Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Final Tablin' the 50-50, and Tallying the BBT Part II

In a nice surprise twist, here's how my poker night ended on Tuesday after a 6-hour-plus battle in the nightly 50-50 tournament on full tilt:

I have to be honest here, guys. First of all, I was utterly and completely card dead for the first two hours or so in this thing, resulting in me sitting right around 2000 chips around the end of the second hour. Then, I astinbayned. I'm serious. I got KK, AA and then AA again in three consecutive hands. That was the Astin part. But even better was the Bayne part, where my first AA hand was up against KK and then the very next AA hand was up against AK for two big fat huge doubleups. I went from 2k in chips to 18k in chips over the span of about 5 minutes. Just plain silly.

From there I played what I can honestly say was some of the best poker in my life. I did get a couple of premium hands -- one or two more KKs and one QQ during the remainder of the tournament -- but otherwise my cards were pretty much shit both before and after my three-hand-span of astinbayneage. I stole so many blinds, and more than that, I restole so many blinds and steals, that I couldn't possibly count. It seemed like every read I was making was right. I bluff-raised big on several flops and nearly doubled my stack on pure bluffs, probably double-digit times without ever getting caught. I don't recall sucking out on anyone one time in the entire tournament, though it may have happened. I lost a ton of pots, including several big ones with big races or other setup type hands (that one JJ vs QQ small blind - big blind special hand comes immediately to mind), and some on pure bad calls by me (like calling allin with a big stack against another big stack with around two tables left with an offsuit Ace with a shitty kicker. Dumb dumb dumb, I was dominated and I lost half my stack on the play.). But for every time I lost a big pot, I seemed to have enough chips to withstand the blow and claw my way back. Almost every pot I won through to the final table was on a steal, resteal or bluff raise. It was just about my only set of weapons, but unlike most nights that didn't bother me much.

I got as high as 2nd in chips briefly at the final table. I don't actually remember a thing about the hand I lost most of my chips on. I know after that I pushed with around 100k and way in last with 5 players remaining from utg with 98s. I like that hand for a quick doubleup, which I knew the chip leader to my immediately right would call with his monster stack thanks to my previous donation. He flipped up QJo or some form of two mediocre overcards like that, I failed to hit the board and my night was over. Nonetheless, this is now two top-15 cashes for me in this 5050 tournament out of maybe 15 times I have played it, and this particular payout of $2400 is my biggest tournament cash since I won a little over 5k coming in second place in the 11pm ET nightly 30k 6-max tournament a couple of months back. Nothing like a little tournament love to sustain my poker habit for another month or two. I know I and other have written about this before, but I still think this 5050 tournament does not get enough credit for being bar none the best mtt structure in all of full tilt -- 3000 starting chips and 12 minute blind rounds makes for far more play and ability to wait for some good hands than almost any other tournament available out there, and some nights like last night there is even an overlay as well. Let's just hope I don't start donking again after this performance. No reason that should happen -- 5th place is awesome, but should not be the kind of thing that gets me all worked up. I would award maybe 35 BBT points to a 5th place finish in this thing.

Seriously, let's get back to the BBT for a minute.

One thing I did not address in my post yesterday was something I've heard mentioned in at least one dwarf's blog and one guy who's been a little tilty lately with his posts, which is that the BBT comprised too many events. That is an interesting critique, and not one which I had anticipated hearing. But I've heard it now, not just from them but from at least one or two other bloggers in the girly chat. How because of the nature of the scoring system we used, they felt "locked in" to playing as many of the events as possible, to avoid falling behind on a cumulative points basis, causing some to even play while not otherwise ready or in the best mindset to play, or even able to devote sufficient attention to the game. I will say this -- we hold these blonkaments every week like clockwork, and frankly a lot of us guys are going to be playing in almost all of these things anyways. I don't miss a MATH, a Mookie or a Riverchasers if I can help it. I've been to all the Big Games. I played the WWdN about 100 times in two years+ over at pokerstars. I love these regular blogger get togethers, and I'm going to be playing in all these games whether there's a BBT or not, whether "the points" matter or not.

So to me, it only makes sense that all of these events should be included in whatever regular BBT-like scoring scheme we are using. All this talk about the series comprising too many events sounds to me like a roundabout or indirect way of getting at a different problem that I have also identified with the scoring system we used, and actually it was also the substance of some significant debate between Mookie, Al and myself as we were preparing to launch the BBT. This will be the subject of today's BBT discussion.

