re: Poker & Need help running a home tournament PLZ!!!
It doesn't matter how many chips you start with, it doesn't matter what your blinds start at. Tournament structure is all relational. Length of the game is very predictable. It will end at the blind level (or one level sooner or later) when total number of chips divided by 10 equals the big blind. For example, if it were freeze-out, ten people starting with 1500 chips, it would end at about the blind level when the big blind is 1500. Add more players and more reliable projections on rebuys, divide the total by ten and structure your blinds so that you're at the proper big blind level in the allotted time.
I get asked to conduct tourneys for people often. They say they want a two hour tourney or a five hour tourney, and I'm always able to predict within a half hour when the thing will end. I see what kind of chips they have, what stacks they are used to and can make just about anything work out. There are a few ways to make your game go faster. Start with smaller stacks. Take bigger blind jumps resulting in fewer blind levels until you reach the magic BB number, or shorten or limit rebuy period.
The blinds are always going to be big in the late stages of a tourney. That's the whole idea. Big blinds force action and bring the tourney to an end. You should have people playing big stacks, small stacks, medium stacks. If you have half the field still in struggling with marginal stacks, it sounds like a pretty passive game. Maybe you guys should be playing a cash game instead.
Your timer system is a little unfair because only one guy can see it. How about a digital kitchen timer you can hang on the wall so everybody can see it?
Have you explored various blind structures like Texas
TEARS? There is a lot of good info on tourney structures at the home poker tour website. Also check out the Tournament Directors' Association website. It's the one most casino poker rooms adhere to.