Okay, so you’ve convinced yourself the sbobet casino has not given you the old bait and switch. You’ve decided you’re perfectly fine with premature de-stackulation. Well, give yourself one more chance to open your eyes and take in the blindness.
Look at the blinds. We know how often they go up, but how much do they go up at each level? Do you start at 50/100, then to 100/200, then 200/400, then 400/800? If so, you’re staring at a horrible structure. Of course the size of your starting stack (coming in just a moment) has a lot to do with this, but a good rule is: If it’s double every time, it’s trouble every time.
Now, of course, no one expects a one-day tournament to have a great structure. To finish the tournament in a reasonable amount of time, the structure has to move along faster than structures like those of, say, the World Series of Poker. But, you’d always be keen to find a one-day structure that goes a little like this:
After that, in a good one-day tournament, you’ll likely start to see the doubling start. It has to move along sometime. However, with the above structure, you’ll be able to play a little poker for a couple hours. Given, this structure will take more than a few hours to finish. But that’s what you want, isn’t it? Like being in bed with a woman, it’s better to last for several hours than being stacked off in forty minutes.
Finally, as mentioned above, you’ll want to start with a decent stack of chips. I know a lot of people who cringe when we say, “Okay, everybody starts with 150 in chips.” They will complain, “Come on, man, let’s make this bigger. Give everybody 4500 in chips.”
As any savvy player is aware, the number of chips means nothing on its own. It all has to do with the number of chips relative to the blinds. In the deeeeeeep-stacked WSOP main event, every player begins with $10,000 in chips. The blinds start at $25/$50. That is a stack that starts at 200x the big blind. That, of course, is way too large for a one-day event.
I played in one WSOP event this year ($1500 buy-in for 1500 chips with blinds that began at 25/25). While the field was massive, the structure was not disgusting at all. In the middle levels, it felt fast, but it really wasn’t.
So, what is a reasonable stack-size relative to the blinds for a one-day event? Opinions differ on this pretty strongly. If I ran the world (lord, help us all), I’d want to start with no less than 50x the starting big blind. I’d prefer 60x. I’d be quite pleased with 75x. Others say 100x.
Like being in bed with a woman, it’s not the size, it’s the relative size.
Ideally, we’d all just boycott the crapshoot tourneys in our cardrooms. But, it wouldn’t do much good, I figure. Cheap day-long tournaments are not profitable for the casinos. The Bellagio apparently has a really nice structure for its Friday and Saturday $1000 event, but that’s about the only tournament I know of where players generally walk away and feel like they got their money’s worth.
Of course, many people lament that they’ll never get tournament experience if they don’t play the crapshoot events. I would suggest, in conclusion, that you don’t want that kind of experience. The only thing you learn at those tournaments is how to play a shortstack. You’re better off to play online tournaments, which is, of course, another post for another day.
Finally, as my Dad likes to say, “Lord knows I’ve been wrong before.” You think I’m wrong, leave me a comment and let me know how. I love being wrong about stuff like this. Also, if you know of a regular one-day tournament in Vegas or anywhere that has a good structure, leave it in the comments here. I’d be interested to know where it is.
After all, like being in bed with a woman…