As Al, Mookie and I mulled over the payout options for the fabulous prizes Al had magically lined up for the top 5 BBT leaderboard finishers, I raised the question to the group of whether we could address what I perceived to be a bit of a problem with last year's WPBT scoring system -- namely, that it was unclear who was more deserving of bragging rights, the winner of the total points or the winner of the average points per event. Because, for example, let's say one guy plays in 30 events and runs up 1550 BBT points. Then Bayne plays in all 39 events and runs up 1700 BBT points and wins. If you ask me, I argued to Mookie and Al, the guy with 30 events and 1550 BBT points clearly had the better season. At over 51 BBT points per event, he blew away the 43 ppe that Bayne would have in my example above. That figure is not even close. And with 30 events played, the 1550 total points guy has clearly played enough for his 51 ppe to be measured fairly against Bayne's 43 ppe. To me that's not even a hard question -- with those two stats above the guy with lesser total BBT points but a much higher average BBT points per event wins the prize in my book. This was a debate I had over the span of maybe three days with Al and Mook before we started up the BBT. I was and remain a firm believer that, with five total prize spots available, I would have probably awarded one or two of the five prizes to the most total BBT points, and the other three prizes to the top 3 guys on the list of average BBT points per event, with a minimum of most of the events. Maybe 25 of the 39 events, maybe even a few more. No duplications, of course, so you just move down the list of highest average ppe until you find 3 people to pay off who did not already win one of the two awards for most total BBT points for the year.

In the end, I let myself get outvoted this year as far as awarding any points to the highest average finisher with just a solid minimum (66-75% maybe) of the total events played. But, if you really read all the comments to yesterday's post here, as well as the statements about there being "too many events", this suggestion to use the average points per event as the key barometer of performance instead of using the total points would complete address those concerns. This way it won't be like there are "too many events", because unlike with the current system based purely on aggregated accumulated total points, there will be absolutely no need for anyone ever to play any given event. All you'll have to do to compete for the average points per event title is play a certain minimum number of events, but as long as you reach that minimum, you will not have to play a certain event if you don't feel like it and are ok with your average ppe staying where it is for one more tournament. So, if you're Iggy and you've already played in 32 of the events but then two weeks ago you just don't feel like playing the MATH that night, then there is no reason to, and skipping the event won't hurt your BBT standings unless someone else who does play does so well that it raises their average over all the events he's played above your average over all the events you have played. Similarly, all the comments to yesterday's post would all be addressed by this scoring scheme. Go and read them.

As far as Alan's commentary from yesterday, where he basically takes the position that the point of the BBT should be to encourage participation among the entire group, and that therefore we don't want those bloggers or players who cannot afford, say, the Big Game to therefore be "priced out" of winning the BBT points race. Under my system, you could skip all three of those Big Games and still easily be in the race for highest average points per event. So that address Alan's concern there, generally speaking. And to be clear, even though I love Miami Don and as far as I'm concerned everything he says is presumed to be correct and brilliant, but I do not share his view from yesterday's comments as far as not caring if it's costly and that either you blonkeys can man up with some cold hard cashish, or sit on the sidelines and watch the big boys battle it out. As I mentioned yesterday, I am strongly into the community and general participation aspects of this thing, and that is why I mentioned yesterday I suggest a 20% payout formula rather than a purely-cash-based because I recognize that focusing just on those players who win cash will not foster as much community and participation as a slightly wider payout scheme, but one that still only sends the BBT points to the people whose performances really justify such a reward.

In general I'm a big fan of the per-event scoring charts for these series, as long as you've got a nice high minimum number of tournaments played. IMO they clearly adjust appropriately for guys who can't afford the Big Game, or guys like me who can't ever play in the Sunday afternoon HORSE events, etc. Blinders had a great post a few posts back with a bunch of per-event charts that I think tell a great story of the real successful players in the BBT.

So my real proposal for scoring of any future BBT-style of events is: top 20% of field awarded BBT points in each tournament, weighted more heavily towards those players who cash. All-around BBT champion would be awarded by the highest average BBT points per event, with a minimum of 66-75% of the total BBT tournaments played. That's the way I wanted to do it this year, and it's definitely the way I would recommend for next time. If there is a next time....but that's a topic for a later post this week.

Now if only someone can devise a scoring system that factors in a luck factor, both the luckiness of the starting cards received by everyone and the luckiness of flops hitting one's hand. That's what I'd like to see -- a leaderboard that awards a total score of average BBT points per tournament, but then adjusts each player's average ppe score downward for the uber-luckboxes, and upward for the totally unlucky bastages. Something tells me I would look real good on a list like that. I am by far the unluckiest poker blogger out there.

