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Let's Start From The Beginning

Discussion in 'Tournament Structures' started by QuiQuog, May 21, 2014.

  1. QuiQuog

    QuiQuog Well-Known Member

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    Does anybody ever design a set where the lowest chip actually represents just one chip?

    I see a lot of very nice tourney sets with very large values, going into the millions. It got me wondering though, why do most tourney sets start out so high. In the league that I'm in they start at 100. I know some "high roller" sets start higher, but what's the point? Is it like pinball? In the early days you would see score dials that actually count the ones place, now the first three digits are all zeros all the time and you practically get in the millions if you gutter it.

    I've been contemplating another tourney set and was wondering how to avoid the doubling next value chips like the 500 to 1000 or 5,000 to 10,000. I know I could go from 500 to 2,500, but people don't like that.

    I made a labeled tourney set from the China Pharaohs that start out at 5 and it doesn't go that high. They go 5,25,100, 500 and NCV. I added the NCV so it could be used as a 1,000, a whole buy-in, or a bounty.I'm tired of the set now and want to create custom MD-50 set. Something with an old school feel like the Binions Horseshoe or like B.C. did with his Bretts Casino chip.

    How would you feel playing a set where there's one chip that actually represented 1 chip? Would it take time to get used to? Would you feel like you're trudging through sand to get anywhere, or would a stack of chips feel like a stack of chips like I think it would?
     
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    Last edited: May 24, 2014
  2. brains613

    brains613 Well-Known Member
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    Hmm. I read this several times, and maybe I'm just distracted, but I don't understand what you mean by "one chip that actually represented 1 chip?". I don't get it...
     
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  3. QuiQuog

    QuiQuog Well-Known Member

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    A chip with the number 1 on it.
     
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  4. Ronoh

    Ronoh Well-Known Member
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    T1 and blinds start at 1/2 etc... I've played these before and can't stand them but I'm not entirely sure as to the reason.
     
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  5. BPTDirector

    BPTDirector Creativity Alliance
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    Honestly I think most tournament structures in Vegas start at 25/50 including the WSOP main event. I didn't see many tournament structures that started out with blinds of 5/10 until I started playing online.

    So naturally wanting to emulate Vegas I have always used 25/50 as my starting blinds as do 95% of the tournaments I play in around my area.

    1/2 would not feel right to me but your mileage may vary.
     
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  6. brains613

    brains613 Well-Known Member
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    Hmm. I did this as sort of a gimmick once. Used a cash set and ran a turbo tournament. T300 with blinds starting at 1/2. Didn't do over well.

    I have also played in T1500 tournaments where the blinds start at 5/10. I'd much rather start play with T25 chips. I suppose the reason is simply that's what's prevalent.
     
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  7. JoseRijo

    JoseRijo Well-Known Member

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    Raise to 4.
    I re-raise you to 11.
    Can I get a count?
    76
    OK, I call.
    <flop comes>
    I bet 18.
    I'm all in for 58 more.
    (Hmm... if I call I'll only have 13 left...)
     
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  8. Ronoh

    Ronoh Well-Known Member
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    Man I miss PokerStars :sad:

    T1500 @ 5/10 still makes for the best HU sets, one full rack starting 20/20/9 with two black leftover to color up the red if anyone gets that far. I've seen others and don't care for any of them.
     
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  9. BGinGA

    BGinGA Banned

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    I totally get your point, but ^this^ is exactly what happens when T1000 chips are in play and plentiful:

    "Raise to 4K. I re-raise you to 11K. Can I get a count? 76K...." and so on.


    QuiQuog, I used to run several bar tournaments that used T1 starting chips, and I've ran a bunch of organized league tournaments that used T5 through T500 chips.

    The T1-chip tournaments were T300 starting stacks (10/10/10) with 2-4 opening blinds (75BB), and the blind structure plays out not much differently than a larger-denomination structure does once it starts using T100 (or T1000) chips. With 15-minute blinds, up to five tables takes about 4 hours and usually finishes around the 200-400 blind level. T100 chips were used to color-up the T1 and T5 chips, and T500 chips were used to replace the T25 chips at L14 if it was a large event or lasted that long. The events ran smoothly enough, with no complaints.

