Posts Tagged ‘blind-structures’

Hook a Lady Up

by , Jun 22, 2012 | 12:53 pm

Say what you will about the WSOP Ladies Championship — I’ve got the over/under at 15 for number of men who enter this year — it’s still the kinda event that some people get super-excited about for weeks if not months beforehand. And our super-good friend Donna from Pink Ladies Poker Tour has a series of single-table satellites this Sunday, June 24, St. Jean Baptiste Day, at the Tropicana.


Team Pokerati @ZyngaPoker

Another Mincast and Zynga player profile

by , Mar 19, 2011 | 3:40 pm

One thing that is very different here compared to other tournaments seen around Vegas has been the LACK of patched up players in the field. Surely it’s gotta be a matter of politeness from Full Tilt and Stars, right — not wanting to crash this online+live poker newcomer’s coming out party? Saw Doyle Brunson with a Doyle’s Room patch yesterday … but hey, he’s Doyle … and @Pokerati, we have no couth, obv.

So big-good luck to Team Pokerati’s lone representative in the inaugural Zynga Pokercon, Stacey Nutini, aka Stacey Lynn, aka @LasVegasPokers. She just took her seat as alternate #23.

Pokerati Mincast: Team Pokerati @ZyngaPoker

Blind Ambition

Zynga Pokercon Vegas Weekend

by , | 12:18 pm

As the first ever live event for the world’s biggest online poker site (Stars wanna challenge the assertion?) gets underway … we are seeing the super-hyper-turbo nature of free poker play translated to a two-flight weekend at Zynga PokerCon.

There were 45 players left (from the first flight of 250) with blinds at 1,000/2,000. They started with 2,000 chips each, so that translates to … bear with me, doing math here … 18 percent of the field left, 5.5 big blinds for the average stack.

UPDATE (12 minutes later): Blinds just went up. Average stack is now 2.75 BB.
UPDATE (3 minutes later): We are in the money. 27 players remain.
UPDATE (1 minute later): Blinds are up to 3,000/6,000. 3.2 BB for the average.

Though I can hear Matt Savage and Allen Kessler cringing on the inside from wherever they are, the one guarantee with such a faster-than-charity structure is lots of exciting all-in hands. So in some ways reminds me of a WPT broadcast from a few years ago.

CORRECTION: See what happens when you assume? Turns out Matt Savage created this blind structure!

Click the image above to enlarge the blind and payout structures … they play each flight down to 3 … and then sit four others who qualified for ITM seats on Zynga Poker.

New 3-hour Freeroll Blind Structure Taking Shape

by , Oct 22, 2010 | 12:12 am

Those dastardly SAEs won’t be allowed to play in the Pikes-only Northwestern homecoming freeroll, that’s for sure.

Pokerati is headed to Chicago for an event you may not know about, nor should you. The awesomely titled “Pike Poker Tourney” takes place at the Best Western-Evanston on Saturday, Oct. 23, after Northwestern’s (5-1) homecoming football game against Michigan State (7-0).

It’s a $1,000+ freeroll for Pi Kappa Alpha alums and actives … with $1k going to first, and 2nd through 4th TBA tomorrow. Economists have confirmed that $1k is still “a shitload” to college students.

I’ll be serving as executive floor honcho, and found out earlier today the original plan called for only 1,000 starting chips.


Just because this will be a very quick, luck-friendly 3(ish)-hour event doesn’t mean it has to suck! (We can stretch it to 4 hours if necessary, though it shouldn’t be hard to get players to push chips around — health officials confirm that college students still like to drink, as do aging alumni desperately trying to cling to their youth.)


Pokerati Game (Tourney Version) Blind Structure

@DetoxPoker Series

by , Jul 12, 2010 | 7:18 pm

Check it out, the blind structure for the $230 Pokerati No-Limit Hold’em/Pot-Limit Omaha with one $200 Rebuy tournament is here for your perusal, along with all the other blind structures for the Detox Poker Series, August 13-22.

