Shootouts – All About the Luck of the Draw?

by , Jun 10, 2009 | 11:06 pm

Watching the $1,500 No-Limit Hold ’em Shootout at the WSOP today brought up an interesting question; how much does the luck of the a player’s first round table draw factor into their chances of winning?

Looking at today’s field, there were some tables that were obviously much more difficult than others. Of course, this is true in any tournament, but the structure of a shootout makes this more important in my opinion. Why? Because in a standard MTT, there’s a much better than average chance that you’ll change tables at least once on the first day, giving you a shot at facing some weaker players along the way.

In a shootout though, you’re stuck with your table mates. If you’re a seasoned pro, this probably doesn’t matter as you’ve probably played with them already and know their games. As an amateur though, you may be seriously screwed if you end up with someone like Ivey on your left and Negreanu on your right.

Does this mean I think shootouts are unfair for the casual player? Not at all. Just that they may be more difficult than you might expect.


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