Posts Tagged ‘blind-structures’

(Way) Outside the WSOP – (Day 8 Afternoon Update)

by , Jun 6, 2008 | 4:09 pm

Happening today at the WSOP, while plotting against my cable provider for not having ESPN360.


(Way) Outside the WSOP (Day 6 Evening Update)

by , Jun 4, 2008 | 8:44 pm

Tonight’s $10k Mixed Event World Championship drew 192 players, and after some confusion regarding the structure, things appears to be going along nicely.

In other tournament action, all but the the $2k NL tournament (which just returned) are on their respective dinner breaks.

The $1,500 PL Holdem final table has Jacobo Hernandez and David Singer are heads-up and almost even in chips. The $5,000 Mixed Holdem event is on their break as well with five left at their final table as Justin Bonomo, Andrew Robl, Erick Lindgren, Chino Rheem and Roland de Wolfe remain.

The $1,500 Omaha 8 tournament just broke the money bubble, then went right to their dinner break. The $2,000 NL tournament has about 400 left, with 153 getting paid. The $1k NL tournament is down to 29, returning shortly to get to their final table with Negreanu, Gowen, and Juanda among the remaining.

I’ll be back at it tomorrow, like it or not…


by , Dec 12, 2007 | 2:38 pm

I recall a short while back reading Tom Schneider opine at length here on Pokerati about tourney blind structures. In a memorable post, Tom suggested an innovative arrangement wherein the blinds would go up in proportion to the number of players remaining (or average chip stack — same diff.), as opposed to having timed levels. For those who missed it, here’s the post, modestly titled “The Blind Structure Solution.”

Whether you think Tom is full of applesauce or not, his idea clearly demonstrates how the hosts of Beyond the Table are willing — indeed, eager — to think outside the box, to push the envelope, to destroy old paradigms . . . .

You know. Screw with us.

Which is why we get not one but two new shows almost simultaneously. Though one isn’t a “real” show. That’s right. The one on which Tom, Karridy, and Dan all appear — titled “BTS: The Cheating Beating” — should not be mistaken for a regular installment. (BTS = “Beyond the Show.”) Listen to hear the trio’s sober debate on ethics and online poker. (Full summary here.)

Meanwhile, we are to understand the one featuring Dan and guest co-host Robert Goldfarb — “Booty Call” — to be a “real” episode. What makes one “real” and one not? Hard to say, although it appears we’ve got ourselves an indisputably authentic BTT show whenever Dan gets drinky and starts talking about strippers, Scotty Nguyen bobblehead dolls, yard sales, religion, Tom’s POY chances, and/or hits his mute button.

Don’t trust me, though. Go listen to both and decide for yourself. And tell ’em what you think — about blind structures, strippers, “reality,” etc. — by emailing theshow(at)beyondthetable(dot)com and/or calling the listener line — (888) 820-8091.

Response to Steve Lipscomb’s Letter to WPT Players

by , May 28, 2007 | 6:07 pm

There were three items that weren’t covered in Steve’s letter that are very important to me and some of my professional poker friends. Resolving these issues would make competing on the World Poker Tour more profitable, and therefore more enjoyable, for the players the WPT depends on.

  1. Payout structure – In the WPT championship, the winner received $4 million. Sixth place got $300,000. This difference is not the only reason, but is one of the main reasons that people are complaining about the blind structures. If this difference were significantly smaller, players might not be as bothered by a crapshoot. I’m sure other people will comment on how to improve the blind structure, but I would like the payout structure narrowed. Viewers will be impressed if the winner gets $2 million or $4 million. Both numbers are amazing to people that watch poker. This top-heavy prize structure is one of the reasons so many poker players are going broke. Finishing 6th among 600 of the best players in the world should get paid better than 12to1.
  2. Deal Making – The WSOP allows deal making and their shows are great to watch too. The viewers don’t know, and even if they did, they might find the negotiation process interesting to watch. The inability for players to make deals when the variation in prize money from first to sixth is so vast is another reason why the blind structure is so important. The final table is not real poker and is being played for more money than most people have ever seen, and we can’t make deals. If we could make deals, I wouldn’t care so much about the blind structure. In addition, if a deal was made, it would speed up the tournament reducing your production costs and would spread the prize money over a greater number of players.
  3. More…

WPT Blind Structure Changes In Store?

by , May 20, 2007 | 4:18 am

You’ve heard my thoughts before here and on Beyond the Table about the problems with the blind structure and payouts at WPT final tables.