BTW, turns out my event is one of the few that does not meet CardPlayer POY criteria … bummer, and oops on contending otherwise … but hey, kinda a rookie here on the Vegas real-money poker scene, ya know? Just look at the event title and try to say it out loud … sure, I agree it sounds kinda sexy, but you can tell I still might have a few things to learn about running tournaments in the land of Big Casino.

Still promise a fun, challenging event with great food and (re)invigorating action. Mark your calendars (Aug 18), book your flights, and send your kids to summer camp. Come (back) to Vegas to annoy the locals and/or abuse the tourists!

Matt Savage: What do you think of the jump in antes at level 6 in the Pokerati event?

Allen Kessler: I’m not sure the single rebuy offers enough equity without POY points in play even when you consider the implied free-food equity. I mean ha-ha, what good is that when you’re not guaranteeing a take-home box!

Keep up to date with what is sure to be the best late-summer, chill-stakes miniseries of the year on twitter @DetoxPoker.

WSOP Main Event Note: Matt Savage is still alive at the Day 3 dinner break with 155k. Current official scoreboard here.

Day 1: What if You Didn’t Play a Hand?

More poker-by-numbers in the WSOP main event

by , Jul 6, 2010 | 2:28 am

Had an interesting convo last night with @HeartlandPokerTodd (not his real twitter name, though it prolly should be) …

Todd Anderson from Fargo, North Dakota, bought into his first WSOP Main Event a few days ago, and we were talking about the value of chips acquired early in this $10k, long blind-levels, triple-stacked tournament. Before long we began to conclude that a player would be fine making it to Day 2 without playing a single hand. We couldn’t agree, however, on where that chipstack would be at the end of Day 1.

So here is my attempt to calculate it … feel free to disagree and/or disparage:


Matt Savage Returns to Vegas Poker Scene

Hosting 10-day series at the Hard Rock

by , May 3, 2010 | 6:18 pm

Matt Savage, host of the new Las Vegas Poker Series at the Hard Rock, served as tournament director in the 2007 movie Lucky You. Don’t hold that against him.

Storied tournament director Matt Savage is stepping back into Las Vegas poker events — for the first time since 2004 — bringing the Las Vegas Poker Series to my weekly donk-stomping grounds at the Hard Rock, August 13-22.

The LVPS will feature low buy-in events ($230-$550), most of which count toward CardPlayer Player of the Year standings … with the Savage-tested deep structures (as opposed to deep stacks) that just about all players except Allen Kessler vigorously applaud. Also a money leaderboard of some sort is in play, though I’m not yet sure if this is about crowning an overall champion or qualifying for a player-appreciation freeroll … more TK as the schedule and other PR info gets released.


Daniel Negreanu on LAPC’s Not-So-Deep-Stacks Blind Structure

by , Feb 27, 2010 | 3:12 am

We all know there’s lots of chit-chat on blind structures, always, and there should be. They are important. In the early days of the poker boom, a lot of tourney directors didn’t really know what they were doing and surely didn’t understand the nuances of stack sizes deep into tournaments with bigger-than-expected fields. Then the Venetian came along with their Deep Stack concept, kinda-sorta revolutionizing the way smaller-stakes tournaments were played … at which point everyone started copying it and multiplying … and eventually trying to apply a bajillion starting chips concept to higher buy-in, big-time poker.

That’s when TDA honcho Matt Savage stepped up to say, wait a minute, let’s take a look beyond the first few levels, maybe these perceived Deep Stacks in a lot of instances aren’t all everyone says they’re supposed to be. Just about any educated “outsider” I’ve talked to who has taken a close look at the prevalent blind structures of the day contend that, indeed, while the non-bastardized Venetian Deep Stacks set-up is good, Savage’s not-so-deep-stacks structure as seen at the LAPC are indeed some of the best in the business — a model for other tourney directors to emulate.

