Longer Blind Levels for Very High Stakes MTTs

I was playing a 1m chip MTT, and I noticed that with 7 players left out of 14 (which is half the field!) , the big blind got to 400 when the average stack was 6,000. This means that the average stack is only 15 BB, so basically every player at the table except maybe the chip leader is short stacked.

This happens because in the early stages more players are playing tight, intelligent poker at these stakes than in other tournaments on Replay. But when the stacks get so short, all intelligent poker goes out the window and it becomes bingo because the blinds are worth so much. It ruins what is an otherwise fun tournament by adding an extreme form of variance after all of the tight play. Players were correctly open shoving with hands like A3, 88, TT, for value, when it would be much more interesting if the stacks were deeper so that actual poker could be played. I suggest increasing the blind levels to 10 or 12 minutes for 1m chip buy-ins so that the stacks don’t get that shallow until there are 2-3 players left. It is a bigger buy-in, so why not let the players enjoy their poker for longer, instead of forcing bingo. Increasing the variance this way also reduces the impact of skill compared to luck, but that is a whole other thread.


Thanks for your suggestion.
We’ll take it in consideration!

Thats the modern game adapt or die. Maybe increase 3 mins to levels is fine.

Whatever the stakes, better players like deeper games where more skill and less variance determine outcomes. I understand the desire to have games end in reasonable timeframes but it would be nice to see some “better” games at all buy-in levels. I read a great book about Patience levels recently which accurately described the inverse relationship between high-skill and high-variance formats. Sure we cant have tournaments lasting all day but having a few that can run 2+ hours would be a great addition to the site for people like me who don’t have 1 million chips yet but who love the game at higher levels than simple bingo-fests.

Great site so far but as long as the topic was brought up, I thought I’d advocate for the players who enjoy the game on deeper levels. Part of poker is setting up players for later. When the game becomes too short, that part of strategy goes out the window. So, I’d be all for deeper games with blinds that rise at more moderate rates to let the really skilled players do their best against each other. If that can be done for games of modest buy-ins, that would be very much appreciated.

Deep stack games will generally improve the play at the entire poker site. The greater virtue I see is good players usually know other good players, and nothing goes through the grapevine of good poker players than the knowledge that a poker site is hosting deep stack, long blind, poker. I fully support this idea.


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Deep stack games will generally improve the play at the entire poker site. The greater virtue I see is good players usually know other good players, and nothing goes through the grapevine of good poker players than the knowledge that a poker site is hosting deep stack, long blind, poker. I fully support this idea.


Thanks for the response. It can be seen as a self-perpetuating cycle where the better the games get, the better the players they attract. The deeper the field of good players gets, the better the games get and so on.

Just to tweak the point you made a little bit - nothing goes through the grapevine faster than the word of games with other high-level players. So first you offer the game to attract the 1st group of players. New players will come to the game to compete with those 1st players. The level of the game goes up by the new players participating. Then next batch of players will then come in and on and on.

We are above all else competitive creatures and crave the opportunities to play against (and beat) the best we can find. Since we aren’t playing for money here, the best thing you can offer is the chance to go head to head with the best players you can attract.

Thanks again for the response. I understand and appreciate people who like short-format games. In fact, I enjoy them myself to a certain extent. However, the chance to play better games really gets my attention. I’ve combed through the tournaments you offer to find the “best” ones and will make a point of playing those whenever I can. The Wednesday American League 9pm 15K game seems to be about the best I’ve seen on paper so far, followed by the Saturday 9pm American League 15K game.

Here is the part that ownership likes. When the site gets known as a high end practice site, the new players will buy a few million chips just to get past the “free roll” aspect of the game. If the deep stack, long blind games start to work and get their own following, my next piece of advice is to create a special buy-in for those who only want to play deep stack poker. I know a number of serious players who would spend a few hundred dollars just to play with a solid core of other serious players.


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Without a doubt. A few hundred $ to get some good practice in would be a bargain. You are talking about the cost of an hour with a decent coach for hours and hours of practice seeing hands.

Every “free” site I’ve been on has been pretty weak until now. I live in the People’s Republic of Maryland so all online gambling is forbidden. We can’t even pay for sites like the pay-side of WPT.com or I would have. It took less than a day for me to realize Replay Poker was something different… Now, for a non-gambling site, this is about as good as I’ve seen. If you raised the level of the game from where we are now, I think you could charge a decent amount just for playing privileges. No need to sell chips really when you have players willing to pay monthly dues, right?

I’m a finance guy and entrepreneur by trade. The business you could create here makes me salivate. Filling a niche that no one else has tackled despite the market appetite for it is a great thing. Doing it with basically software on an infinitely scalable worldwide platform makes my head spin. Its something I would have looked into building at some point quite honestly. I’m both grateful and a bit envious that someone else is doing it.

I recently tried playing with the 100k/200k crowd, and it gave me new motivation to play on Replay because, as you said, it is valuable experience to play against extremely good opponents.

I thought I had achieved all that Replay had to offer (except that darned 1m chip MTT that I have come close to winning on 3 or 4 occasions), but when I played against the top 50 or so ranked players at ring I realized that my ring game is not as good as my tournament game and that I have a lot left to learn. Now, I just need to add 200,000,000 to my bankroll so I can keep playing with those guys. Longer, deep stacked tournaments would provide a similar opportunity to test our skills.

edit: finally won that 1m tournament today