This is partly translated from a French site:

http://www.clubpoker.net/forum-poker...-2-t64429.html
Let's call a the $ value of a step1 ; b the value of a step2 and c the value of a step3.

Step 3 gives 2 tickets to 215$ tournaments and requalifies 3 players to another step3. So we can compute the value c of the step3 as

9c = 2*215 + 3c

6c = 430

c = 430/6= 71.67$ (instead of $82)

A step2 gives 2 tickets to step3 ; 2 tickets to step2 and 1 ticket step1, i.e.

9b = 2c+2b+a

7b=143.33+a (1)

Finally, a step1 gives 2 tickets to step2; 1 ticket to step 1 et 1.50$, so

9a = 2b + a + 1.50

8a = 2b + 1.50 (2)

So we have a system of 2 equations (1) and (2) with two unknows that we can solve and get

b = 21.26$ (instead of $27)

a = 5.503$ (instead of $7.5)

So when you buy-in for $7.50 in a step1 with the intention of using step4 tickets for $215 tournaments, you are effectively playing a $5.5+2 tournament, not a $7+0.5 as advertised. That's a hell of a lot of rake, tbh.

On the other hand, you have a similar cumulative effect for ROI while moving up the steps, which should compensate this. But it's worth noting that for the average player with no edge or the bad player with a negative edge, these steps are a complete rip-off.