Buying chips - ok or pure evil?

Chips shouldn’t count at all toward a player’s ranking. Place of finish against the field should determine rank. Obviously its not quite that simple.
I suggest a ranking similar to pro golf. Golf and poker are similar in that their are various strength tourneys throughout the year and some players play more tourneys and some play less.
They rank on a rolling 2 year system that weighs the big tourneys heavier. They also weigh the most recent tourneys heavier.
I would designate certain Replay tourneys as “Ranking Tourneys”. These could involve entries of 2K, 5K and 15K chips. I would rank based on finish position with the higher buy-in tourneys being weighted heavier. You could have monthly leader boards and an overall leader board but nobody would be eligible for the overall board until they had played in the new system for, say, 3 months and had played a minimum number of tourneys, say 50.
I would also weigh recent tourneys heavier than old tourneys in a rolling 2 year ranking.
Bankroll would mean nothing.
Bonuses, free chips and bought chips would mean nothing.
Only poker performance relative to your opponents would matter.

You could have different systems for SnG’s and rings.
Bankrolls could still be displayed but I agree with Warlock…that should be a player option.


Keep in mind that the system I’m advocating doesn’t reward people who play more tourneys once you reach the minimum.
If Warlock plays 50 15K tourneys and I play 500 15K tourneys, he still outranks me if he has a higher average finish relative to the field.

But, you can’t sit on a high ranking because as time passes your old finishes are weighted lighter than everyone’s similar finishes in recent tourneys.




Nice post, I am glad to see it. I certainly agree with most of it. I played here for about 6 months or so and really like the sight so decided to support it. Made one purchase of chips for $252.00 I didn’t need them as was building just fine, but want to support the sight. Now about half of my chips came from that purchase and I won the other half. I will probably buy again in a year or so to keep supporting site. I would never say anything negative about people who buy. They are helping keep the site running. And even if they are playing and losing in the bigger tournaments, they are just supporting that tournament.
In the WS of poker you have many of the best players in the world. You also have a ton of dead money. Lots of people who really like poker and $10.000.00 is not considered much for a few hours of fun. Part of the reason the pot is so big.

I really don’t care if the boughten chips are considered in the ratings or not.

I don’t see anything rigged at this site at all so far. Seems to be run very well.

I would disagree with you about the integrity of casinos though. There are all kinds of irregularities in most of them. The top executives usually would not even know it or condone it. Usually involves lower lever employees. Dealers, floormen, etc.
I play in a lot of casino tournaments and am very watchful. Tournaments are better than open play in this regard.

T.R. King company went out of business a few years ago. They were a large manufacturer and supplier of chips, dice , etc for Casinos for many years. A friend of mine bought thier company manufacturing records a couple of years ago. It is very interesting reading. They were still making loaded dice for a few casinos in the 80’s

I enjoyed your post.

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Good Morning Warlock,

I greatly appreciate your very thought provoking post. Double thanks for bringing purchasing chips out from the shadows and into the light; it is just what the doctor ordered. I agree that the site isn’t rigged, that there is an assortment of reasons why people buy chips, and think that the ranking of players should not be based on chips, bought or earned, but instead upon skill and selected scoring. In particular, I think there already exists a scoring mechanism in place at Replay Poker that can be tweaked and we will have an incredible ranking system (more about that in another post on Ranking).

I’d like to add a thought on how a player should be able to purchase chips.

One could purchase a 1.5 million chips and by the end of the day could lose most of it. Instead of doing it on a one time basis create a one year subscription plan whereby a player can purchase the chips over the period of a year.

Who would do this you ask? Well, the player who doesn’t need chips but feels he or she should support the site is the first person who comes to mine. Another person may be somebody who wants to buy a gift for a friend or loved one.

Maybe the site should have different sized subscription packages.

The bottom line is I think that there are two primary ways to support Replay Poker for the incredibly wonder service it has provided us with so many hours of enjoyment. You can support the site by gifting money in exchange for chips and you can support the site by donating time by volunteering.

Thank about it.



great topic.

i agree with all of your points, but as sun also said it would be really difficult (if not impossible) to not count the payed chips into the ranking. for example: you hold 100K chips and bought 1M. to use proper bankroll management lets say normally you would use 5k, to make it easy assume you double it, so you have 105K now. but instead of 100K you have 1100K. so instead of 5 you use 50K. also assume again you double it, you have now 1150K, of which 150K is earned. so even since all the chips are earned because of the buy you have 150K instead of 105K earned. so what normally would take 10 times to get you now get it in 1 time, this is what it would make it very difficult to add this.
besides of this problem, if it was doable i would fully agree on this with you with this.

as already is mentioned, there are more things then only chips to make a good player. don’t know if it helps but since the amount of chips isn’t the only thing that matters to be a good player, maybe use a formula that uses multiple important things into the rank, this way bought chips take much less value.

i have just made my own idea of it, see here: another player ranking calculation

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Seville - thanks for the post and for the insight. Your come to the discussions with a ton of information and experience. Having owned a card room, you probably have a perspective that is unique among RP players. I don’t know what type of room you ran but I’ve been playing cash games for a long time and when I found a well run club here, I stayed with it, The guy who owns it is sharp as a tack and so on top of everything that goes on in his games that I sometimes wonder if he has clones of himself.

