Friday, April 30, 2010

New seating procedure

Since the weeknight game has bigger with two tables becoming more and more common there will be a new seating procedure which should speed up and simplify breaking into two tables. This supersedes the previous seating procedure.

* Everyone gets a seat card assigned to them. Players without a personalized seat card use the Guest cards which are assigned alphabetically with Guest 1 going to the person whose first name is earliest in the alphabet.

* All cards are randomized so that everyone is equally likely to sit to anyone else's left or right.

* The cards are spread to establish the seating order for that session.

* The first nine players will start at the main table.

* When the tenth person arrives they will take their spot at the table temporarily then every second player, starting from the immediate left of the dealer, will move to the second table. All players moving to the second table will keep their same relative positions to each other.

* Tables will be kept balanced to within one player whenever the number of players changes.

* The next player to show up sits at the table with fewer players or at the larger table if tables have equal amounts. They will sit in between the two other players as dictated by the original seating order for that session.

* If a group of players show up all at once their order will be based on the alphabetical order of their first name.

* We will combine tables if we get down to seven or fewer players. If we get down to eight or nine players the floor will decide if we combine depending on how much time is left in the session.

This new procedure should streamline the process of handling the larger groups of players we have been experiencing lately so we can spend more time playing and less time managing seating.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Hold'em Derby blinds format

Last weekend's tourney introduced the latest incarnation of the T4000 deep stack blind schedule. In this latest revision I flattened out the curve a little and shortened the blinds slightly to compensate. The tourney had 15 runners across two tables and though the result was a chop between the last two players it still ended sooner than estimated.

I have always felt that the deep stack format allows for adequate splashing around early on and permits a miscue or two while still remaining viable and I think the new schedule supports that as well. I don't think anyone felt that they *had* to go with ATC and everyone was pretty much able to exit on their own terms which I think is a trademark of a good structure. The shallower jumps also takes some of the bite out of getting hit by an increased blind since it is not as drastic between blind levels.

One factor that I feel contributed was playing 8 players or less at the tables and combining at 7. That allowed for many more hands/hour than a full ring would have and therefore more action for everyone.

I think the only change I would make for next time is to bump up the round lengths to their initial lengths of 30 minutes before the first break and 20 minutes after the break.

Any input on the format is welcome. For your reference, both the latest blind schedule and the previous one are listed below.

Latest blinds schedule:
5/10 (first three rounds 25 minutes)
15 minute break - color up 5s
25/50 (this and all other rounds 18 minutes)
10 minute break - color up 25s
10 minute break - color up 100s

Previous blinds:
5/10 (first three rounds 25 minutes)
15 minute break - color up 5s
25/50 (this and all other rounds 20 minutes)
10 minute break - color up 25s
10 minute break - color up 100s

Sunday, April 18, 2010

HOHA format

So the topic came up last Saturday about the HOHA format. As you all know it is currently one orbit of Hold'em, one orbit of Omaha hi/lo, another orbit of Hold'em, then finally an orbit of Omaha hi only. Adam had suggested that we go to two orbits of Hold'em in between Omaha rounds. After the table was queried the results ranged from supporting two orbits to indifference to opposition of two orbits. As some of you may recall the original format was AHO with one rotation of each game before repeating until the second rotation of Hold'em was put in.

I spoke with Adam afterward and the crux of the issue for him was shifting gears back and forth. And as we all recognize, Hold'em orbits go faster than Omaha and especially Omaha/8 orbits.

So I'm opening the floor to discussion about what we want to do. SOME of the options are below:

* HOHA - leave it as is.
* AHO - switch back to previous.
* HHOHHA - proposed double Hold'em format.
* AHHO - put both Hold'em orbits back to back so there are only three game changes each cycle instead of four.
* AHHHO - Compromise between HOHA and HHOHHA.
* Timed rotations - 20 minutes of Hold'em, 20 minutes of Omaha, 20 minutes of O/8 (or 30 minutes, whatever)
* Blocks of the evening - First third of the evening is Hold'em, second third is Omaha, final third is O/8.
* Omaha then Texas - First half of the night is Omaha and O/8, second half is Hold'em.
[Edit to add:
* HHOOHHAA - two orbits of each per Jeh's suggestion.

I'm sure there are other options as well so feel free to contribute any other ideas you may have.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Seven-Deuce payoffs

NOTE: the rules below have been superseded by the revised rules.

Now that the Seven-Deuce game has become a fairly regular addition to our cash games I feel the it would benefit us to implement a little order to the process especially after last night where we had chips being thrown off the table. So in order to make sure that no eyes are put out and that all payoffs are properly accounted for, please place the chips owed in front of you as though you were paying an ante and the dealer will handle the rest.

So for future reference, here are the house rules for the Seven-Deuce game.

