Posts Tagged ‘Deep Stack Tourneys’

Rio’s Non-Bracelet Dailys Reach New Levels with Record Field sizes

by , Jun 23, 2011 | 9:28 pm

I sparred a bit on Twitter with @TurboPokerOnlin about his belief that record fields in WSOP 1k’s would be a “major” story … and eventually conceded that it might-would probably come in at #9. (NOTE to self: Do a “WSOP Top Ten Stories” post.)

But what I didn’t expect as a top story that now is .. the non-bracelet daily “deepstacks” at the Rio — specifically the $235 2pm event. Say what you will about the value in playing in a tournament with 20 percent rake … this event has more people talking about it, multiple times a week, every week, consistently, probably moreso than any other at the WSOP. It started off with a few hundred players each day (nice), and soon began drawing more than 600 (kinda wow) … and then 800 (for sure wow) and then just a few days ago (OMG!) 1,100 — a record field size for such a non-bracelet event at the WSOP. The suits, we can suspect, are practically speechlessly giddy.

Rio Daily DeepStack Field Sizes

There’s an old axiom in poker room operations that “action breeds action.” To some extent, the whole World Series is testament to the concept … and these Venetian Deep Stacks Knockoffs show it in microcosm. No wonder Caesars eventually began catering to “smaller” customers wanting a low-cost taste of the WSOP while playing for more than just satellite tokens.

When all is said and done, more than a football stadium worth of people will have dropped a couple hundred bucks into mini-WSOP events that are becoming less and less mini … whether that be in spite of, or because of, all the similar such tourneys — Venetian Deep Stacks, Caesars Palace MegaStacks, the Golden Nugget Grand Series, Binion’s Somethingorother Classic, the WynnSOP Whatever … I think I’m even missing a few others — that came before what’s currently going on at the Rio.

Action breeds action. At the WSOP and all over Vegas … Click below for more detailed numbers about how the Rio’s 2p $235, 6p $185, and 10p $135 have grown by the day:

(Special thanks to Heath @WSOPIntern for the data help. Can you do 3-D graphs?)


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:


RE: How’s Hard Rock Megastacks Shakin’?

by , Aug 15, 2009 | 5:46 pm

Oops, I might have been a bit premature when I said the Hard Rock’s August deep-stack tourney was off to a decent start.

Despite 100ish players for the first event ($340), and 50ish for the first $550 … event #3 — last Sunday’s $550 — was canceled because they didn’t have enough players. And while results are coming in sporadically, The Poker Atlas reports a pretty small turnout for at least one mid-week event:

Event #6 Results
Wednesday, August 12th at 12:00 PM
$340 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Tournament

1st – Kelly Kellner, Calgary, AB – $3,650
2nd – Krzysztof Bernat, Chicago, IL – $2,200
3rd – Sonja Jurkovich, Las Vegas, NV – $1,425

Tomorrow is their first “big” event — a $1k+70. Should be interesting to see what happens … if anything.

How’s Hard Rock Megastacks Shakin’?

by , Aug 12, 2009 | 4:10 pm

Everyone says the same thing about the Hard Rock Poker Lounge — beautiful room, but not much action … some like the loud music and smoke-and-leathery bar just a turn-and-a-river away, others don’t … But it does seem like things have been picking up. And with the new tower at Hard Rock opening earlier this month — I dunno, it just seems the right wheels are in motion to make it a Top 5ish player on the LV poker scene eventually, if not soon.

The void they’re currently trying to fill is the bargain-price deep-stack tournaments — of which there were almost none in August. Hence the “Mega Stack Poker Showdown in Las Vegas” … an 18-event series that started on Friday and plays through Aug 25 … with $340, $550, and $1,070 buy-ins … and starting stacks from 12,500 to 20,000.

The Poker Atlas has early results … from the looks of it Event #1 ($340) drew about 100 runners, and the first $550 event got 50ish. Not bad. Semi-respectable … and look, even Hollywood Dave got paid!

Event #1 Results
Friday, August 7th at 12:00 PM
$340 buy-in No-Limit Hold’em Tournament

1st – Robert Tannira, Nevada – $7750
2nd – Joshua Rose, Florida – $3650
3rd – Roberto Betbase, Argentina – $3200
4th – Mark McPherson – $3150
5th – Stephen Seffense – $3150
6th – Jeffery Ditanna – $3107
7th – Dave Stann – $1083
8th – Christopher Hughes – $947
9th – Steven Hiltz – $676
10th – Rosh Wave – $350

The “main event” (planned for four days) is somehow connected to the World Poker Showdown and Canadian Poker Tour (it’s their championship?) … a $2,650 buy-in with 50k starting chips.

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]

Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza: April 1-25

by , Apr 3, 2009 | 11:36 am

Las Vegas, NV: The next Venetian Deep Stack Extravaganza for 2009 will run Wednesday, April 1st thru Saturday, April 25th.

The Venetian’s 2009 DSE II schedule of events:

Wednesday, April 1 – Super Satellites
$275 buy-in, No-Limit Hold’em, 4,000 starting chips.