    The 2-table T5-chip re-buy tournaments had T3000 starting stacks (10/10/7/4) with 10/20 opening blinds (150BB), and usually finished in 4+ hours using 20 minute blind levels. You can color-up the T5/T25/T100 chips using T500 chips, or you can replace the T100 chips with T1000, T2000, or T5000 chips, depending upon what's available (but they aren't really necessary).

    I still have both blind structures if interested.

    My next set of customs will have 5-25-100-500-2000 denominations, which can be used for 5c+, $5+, or T5+.
     
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  10. Kingpin804

    Kingpin804 Well-Known Member

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    +1 to T1000/1500 tournaments for 100/150BB starting at 5/10. Sure, you can go to a 50/100 for a T10000 tournament or higher to feel like the WSOP, but then all the zeros just start adding more confusion and people are reducing to fractions in their head anyways... Besides, sticking to the 5/25/100/500 denoms leave my favorite chip colors in play. I'm against inflation. Bring back the bitcoin standard.

    "I raise you 10m with this fugly brown chip"
     
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  11. brains613

    brains613 Well-Known Member
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    Cool! :happy:
     
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  12. Whiteside

    Whiteside Well-Known Member

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    I only really play tournaments and I have a 1-5-25-100 set that I use, mainly because it's a casino set of chips. It's a T500 with blinds starting at 1/2.

    It doesn't really make that much of a difference if you're paying attention to stacks.

    I also have a 5-25-100-500 set of Milanos that I like because I can play T1500 or T2000 tournaments, and I play most of my online poker on Pokerstars so I'm more comfortable around those numbers.
     
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  13. BGinGA

    BGinGA Banned

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    All of the variations play the same, given similar blind structures and similar stack sizes relative to the starting blinds. The only real difference I've found is that casual players have more problems using a T5-base set than a T25-base set, which puts them at a slight disadvantage to more experienced players.

    Blinds that are in multiples of 5 (10/20, 15/30, 20/40, 30/60, 40/80) seem to be much harder to calculate bets and raises than are blinds in multiples of 25 (25/50, 50/100, 75/150, 125/250, 150/300). I'm guessing it has something to due with the prevalence of quarters and dollars in US currency, and people being very familiar with them.

    Tournaments using a T1-base (or even a T25c base, using 25c/50c starting blinds) can be a lot of fun when you make the buy-in equal to the value of the starting stack. The bets are then actually equal to the value of what's being wagered, similar to the WSOP Main Events of old (when $10,000 bought T10000 in tournament chips).
     
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  14. BGinGA

    BGinGA Banned

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    One reason may be that the $1 and $5 chips in many (most?) casinos are simply not very pretty or flashy, while the higher-denomination chips in those sets tend to be more colorful and typically use more complex edge spots.


    A 500-to-2000 progression is a much better option than 500-to-2500. The T2000 chip is more flexible, and fits better with most blind structures than does a T2500 chip. I've also found that people are less put-off by using a T2000 chip than a T2500 chip (it's easier to multiply).

    If you are using T5000 chips, you really never have a real need for a T10000 chip.

    Any of these tournament chip progressions are equally efficient:
    25c-1-5-25-100
    1-5-25-100-500
    5-25-100-500-2000
    25-100-500-2000-10000
    100-500-2000-10000-50000

    Five different denominations is usually enough, unless the field size is large (40+ players) or the starting stack sizes are huge (500+ BB).

    Of course, the 'standard' is 25-100-500-1000-5000, which has that pesky 500-to-1000 jump (also usually requires that T5000 chips make an appearance). In addition to adding effeciency, using a T2000 chip actually gives more value to the T500 chip, as it will remain in play much longer with no T1000 chip.


    That sounds like a very well-planned and versatile set (that NCV chip could also be used as T2000 or T5000, or even as T1 if you wanted).

    Nothing wrong with duplicating that same strategy with your custom MD-50 set, and is essentially what I'm planning with my 5-25-100-500-2000 dual-purpose MD-50 set.
     