Do not forget the second post-BBT Mookie, and the first one that does not also fall on a national holiday. Go time will be tonight at 10pm ET on full tilt, with a password as always of "vegas1". There is also the Dookie tonight at 11:30pm ET, which I also expect to play (stud hilo as I recall, non-turbo even I think), as long as my internal body clock can keep things going for one more night here after last night's marathon final table run in the 5050.

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Blogger Matt Silverthorn said...

Congrats! Nice cash there. One of these days I will avoid being kicked in the nuts in that tourney and go deep.

10:33 PM  
Blogger Blinders said...

Nice job Hoy, you continue to impress. Whats up with stealing my MTT strategy. Fold for two hours straight, and then get full double-ups on every big hand you catch after that. It's patent pending so I may come after you for licence fees if you keep it up. That strategy is sooo simple, and it really should not work, but it has for me so many times, I truely beleive in it.

As for the scoring system, great minds think alike. I would go for top 20% with points (using the TLB formula), and only count the top 10 events. With that you are penalizing yourself a little bit by not playing all/most of the events, but if you are good, the penalty is pretty small. It was a ton of work for me to get in 1/2 of the events, so the 66% cutoff would leave me out for sure.

11:18 PM  
Blogger golden said...

I played in a few BBT's and would have liked to play in more, however I quickly found out that my 4am Eastern time wakeup for work doesn't work well with 10pm start times.

I don't know how many times I donked off my chips at 11 - 11:30pm just so I could go to bed. I quit playing in them because I was just giving someone my chips which really wasn't fair.

Great idea though and 10pm might be the right time to start for most people, just not me.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

Blinders, why only count top 10 events? I disagree with that. I like the per event scoring also, as long as the points are tweaked. I say that because I did fairly well in the per events category as well and let me remind you, I LOST money. That makes no sense.

But if the scoring is properly adjusted, then per event scoring makes sense. But top 10 events is just not enough of a sample size, I don't think. Requiring to play approx 75% of the tourneys is good I think because otherwise it could limit participation because if someone goes on a hot streak early, they might just sit out the rest of the time if there's a low minimum.

11:25 PM  
Blogger Ignatious said...

I'm loathe to even comment since I think you've covered all the angles and have obviously done way more thinking about the point system than I ever will.

However, that being said, I think when I mentioned too many events, it was, yes, a feeling of being trapped due to the point system, but also a case where there were three events on most weeks.

that just seems like overkill, imho.

i think your idea of only awarding the top 20% points is rock solid and gets my vote should this monstrosity rear it's head in the future.

the avg points per event angle is an interesting one as well. i'd worry about sandbagging, however.

so anyway, it was a fun run. and while i applaud the whole concept, allow me my two cents per the ending of this thing.

a freeroll? are you fucking kidding me? for half the cash or whatever it is?

i'm as big a community guy as they come but the fact that a freeroll is the final event seems silly to me.

your mileage may vary but i just wanted to vent my two cents.

12:29 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

Nice to see creation of the new verb "astinbayned".

I think luck might be inversely proportional to ego but is otherwise not measurable and evens out over the long term.

12:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats on the finish.

I like your thoughts on the BBT upgrade. 20% sounds about right and the avg per event makes sense too

Maybe I didn't explain myself well enough yesterday but I'm not an anti-community guy, my point was more that performance should matter and finding one that works fairly is the best thing. The 20% to points solves that.

Also like Iggy, a freeroll to end things is lame. I'm a strong proponent of a real TOC to end the series. You only get to play if you win an event. It's a reward for performance not just for showing up.

12:55 AM  
Blogger Chipper said...

Wow. I'm constantly impressed with your finishes lately. Nice job indeed on the 50-50. Guess we'll see you in the running for the WCOOP later this year - right?

1:04 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I second Don on the TOC. I think that's a great idea.

1:05 AM  
Blogger Goat said...

Yeeeeeah on the Tournament of Champions.

Everyone who won a BBT tournament who doesn't love the idea of a TOC raise your hand.


Buehler? Beuhler?

1:27 AM  
Blogger TripJax said...

The TOC would solve a number of issues.

First, it gives everyone something to strive for with every tournament. Win a tourney and you're in...bottomline.

Second, it doesn't rely on a big handout from a 3rd party (like Full Tilt refunding rake/fees or another company ponying up cash). While it is great when they do this, usually the well eventually runs dry.

As I mentioned in my post a few days back...maybe FT won't agree to 100% returned fees again, but what if they agreed to $26 back for each tourney to go towards the TOC buy-in for the winner of each event. They will still get some money for each event (assuming we draw more than 26 entries), but more importantly they'll continue to get free advertising and publicity by poker bloggers on these gay blogs we write on these series of tubes we call the internet.

