Airline format pay schedules

Discussion in 'Ideas to Promote or Improve Tournaments' started by TXtourplayer, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. TXtourplayer

    TXtourplayer Executive Member

    WSOB style

    RKuczek so you like the WSOB pay schedule like I posted about 6 posts back.

    Seems like most players prefer paying down 7th - 19th instead of paying all non-advancing players the same amount.

    The reason I like different payouts is because it gives the players something to play for even if they are to far back to advance, a least they can play for final position and a little more money.

    I noticed in your example you had $12,000 for 1st place. I believe the key amount for 1st place prize money should be $20,000 to get players to travel for (that is fly or drive over a few hours). So anything less then that I can't see being worth wild for traveling too. Unless multi-events were offered.
  2. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    IMHO, RKuczek and Rick have the right idea. Things have to change if we want a different result, I.E. seeing increased popularity of BJT's. Paying deeper will encourage newbies and rookies, they're more likely to give it another shot if they manage to win something. The current norm of significantly top-heavy prize payouts may be good for those who make it to the top, but it's a short-sighted view since that causes more players to go home empty handed - and discouraged. Rick's trying to figure out something that might appeal to more folks than just us hardcore BJT aficionados and that's what we've got to have.

    The idea of paying different amounts to non-advancing semifinalists (IMHO only) is quite excellent. But, as RK mentioned, it's got to be equal from table to table. Paying the third-place finisher at Table A more than the third-place finisher at Table B is totally unfair. Yes, I know some BJT's engage in a form of this but it still isn't fair, and that's exactly how newbies will perceive the situation. Turn each table into an independent little Sit-N-Go with an independent prize fund, as Rick outlined above.

    As for TheLegend's excellent post - bravo! Indeed, the High Roller has had a long and enviable run. Part of the cachet of that event was the existence of over a week's worth of smaller tournaments, much like we see in the WSOP. In either case, even if you bomb out in the Main Event, you can still pick off one of the smaller ones and cash a nice check. Something for Rick to consider - later!!!! Getting his Airline events going will put quite enough responsibility on him at first. Maybe he can add a couple of smaller events in the beginning to increase the appeal for out-of-state players, but he's got to keep his eye trained mostly on getting the Main going. If he can get that accomplished, I can visualize an entire week's worth of BJT's leading up to The Big One.
  3. TXtourplayer

    TXtourplayer Executive Member

    Just common sense to make and keep players

    Paying deeper into the tournaments field and getting away from top heavy tournaments isn't just a good idea for getting new players involved, but smarter for the casinos as well.

    I understand that winning $50 to $200 dollars doesn't mean anything to a lot of the bigger players, but just that little bit won by a newer players might just be the hook to keep them interested in BJ tournaments and get him/her to come back to play in more tournaments. It isn't the $50 win they make, it is the entry fee and re-buys they put in as well as the goodwill it will create and hopefully that goodwill will translate into more and more players coming out to try BJ tournaments.

    If I owned a casino and was paying out $50,000 in prize money, what would be the best way for me to try and get that money back in play in my place? Would paying just 6 players or paying 18 to 54 players give me the batter chance at that money going back into action on the casino floor? I'd rather take my chances with more winners, so why do the casinos insist on only paying the final table? Also why do they insist on keeping the tournaments players away from their events. Most of these players will play some sort of action from BJ, PG, 3-card, or a VP machine. More importantly they will provide more bodies in the event which is what most tournaments base the prize money off of.

    Anyone that plays the Harrah's tournaments know what I am talking about. They offer $20,000 1st prize based on "X" number of players and when they fail to reach that number the prizes drop to about half what is advertised. I'm not picking on Harrah's properties, there are several I just used them as an example. Harrah's at least offers tournaments about every month and at all their properties. As many events as they do offer is just another reason why if they were open to all they would help fill the events up.

    I don't have a problem with casinos cutting down the prize money for a low turnout, but I do when the low turnout is because they turned away players that were willing to pay to play in the event.