* The Seven-Deuce game is on by default for the midweek Hold'em game. It is optional at any other time.
* Any player may opt out of playing. They would not owe anything if losing to 7-2 nor would they win anything if they win with 7-2.
* It is not necessary to have unanimous participation for the game to proceed. If there is not unanimous participation it is the individual player's responsibility to know who is or is not playing. In accordance with the "one player per hand" rule no one else may assist a player asking if an opponent is playing 7-2 while in the middle of the hand. If a player asks his opponent directly the opponent may answer with whatever response he wishes regardless of its accuracy.
* Any player winning any portion of the pot with Seven and a Deuce as hole cards is owed a bounty by everyone else at the table who played cards in that same hand. It does not matter if the Seven and Deuce are suited or off-suit.
* The bounty for scooping a pot with 7-2 is $2 from each person.
* If a player holding 7-2 chops the pot with anyone else they receive $1 from each person.
* Winning an uncontested pot with 7-2 due to the rest of the table folding qualifies as winning the hand.
* The procedure for a 7-2 hand is the following: After all betting action has completed, if a player with 7-2 wins any portion of the pot and shows the hand to the table then every player who is playing the 7-2 game and took action in the hand puts the appropriate bounty size ($2 for a scoop, $1 for anything else) in front of them. The dealer will sweep the bounty chips to the winner(s) first then award the pot. Do not throw the chips or splash the pot with the 7-2 bounties.

Thanks in advance for everyone's cooperation.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Heads up tourney wrap up

As requested by Marshall, here's the post-morten thread about this year's HU tourney. I made some changes to this year's format and I'll give some background on the rationale since I'm sure it will come up.

* Deeper stacks/more blind levels - We started with T5000 instead of T4000 this year and more levels were added before capping. I'm trying to increase the skill factor and made a slower schedule to try to achieve that.

* 100/200 > 200/400 jump - This came up more than once and it seems like inserting a 150/300 level in between would smooth out the transition.

* Wild card spot - This was new this year. The idea was to offer a spot in the bracket round based on a hybrid of skill and chance. The better that someone did in the preliminaries, the higher chance they will get into the bracket round if they did not qualify. However, everyone still had a chance to get in regardless of their performance. This is intended to provide incentive for everyone to do as best as they can at all times so that players don't tank it in their last couple of games. Previously I tried to achieve this by offering game money but I think a lottery approach is preferable because the game money depleted the bracket prize pool and it offers a shot at something potentially more valuable than a few bucks in game money.

* Time limit - This didn't really come into play at all. It was put in this year in order to address last year's issue of some games taking much longer than others and pushing back the entire schedule. So in order to make sure that the bracket round started at a reasonable time I put in a 20 minute cap.

* Six person bracket round - Also new this year. I assumed we would get somewhere around 12-14 players for the tourney and felt that sending eight players through would be too many and four would be too small so I settled on six which was actually top five plus wild card. Having six players go through also provided byes to the #1 and #2 seeds which guaranteed them at least 3rd/4th place money as a reward for doing well in the prelims.

* Stopping the prelim games after the blinds cap - The idea here was to add a skill/strategy element. In a winner take all affair the short stack has nothing to lose by shoving with ATC as the blinds near the end of the schedule. Crediting a player based on chip count at the end of the schedule was intended to prevent kamikaze play by short stacks since they would be jeopardizing getting at least partial credit for the game. The secondary benefit of this was to create a tie breaking criteria since people would likely end up with an odd chip count along the way.

* Blind schedule escalation - Bumping up the blinds each orbit instead of by time has been a staple of the HU format. It is designed to allow for many more games than timed blinds would while also allowing games to happen at start independently of each other instead of using a mutual clock for everyone. I feel that having everyone go through eight games of low/middle/high blind escalation in the prelims is a better indicator of HU performance than a standard single elimination bracket format where someone could get knocked out in a cooler.

* Diversity exception - Any player who could not start at the beginning of the tourney was given a modified schedule of playing only six players instead of all eight. The two player he would have played ended up playing each other instead so that everyone else still played eight games in the prelims. This was also why the format was changed to average scores instead of point totals so that six game and eight game scores could be compared on an equal footing. However, the high score of the six game schedule was dropped and the remaining five scores were added together in order to not allow someone playing fewer games to benefit from not being in attendance for the while event. Dropping the high score dings the player but is nowhere nearly as severe as forcing them to take losses for two games. Having the two opponents play each other prevents them from benefiting from a forfeit and throwing their numbers off too much.

* Payouts - I bumped spread the 1st/2nd place money out a little more this year from 40/30 to 45/25. As it turns out they last two players chopped it up so it didn't matter but I made the payouts a little steeper this year to put a little more on the line. Generally though I favor flatter payouts and perhaps the chop is indicative that the difference between 1st and 2nd was too great.

* Antes - In order to continue adding pressure to the blinds in the bracket portion of the tourney I added in antes after the blinds capped. The antes started off small but they would eventually force an end to the game since they would ultimately end up equaling the BB. I felt that adding in antes would be a softer hammer than having the blinds continue to escalate. If people don't like the blinds capping in the prelims then maybe adding antes would address that.

I think that's all of the news for this year. If anyone has opinions on any of the aspects of the format then chime in and I'll incorporate feedback into the next HU championship.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Sushi Book update for April 2010

With the information that is available it appears that Martin finished with the largest bankroll as of April 1. I don't have exact numbers on everyone but the numbers below reflect the best numbers I could muster. If anyone has any numbers which change the order of the list below please let me know.

$239.55 - Martin
$158.76 - Adam
$150 (est) - Marshall
$ 80 (est) - Chuck
$ 62.90 - Royal
$ 50 (est) - Drew
$ 0 (est) Ryan
$ 0 (est) Woody

If anyone is interested in participating in a Q2 milestone based on percentage increase and/or wagering then just send me email and I'll get it set up.