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Thoughts on PokerStars VIP Changes
2015-12-20

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The 4 Main Psychological Principles That Shape Your Poker Play
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A Detailed Rake and Reward Comparison of Three of the Top Poker Sites
2015-02-08

Don't Jump The Gun: Get Full Value From Your Best Hands
2015-02-01

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Crazy Tournament Ideas

THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2008-09-28, by Ozone

At PokerTips.org, we feel the poker world has a little room to get more creative with their tournament offerings. Here are a few tournament ideas that could bring some flavor to the game of poker:

Zigzag Tournament

Blind levels increase in poker tournaments in a linear fashion: 25-50, then 50-100, then 75-150, etc. Why not have a tournament that defies this customary structure? There are many ways this could be done. The simplest way is to follow an odd, odd, even, even pattern (example: 1, 3, 2, 4, 5, 7, 6, 8, etc). So if blinds started at 25-50, they would jump to 75-150 before coming back down to 50-100 and then increasing to 100-200. However, the Zigzag tournament has room to be crazier than that with more intense highs and lows. Consider the strategy adjustments that would be required in a tournament with the first four levels priced as such: 25-50, 300-600, 50-100, 400-800. Of course, this idea probably won't be popular amongst anyone outside of those who become easily bored with poker and are up for testing game theories in a new setting.

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Pocket Aces Powerball

In a Pocket Aces Powerball tournament, each player is given one orb at the start of the tournament. Players may use this orb once during the tournament to turn their hole cards into a pair of black aces. The tournament table would show who has and has not used their orb, but it will not say when a person is using the orb (otherwise what's the point?) A "bounty" of sorts could be put into play; if you crack someone's pocket aces, you get an extra orb. This idea could be expanded even further. Rather than having the orb turn one's hold cards into pocket aces, it could give someone a far less premium hand, like pocket sixes. That would certainly generate more strategy discussion around when to use the orb. Or a more outlandish take on the orb concept would be to allow players to request a do-over on the flop, even in all-in situations. But if the other player in the hand still had their orb, they could use it to negate your request for a new flop. It probably wouldn't take long for players to figure out how to optimally employ their orb, but until they did, this type of a tournament could be really profitable. And with online poker, the sky is the limit for creating new tournaments like this. All it takes is a software update.

All Bounty Tournament

An all-bounty tournament would have no prize pool; players could only win money by eliminating other players. Eliminating a player early in the tournament would be worth far less than eliminating a player later in the tournament. For example, pretend a $100 buy-in all-bounty tournament with 1,000 players took place. For eliminating a player in 1,000th place, you would get, say, $5. The remaining $95 from that player would be added to the bounty of a player who is eliminated deeper in the tournament. So for eliminating a player in 50th place, you might win something like $250. This all-bounty tournament would inherently involve less variance than regular tournaments. For that reason, higher buy-in events could be a lot more common (players who typically play $100 buy-in MTTs might play $1,000 buy-in all-bounty events). This reduced variance and resulting propensity of players to play larger buy-ins would be great for the poker world. To participate in these events, players would want to keep more money in their poker accounts which would mean more money in the poker economy.

Obama Tournament

If American political star Barack Obama was asked to invent a new poker tournament, he might come up with something similar to the following: each player gets a half-black, half-white orb that when used, will take away 20% of the chips from the chip leader at the table. Half of these chips will be dispersed among the poorest one-third of the players, while the other half will be removed from play as an 'inefficiency' tax. This idea would be best implemented in single table tournaments to avoid excessive unfairness.

For multi-table tournaments, the Obama tax would have to be implemented on a more random basis. Since, obviously, it wouldn't be fair to let players have an orb to trigger the redistribution of tournament chips in an MTT (orbs would be worth more to players seated at the chip leader's table than at a less-wealthy table), the tax should be triggered anytime someone cracks aces all-in preflop. When that happens, the above redistribution of 20% of the chip leader's chips is spread amongst the table.

McCain Tournament

If Republican Presidential nominee John McCain invented a tournament, the rules might be similar to this: players are all given a single "bomb" made of marble. These bombs can be bought and sold amongst players for tournament chips, and paying for a bomb with a future promise to give someone tournament chips is permissible. These bombs are used to "invade" other players during a tournament by throwing it at their chip stack. Whatever chips are knocked off of the table are officially given to the player who threw the bomb. However, if one bombs another's chip stack and doesn't knock a single chip off of the table, they must surrender their entire stack to that player out of respect for their formidable chip stacking skills. Lastly, if a player is physically unable to bomb another player, they may delegate the job to a 40-something MILF of their choosing.

The Weekly Shuffle is our Sunday column with our observations and commentary on the poker world. Have an idea for an article? Leave a suggestion on the feedback page.

 


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