Upcoming tournament buyin changes on Full Tilt
I'd like to give an early look at some upcoming tournament buyin changes we have planned on Full Tilt for next month. Note that the below represents the current plan, and the plan can change at any time. So treat the below as very likely to happen, but by no means set in stone. Apologies for the length, there's a bunch to go over!
Why are you making these changes?
This project started last year with a pretty simple goal: Bring satellites back to life on Full Tilt. The trend of falling satellite participation has been an issue for a long time, and it got to the point where almost no SNG satellites were ever going off, and our scheduled satellites were struggling to stay alive. So we knew we needed to do something fairly drastic (having already tried all of the non-drastic ideas).
So we came up with a number of ideas to help satellites, which will be detailed below. The idea with the biggest impact, though, is a complete revamp our of tournament buyin levels. With that change (and the associated changes that stem from that change), we hope to breathe some life into our satellites (and therefore guarantee participation), simplify the full tournament offering (making it easier to see what the offering is), and consolidate a few stake levels (bringing some extra liquidity there, especially in SNGs).
What are the general buyin changes?
So here's what our buyin levels currently look like:
And here's what they'll look like when the update happens next month:
For SNGs, you'll notice the $20, $25, and $60 levels have been consolidated into just the $25 and $50.
There is also a more consistent progression from one stake level to the next. Skipping one level is always a 4x or 5x increase, skipping two levels is always a 10x increase (both of these facts will be important when we talk about SNG satellites).
And not to be ignored: The numbers are prettier. It seems silly, but this should make the entire lobby look "nicer."
What are the Sit & Go specific changes?
- Other than the buyin levels changing in most places, not all that much will be changing for SNGs. The rake will mostly be a "best fit" from the old level, so while it won't be exactly the same at every level (although it will for many levels), it will be pretty close.
- The Matrix and Steps tabs (and games) will be removed. The Satellite tab will be coming back.
- Finally, and probably most importantly for this project, all SNG satellites will become "generic" and award tickets instead of T$. The offering will look like this:
So every 1 table SNG will award a ticket to first place and exactly your money back for 2nd, and every 2 table (12 man) SNG satellite will award a ticket for first place and exactly your money back for 2nd and 3rd. You can then take that ticket and use it for any tournament across the site with that buyin, which will now include SNGs (including another SNG satellite, create your own steps!) *and* MTTs.
For those of you doing the math at home, yes, this also means there will be no rake on these satellite SNGs. This is more to make the math work and because it makes us more comfortable giving tickets instead of T$ than any other reason, but if it brings more players to the satellites because of it, we won't argue. Note that like any offering, this is all subject to change at any time.
What are the scheduled tournament specific changes?
What are the other related changes?
- Rake changes to regular speed scheduled tournaments will be very small overall. Nothing will be exactly the way it was, but for the most part it will all be within 5% of what the closest fit old buyin used to be. The main exceptions are the micro stakes tournaments which will be going from (for example) $1+$0.10 to $0.90+$0.10, which is about an 11% increase.
- As part of this restructuring, we took the opportunity to separate out the rake structure of regular speed MTTs from turbo speed MTTs. So all scheduled turbo tournaments (with the exception of the $0.50) will now have approximately 10-15% lower rake than their regular speed counterpart.
- Super Turbo rake won't be all that different from where it currently is, with the exception of the micro stakes which will now be 10-20% lower than their turbo equivalents (previously they were the same as even regular speed).
- In addition, all scheduled satellites will now charge 20-30% lower rake than their non-satellite counterparts. So, for example, a $10 turbo guarantee might break down to $9.20+$0.80 (8.7% rake), but a $10 turbo satellite would be $9.40+$0.60 (6.38% rake).
- We will be removing the Cash and Live Events tabs in the browse area of the lobby, and bringing back the Satellite tab. Cash is mostly a useless tab since you can get exactly the same functionality by simply unchecking Satellites from the All tab (and most people just want to look at Guarantees anyway, and the Guarantees tab will still be there). We may bring the Live Events tab back someday, but for now when we're only doing 0-2 live events at a time, it's not as important to have a separate tab.
Thanks for the wall of text, now make it longer.
- We will be eliminating Super Turbo satellite "sniping". By this I mean the unsportsmanlike behavior of finding a super turbo satellite that pays out 4 spots and has 4 players remaining, and then waiting for someone to be all-in and looking like they're going to bust, and late registering at the last second (so they now get 5th place and you "snipe" the money position). This will no longer be possible, as we will end late registration before the money bubble (we will be able to control how far off from the bubble it ends, so we'll experiment to find the right balance between letting late reg continue and making sure it can't be gamed).