Thursday, April 2 at 12 Noon
$330 buy-in, No-Limit Hold’em, 10,000 starting chips, 2,000 additional chips for optional $10 Staff Bonus (12,000 starting chips total) 40 minute rounds.

Friday, April 3 at 12 Noon
$330 buy-in, No-Limit Hold’em, 10,000 starting chips, 2,000 additional chips for optional $10 Staff Bonus (12,000 starting chips total) 40 minute rounds.

Saturday, April 4 at 12 Noon
$550 buy-in, No-Limit Hold’em, 12,500 starting chips, 2,500 additional chips for optional $10 Staff Bonus (15,000 starting chips total) 40 minute rounds.

Sunday, April 5 at 12 Noon
$1,070 buy-in, No-Limit Hold’em, 12,500 starting chips, 2,500 additional chips for optional $10 Staff Bonus (15,000 starting chips total) 60 minute rounds.


Why Not Much to Report from Yesterday’s Big Tourney

The blogger one, not Bellagio

by , Dec 14, 2008 | 7:43 pm

I spent the bulk of my weekend on tilt — at the hands of this guy, Neil the Professional Keno Player:

I was playing really well — having a great chatty time, too, with my fellow poker blog-geeks, and was set to put in the long hours required to go deep in the 2008 Winter Bloggerfest Tourney (a $135 deep-stack at the Venetian), until I got into a hand with the above. Such a ass donkey in the truest sense … at least that’s how I felt when he called my all-in check-raise with third pair on a paired, straighty, and thrice-suited board. Went from being happy about seeing some random d-bagger wearing a Pokerati patch to thinking we need standards around this place, and by this place I mean the internet/earth.

My bad, of course, for walking through a war zone and kicking a shiny piece of metal really hard to see if it’s a landmine. Click below for hand details:

UPDATE: Neil’s “people” tell me he is not “Neil Fontenot the Professional Keno Player”, but rather “Professional Keno Player Neil Fontenot”, aka PKPNF. Pokerati offers our sincerest apologies for the error.


WSOP Knockoffs Thrive/Struggle

by , Jun 22, 2008 | 11:31 am

The Venetian was on to something when they created their Deep Stack Extravaganza series of tournaments. Not so shockingly, the low-stakes masses flocked to these events where you could compete against sizable fields will skill-rewarding starting stacks for hundreds, as opposed to thousands, of dollars.

This year, several casinos with an obvious love for poker tried something similar … but not all have found the same results. In fact, the Venetian itself was apparently struggling to fill their tables earlier this WSOP. A sign that, damn, poker really is waning? Not exactly …

The Caesar’s Palace MegaStack tournament series was giving more chips per dollar-buy-in than the Venetian … and lo and behold they took all their players. So the Venetian has reportedly responded by adding 2,500 more chips to their own Deep Stacks … and lo and behold, the players returned.

Meanwhile, downtown, the two big tournament series (they apparently call a series of tourneys “festivals” in Europe … I like that!) are the Grand Series of Poker at the Golden Nugget, and the Binion’s Poker Classic. Upon a quick spot-check at Binion’s $110 Seniors event yesterday, they seem to be doing fine. They are in their second year of doing this, of course, whereas the Golden Nugget is in their first … and struggling (with or without Montel Williams). Apparently several of their megasatellites have had less than two tables worth of runners, and don’t make … and a far cry from true “sit n gos” … even the single-table satellites are taking upwards of three hours to fill.

I don’t have full numbers on any of these events … but that’s the basic gist on summertime mini-WSOP’s:

Caesar’s — kick-ass according to all reports
Venetian — maybe not as good as before, but still pretty sweet
Binion’s — Binion’s is Binion’s; there’s always good tournament action even if some players steer clear of the high likelihood of an opponent spitting on the floor
Golden Nugget — tiny fields=tiny payouts; better luck next year?

2+2 has a great thread running down the daily Las Vegas tourney schedule all summer long.

Non-WSOP Poker Alternatives

by , Jun 3, 2008 | 12:22 pm

Even in Vegas, there’s poker going on elsewhere from the WSOP. The Rio itself has left its Westside poker room open — really, I bet it’s more than a mile away from the Amazon room — offering $1/$3 NL, plenty of low-stakes limit, and $2/$5 NL games with a waitlist more than a dozen long. In previous years the Rio shut that room down during the WSOP. But this year it’s open … and it’s boomin’.

There’re also two other tournament series going down in town that coincide super-intentionally with the World Series to offer a high-thrill tournament experience for buy-ins in the hundreds as opposed to the thousands. Basically you’ve got the Minor League World Series at the Venetian (Deep Stack Extravaganza II) and Little League World Series at the Golden Nugget (Grand Series of Poker). I actually wrote about these two poker festivals over at Thrillist this week … along with some info about a kick-ass new steakhouse at the Monte Carlo, a cool near-daily free happy hour that moves around town, and an apparatus you can attach to your penis for greater comfort at the poker table and beyond.

Check it out, and of course sign up if you want a Vegas-minded weekly email of this important-service ilk …