After Day 1 of the WPT-Commerce main event, Daniel Negreanu agrees. Read more as he explains a bit why.

NOTE: I learned a good rule of thumb about antes from Negreanu, and where they fit in to breed action in “slower” events.

New Poll: Who Has the Best Blind Structures?

by , Nov 23, 2009 | 3:30 pm

@AllenKessler loves a good blind structure, and may or may not love to bitch about those in successful tourneys he’s not even playing in. Regardless, he’s answered @SavagePoker‘s call to reassess the popular deep-stacks format by trying to start a twitter flame war on behalf of … well, that much we’re not so sure about, but we haven’t seen such a fun Battle of the Tweets since @EskimoClark vs. @BigRussPoker (whose account has apparently been suspended?).

We may or may not get around to taking a closer look at the finer nuances of currently popular blind structs, but in the meantime we wanna know, unscientifically, of course, from a tournament blinds perspective, where you think the best place is to play. Daily voting to your right.

Oh, and then just for fun, be sure to check out the delightfully mock-a-vellian @ComplainSaw.

Super-Deep Stacks, Late Registrations

WPT Festa al Lago $15k Main Event

by , Oct 20, 2009 | 5:55 pm

We low-stakes players love the deep-stack events … but as Matt Savage pointed out this summer, and a concern that Andy Bloch has re-raised more recently, big-time pro tourneys don’t necessarily benefit in the same way from these structures.

(The basics of the beef: the blinds move too slow early, and too fast in the middle of the tournament.)

Should be extra interesting to see these issues in action tomorrow for the start of the WPT Festa al Lago $15k main event. Not only are stack sizes in relation to the blinds in play, but also — and I’m pretty sure this part is new — players will be allowed to late-register (with a totally fresh starting stack) well into Day 2!

For a better explanation, WPT Lead Tournament Reporter BJ Nemeth breaks it down a bit more. Says BJ:

There are currently 40 players registered for this WPT event, & there is only one starting day (tomorrow).

Like the December tourney, this one will let you register anytime during the first *eight* levels. [So] they’re letting players register until 5:00 pm on Day TWO.

This tourney begins with 60,000 in chips (4x stack) and blinds at 50-100. That’s 600 big blinds. (Though I still expect someone to bust in the first level or two.)

If you skip Day 1 and show up at the start of Day 2, you’ll have 75 big blinds to work with. If you wait as long as possible and begin play at the start of Level 9, you’ll have 37.5 big blinds in your stack.

Hmm, OK … we’ll have to see if this adds fuel to Andy Bloch’s fire, or satisfies those who pony up the $15k buy-in enough that complaints about overly deep stacks fail to grow any teeth. Word is that tournament-side WSOP officials will be watching closely at how it plays out.

Click below to see Bellagio’s venerable TD Jack McClelland’s blind structure for tomorrow’s big event in its entirety:


Are Deep Stacks Really Good for Poker?

by , Jul 31, 2009 | 3:55 pm

That’s the question Matt Savage, one of the guys who has created quite a few of them, asks in 2+2 Magazine. Fascinating look (for blind-structure geeks) at things like “the rubber-band effect” in middle levels.

Indeed, I agree that too often people think simply adding more chips leads to better everything — but don’t consider myriad other factors that come into play over the course of hours (or days) in a timed event that takes you from X number of players ultimately to just one.

