Interesting Format - 32 man Shootout with Loser's Bracket
Just organised a 32-person tourney last night with a format I had neither heard about nor tried before. Feedback was overwhlemingly positive, so I thought I'd share here. Here goes:
- 3-Round NLHE shootout style with second chance "losers' bracket" for players knocked out in first round
- There was a bounty on each player's head of 10% of the entry fee. Each player received a differently colored "bounty chip" that they were required to throw in the pot any time they went all-in. Each chip was redeemable at the end of the night for the bounty amount.
- 32 players are drawn into 6 tables of 6,6,5,5,5,5 with T20,000 each
- Each table plays down to 3 "winners" who move to the winners' bracket tables
- Players knocked out (14) move to losers' bracket tables
- Shootout style means players only compete with their own table - players do not move when other tables become shorthanded.
- Winners take their chips with them to the winners' bracket tables.
- No bounties collected in the first round.
- 18 Winners from previous round are drawn into 3 tables of 6
- Each player starts with their chips from the first round, plus a bonus of T10,000 for making the winners' bracket
- Each table plays down to 2 winners that make the final table
- Winners take their accumulated chips with them
- Losers are eliminated, and their bounty went to whomever knocked them out.
- Total chips in play = 820,000. (32xT20000+18xT10000). Average Final Table stack = T45,556.
- 14 first round losers are drawn into 2 tables of 7.
- Losers' bracket tables play down to 1 winner that makes the final table with 6 from the winners' bracket.
- Players are moved between tables as necessary to keep the numbers even.
- Tables combined into one table once there are 6 remaining.
- Players knocked out are eliminated, and their bounty went to whomever knocked them out.
- Starting stacks are calculated to ensure the winner of the losers' bracket has a just smaller than average stack entering the final table. 14 players started with T3200 each, for a total of T44,800 in play.
- 6 players from the winners' bracket and 1 player from the losers' bracket are drawn into seats at the final table.
- Dedicated dealer provided for the final table.
- Players play until one player has all the chips. Players place in the order they are knocked out. Multiple players knocked out in the same hand split the combined prize money for their respective places.
- Payouts: 1st 37%, 2nd 22%, 3rd 15%, 4th 11%, 5th 8%, 6th 7%
- Each round (First, Winners'/Losers', Final Table) was planned for around 2 hours.
- Each round was planned for 6 blind levels. Each round could go a little longer or shorter depending on actual play.
- Each blind level lasted 15 minutes, with a 10 minute break after every 3 rounds for chip color-up, bathroom and smoke breaks.
- Key issue was setting blinds so that winners' bracket (18 playing down to 6) and losers' bracket (14 down to 1) took about the same amount of time.
- Barbecue time planned between completion of Winners'/Losers' bracket round and Final Table. This gave early finishers something to do while waiting, allowed final table participants to eat before the final table, and allowed other non-playing party-goers (girlfriends) to show up for the barbecue and watch the Final Table.
- First Round blinds:100/200,200/400,300/600,break,500/1000,1000/2000,1500/3000, higher if necessary
- Winners' Bracket blinds: 1000/2000,1500/2000,2000/4000,break,3000/6000,5000/10000,8000/16000
- Losers' Bracket blinds: 100/200,200/400,300/600,break,500/1000,1000/2000,1500/3000, higher if necessary
Final Table Blinds: 10000/20000,15000/30000,20000/40000,break,30000/60000,50000/100000
- We didn't know until roll call exactly how many would be playing. I planned individual scenarios for 24-36 players ahead of time. Key varioables included number of first round tables, number of winners/losers into second round, number of chips to losers' bracket to ensure losers'bracket winner would enter final table with average number of chips, and payouts. I created one big Excel sheet with all the variables and just used the '32' column once we knew how many actually showed up. This format requires advance planning.
- Starting a shootout with differing numbers at the starting tables gives advantages and disadvantages to those at different tables. It is easier to make the last 3 of 5 than the last three of 6, but there were more chips to collect at the tables of 6. We took the decision that these factors balanced each other out somewhat, and that as long as seat selection was done randomly, it was fair.
- For seat selection, I took a two decks of crappy cards, taped on card from one deck at each seat, and had the players draw from a matching set of cards from the opposite deck. A-6 of a suit at each table, plus 7-Q of two suits for tables 5&6, A or 7 is the first dealer each round.
- Setting the blind schedule to fit the desired timing was key. This was one of my key worries, but it worked out well.
- A detailed pre-tournament briefing was essential to set the tone for the night. Explaining the details well before questions are asked means players think everything is under control, and argue less.
I think that covers it. A couple of friends and I tried this format that was completely new to us, and it worked out well, so I thought I'd share. Happy to answer any questions anyone might have.