The World Poker Tour head honcho sent an email to the players about this matter just a few days ago:

Date: Thu, 17 May 2007 18:42:00 -0700
From: “Steve Lipscomb”
To: Tom Schneider
Subject: An Open Letter regarding Final Table Structure from WPT Founder Steven Lipscomb

An Open Letter regarding Final Table Structure from WPT Founder Steven Lipscomb:

Dear WPT family:

As we begin our historic Season VI of the World Poker Tour, we continue to strive to make World Poker Tour events the best possible experience for players, casinos and television audiences alike. To that end we are opening a forum today on our website ( to discuss the optimum final table structure for WPT events.

The structure we currently use at the final table was designed for us by players (Howard Lederer — in consultation with Jack McClelland, Chris Ferguson and others). I have included a copy of that structure on the forum. There are a number of factors that need to be considered as people try to help us identify any improvements:


Pokering with Scotty Warbucks

by , May 5, 2007 | 9:10 am

scotty1.jpgLAS VEGAS–I’m boondoggling in Sin City for the big fight tonight (FYI–smart money is on Mayweather going the distance, based on my poll of 3 cab drivers). I had basically all of Friday to kill, so I figured I’d play in the $550 at Venetian or the $1,080 at Bellagio. I’d heard the Venetian was getting much deeper fields than the Bellagio, and since the Bellagio tourney often involves some grizzled pros (like David Sklansky), I figured it was a better play for my money.

Upon arrival, I have to say once again, the Venetian poker room is spectacular. People are nice, dealers and staff are great, food is good, and there are about 47 million tables in a very comfortable room. I wandered over to tournament registration, where I was informed that the tournament usually has around 100 players. Okay, I thought, this may not be quite as big a prize pool as Bellagio, but it was probably a smarter bet. Plus, the structure is phenomenal: 10,000 in chips, 40 minute levels, 25-50, 50-100, 100-200, 100-200 with an ante, etc. I signed up.

Tournament time rolled around and I took my spot, Table 39, Seat 4. In seats 6 and 7 were two delightful, talkative ladies I did not recognize. Seat 3 was open. I settled in and counted my chips. As I looked around the room, I notice there appeared to be only 3 tournament tables going. So great, not much of a prize pool. As I lamented, Seat 3 sat down and I looked up to see Scotty Warbucks. Huh? What is he doing here? The prize pool is like $15,000??? He starts talking to seat 6, and it becomes apparent that she is Marsha Waggoner. Before long, their good buddy Kenna James stops by–Kenna is playing at the next table. If you are scoring at home, that’s almost $5 million in tournament winnings sitting in, what turned out to be, a 31-person tournament. What the hell is going on here?? Garcon, more gin tonics!


Update on My Progress or Lack Thereof
And Why WPT Blind / Prize Structures Suck!

by , May 1, 2007 | 1:30 am

I played in the $25,000 Bellagio main event last week, qualifying via my second $2,500 satellite. What an event! Nearly all of the best players in the world played. Starting the third day, I had 227,000 chips, which was about 70,000 above average. I got busted out of the 639 player field with 150 players remaining. Upon busting, I asked the cocktail waitress for a glass of Drano, easy on the ice.

Here is where I went wrong: Before I started the day, I should have established that day’s goal. What should the goal have been? Oh, I don’t know…how about make the money idiot! You paid $5,000 to get in and 100th place paid $46,000. If I make the money, I can then change my strategy. I played too many hands and was trying to get a little too bluffy, kinda like when Dan gets a little drinky. Needless to say, the moral of the story is, decide what you want to have happen and work toward that goal.

My good friend Mike Wattel came in 6th in the event, cashing in about $300,000. What a joke! Here’s my beef:


Beyond Beyond the Table

by , Apr 24, 2007 | 1:14 am

As mentioned below, Tom is doing rather well in the WPT Championship after Day 2. (This could be the tournament my fantasy team needs! Don’t let me down, guys, I got $20 riding on your results!)