If I could just nitpick one thing from your post:

Wherever there is substantial money, there will be people looking for shortcuts to get to it. Whether that is a lower level employee or a world class player like Phil Ivey, people seek advantage, legal and otherwise. I would differentiate the establishments themselves from every other actor though. Its one thing for an employee or player to try and game the system and a very different thing for an operator to intentionally try to run a crooked game. Whatever incremental money they could take in from doing so is insignificant compared to total revenue and the risks are so high that it wouldn’t be rational behavior to do so as an institution. Just my thoughts.

As always, best to you on the tables and everywhere else.

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Scratch, you can also support the site by simply playing on it. One of the primary draws for online cash sites is the availability of games. In that world, sites have paid prop players to get games going and keep them going. I don’t think RP can do the same thing since there is no money exchanged from site to player here. However, by simply playing, everyone contributes directly to the site through rake and indirectly through increasing the pool of players online at any given time.

Thanks for the kind words and the thoughtful response, as always.

Added content - you can also support the site by posting through the forums, answering player questions, sharing strategy and advice and so much else. Just being a decent human being on the tables is a contribution.



Yes, the chips you win should all count. Here is why. If you started at 0 chips, and bought 250k, bet it all, and lost it, you should effectively be ranked based on a -250000 bankroll. That way there is an equitable consequence of frivolously risking any chips, whether they are bought or not.

IMO, buying the chips shouldn’t automatically increase your rank. They should just give you a leg up on having a larger bankroll to play with.

What about daily bonus chips? Should they count? It doesn’t take a lot of poker skill to log in and collect a bonus.

If bought chips don’t count and daily bonus chips don’t count, there would be nothing left that does count.

don’t think bonus chips would matter much anyway, except for the lowest players.
but if you look purely skill based i think that would be indeed the best possibility, but won’t give much harm either.

the formula i made (posted a link a few posts earlier) would made daily and bought chips much less of a problem for the ranking. (the chip multiplier idea can even be removed to get rid of both things almost entirely but would go at the cost of skill points based on big amounts of chips so that is not recommended). while everything skill based would still count (even much more things then only chip totals)

I would leave things as they are, because you don’t gain much by changing it and would upset a lot of people if you did.

However, it would be nice to see the other players’ complete stats. It’s hard to boil everything down into one single “ranking” number. Let us see the stats and we would have a much better idea of a player’s skill level.

i get your point, and i don’t know if there are that many that wouldn’t like it but thought since i hear a lot of people who told they like a change i thought i also give it a try hoping it will help.
if it might help maybe they can use it. if not no harm done ;).

i would also like your idea, more stats of players would defenitely help in many ways.

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If I owned the local newspaper, I’d hire you to write a weekly poker column. Bridge was never my “cup of tea”

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When you incentivize chip accumulation by posing rankings based on chip stack, you get behavior that is mostly based on chip accumulation.
For example; If I’m in a 100 player tourney with a top 15 payout, I don’t value a 20th place finish above a 96th place finish. The reward is zero either way. In the first case I beat 80% of the field. In the 2nd, 95% of the field beat me. According to chip stack rankings, those are identical performances. That is not a very good measurement of poker skill. Add in the free chips, bought chips and bonus chips and chip stack becomes even less accurate.

If you incentivize performance against the field in the rankings you get a different behavior…a better behavior in my opinion.
Going all-in early in the tourney now carries a heavier possible penalty in the form of a hit to your ranking. For players with huge chip stacks, this is effectively the only penalty for bingo play. If you have 20 million chips, the loss of a 2,000 chip entry fee is virtually meaningless compared to the reward of doubling or tripling you tourney stack and reaching the money.

I think a poker-skill based ranking system would initiate a subtle but positive improvement in the quality of play.


Its similar to the risk.reward choice a pro golfer faces in the early rounds of a tourney.
Does he go for the green over water on a par 5?
If the rankings are only based on money won, it might be the correct choice.
But pro golf ranks the players by finish against the field over a long time period. If that golfer values his world golf ranking he might be less inclined to take that risk.

Pro golf has decided that the best golfers in the world are the ones who outperform their opponents on the golf course, not the ones who won the most money, cars, bonuses, etc…
Replay has an opportunity here to implement a system that ranks the players based exclusively on poker-playing skill.
It will certainly upset some people. I hope they do it anyway.


Just don’t pay me by the word or I’ll wind up bankrupting the paper :slight_smile:

All I can say to this post is…WELL SAID


As we would say, back here in the hill’s, 1Warlock, SunPower Guru, Max Pokem, Seville, Scratch, and the many others that post here, you all are some smart folks. I truly enjoy all of you all’s suggestion’s and ideals, but really am not educated enough to understand much of what you are discussing, but I do think that different suggestions and ideal’s, will make this a better site for all of us. My wife bought me 250K almost 3 years ago for my birthday. I was able to get out of the 5/10 ring games and buy leaning some things about the game, I was able to grind that out to as well as I can remember, to 18 million, got up to playing higher tables and lost somewhere around 8 mil of that, but I learned another hard lesson, and it was don’t go to and gun fight armed with a knife. I have played with all the ones, mentioned above, and you all are real solid and respected players. i have been sort of hanging out, and not playing as much as I was because of health problems, but try to read all post daily, One of my post a while back was its poker and the ideal was to win anyway that you can, other then flat out cheating, I am not a bingo player but somethimes I enjoy one being on a table that I am on. win or lose, it’s the game, Good luck to all hope to be able to play on tables with you guys, Keep up the suggestions and ideals, maybe this old Hillbilly will catch on