Leader Board Tourney Point Calculations, continued

Aloha Guys,

Hope the New Year is treating you royally!!

Last month, December, was interesting for me in terms of the High Stakes Leaderboard. I hadn’t planned on playing so much but caught the cold/flu bug during the last two weeks of the month. Ended up laying around and playing a lot of poker. It resulted in some deeper awareness for me regarding the Leaderboard point structure calculations.

Based upon my experience with it, my sense is that the tourney points are being calculated in a way that may be overly penalizing to players after they’ve passed the 60 game plateau. I guess it just depends on what your intentions are when you came up with this formula. But if the goal is to quantify player skills it seems that it misses the mark. If the goal is to level the playing field for players who are unable to play as many games in a month I think it results in an overly “tilted” playing field against those who play more games.

Here is how my month played out:

When I reached the 60 game plateau my tourney point total was just over 480,000 points, and my average was just over 8,000 points.

When I got the flu I decided to keep playing. Was too boring to just watch. I ended up playing a total of 126 High Stakes SnG games. I didn’t keep track of all of the games I played, but I started to get curious so I did record my final 13 games.

At the end of the month my total points on the leader board had fallen from 480,000 points after 60 games, to 446,633 points and my average had fallen from just over 8,000 to 7,443. I don’t believe that this a an accurate reflections of player skill.

I didn’t record all of my finish places but here are the leader board results over those past thirteen games.

   Finish             Leader Board Total        Leader Board Average

                                     445,656                         7427
   zero pts.                    441,677                         7361
   zero                           437,???                         ????
   placed                       439,010                         7316
   placed                       440,601                         7343
   placed                       442,432                         7373
   placed                       442,776                         7379
   placed                       446,837                         7447
   placed                       447,139                         7452
   #1, 6/200                   451,097                         7518
   #3                              451,782                         7529
   #3, 6/200                   452,457                         7540
   zero pts.                    445,217                         7420
   #2 6/100K                  446,662                         7443

So, in my last thirteen games I placed “in the points” ten times, and got zero point three times. So the result of combination of those ten “wins” and three “losses” was that I was able to increase my point total by 1,006 points, and my average by 16 points. Since any player below the 60 game plateau is earning between 8,000 and 19,000 points per “win” this just feels overly onerous, especially since they aren’t losing any points for a loss.

As you can see above some “wins” only increased my average by as few as 6 points, or 11 points, while a single loss would drop it by 120 points. It just feels like this is overly weighted in the negative making it nearly impossible to earn any significant points unless you “win” in every game.

You might also note that for the month, with a final average of 7,443 over 126 games played, the actual total points earned for the month was 937,818 tourney points. The final total for the month reflected on the leader board was 446,662, or 47.6% of the actual winnings. So the final average certainly has very little value as a reflection of player skill.

Another way to look at it is that in the first 60 games of the month I won just 480,000 tourney points on the leader board. During the following 66 games that I played I won an additional 457,818 tourney points, and yet my total tourney points on the leader board actually dropped approximately 34,000 points. Might there be a more equitable way to approach these calculations? Having run businesses in the past it’s hard for me to fully grasp the logic of severely penalizing your best customers.

Obviously there are numerous ways to fine tune the formula used for these calculations. One simple one would be to just eliminate the possibility of ever losing points. Since with this formula it becomes so difficult to win significant points after reaching the 60 game plateau, those players under 60 games have a very large advantage just by design. For example if prior to 60 games you win 15,000 points for a tourney, but after 60 games you can only earn 4,000 points for the same tourney, that is a pretty large advantage by itself.

Lots of other possible ways to “tweak” the formula but I’ll leave that to better mathematicians than I.

Please know that this missive does not fall in the “complaint” department. I enjoyed playing in those games inspite of the added challenges. Hopefully this is constructive feedback.

Mahalo again for all you do to make Replay such a great site.

Happy New Year!


P.S. I had also made a suggestion awhile back about not including games in the tourney point calculations if a player signed up for a tourney but didn’t actually play a single hand. Got a response saying it was under consideration but haven’t heard anything lately. Any feedback on the status?


Here are some associated facts. In low SNG, people have to play 120 games. Guess what. More than half of these people played 120 games and more. Go look; it is super busy.

In Medium, where they only play 60 games, it is even worse. Just about everybody finishes the 60 games early and then because they want to play more they ruin their totals by playing the hellish 61st game.

And as you know much more than half the people in High SNG also play the full component and some, like you, who love the game, they lose points.

But here is the hidden truth with all three. By mid month so many people have almost completed the number of games, other players just stop trying. They wind up occupying the 10th through 18th position, earn a few chips and never really compete.

What I believe what has to happen is that Medium and High needs to start playing 90 games a month and watch how much more popular the SNGs become. There will not be that week to ten day lag of games in the third week of the month.

And to fix that weird math rule, they should just program the games so once they hit 90 games all points go to zero. This way people are not penalized for playing the game they love.


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PS - There will be resistance of course from a number of players who play two or even three levels, many play in all three. They do that because they finish their Medium or High mid month or more likely pace their games so it doesn’t look so obvious that they are gaming the system.

It is time for the 90 game month for Medium and High SnGs

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The current system is definitely flawed, but it is better than when whoever could play 300 games a month would win by default (Dusty Chaps), so we don’t want to completely throw the current system out the window.