    By not allowing willing entries to play ends up hurting everyone.
    1) the players who were not allowed in (actually save the entry fee).
    2) The casinos prefered players, who have traveled to play for a set amount only to fine that amount has been cut in half.
    3) The casino's themselves, who have cut their nose off to spite their face. By not allowing their events to be "OPEN" to all have up set not only those un-welcome players, but managed to piss off their invited guest by not offering what was promised (at least what was dangled in front of them) to draw them to the casino in the first place.

    If the casinos would just realize the tournament players are going to lose a lot more tournaments then we ever win so why not open up the events to everyone like they use to. Just look at all the tournaments listed every month and then look at how many of the members here won one of them. Only congratulations I've seen this month was yesterday for Dannye and Harry and that was for 4th and 6th place.

    My point is, it isn't just the players mind set on payouts we have to change to make the BJ tournaments successful, but the casinos as well on a few issues.
  4. London Colin

    London Colin Top Member

    The flip side of that is that it also gives those who are vying to be BR* something further to lose, other than simply not advancing, if they find themselves forced to make a big bet on the final hand (as is often the case).

    Do most people really prefer it? That seems strange, given that it essentially replicates the final-table situation, where every place won or lost has an impact on your winnings, and people often try to avoid that situation by chopping the pot.

    I've actually played in tournaments at blackjack21 where this was done. In their usual tournaments they pay the finalists only (4, 5, or all 6 of them, depending on the size of the prize pool), and first place takes about 40%. In their occasional larger tournaments they also pay down to 3rd and 4th place at the semi-final tables, and reduce the 1st-place percentage slightly.

    I agree this is preferable to only paying the finalists, but I really think I'd prefer to see all the losing semi-finalists get the same amount (which might mean reducing the first-place percentage even further).

    In fact, a particularly radical idea occurs to me. Not only could all non-advancing players win the same amount, but you could extend that idea to the final table itself, and have all bar the tournament winner receive the same amount. That way, there might be less incentive to chop the pot, and a genuine competition would take place.

    E.g., In the qualifier pay schedule, as described in the very first post, rather than have -
    1st = 40% = $20,000
    2nd = 20% = $10,000
    3rd = 13% = $ 6,500
    4th = 9% = $ 4,500
    5th = 6% = $ 3,000
    6th = 3% = $ 1,500

    it could be
    1st = 40% = $20,000
    2nd-6th = $5,100

    Not sure if that would work well or not, but it's a thought.
  5. TXtourplayer

    TXtourplayer Executive Member

    Fine with me

    It is whatever the final table votes on (secrect vote). If they all want to chop that is fine with me as a TD. Or like what you posted above, we did that on our first cruise. It was the suggestion of Phxsam, 1st got more then the rest than chop the rest evenly (of course Phxsam won the

    I never understood why casinos don't allow more chop's on the final table. It ends the tournament and awards faster by at least an hour or better and it doesn't cost them anymore money, actually saves them some.
  6. Monkeysystem

    Monkeysystem Top Member Staff Member

    Yes, and Furthermore,


    I can piggyback on this concept.

    It's true that a strong player's personal EV for a tournament increases with the number of elimination rounds he must survive to get to the money. Thus his personal EV improves for tournaments as their top-heaviness increases.

    But personal EV isn't the only factor a strong player should consider when examining a tournament. Variance, as RK mentioned above, is also important. The more top heavy a tournament is, the higher its variance.

    We could look at this the way investment analysts look at stocks when considering buy/hold/sell decisions. They are risk averse, and expect higher returns in exchange for bearing more risk. And risk for these analysts is a measurable statistic - variance.

    Most of us tend to be risk-averse, even when considering gambling events. Granted, some of us gamble for different reasons than when we invest. Some gamblers have so much fun with it that increased risk is actually more valuable for them. But for most of us who want to stay in the game, decreased risk (variance) is what we value.

    I believe the top-heaviness of blackjack tournaments' payouts is one reason participation has decreased over the years. The greater personal EV top players enjoy for top heavy events does not compensate them for the high variance they must endure. Even if not consciously aware they're doing so, experienced players are taking the investment analyst's approach and concluding the bigger pot of gold at the end of the rainbow is not worth the expense and wait - the risk.

