Idea for a poker tournament format
I just read this article (https://www.cardschat.com/news/party...elements-15144
) giving me the idea of a similar but different method of blending online and live tournaments for the players' benefit.
Basically, the idea is that a tournament starts online, but it stops as soon as the money bubble is burst.
The tournament could be done as an online phase tournament, but there would have to be a Phase 2 online and then finally a Phase 3 live once the bubble has burst. Alternatively, the tournament could keep playing beyond the bubble bursting and come together live eventually, as was actually done at the WSOP
Looking at my original idea of the tournament being paused and resumed live once the bubble bursts, effectively, the online tournament is a satellite to the live tournament, but by cashing in the satellite, you start the target tournament already in the money, and there is no way to buy directly into the target tournament either.
I was thinking you'd take your chips forward from online into live, but if you did want to treat it more like a mandatory satellite, you could say that everyone starts the live portion of the tournament with a fresh and equal stack, thus altering the play of the online tournament, but not necessarily for the better or worse one way or the other - it'd just be different.
This idea helps fix some of the flaws I see with the current way satellites to major live tournaments are done. When someone wins an online satellite that comes complete with a package, a player either gets the value of the target tournament buy-in, travel expenses, and spending money, or the player gets a tournament ticket instead of the buy-in in cash along with the travel expenses and spending money.
The issue with the tournament ticket is that a player now must spend the value of the package to travel to the target tournament and must now finish in the top 10-20% of that very large and difficult field to turn that ticket into cash value.
Let's say a player in Bucharest wins a package to the PCA Main Event. That player now has a $5300 ticket to the Main Event along with about another $5000 to cover 9 nights in a hotel, travel expenses, and spending money. But in order to access the value of the $5300 ticket, the player must blow the other $5000, give or take. And more likely than not, the player is going home empty, out the $5k package, out the $5k ticket, and out whatever that player paid to get into the satellite in the first place. All this isn't even counting the time that the player spent to get to and spent at the tournament, more likely than not in vain.
Even worse in my eyes is if a player gets the full $10,000 package in cash. That player now turned a smaller buyin of probably not more than $700 (not counting 6max SNG satellites) into $10k. But if that player wants to turn it into the really big money, that player has to risk possibly the full $10k, and approx. 80-90% will go away empty from the PCA empty handed, without even the original $700 to show for it. But because the player has the $10k cash and has the option to not play in the target event, that player is much more likely to just hang on for the $10k cash and never advance to the live component or try for the big bucks.
Back to my idea. Let's say that when the bubble bursts in the online tournament, thus stopping the tournament, every player is given a mincash. That mincash would be theoretically enough, give or take, to cover travel expenses and spending money at the live component of the tournament. That way, no one has to risk expense or time traveling to a live tournament without being at least ensured of a mincash. The live tournament starts in the money
. Then the players play for the really big money when it counts the most in person.
There is one potential issue with my idea in that how do you most ensure that players play the live component and don't just pocket the value of the mincash and skip the live tournament. Let's say a player has a single chip when the bubble bursts, or maybe more realistically, has a single big blind or less. That player will automatically be all-in during the first orbit of the live tournament. So that player would probably be better off keeping the value of the mincash than throwing away the value of the mincash by schlepping all the way to the tournament just to have to get lucky for a few orbits to even be back to a playable stack. That player with <5 or <10BB would be forfeiting their chance of the really big money at the top of the tournament, but I would venture to say even that if you were to put this scenario into an ICM calculator, that players equity in the tournament would be less
than the value of the mincash, so ICM would in fact tell the player not to come to the live tournament.
I do have some ideas for how to overcome this issue:
One is to withhold part of the mincash and only give it to the player upon checking in at the live tournament. ACR does something like this with their WSOP ME satellites in that when you win a WSOP ME satty on ACR, they just give you $12k cash since they are unable to register players directly for the ME, but you get an additional $1k for spending money upon proof of registering for the ME. So you can either pocket the $12k and forfeit the $1k or you can get the full $13k, go to Las Vegas
, and play for $10 million but possibly walk away with 0. That's one solution.
Another solution is the idea I mentioned earlier about everyone starting the target event with an equal stack. That way, the only reason a player would have to forfeit their full stack is if the player believes that he/she has so little equity in the tournament that it's worth it to forfeit the chiplead (since if everyone's tied, everyone is effectively tied for the chiplead) in favor of the mincash.
I think the best solution would be a combination of these two ideas. Reset the starting stacks and the levels (this restarting of the levels also has the nice side effect of letting the live tournament really play out and have skill factor in versus just starting the live tournament with everyone having a 10 or 20BB starting stack) and also withhold part of the mincash to further entice the players into coming to the live tournament.
It's definitely not wrong to say that making it such that getting to the money bubble with 100BB is the same as getting there with 1BB or even just 1 chip, but seeing as this is already a unique type of tournament, there's nothing wrong with making it a very unique format. In fact, perhaps this format will even become extra popular with top players/pros because it increases their perceived and/or real edge by testing both their satellite bubble play and also their traditional live MTT play.
I'm sure there are pros and cons to this idea that I haven't said, but it does seem very intriguing. I look forward to Cardschat's commentary on my idea.
Thanks for reading!