Musings on Tournament Design

Hi everyone,

I had an interesting situation arise, a few days ago, in the “Seven Card Stud Carnival” tournament that I hope merits my “virgin” topic.

Before I go any further, I want to make it absolutely clear that I am not attacking any players, nor their strategy, to ascent on the leader-board of said tournament. I was aware of it (the strategy), and I could have done the same, if I wanted.

But here is the deal. I was playing an 18 hour marathon on one table, and because of the time I played, I ended up on top of the LB for most of the day, and even managed to make a (very) small profit after a long day, but did I win the LB race? – Nope.

The trick, you see, was not how well you play, but at how many tables you play. The last 6, or so, hours of tourney time, I saw players grinding four tables at a time, thus – win or lose – making about four times the tourney points I was making by playing a single table.

The eventual player, who won the LB race, lost about 3k on my table during the many hours we shared the game (again, kudos to him/her, excellent play). I still ended up second, so I am happy with the result, but that is besides the point.

Such tournament design is, in my humble opinion, quite a poor one. You end up rewarding volume of play over the quality of play – and end up killing the only true measure of skills we have, and the pleasure to play, when the chips we play with are free.

My suggestion would be to count only a single table results, no matter how many one plays. (Pick the best result,or average the totals – what ever works.)

Of course, one could argue that players doing a long session thereby gets an unfair advantage over more time limited players.To counter marathon men like myself (a rare occasion for me though), you can even set a “average time-limit” to balance out the results. Although the purpose of marathon tournaments is to spend a long time at the table, right?

Anyway, I hope my observation/suggestion makes sense. Whether you do something about this or not is up to you good people.

Lastly, I keep hoping to see HORSE tournaments included on Replay, but that’s another topic.

Thanks for your time.

Welcome to the forum finnyll.
It is a pleasure to read such a well thought out post from a “virgin” (love that!) poster and I am looking forward to many more insightful posts from you in the future.
I hope you get some useful feedback.

I agree with you. It appears unfair for those playing only one table at a time which is why I stick to the ones where the Leaderboard only counts the Top or First 9 games or so.

There is a League here that plays many different games. Perhaps sooeill read this and reach out to you here

First I think that promotion was not a tournament per se. Promotions using Ring Game Points for the Leaderboard certainly do overweigh the total hands played as opposed to going by a ranking system of a simple Net profit (or loss). Of course they do this to normalize the different stakes so it doesn’t simple become a high stakes contest. Promotions using tournament points (where finishing position number of people in the tournament are the highest weighted factors) are a better measure of who played best or at least who had the best X number of games. But even there if you play every tournament possible you have an advantage of someone who can only play a few.

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This was my point. The type of Leaderboards which only counts the Best or First number of xx games would make it fairer for those who only play one game at a time versus those playing multiple tables at a time and the Leaderboard doesn’t care about how many games you play.

The Gemstone leagues have that format. 1 leaderboard for first 7 ; 1 leaderboard for best 7 on a weekly basis at each buy in level. (2.5K to 250K). The Regional MTT leagues are a points accumulation League (Every Game counts) which only offers two games a day and it runs for a month (no annual leaderboard). The regular leaderboards are best 20/120 (Omaha, Royal, Omaha Hi-LO) or best 30/180 (hold 'em) for the month/year but you can play as many games you wish. So you have 3 different types of leaderboards to chose from for MTTs. Variety is the spice of life, play the one that suits you best or you enjoy most.

Thanks for your feed back, and the information on the myriad leagues, and opportunities therein. Most appreciated…

I most certainly am not against variety, and my observation was not intended to imply a single fixed format for everything.

However, I think here the flaw is obvious, and the fix is easy. In a 24 hour LB race volume will always win – not the best way to promote poker, I’d say.

Luckily, this is not an existential question for anyone.

Also, I have enjoyed the play, and hope to see more of them – no matter the format.

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