- While it won't be ready with the same release as the rest of the changes, we will also be implementing a system where if you satellite into a tournament that's already running, you will be automatically registered for that tournament (just like PokerStars currently does). In the future there might also be special tournaments where if you satellite in you won't be able to unregister (although there are currently no plans for this).
- Instead of separate Sit & Go, Jackpot Sit & Go, Steps, Avatar Tournaments, and FTOPS subsections within the FTP Store, we'll just have the generic tickets, Game of the Week tickets, and a couple specific tournament tickets (like The Sunday Major and eventually the FTOPS Main Event). The average price of these tickets will be going up. You'll still find the best deals with tournament tickets (The Sunday Major and FTOPS Main Event especially), but they won't be quite as out of line with the rest of the offering any more.
- The $2 Jackpot SNGs will be changed to $2.50 (since we no longer have a $2 SNG level). At the same time, the $1 and the new $2.50 Jackpot SNGs will go from 5% effective rake to 6% effective rake. Not great news, I know, but it is still the best rake for that format around.
- We'll also be tweaking the games offering a bit here and there, removing some games and formats that simply aren't being played right now (this mostly applies to SNGs).
The only thing I haven't mentioned that's for sure changing is the tournament schedule itself. That's mostly because it's not finished yet, but also because there are a number of questions still outstanding. The biggest question is exactly how much we want to mess with it. On the one hand we can simply adjust all of the buyins to be a "best fit" with the new buyin levels and make minor guarantee adjustments based on that, and on the other hand we could go all out and with a complete revamp. My personal preference is somewhere in between. I think we'll take a look at what a "best fit" schedule looks like, and adjust from there based on player suggestions and what's been working best.
To that end, here are a set of decisions we're facing that I'd love some input on:
- The Sunday Major will be going from $215 to $250. Does anyone think this is terrible?
- For the Sunday Brawl, there's a choice. The "easy" choice is to simply go from $255 to $250, but part of me likes the idea of the Sunday Major being the only real $250 for the week. If given these choices, which would you pick:
- $250 buyin, same guarantee
- $100 buyin, half the guarantee (side Q: what should the KO bounty be?)
- $100 buyin with 2xMET, same guarantee as current
(Note I don't expect many votes for #3, but it's worth offering as a choice since it's still a lower total buyin than #1 if you play both entries, and would for sure allow more players to play in something that has a bigger guarantee.)
- For the next FTOPS, our Main Event buyin choices are $500 or $1,000. Pick one and explain why. We're already leaning towards one of these, and once we get some feedback I'll chime in and say which and explain our reasons.
- The T-Rex will be going from $162 to $100, which will obviously bring with it a lower guarantee. It also means that it will be much closer in buyin to the new $25 Triceratops. Does anyone think they'll eat into each other (ugh, pun) too much and should be separated by 30-60 minutes, or are all 3 fine to leave together?
We're planning to do an experiment with rebuys. We want the rebuy to cost the same as the initial buyin, so that players (eventually, when some more technical work is done) can use tickets for their rebuys. In order to do this and still collect rake on the initial buyin, this means that less money will go into the prize pool for initial buyins than for rebuys and addons. So to make this a little more fair (and hopefully promote more action during the rebuy period), we're going to try something. Instead of a "standard" rebuy where you get 1,500 chips for the initial buyin, and 1,500 for each rebuy, we're going to give 1,000 chips for the initial buyin and 1,500 chips for each rebuy.
We're also kicking around the idea of making the "threshold" 2,500 chips instead of 1,500, which would allow you to make 2 rebuys right away (but only ever 2 at a time after that). So the question is, does anyone like this idea? If so, do you prefer being able to rebuy twice right away (for a total of 4K chips) and thereafter only being able to do double rebuys (for a total of 3k chips as usual), or would you rather keep it to one initial rebuy (for a total of 2.5K chips) and normal double rebuys after that? Or even crazier, set the threshold to 3k and allow for 4K chips right away and 4.5K chips after that (triple rebuy always available)? If all of this is deemed too crazy, we may just start off experimenting with the ideas in satellites only and leave the guarantees alone (but I'd rather we went a little crazy here, to be honest).
Let us know what you think about all of this, and if there are any major questions or concerns about any of it.
Where we're going, there is no tl;dr.