If they don't agree to any rake/fee returned, then just make sure that Full Tilt knows to deduct $26 from the total prize-pool prior to running the payouts so that amount can be put towards the TOC. If a player wins more than one event, they can just get the extra $26 in addition to their winnings from that tournament.

I think all this discussion is great. If there is a BBTwo, the freebies might not be as good, but at the heart of it all, I think it will be a great series as much thought will have gone into it and the community will have had a chance to chime in with their thoughts.

And for the record, I've got no problems with the freeroll. I mean honsestly, the BBT truly ended with event 39. The numbers have been run, spreadsheets have been made, BBTwo thoughts are up in the air, etc. The freeroll, to me, is just a good way to say thanks to everyone who participated in enough events or scored enough points...

Works for me...

1:35 AM  
Blogger lj said...

i am not super pro the toc idea, although if i ever actually won anything rather than just being a participant, maybe i'd whistle a different tune. : )

why not do something to reward the people who show up week after week giving their money away to bayne and the other winning players.

astinbayned -- that will never get old.

1:40 AM  
Blogger Astin said...

astinbayned = it's a compound verb remember. A combination of astinned (I got AA, KK, AA, I totally astinned) and bayned (I had J9s and turned the gutshot straight flush OR my hand was up against a hand one rank lower and held... I totally bayned). I love being a verb. I've also seen "astinized" as an adjective.

As for the hand where you lost most of your stack at the final table Hoy - No idea what you had, but you were up against the big stack. You bet the pot on the flop, he called, you bet about 122,000 into a 132,000 pot (leaving about 72k behind in your stack) on the turn, and he thought a loooong time and pushed you out. I remember because it was a great bet on your part, and a superb read on his.

2:13 AM  
Blogger smokkee said...


well done Hoy!

i like the TOC idea.

2:24 AM  
Blogger bayne_s said...

If we were going to have a TOC concept shouldn't we also adopt an idea from Fox's Poker Superstars Invitational where you get an amount of chips per events won?


3:07 AM  
Blogger mookie99 said...

"a freeroll? are you fucking kidding me? for half the cash or whatever it is?

i'm as big a community guy as they come but the fact that a freeroll is the final event seems silly to me."

I think this was a huge factor in getting players to come out and play each of the events throughout the whole series.

Let's face it, when you look at the net profit chart Al put up it's clear to see there was 20-30 players who made real money throughout the series and over 250 players who just donated.

Limit the freeroll to just tournament winners and I think you lose a lot of the bottom half or more towards the end of the series which lowers the rake and thus the freeroll prize pool.

You can argue that next time maybe a portion could be taken out for a TOC similar to how half was given to the top 3 points leaders this time, but I think that if we didn't have the freeroll the participation would have been much lower.

3:28 AM  
Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo said...

Mookie I think you are undeniably correct in that assessment. The freeroll I think is one of the great aspects of the BBT.

That said, I like the ToC idea as well, and would love to find a way to maybe do both a freeroll and a ToC in connection with the BBT.

4:05 AM  
Blogger Alan aka RecessRampage said...

"why not do something to reward the people who show up week after week giving their money away to bayne and the other winning players."

Lana, I couldn't disagree more. I mean this is poker afterall. People should show up week after week to score a win for the TOC rather than get rewarded for playing.

But that's my idea in regards to the TOC. Aside from that, having a freeroll I think is fine too to reward the people who played a certain number of tourneys or earned points or whatever.

4:24 AM  
Blogger Patch said...

If FTP doesn't refund the rake again, they'd be foolish. I used to play almost exclusively at Stars. Now I'm almost exclusively at FTP. And this change is about 98% due to the BBT.

As to top 20% getting points, that doesn't eliminate the problem, it just moves the goal post. True, it will be virtually impossible to fold your way into the points, but you're still going to have a points bubble and you're still going to have people playing with that bubble in mind.

As I said on one of the previous posts, give EVERYONE points and you eliminate the bubble. Change the formula to add a multiplier for those who cash. Everybody goes home feeling like they won something (doesn't that make you feel special) and those who really won something get tons of points.

New_points = old_points*SQRT(1+money).

7:09 AM  
Blogger Pseudo_Doctor said...

congrats man...nice cash

8:38 AM  
Blogger sellthekids said...

jesus - you are crushing it!

email me at spam @ and i will send that book on to you!

congrats on all the great results!


8:41 AM  

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