brings food next time). I cover any shortfalls
  • I used to have $1k of travel money for each Vegas seat winner, but killed that in favor of getting it back in form of a player getting their buy-in back. This was very popular
  • I do not pay out prize money until a day or two before they depart for the event. Unfortunately, circumstances can arise where a player is suddenly unable to attend, and the last thing I want to do is bother them/their family about getting prize money back. Fingers crossed it never happens, but I just want to be sensitive. This is fine with all players
Hope this is helpful in either ideas of what to do or what NOT to do....:)
Thanks for sharing!
 
-- if you want to reward performance (and discourage stack-nursing), award points to only the top 25% to 33% of the field using a non-linear points structure.
One thing I like about this approach is that I do not believe that the player who finished 18th did any worse than the 15th place finisher, or the 7 place finisher for that matter. If one stretches this logic, a tournament with 4 ITM spots only has 5 different finishers: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and OTM. However, I can see why you would want to award more than just those ITM.

The question is where to draw the line. That's subjective of course, but I do think you should draw the line somewhere when you're down to one table. Awarding different number of points to say 12th and 13th might be unfair, because if they where at different tables the 13th place finisher might actually have lasted more hands than the 12th place finisher, so why should he/she have less points?
 
One thing I like about this approach is that I do not believe that the player who finished 18th did any worse than the 15th place finisher, or the 7 place finisher for that matter. If one stretches this logic, a tournament with 4 ITM spots only has 5 different finishers: 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th and OTM. However, I can see why you would want to award more than just those ITM.

The question is where to draw the line. That's subjective of course, but I do think you should draw the line somewhere when you're down to one table.
I typically draw a hard line above the 50% of field size number. Imo, If one doesn't finish in the top half of the field, the performance is by definition below average -- and doesn't deserve compensation of any kind.

And awarding the significant compensations to those that finish in the top half of the "above average" performances group (aka the top 25% of field size) makes numerical sense to me.
 

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