I agree with what both of you are saying, although I am tired so maybe I’m not following it entirely.

Using tournament points the way they are set up is already problematic. Under the current system, a player with aspirations of winning the leaderboard basically needs to play extremely tight until half of the players have been eliminated because the difference between finishing 6th and 5th in a 9-seater is as great as the different between finishing 5th and 1st (a difference of ~7000 points). This makes the games boring, and players are forced to fold draws and medium strength hands even against aggressive donks because it’s just not worthwhile to trust your reads.

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Agreed, we don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water.

I also agree that the point system may want to change. To avoid the problem of extreme tight play points for all position could be given out so now you are looking at a softer gradient; there will be no cut-off point.

But the big problem is the lag that occurs each month in the third week. By then people have realized they played too many games and they back off as they want to be competitive at the end. Please look at December’s Medium results. The fact that 15 players out of the top 18 paying positions used up all their games tells me there is a clear need for a change. The other 3 players were in the 14th, 16th, and 17th position and even those three averaged 56 out of 60 games and if there was no lag time they could have played the 4 additional games.

The original goal was in part to allow the working person to play and be competitive. However, the working person I know has managed to play the full 60 games in both Med and High many times. But the fact is most players at this site are retired or not working. So the goal has favored the workers when the most players play all day long.

Sixty games doesn’t work.


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Sorry for the multiple postings… it is just that I am very sure a solution is here.

If we did give points according to the same formula posted, no longer would people be playing ultra tight to win 5th place. Let us allow all players to score points according to the formula. It would look like this in the SNG 200 9 player:


This will not encourage any extraordinary tight play, because now there isn’t much difference between 5th and 6th. Plus it is a small consolation prize when a player’s bullets get sucked out by a low straight.

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No worries. We’re reading along with interest. =)

This post was flagged by the community and is temporarily hidden.

We could certainly look to make some changes for the February leaderboards, so just to summarize @scratch he’s proposing:

  • we change the cap for the S&G Med and High leaderboards from 60 to 90, and
  • the calculation of tourney points should extend to ALL positions, not just the top 50% (inclusive), for all leaderboards. So you’d win tourney points even for coming last

We’ve got a good week to discuss these changes and any other suggestions… so let the debate commence… :stuck_out_tongue:

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I think it’s fine for players finishing last to get some tournament points because the average is what is important, but the scaling of the points needs to be appropriate based on placing. Maybe something in a proportion similar to Formula 1:

1st : 25 points
2nd : 18 points
3rd : 15 points
4th : 12 points
5th : 10 points
6th : 8 points
7th : 6 points
8th : 4 points
9th : 2 points
10th : 1 point


My goal was to try to fix the SnGs, which seem to have become bifurcated on a few levels.

One bifurcation is the two formulas of determining how points are achieved, one formula for tournament points up to sixty games and another formula for points obtained after sixty games. This bifurcation has hurt the high games and will soon hurt the medium games because people are finishing all the games in two weeks, so they go play elsewhere and others cant get the needed games to win. Extending the games will help fix that issue.

Another bifurcation is that there is an arbitrary cutoff of bonus points and the cutoff has created two kinds of play with goals other than to win the game but instead, to make sure you win some bonus points.

The second bifurcation is created by cutting off the tournament points arbitrarily. Whereas you and I both know that traditionally all places get tournament points, whether SnG or MTT I think the existing formula range is too short (+ or - 3 to 1) and your first blush range is too long (25 to 1).

I will happily work with you to find a formula that will work not just for the SnGs but for the MTTs as well. It likely means we would agree to adjust the existing formula.

Do you agree?


I agree with all of that; I was just suggesting what the proportions could be. I think the last few places should only get a small portion of what someone finishing on the bubble would get.

So, we’ve got a bunch of new promotions going live on Feb 1st. Greg will be announcing the changes shortly. As for the existing SnG leaderboards, I discussed it with the team, we’ve decided for now to change the Medium leaderboard to a cap of 90 from 60. We decided against changing the High leaderboard to 90 as well, as there are just too few players hitting the monthly cap to warrant it - it would only really benefit a few of the most active players, so we wanted to give players who don’t get to play as much a chance to compete.

Finally, the distribution of tournament scoring is a thorny one, we can’t currently change this on an ad-hoc basis, for example for the SnG leaderboards, we’d have to do it site wide, across all tournaments. That would have a big impact and we’re not yet convinced there are enough pros over cons to justify it. It feels reasonable to encourage less reckless play and reward those that finish in the top 50% of the field. Of course, we’re all ears to player feedback, so keep it coming in if you feel strongly one way or the other.

Or you could penalize the bottom 50%. Not sure it’s doable, my two cents :stuck_out_tongue:

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I like that idea (for SnGs) much more than giving all places tournament points, for the leaderboard it is important that players still can improve their score after they have reached the cap. When all places are given tournament points there is no drive for playing above the cap and try to improve their score.

Thanks for your suggestion!

You’re welcome :wink:

Just a further update after my post on the 29th Jan. As you probably noticed, we ended up changing the High leaderboard cap to 90 after all. Why? Well, we listened to player feedback that suggested increasing the cap might actually attract more players to the leaderboard.

We’ll see how it goes the next few months and if activity doesn’t pick up we’ll consider adjusting it again.

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