Here is some plausibly interesting raw audio of my two Beyond the Table cohorts recapping Day 1 — with intense, hardcore hand histories to boot:

Tom Schneider/Karridy Askenasy4/22/07

Highlights below:


So Many Tournaments So little time

by , Mar 5, 2007 | 5:03 pm

Just back from Vegas where there were and still are some big tournaments going on at the moment. The Heads Up Championship, The Wynn Classic & The Venetian. To everyone’s surprise, I was not invited to The Heads Up tournament at Caesars, so I was left to decide between the other two.

The Venetian has 40 minute levels (not sure of the blinds) and a deep stack to start. The Wynn also provides heavy chips, however, the blinds move up so quickly there were at least three pros complaining that it was a crap shoot.

Nonetheless, I had a great time playing at The Wynn Classic. I played with Brandon Cantu, Rene Angelil, Burt Boutin and took advice on the side from David Levi, Steve Wong & Marcel Luske (who was there for a short business trip).

I was eliminated by (the amazing) James Van Alstyne one hand after his nut straight crippled my stack; however, shortly thereafter he was hit by some bad beats as well. I was happy to see David Levi and Brandon Cantu make the final table. David has been playing fewer tournaments and focusing more on his cash games, so this was a nice tournament return with a first place finish. Brandon added another line to his resume taking down ninth place. One more notable was David Plastik who made seventh place in Event 5, no surprise there as he is a solid tournament player.

Before heading back to The Great State of Texas, I made it over to the cash tables. I was growing a nice chip stack when I flopped a set against pocket aces…an “Ace on the River” gave my opponent a bigger set. With just two hours left before my flight I managed to win back most of my money and a little bit of pride.

Sickness at the Gold Strike

by , Sep 26, 2006 | 1:55 pm

TUNICA RESORTS, MS (thanks Poker Shrink) — First, let me say the Gold Strike has the nicest looking poker room I’ve seen so far, and the friendliest staff. Now normally I don’t play rebuy tournaments because they draw too many sucking out donks and the real play doesn’t start until after the rebuy period is over. But what the hay, I’m on (poker) vacation. Entry fee, two rebuys and a double add-on later ($120 total), I’m sitting in the big blind (1,000 with 75 ante) with about 5,000 chips (under average) when a guy in late position raises to 3,000. I call with A-7 suited, the flop misses me, I go all-in and the raiser calls me — with A-4 offsuit! He also has hit nothing. Yes, he was priced in but why did he raise in the first place? Because this is a non-deep-stack, quick-blind-structure sitch, like so many poker tournaments all over.

Compounding the problem is the weirdness of the rebuy structure. Let see if I can explain it without writing an encyclopedia. First hour, you can rebuy as many times as you like: $20 for 1,000 chips if you get below the initial 1,000 that cost you $40. Or if you bust out, you can buy 1,000 for $20 or 2,000 for $40. Then at the hour break, you can add on 2,000 chips for $20 or 4,000 for $40. Correct me if I’m wrong but it sounds like the thing to do is not even show up the first hour (or play extremely carefully) and take the value add-on(s) at the break.

Back at the hand: You guessed it. The raiser sucked out, hitting a straight on the river.

NEXT UP: More gambling. No, not poker but a trip to “beautifully restored” downtown Tunica.


Lodge TOC Blind Structure

by , Jun 20, 2006 | 5:17 pm

The biggest day of the year in Dallas amateur poker is near. I’m still trying to get in touch with the following Lodge Tournament of Champions qualifiers to get invites into their hands:

Adriana Trevino
AJ Wilkinson
Kenneth “Comcast” McCoy
Robert Gomez
Danny Celis
Charles Thoron
Brandon “Legend” Glenn
Gordon Law
John Manby
Jerry Dolan

Any help would be appreciated, as their seats are getting cold, and potential alternates are chomping at the bit. In the meantime, those qualifiers who have RSVP’d can feel free to peruse the blind structure below. You may notice that it looks very similar to this one.