Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Cash game with top place payout format

I have been thinking about a hybrid format that is mostly cash game but incorporates a little tourney structure. Marsh's comment about play getting a little loosey goosey was the trigger to suggest it to the TuNP crowd.

Everything about the play is pure cash game. Blinds stay at 1/2 all night. Rebuy's and add-ons are allowed. But when it comes time to cash out at the end of the night, things change. 50%, or whatever portion we want, is held out from the cashouts. If you have four racks, instead of being paid $100 you get $50 instead. The money that is held out pays the three largest stacks, not highest ROI in case of rebuys, biggest stacks period. Biggest stack of the night would get half value of the stack plus 25% of all buy-ins that night, second stack 15%, third 10%. That would give extra incentive to try to amass a large stack and tighten up our games. Furthermore, by keeping 50% value of the chips in front of you it prevents an all-in fest at the end of the night which would happen if it was *only* payouts for the top three places since anyone out of the money has nothing to lost by shoving. It also gives incentive for the chip leader to continue playing instead of nursing his stack and trying to coast to the finish line since there is still cash value to amassing even more chips even though they are in first place already.

Any comments on the format? This would probably be a weekend experiment game.


Ryan said...

Sounds dreadful.

Sushi Cowboy said...

OK, so Ryan is in. Who else is interested?

Ryan said...

To elaborate on my initial response:

A key concept in game design is elegance. Simple is better; only make things complicated when they have to be to achieve your gameplay goals. Tournaments are elegant: based on the order of elimination, players win a percentage of the kitty. Cash games are elegant: at any time, you may exchange the chips in front of you for their cash value and quit the game.

Combining the two would be muddled and inelegant, complicating things and making certain aspects of the game extremely frustrating--and for what? It would reward the top stacks with more money and the short stacks with less. We already have that mechanic in pure cash and pure tournament formats. This hybrid suggestion is like a Rube Goldberg machine for poker payouts.

Some problems off the top of my head:

* What about when Jason cashes out at 10:30 with the second-place stack? He gets to find out later if he actually gets any cashout money? The other players can decide to keep playing until he’s passed?

* What happens when someone busts out at 11:30, and there are three stacks at the table above the 600 chip mark? Why would that person buy back in for 240 when they are effectively losing half their stack before the chips are even in front of them? This is the biggest problem; you give no incentive for people to rebuy, as the farther they are away from a “leading stack” the worse EV it is to rebuy at all.

* On the flipside, if someone gets a huge chip lead, they are playing for half price. I suppose it’s an interesting model of our economy: the rich get richer without having to do anything, and the poor folks pay the most taxes.

Back to the poker lab, sushi cowboy, this is a terrible format. Next!

Marshall said...

What Ryan said..

Austin said...

Agreed, likewise.

Bob Loblaw said...

I think it's a fantastic idea, Martin, and I can tell I'm not the only one who thinks that!

I refuse to play at any future TNP until these rules are enacted.