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  15. rowlin

    rowlin Faux Clay Nation

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    One cool thing about a 25/50 starting structure is that it often ends with just T-1000 chips on the table.

    They behave a lot like the "1" chips you mention in the OP, making it simple to count out stacks and deal with the "large" blind amounts at the end of the game.
     
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  16. Chicken Rob

    Chicken Rob Poker sorry.
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    We played tourneys with cash sets in grad school. My player pool must have been much smarter than the average tourney player, no one freaked out at blinds starting at 1/2.

    I like the idea of starting at T0.25 and starting the blinds at 25/50. You can mimic the WSOP structures, and get rid of the stupid 2X chip value jumps. Just divide all the blind levels by 100.
     
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  17. TexRex

    TexRex Well-Known Member

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    I think there's another reason most tournaments start with T25. It's more efficient. Taking BGinGA's idea of a starting stack of 200 BB, see below:

    T400
    1 x 10
    5 x 8
    25 x 6
    100 x 2
    Total 26 chips, 24 of the 3 lowest values

    T2000
    5 x 10
    25 x 8
    100 x 3
    500 x 1
    1000 x 1
    Total 23 chips, 21 of the 3 lowest values

    T10,000
    25 x 8
    100 x 8
    500 x 2
    1000 x 3
    5000 x 1
    Total 22 chips, 18 of the 3 lowest values

    Part of that is because when the first jump is 4x instead of 5x, it takes fewer of the very lowest chip. It almost seems counter-intuitive because of where the 500/1000 jump comes, but it just takes fewer chips to get there without requiring a lot of change.

    Color up chips are going to alter this, but that will depend on how you do the color up.

    Another factor is that the more of the lowest value chips it takes, the less efficient from tournament management it is because you have the highest number of chips in play the least amount of time.
     
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  18. Poker Zombie

    Poker Zombie Well-Known Member

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    TexRex beat me to it...

    Starting with bigger denoms is simply cheaper.

    My first set used T5s, because,like many, I learned from PokerStars (ahhh, the good old days). Today I won't give a T5 set much thought anymore because of the 5-1 loss on color ups. a T1 set means a 25-2 loss after your first two color ups, unless you use an abysmal structure.

    Finally, I know a 1-2 structure can be made to look like a 100-200 structure without changing the game much, but to me that's like saying the Boise State football field is fine because it plays the same. (Those not in the know, Boise State is the dice chips of football fields).
     
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  19. JeromyinWV

    JeromyinWV ChipTalk.net Supporter
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    I agree with BGinGA about the currency and the typical 25/100 break down. I am surprised no one has brought up the T20 vs T25 chip debate. My problem is when tourneys like the WSOP take a T10,000 and make it a T20,000 and then double the blinds. ????? Many players like this, but it is the same thing. Then again I am the the kid in school that tried to sell .50 candy bars for a buck but told them they were buy one get one free. It worked because most people suck at math. They want it to look good on tv. When you have 7,000+ people in a tournament, the final table is going to have some big stacks no matter the T size.
     
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  20. TexRex

    TexRex Well-Known Member

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    Jeromy, purely from a chip efficiency standpoint, the T20 vs. T25 doesn't make as much sense as a $20 vs. $25. If blinds started at 20/40, it takes at least two more chips per person. Multiply that by 7000 and it's 14,000 extra chips. Of course, the WSOP takes 3 or 4 Day 1's and don't nee that many more chips, but even for 2500, that 5,000 more chips. And if they are $1 each, that's just wasted.

    If one starts at $1 and $5, whether it's $20 or $25 is a matter of preference, but not a matter of the number of chips. What you have is 5x-4x-5x instead of 5x-5x-4x.

    For my cash chips, I have $1, $5, $20, $100 because of $20 bills, and it helps distinguish them from my tournament chips.

    I've never understood the logic of a 5000 and 10,000 chip in the same set, nor the logic of 1 and 2; 5 and 10; 25 and 50 in the same set. The only reason 500 and 1000 makes sense is to re-set the numbers. I agree one could go from 500 to either 2000 or 2500 and save a chip step, and logically it makes sense, but I understand why few do it. I wouldn't for a tournament set because I think the restart at 1000 is easier for players.
     
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