tournament of champions

Discussion in 'Ultimate Blackjack Tour' started by maxwell, Sep 28, 2007.

  1. AceDonovan

    AceDonovan Member

    Uncle Sam, baby

    An interesting situation this would create is that the overall winner would then be liable for the taxes on $1,000,000 while only receiving 140k. I think this situation is something that could make a chop questionable.

    If I chopped that thing I'd donk it off on hand 1 just to not have the possibility of dealing with the tax bill. Regardless of how creative one wants to get with their accounting, a mil isn't something the IRS will just say OK to if you claim an equal amount of losses.

    Something for you all to think about.
  2. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    Opinions are like a lot of things - everybody has one! :laugh:

    Quite frankly, I'M somewhat insulted at the notion that the Internet qualifier doesn't deserve the spot at the final table. In the upcoming event, qualifying has been going on for how long? 6 months? Then, it's a winner-take-all slugfest for the only prize - with probably 1600 people at the starting gate. I'd say congrats to anyone who waded through 100 at the live event, but discounting the person who survived the much larger online gauntlet just ain't right.

    And that's just MY personal opinion! :D
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2007
  3. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    If UBT is involved in aiding the split, as Ken suggests, that wouldn't be a problem at all.
    Your point, Ace, is extermely good, though. If a split is done, the actual champion will likely have a big audit problem.
  4. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member

    As a former internet qualifer if you, or Stubbs for that matter, were insulted at my prior post I'd be surprised!

    Going straight to a final table for a regular event is a GREAT deal. Going straight to a final table worth 1 million dollars is freaking unbelievable!

    Now except for Stubbs (whose episode hasn't aired) YOU LeftNut are the most successful internet player. Most of the internet qualifers haven't done well at all. Playing live, with chips, in front of cameras, with a crowd, etc., is a LOT different than playing in the comfort of one's living room.

    With a 1 million dollar prize on the line if the internet qualifier finishes in the top 4 I'd be shocked - unless that person is you or Stubbs. ;)

    But seriously the value that the internet qualifier takes away from the prize pool for an event of this size is just too great for my taste.
  5. KenSmith

    KenSmith Administrator Staff Member

    I'll book that bet at even money for $100. I'm betting that the Internet qualifier finishes 4th or better. You on Fred?

    Also, a chop at the final table will of course require W-2G forms filed by the winner showing the chop payouts to the other finalists to avoid tax issues. I've filled these out before when I've paid other players on a deal. (It wasn't a tournament.)
  6. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member

    I'll take that action - you're on.

    Now watch Ken will probably win that spot! :cool:
  7. KBelinkoff

    KBelinkoff New Member

    I just know I'm going to regret posting this...

    While splitting prizes may be commonplace, I would think that it would have to be an all or nothing thing. That is, everyone is in or everyone is out. But if certain players agree to split while others don't, I think it would open up the possibility of collusion rather easily. Imagine a situation where one player makes maximum bets off the top. If he loses, another can take his place, and so on. It makes it rather easy to secure both the high and the low. It's no certainty, but you guys know the math better than I do and it surely gives those acting in concert an advantage.

    I would also suggest that allowing players to split prizes is bad for the game itself. If I'm going to win the same amount whether I finish first or last I may as well bomb out quickly and enjoy a nice nap. The prestige of winning a particular tournament or appearing on TV may counter that, but it seems to take away from the purity of the competition.

    Those of you who have played in the World Series of Blackjack know that our player agreements specifically forbid splitting of prizes for just this reason. Without getting into too much detail, there was a circumstance where we suspected potential collusion, but after analyzing betting patterns and other information concluded that it had not occurred.
  8. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    "To the TOP without a CHOP"!


    I agree with Kevin that to a certain extent, the "purity" of the game is at stake here! If I'm fortunate enough to make it to the "Final Table", my attitude will be "TO THE TOP WITHOUT A CHOP"!

    In addition, anyone who is skillful enough to go through a field of 1600-1800 "Internet Qualifiers" and win First Place in an "online" qualifying tournament, such as will take place on October 27th, deserves the RESPECT of the other participants at the Final Table. In fact, I'd be more concerned about beating the "Internet Qualifyer" then anyone else at the table, regardless of who the other finalists are.

    I'll be in the HERD on the 27th, along with many of you. Looking forward to the competition...

  9. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    Glad you took that bet, I sure wouldn't have! Let's see:
    1. I made it to 2nd place,
    2. Deb made it to 3rd place, and
    3. The internet fellow at YOUR own table at the Venetian made it to 4th!

    Those are three of the most recent TV tables, too. I would have made Ken give me odds of at least 3:2. :laugh:

    Very good points, and no reason to regret posting that here. Now, on "another" forum, you might get your head bitten off, but not here.