    Conclusion: blackjack tournaments are too top heavy to keep good players coming back year after year. We need to pay down further. A good start is to benchmark tbj's most successful competitor for card players - texas hold 'em. Blackjack tournaments should pay down, in terms of percentages, about equally to the way hold 'em tournaments pay down for given numbers of players.

    I would be in favor of a semfinal table from which two advance awarding a higher cash prize to the highest non-advancing chip count, and a lower cash prize to the remaining players. Example:

    BR1: Advance to final
    BR2: Advance to final
    BR3: Half of 7th place finisher in finals
    BR4: Quarter of 7th place finisher in finals
    BR5: Quarter of 7th place finisher in finals
    BR6: Quarter of 7th place finisher in finals

    This gives everyone something to play for right through the last hand. This is just a hypothetical example. Adjustments could be made to this model depending on prize pool, number of players, etc.
  7. RKuczek

    RKuczek Member

    one other odd thought - not really about payouts

    As I have been playing a little poker online - and have actually cashed a couple of small tourneys - this has reinforced something I have thought about - and posted on - before. In poker, whenever you survive a table - and get moved/advanced/merged into another table, this is the poker equivalent of surviving a round in TBJ. You have 'advanced', you have been successful. When TBJ has single advance rounds - where one of seven or six advance - then almost all at the table 'fail'. Hardly positive reinforcement. In poker, about half of the players 'advance' to another, higher level, table. That means half of the players get reinforced by a positive result.
    No wonder poker attracts more players, deeper pay outs, and many players get positive reinforcement by having some measure of success in 'advancing'. In TBJ, few players get reinforced by advancing, and payouts go to very few players. Why would someone get into TBJ under those circunstances. We must be a fraternity of masochists.

    One thing I have noticed is that many posters on this forum have talked about how they cashed their first TBJ tourney. I did mine, and that motivated me to play more. When I won my sixth tourney, then cashed my next one as well - wow, cashed three out of my first seven. I was hooked. I believe a lot of TBJ players who have stuck with the game - started with a measure of success, then found playing to be fun, maybe even rewarding, and so continued to play. BUt what about all those who don't cash or advance their first or second tourney? - What would motivate them to keep playing? Nothing. Maybe that's why we don't see a lot of posts about: "I didn't cash in my first 20 tourneys, and didn't even advance from the qualifying round except twice, but, wow, I love tbj and will keep on playing, until I get it right!!!". Nope, don't remember seeing that post.

    If we want TBJ to attract players, have large open tourneys, like poker, and build up big prize pools and get to be a regular feature at casinos - like poker tourneys - we need to make the game attractive to newbies - that means they can experience some success and positive reinforement, and have a shot at cashing - and that means - multiple advance rounds (think 3 of 6) and deeper payouts. Anything else - and we will continue to push away potential players, and remain a sideshow attraction for the casinos.
  8. TXtourplayer

    TXtourplayer Executive Member

    Wining does create interest

    I'd love to increase the number of hands played in each round to about 40 hands or more (in the 80's it was nothing to play 60 - 100 hands per round). I'd also love to advance 3 out of 7 or even 3 out of 6 per table per round.

    One of the biggest problems with advancing so many would be the addition of more rounds, Players don't like 5 rounds that much, hate 6 rounds and would scream over 7 or more. And to increase interest adding more rounds I don't nelieve would be a good suggestion, (makes a newbie have to advance that many more times to cash).

    I think 2 advancing throughout is a good standard and can be done within 5 rounds. If the money is big enough quarterfinals could pay back entry fees at least. That would be 19th - 54th places. But I think the semifinalist should cash for sure. And as RKuczek pointed out, a win makes people feel good and gets them excited, (even if that win just breaks them even). Thats what we need, people excited about playing in these tournaments. And new blood, young middle aged, or old, it dosen't matter, we just need bodies. And if they can get a taste of winning it will help hook them into more events.
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2009

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