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Structure Advice

Discussion in 'Tournament Structures' started by CraigT78, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. CraigT78

    CraigT78 Active Member

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    Hello! So I have looked through the forums and see that great advice is given out here and I wanted to ask for some for myself. I currently hold a monthly poker game and it has really taken off and gotten a lot more serious. I had some feedback from the last game that my blinds could use some adjustment later in the game as they doubled after the break, and again a few levels later. I was doing a T1500 stack, two tables, max 16 players (two 8 seat tables). I recently picked up more chips and would like to increase this to either a T2000 or T2500 tourney with new blinds. I shoot for a 4 to 4.5 hour game, it usually lasts 4 hours or so. Unlimited rebuys to starting stack until the break, average 8-10 rebuys. No add on. I average 12 to 14 players, but now that summer is over I have a wait list.

    My Previous Schedule (T1500)

    SB BB 20 minute levels
    5 10
    10 20
    20 40
    30 60
    40 80
    Break - Color up - rebuy closed
    50 100
    100 200
    200 400
    300 600
    400 800
    Break - Color Up
    500 1000
    1000 2000 *Usually ends here*
    2000 4000
    4000 8000

    My New Schedule (Proposed) (T2000 or T2500) *Undecided*
    SB BB 20 minute levels
    10 20
    15 30
    20 40
    30 60
    Break and Color Up - No more rebuy
    50 100
    75 150
    100 200
    150 300
    200 400
    300 600
    400 800
    600 1200
    Break and Color Up
    1000 2000
    1500 3000
    3000 6000

    I have the following chips40

    T5 - 400
    T25 - 300
    T100 - 200
    T500 - 75
    T1000 -75

    Starting stack
    T5 - 20
    T25 - 16
    T100 - 5
    T500 - 2 (3 if T2500)

    Thank you in advance for looking this over, I look forward to your input!
     
    #1
  2. atomiktoaster

    atomiktoaster Well-Known Member

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    100 BB is a good buy-in for a rebuy tournament. The 10/20 start avoids the early double, which is nice. The structure doubles every other level, not too aggressive if you get the expected amount of rebuys. The only glaring in thing is the jump from 1500/3000 to 3000/6000. Put a 2000/4000 level in there and run with it, I'd say.
     
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  3. bpbenda

    bpbenda Premium Supporter
    Staff Member Premium Supporter

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    In structuring a tournament, I think the best thing to do is to work backwards from where you want to end. So, if you want to run a 4-4.5 hour tournament, you need to estimate how many total chips you think will be in play.

    In this case, if you know you are getting 16 players and will have 8-10 rebuys, then you can assume there will be 25 total entries. At a 2,000 chip starting stack, that's 50,000 total chips in play. The general rule of thumb is that a tournament (of any size) will end (on average) when the combined value of the BB and ante (if there is one) represent 5% of the total chips in play. In other words, your average ending level in the above referenced example should be 1250/2500 (or equivalent).

    From personal experience, these kind of friendly home games tend to conclude a bit sooner than that, especially if there are chops that occur between the final 2-3 players. Players play a bit more loose and free in these kind of games (as evidenced by the number of rebuys), so I don't think it's unreasonable to expect that the tournament might conclude before the BB and ante represent 5% of the total chips in play. Maybe 2-3% would be more accurate. So, that suggests an ending level around 625/1250 or 750/1500 (or equivalent).

    Once you establish the likely ending level, the rest is just a matter of filling in the blanks. Determining what you want your blind length to be and when your breaks should come will tell you how many levels you need (simple math). Work backwards and give players as much play throughout as you can. You might even want to consider marginally increasing the level length in the second half of the tournament (from 20 to 25 minutes). That gives players more play when it counts the most.

    Once you get to about 200/400 or 400/800, I would try not to double the blinds with a level increase. I personally think its better to double the blinds earlier rather than later. The latter stages matter more anyway. Hope this helps. Good luck.
     
    #3
  4. justsomedude

    justsomedude Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I'd keep the 5/10 blinds. It's 200x the BB and is a nice "warm up" level. As BP stated, work backwards. Your starting stack is usually close to your final level. So with 2,000 chips to start (which I think is a good starting stack), anticipate ending around 2k in the big blind.

    I worked your blinds into my spreadsheet, and there are some pretty big jumps. 50% and 33% jumps are good, but having the 66% and 100% jumps in there (at the end) is not good. See below...

    yourlevels.JPG

    I reworked it a bit to get more consistency between levels. It's kind of a blend of your two proposed options. I kept the 150 level and brought the 80 BB level back...

    mylevels1.JPG

    The 80 to 100 jump is small, but I think it's necessary for fluidity, and to avoid a larger jump in blinds.

    I also changed things up in the later rounds by creating 1600 and 2400 BB levels. Again, this is for consistency in the blind increase percentages. This isn't as "clean," as you'll need to keep the 100s on the table longer, but it creates smoother transitions between levels - and players won't feel like they're getting cheated by massive jumps in the blinds.

    Green cells are the anticipated end point.

    For what it's worth, the percentage shifts in blinds for my own tourneys are about the same as those shown here (2nd graphic) and we never go to the estimated end time - even with 18 people. With my proposed structure, I anticipate you ending around the 1200 - 1600 BB level, or about 5 hours in. You should be down to the final three, if not heads up play, by that point.

    It took us a few months to end up with this structure (we use 10k stacks, but very similar blind increases), and my group loves it. Hope this helps.
     
    #4
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015
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  5. CraigT78

    CraigT78 Active Member

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    This was suggested from a regular, I think I will do this. Some of the concern was that the inexperienced guys had a lot more time to "play" before busting out and moving to the cash game, where the serious players were now racing to play in increased blinds. I don't want this to be a crap shoot at the end!
     
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  6. CraigT78

    CraigT78 Active Member

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    Very good sir! Thank you for the suggestions. Why do you like the $5 start as opposed to $10? You don't get grumblings that there is too much time spend at the bottom?
     
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  7. justsomedude

    justsomedude Well-Known Member

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    This was a very deliberate decision with my group. We have some serious players, but the majority of the guys at my tourneys are casual poker players, who really aren't familiar with a lot of the nuances of the game.

    We use the 5/10 first level as a "warm up" of sorts, for the guys who only play once a month. It gets them re-acclimated to playing, and is a nice slow start. And for 20 minutes, it's not like it's making the game that much longer.

    Since we play a low-key game, with no real LAGs, it was seen as a way of keeping the casual players involved/interested. No one complains / everyone's happy.

    :)
     
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  8. justsomedude

    justsomedude Well-Known Member

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    Don't forget, you're also seeing more hands at later levels. As you get down to 6, 5, and 4 players, dealing times should decrease, allowing for more hands. In my group, one of the bustos usually hangs around to be a dedicated dealer, which also increases hands per level. Sometimes a second busto will hang out to shuffle and be alternate dealer, again, increasing hands viewed.

    So with increased hands per level, I don't see the point of increasing the time per level as well. It's an unfair structure that is tilted towards those who last longer. Personally, I'm not a fan of this approach. The goal is to find a winner - not be there until 2am, Hollywooding over AK suited. If you don't like 20 minute levels, my suggestion is to make them longer from the start.

    This is just my opinion, which, probably stinks. YMMV. :P
     
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  9. CraigT78

    CraigT78 Active Member

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    Great train of thought there. Thanks for the input, I will think this over and make some changes!
     
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