    We'll be there, too and are looking forward to it. It's going to be like the WSOP Main Event, quite a few real players in the field, but so many wannabes that the sheer numbers make it unlikely that the small numbers of us TBJ technicians will survive. Best of luck and good cards to everyone!
  10. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member

    All but you forget the OTHER internet qualifiers from this year:

    Episode 1 - Gary 2nd to go
    Episode 2 - Some dude for NoClubUbt land - hmmmm
    Episode 3 - John Schultz - AC gets him in a tie breaker

    Episode 4 -6 Hey no more internet people!

    LeftNut you make a fine case that Ken suckered me into a bad bet. However I'll take the players who have done this "live" over the first time newbies due to the "pressure" factor. It'll be a DEGREE MOMENT for all involved.

    And unlike others - I'll gladly put up if I lose. :cool: - and just to end speculation NO, I won't pay with my deposit bonus money either!
  11. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member

    There you go Maxwell - Now Skip's another who feels like I do.

    So how can you be 100% sure a chop will occur for this event?

    Pull people aside, twist arms (legs and other parts of anatomy?)

    Who will get their 15 minutes of TV glory and who won't?

    More importantly who'll get the IRS 1099? :yikes:
  12. maxwell

    maxwell Member


    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
  13. fgk42

    fgk42 New Member

    Oh crap don't say that Maxwell. Now I'll be accused of anti-UBT stuff and when only 90 people show up I'LL get the blame for happening!

    Come on Maxwell, it's only 10,000 for a 1:100 shot at ONE MILLION DOLLARS!

    Change your mind - get me off the hook! :laugh:

    I mean look who's going...

    Team UBT,

    #1 ranked BJ player, Joe Pane,

    top 3 ranked BJ playing women, Tammy H, Adrianna Jade and the prior winner of the Barona Freeroll

    Skip will be going as well as Ken Smith

    You'll have lots of company and they're all really nice people.

    Jump right in - so you get 3rd place and win nothing - look at all the experience and fun you'll have!
  14. maxwell

    maxwell Member


    I WILL CHANGE MY MIND IF HD JP OR KS PAY ALL MY DUES FOR THE PRIVILEGE :laugh: :laugh: :cheers: :cheers:

    Last edited: Oct 17, 2007
  15. toonces

    toonces Member

    OK, a response on a multitude of topics

    On the fairness of the internet qualifier:
    As far as I'm concerned, the problem with the internet qualifier is not that he or she doesn't deserve it. The problem is that this event offers a prize to a freeroller, but them doesn't compensate the prize pool to accomodate it.

    For example, if Barona comps 50 people to the main event, they would owe 50x $10,000 or $500,000 entry fees to the prize pool. But if the were all guaranteed a bye into a round 2 where 1 of 3 advanced out of round 1, then Barona should have to pay $30,000 per entry to be fair to the people who paid $10,000 per entry, then won a round to advance. This is similar to how internet tournaments have higher entry fees for a higher "step" tournament.

    Now to allow UBT to "buy a player in" to the final table, they should owe the prize pool 16.7% of the total prize pool so as to be fair to the entrants who bought in to the tournament. Instead, the UBT pays nothing, which is essentially stealing from the player's prize pool to pay for UBT's promotion. That's what is not right about it.

    On the Ken Smith vs. Fred bet:
    I think this is a pretty fair bet, but Ken might have the upper hand. The winner of the freeroll will have to be pretty skilled to win the 7 or 8 tables required to win this freeroll. Compare this field to a field with about 50% comped players, and it's likely that the internet player will be more skilled than 1/2 the final table.

    On the tax burden of a chop
    This is not an issue. The IRS has specific forms that are used when a prize is split among multiple people. Everyone only becomes responsible for their share (the same way that a lotto prize gets split 50 ways when an office pool wins the lotto). If there's a final chop, everyone would fill out the form to document their share of the prize pool.

    On the integrity of a chop only among certain players
    I agree that this should be expressly forbidden. There is easily a lot of room here for collusion.

    On the integrity of a full 100% chop
    I agree with Kevin that this wouldn't really be right. I think that you need to leave something reasonable to play for. But this is really a case of the UBT making a guarantee of $1,000,000 for the winner (instead of just guaranteeing a $1,000,000 prize pool) that just hurts the event, from a player's perspective. If there were going to be 300 entrants at the ToC (like Barona had anticipated), this would have been a reasonable payout for first. But since we have no reason to expect anywhere near 300 people, this winner-take-all abomination is far more likely.

    The chop I would propose if I was at the final table is either everyone recieving 5% or 10% of the prize pool and playing for the remaining share, or using the traditional schedule for UBT tournaments to pay out each place with 40% for 1st, 20% for 2nd down to 3% for 7th.

    Besides correcting for the UBT bad planning, a chop from a tax perspective would result in less marginal tax rate to each player which would mean an overall reduction in the amount of the prize pool paid to Uncle Sam.
  16. TXtourplayer

    TXtourplayer Executive Member

    Million Dollar UBT Barona event

    For several years now the Barona casino has hosted a Million Dollar winner take all event each year. This invitation only event normally had players that could put up a $100,000 line of credit plus they still paid the $10,000 entry fee.

