Tournament formats

Discussion in 'Ideas to Promote or Improve Tournaments' started by Billy C, Jul 9, 2012.

  1. Billy C

    Billy C Top Member

    I've played in hundreds of BJ tourneys over the last 25 or so years but none of them had the accumulation format until last Saturday at Isle of Capri in the Quad Cities.
    Never thought I would like that format but after finally playing in it, I think it may even be preferable because it eliminates the BIG luck box factor of seat position that is so huge in elimination events.
    I actually placed (6th/$300) which isn't much to brag about but it was kind of a good feeling being it was my first attempt in that format.
    Even though luck is always a factor, anything that minimizes it is a good thing for better players.
    How do others regard the accumulation type format?

    Billy C
  2. FBJeffy

    FBJeffy Member

    Good Job Billy, How many chips you have after first round, and then the final?
  3. rookie789

    rookie789 Active Member

    AccumulationTournament Strategy

    I've played several accumulation format blackjack and baccarat tournaments and luck is certainly a factor in my opinion regarding accumulation formats although not regarding seat position.

    Luck is a factor as the preferred or recommended strategy is to set a dollar/chip goal and bet maximum hand 1 until you achieve your dollar/chip goal or go broke. Luck is critical dependent upon cards dealt the first 1-3 hands you've made a max bet.

    Perhaps S Yama or Toolman, our resident accumulation tournament experts will weigh in with their thoughts.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2012
  4. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    Some of the events that I play regularly are hybrid formats. That is, there is an accumulation round followed by one or more traditional elimination rounds.

    Once I've played each event and have established the proper goal, I've found that my advancement rate in the accumulation rounds is significantly better than in elimination rounds. I think that this may depend on the event, but in the ones that I've played, a significant number of players play too conservatively which lowers the required goal, making it easier to attain. Another large fraction of the players use no strategy at all which effectively takes them out of contention.
  5. Billy C

    Billy C Top Member

    $4700 first round and $18900 second round
  6. Billy C

    Billy C Top Member

    Goal setting

    So the goal we set is the amount that it typically takes to win. Again, I hadn't played this event before but was told by others that the average for first place is probably in the 16-17k range. (You start with 3k and play 18 hands)
    A cold dealer put several entrants at one table in the 20k range in the first round so I was very fortunate to even place with a two round total of $23,600
    The guaranteed purse was quite top loaded with first paying 4k. As Rookie states, luck is always a huge factor but removing the seat position thing does bring it down some, I think.
    Guess I've been burned too many times by "first bet last hands"
    As an aside, I would recommend this event to anyone living remotely close. It's well ran by pleasant people which is always a plus.

    Billy C
  7. FBJeffy

    FBJeffy Member

    Again good!!! After my 2nd rebuy, I seen the chart and I didn"t think is was possible to top those 6 from the first table, but you proved me wrong!!
  8. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    This is probably 95% of the reasoning why I don't do accumulations.

    But - GREAT JOB, Billy! Glad to hear you did well despite being on the wrong tables. :D
  9. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    I completely agree. While they certainly do not offer the mental stimulation of elimination events, accumulation events are very lucrative. The simple strategy of max betting until you get to your target or bust out trying is wildly profitable against the usual accumulation tournament fields.

    LeftNut should give them a try some time. :D
  10. Billy C

    Billy C Top Member

    Thanks guys. I won't go far on $300 but it was fun and that's always plus EV!
    To illustrate the ever present "luck factor" my last hand went like this:
    Made max bet of $1000
    Was dealt a pair of sevens and dealer shows ten card
    I split sevens and catch a 3 and double it down (catch a crap card)
    Caught another seven on the second one and split again
    Caught a deuce and doubled down (caught another crap card)
    On last seven I caught an Ace, doubled down and caught an 8
    Dealer flipped a stiff card and made 2 draws to bust which added 6k to my bankroll

    I still miss the live money events that many of us played in years past (Stardust and Frontier). No way I'd risk 6k of real money on the hand above, but the first time I made the finals at the Stardust I did double down a last hand hard 17 for another $300 of real money and caught a 3 which was the only way I could make the final table. (placed either 4th or 5th for 4k)

    Billy C
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012
  11. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    I've certainly played my share of BJ tournaments as well, making it to Final Table thrice at Hard Rock in Biloxi, and placing 2nd at one of the $50K events last Nov.

    Having said this, I'm playing in my 1st accumulation tournament in awhile this weekend. It's interesting though, because there are 2 rounds of play, $2K/round and 20 hands, and the TOP 36 advance to the semis where they they will take the top person to the final table. So.... the most important thing would be trying to get in the top 36 to be eligible to play in the semis... I dont know how much it typically takes, but what would you say is a goal I should be playing for in both rounds? Max bet is $1K, so what should I be trying to reach in each of the 2 rounds to optimize my chances of making the top 36?
  12. matador

    matador Member

    more the merrier

    I have played my share of this format. i dont like it but sometimes the prize pool is too much to pass up. I find it rather easy to be conservitive and be in the top 36 but if you have to carry your bankroll into the new round or finals and you are in the lower half of he 36 players you will be at a severe disadvantage. You will be better off being very aggresive to say at least
    5X-10X your bankroll. This way you will be in a winning position if you progress. If you do not carry the bankroll into the finals just play conservitive 2X-3X and you should make it. Always remember its BJ, most people loose more than they win, so most players will finish with less than they start.

    Stay Thirsty My Freinds
  13. BughouseMaster

    BughouseMaster Active Member

    Excellent post, Matador.

    Can you expound a little bit on the being at a bigger disadvantage if you're in the bottom 1/2 of the 36? This isn't how this tourney is as all starts fresh in Semis (just need to be the top finisher), but just wondering the other types of tournaments that do work the way you said...

    So 2-3x eh? So since I'm starting out with $2K I should strive for $4000-5000 total? So basically make a big bet maybe twice in the 20 rounds (most likely when the button has just passed me and preferably if everyone else has bet small!) and hope to win right?
  14. gronbog

    gronbog Top Member

    Since this is an accumulation round, and you are playing against the entire field, not just those at your table, the button (if there even is one) is irrelevant.

    The optimal strategy is to bet max until you reach your goal and then bet minimum. If there is no max, go all-in on every hand until you're within one bet of your goal. If you are close enough to reach your goal using a progression (1/3 followed by all-in or 1/7 followed by 1/3 followed by all-in) then you should do so. If you have not reached your goal by the final hand, you should bet max (or all-in).

    Variance is your friend. Unless you are within 1 bet of your goal, you should make all doubles and splits, perhaps even a little more aggressively than basic strategy suggests. If you reach the point where you need to win more bets than there are hands remaining, you should double/split anything. If there are two hands remaining, and you need to win 2 bets, you are more likely to succeed by doubling anything on the second last hand than by trying to win two hands in a row.
    Billy C likes this.
  15. surf

    surf Member

    I played in the same tournament (quad cities). Reportedly, chips in the $20's were enough to get in the money in the past, which was consistent with expectations I got when I used Wong's target calculation formula.
    After the first round, I had $4000. When I saw that one table blew out with 4 players ending between $18K and 23K, I did not think I could get in the money, so did not buy extra rounds.
    I don't care for the accumulation format, mostly because I am not very good at it. My preference is table elimination because I know what my competition is doing and how successful they are at any point in the round. In addition, my competition and I are competing for the same cards, good shoe or bad.
    I recognize there is a different type of skill and style of play involved for accumulation vs elimination, however, and think that combining both formats would offer the best challenge.

    Great job, Billy C.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2012

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