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Re: To Late Reg, or Not to Late Reg

December 1st, 2015 by Justin Buchanan
Actual photo of me on a bad day.

Actual photo of me on a bad day. (Image:

Recently, a colleague Cardschat blogger of mine Todd McGee (wow, there really are people in real life with that last name, cool!) posted what I consider to be excellent thoughts on an important poker topic.  So inspired was I by this that I simply had to make a response.

I’ve touched on the subject of late registration before, if not in a blog post then at least through posts on this forum, but here I’ll be going into some more in-depth specifics. What I want to explore is what I believe the landscape of poker would be like if my dream came true—if late registration did not exist, the term “freezeout” was unnecessary because that’s just how tournaments are, and basically the poker world actually bloody well cared about being on time!

Piscatorial Projections

I believe the effect on the fish population of online poker sites would be less clear-cut and less debilitating than I once did.  It is true that the number of fish in tournaments will be reduced, but I do not believe that would be to a very extreme degree.  The fish will by necessity be more selective, possibly gravitating towards certain tournaments based on their respective time zones.  Honestly, I have no idea how much impact would really be felt.

Where I believe impact definitely would be felt is in cash games and sit and spin and go’s.  The biggest fish, the kind of people to enter an event on nothing but a whim, would gravitate much more toward them as a result of the reduced convenience of tournaments.

So, the people mentioned in Todd’s post that like to profit on people who rely on reckless luck like that would still be able to find them, except they’d have to branch out to cash games, or at least sit and go’s.  However, with such a proliferation, I’d think it likely that even a cash game novice like me could make at least a micro profit.

The water's still fine! (Image:

The water’s still fine! (Image:

Financial Forecast

Though it wasn’t brought up in Todd’s post, another possible thing a lack of late registration would change would be prize pools.  One potential drawback those who are proponents of late registration likely fear and that I can’t deny would happen, is a negative impact to the size of guaranteed prize pools in guaranteed tournaments.

With the reckless players playing less, there would be a drop in many overall field sizes, which would lead to more overlay, which would lead to poker clients subsequently reducing the value of guaranteeds.  It’s even possible that such an effect would cascade–with the guaranteed amount reduced, more people stop coming, and fewer players enter still.  However, I believe most of the guaranteeds would find a point of equilibrium where reduction would stop.

Not only that, but those who remain would find something startling–the actual prizes they’re playing for have not changed significantly for the worse.  In fact, they may have changed for the better!  With so many re-entries possible now, prize pools in guaranteeds and possibly other tournaments dilute themselves as an entire segment of the entrants re- enters over and over, creating a higher “player count” while not actually adding people to the tournament and forcing players to defeat them again and again while the very real possibility of them catching a lucky suckout and eliminating or crippling you remains.

Do we really want to keep giving the donks these? (Image:

Do we really want to keep giving the donks these? (Image:


This is my argument for the total removal of late registration.  As always, if you have any retorts you can direct them to comments below (they will show up eventually I promise) or you can go to my official blog Facebook page, .

Happy hunting, sharks!

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