    Barona is hosting the UBT finals, I am assuming that it is open to all but a few players. I have read the posts and I am sure that the million dollars will be awarded, hopefully even more.

    I just can't justify, nor do I have $10,000 entry to play in this event (which I am sure is the same with about 90% of the members here). So my only hope is trying to make it is as an Internet qualifier like most of the other members.

    Having said all the above, if I am sitting at a final table and the prize money was winner take all, I'd be making deals with every player at the final table that was willing to deal.

    Hell, how many times do you make a final table for this kind of money? I'd love to be in the situation where even if I caught crappy cards I could still cash in $75,000 and if I won still walk away with $550,000.

    Even if the deal was stair-stepped like the following I'd still be okay with that.

    Stair-step payout:

    1st knockout or eliminated = $20,000
    2nd knockout or eliminated = $40,000
    3rd knockout or eliminated = $60,000
    4th place = $80,000
    3rd place = $100,000
    2nd place = $120,000
    1st place = $580,000 - Winner

    My point is why not walk away with something for making the final table? Would I feel good about only making $20,000? No! But I'd feel a whole hell of a lot better then make ZERO!

    As far as playing for the big bucks, over $500,000 would still be a very nice payday for whoever wins it.

    I can understand why just doing a 7 way split may dilute the event, but even then if I was on the final table and Barona and the UBT allowed the chop, I'm afraid I'd have to take it. Damn the bad luck, only a little over $142,000 win for each finalist (before taxes).

    Now should I go on and win the table, maybe I’d think about what if but any place below 1st and I would have come out a hell of a lot better by chopping the pot.

    Another thing to remember is all these Barona high rollers that will be getting comp-ed into this event have the money and they may not want to chop or even make any deals.

    Anyway unless I win the online Club UBT satellite event at Barona it won’t matter and I’ll just wish everybody that is at Barona good luck.
  17. toonces

    toonces Member

    Just out of curiosity, why do you think that the WSOP can get 10,000 entries (8,000 this year), yet this event sould like it will have only 30-40 buy in?
  18. TXtourplayer

    TXtourplayer Executive Member

    More control and more satellite events

    Simple, poker has a lot higher skill factor and has a standardized format that is play the same all over the world, and last their are so many satellite events held for the WSOP compared to blackjack tournaments.

    The WSOP has online sites, land based, and even club poker leagues awarding seats to the WSOP. Of course they are going to have more players.

    Structured poker tournaments have been around a lot longer then blackjack tournaments. Of course with the TV and celebrities involvement with poker it has hurt them either.

    So far most every blackjack show has been made more like a game show then the way an actual blackjack tournament is played (only exception was the WSOB II which I thought really was played pretty well).

    Now the WSOB IV I wasn't as thrilled about with the play, but really enjoyed the production the best, but they needed another person in the booth with Matt for an analyst
  19. S. Yama

    S. Yama Active Member

    Big win chop

    Excellent points in post #35 in this thread by toonces.

    I would like to add that chopping a big prize might not be an easy task because of a trust problem if the split/share and payments are not sanctioned and executed by the organizers. Even if individual agreements are signed but only one person will receive official “big’ check, people may be fearful of trouble receiving their share of winnings after the winner cashes it in. And yes, in the past there were incidents of people reneging on sharing winnings as agreed.

    Also deciding how to split top-heavy big prize is not always possible because of individual differences in needs and psychological motivation.
    Basically there are two contradicting ideas; One -that winning a big chunk of money can make a huge change in somebody life – this really can be a whole lifestyle change when we deal with million bucks. There may be people who for sure would love to get $160K, or so, but it wouldn’t allow them to retire on it, and/or travel, do charitable things, etc. One million U.S. dollars in right hands could do the trick, or at least somebody might think so.
    The other psychological aspect (on opposite end of motivations) is that most people would like to have some kind of “insurance” that they wouldn’t find themselves empty-handed after reaching the final of a big tournament. They may not mind playing for one person getting a majority of the prizes if they get a guarantee of a piece. That minimum necessary amount one would be satisfied with would differ from person to person wildly.

    There are also very important tax implication, (I won’t to go into details -ask gaming specialized tax attorney) but they are many. Too bad, for a lucky winner, that this tournament is at the end of calendar (and tax) year, and for tax purpose it leaves very little time to work with it as gaming taxable assets.
    I would recommend that anyone who is planning on playing Barona’s TOC think about the tax consequences beforehand.

    S. Yama
  20. LeftNut

    LeftNut Top Member

    Excellent points all around, S. Yama.

    One point that could be interesting came to mind. I was told that, because I paid no entry fee at all through, I cannot write off gaming losses against my winnings from the show. Anyone who had paid to enter could. Now this makes for a question re: the Barona freeroll TV seat winner, one that could only be answered by a gaming tax expert. If the freeroll winner comes from the paid side of ClubUBT, would they be able to write off losses against their winnings from the show? Certainly, if I (or anyone else from the "free" side) wins the seat, the question has already been asked and answered, but Club members pay the monthly fee to play. Have fun with that quandary!

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