[via F-Train]

Poker Fundraising Advice

by , Jan 9, 2009 | 1:17 pm

One-time Pokerati contributor (and my hunting coach) Nick in Dallas writes in with a request for some charity theatrical poker tourney assistance:

Hey Dan,

So some friends and I are going to throw a poker tournament in February here in Dallas as a fundraiser for a theater production company that we started this fall ( Blue Mesa Grill is going to host the games (free appetizers and happy-hour-priced drinks) and we are going to have a $20 per player donation buyin with rebuys. I was wondering if you had any advice/suggestions:

— How often should we up the blinds so that a game starting around 3 on a Sunday will be over by 8 or 9 at the latest?
— Do you know any poker company/group willing to lend/donate us enough chips and cards for 100 people or so?
— Do you know any poker company/group that would be interested in donating a prize?
— Do you know any poker company/group that would be interested in financially sponsoring the event (we’re tax deductible) in exchange for publicity on our event fliers, website, and performance playbills?
— Do you know ways to publicize this to the Dallas poker-playing community?
— Anything else you think would be helpful?

thanks a lot,

Nick, as always, good to hear from you. One of these days you will find purpose in your life and ditch the restaurant-service/medical-technology career combo, as well as your passion for the arts and philanthropy, to discover your true calling as a poker blogger. Either that, or you are clearly nothing without Markus and Andy.

In the meantime, click below for answers to your questions:


Day 4 Pregame

by , Jul 11, 2008 | 11:45 am

Craig Cunningham likes to — during the main event particularly — look at data, tabulate it, and occasionally share the results with his fellow poker bloggers. Today he sends along a good quick-list of the blind levels we’ll be seeing today, and some interesting thoughts on picking out the likely chip leaders as we whittle our way down to fewer and fewer tables:

No time for great wisdom today and analysis (maybe tomorrow). I would point you to the table tab which is my favorite to look for. I always total the chips at each table when we get to this stage to see where the big tables are. The big tables often yield chip leaders as we move into Day 4 and beyond. Iggy’s table has the fifth most chips to start with only eight players to begin with, including Jeremiah Smith (2nd in chips at just over a million). Structure below.

SB BB Ante Pot
Level 16 2,500 5,000 500 12,000
Level 17 3,000 6,000 1,000 18,000
Level 18 4,000 8,000 1,000 21,000
Level 19 5,000 10,000 1,000 24,000
Level 20 6,000 12,000 2,000 36,000
Level 21 8,000 16,000 2,000 42,000

Obviously there are only five levels in play today (16-20), but as is the case for the players at the tables, you gotta know what’s coming up (in level 21) to make proper decisions before it.

(Way) Outside the WSOP – (Day 34 Evening Update)

by , Jul 2, 2008 | 9:16 pm

Catching up on the final two preliminary events of the Series before the Main Event.

The $1,500 NL Holdem event is down to three players: veteran Dan Heimiller, rising pro David Daneshgar, and relative unknown Scott Sitron. They just went on their one hour dinner break, so to see how this turns up, follow the updates on the WSOP site here.

The $1,500 Limit Holdem Shootout just created its final table and one of those who will be moving on is Jean-Robert Bellande, who may have a fellow pro railing him at the final table. You can follow the updates of their action here.

Here’s how the final table will look like, everyone starting with 300,000 in chips:

Andrew Prock
Brandon Wong
Danny Wong
Jean-Robert Bellande
Joe DeNiro
John Kranyak
Mike Kachan
Spencer Lawrence
Matt Graham

Graham was the last to make the final table, and was extremely upset that the levels leaped from the 6,000/12,000 level to 10,000/20,000 when the stacks were level at 150,000. It seems to have worked out for him to make the final table, we’ll see if it propels him to the bracelet.

I’ll return tomorrow to preview Day 1a of the Main Event and give the final winners…

(Way) Outside the WSOP – (Day 22)

by , Jun 20, 2008 | 8:00 am

Finishing the recap from last night’s activities with a preview of today’s lone tournament:

The $5,000 Seven Card Stud Eight or Better World Championship concluded shortly after 2am, with German Sebastian Ruthenberg outlasting Chris “Jesus” Ferguson to win his first bracelet, along with just over $328,000 in a grueling 3 hour heads-up battle. Ferguson and Ruthenberg would trade the lead several times, each having a huge chip advantage. While some may say the structure went too fast at the end, I have the feeling he wouldn’t be as vocal if the other player won.

Final tables for today and other action from last night after the leap: