Author Topic: Team Battles  (Read 11835 times)

Tristan

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Team Battles
« on: December 16, 2013, 03:58:25 PM »
We have some poker groups in our area and I wanted to come up with a way they could play as a team, so I did.   :o

I know this is non-standard, but I have to tell you...the players absolutely love it.  Not only were the players that were playing entertained, the spectators were as well.  The rail was 3-4 deep on some of my tables while the matches were going on.  Our social media was getting a ton of attention throughout the whole battle.  Many of our 'regulars' have told me that these battles are the most fun they have had, while playing poker, in a long time.

I basically run it like a head's up tourney except it's team against team.  I start with 32 5 person teams, they draw cards to find out where they start in the bracket, and then the play single elimination.  One team starts in the odd seats and the other in the even, but they still have to draw their random seating.  Play goes until all 5 members of one team are eliminated.  Once a team advances, all members are back in for the next round and the chipstacks/blinds reset.

When I was initially thinking it through, I decided that I need to let the players talk with their teammates.  If I don't, they will just use signals and I would rather have it out in the open. So here is what I decided for rules:

*Players are allowed to tell their teammates what they think they should do.  This applies to all players that have not been knocked out.
*Players that have been knocked out can only give advice to their teammates between hands.
*Players are not allowed to say what they have or don't have in their hand.
*Players are not allowed to say what they will do out of turn (Example: Cannot tell teammate "fold because I will raise").
*Players are not allowed to use any electronic devices at the table.
*Teams caught using signals, to get around the rules, will be disqualified.
*Players need to have thick skin.  It is a team event and players will be cheering when you lose a hand.

I also do not enforce typical soft-play scenarios between teammates.

I will not run this event very often because I think that it could lose the 'fun value' and start to get more serious if it was done on a regular basis.  I also do not like the idea of players getting too comfortable working together.  As of now, I plan on doing it twice a year.

Here is my dilemma: After running a couple of these events, I feel like I need to be a little more clear on what players can or cannot say about their hand.  It started off with them questioning if they can tell their teammates that "I like my hand"...then it went to them asking if they can say "I have a strong/medium/weak hand".  I have mixed feelings about it because if I am really strict, it will encourage them to come up with signals, but if I allow too much we might as well just flip the cards and play them face up...and that is no fun!  Verbal declarations are heard by both teams...so it could give the other team as much info as your teammate... I'm just not sure.

What are your thoughts?


Tristan
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Nick C

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Re: Team Battles
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 08:59:29 PM »
Hi Tristan,
 Sounds interesting. Are all 32 teams playing at the same time? Does one 5 man team play against another 5 man team? I need more information on your brackets. Maybe you can limit each team to a certain number of "requests for advice" from teammates...sort of like a number of life-lines.

 I like your rules, especially: *Teams caught using signals, to get around the rules, will be disqualified.

Tristan

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Re: Team Battles
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 09:05:08 PM »
Yes all 32 play at the same time.  2 teams per table...only one moves on.  :)

The limited number is interesting, but too hard to keep track of on 16 tables I think.
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K-Lo

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Re: Team Battles
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 11:44:11 PM »
Very interesting!  Although I fear you are giving them a chance to practice their colluding skills and to perfect them!   ;)

I almost feel that players should be allowed to say anything they want, as long as they don't show their cards.  Otherwise, you are simply giving players the incentive to come up with good signals to share that information since it would be a huge advantage to do so.  In fact, even if they COULD say anything, I think teams would still have the incentive to come up with a set of signals (verbal or non-verbal), the meaning of which would only be known to their own teammates but not to the opponents. I'm not sure how you are able to deal with this.

I was contemplating holding a similar team-style event at one point, but in the more 'standard' fashion, where teammates would all play at different tables in a shootout format.  But it doesn't have the added excitement as your game, where I'm sure part of the fun is to have players gang up on opponents on the other team at the same table.

Tristan

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Re: Team Battles
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2013, 02:08:36 PM »
Very interesting!  Although I fear you are giving them a chance to practice their colluding skills and to perfect them!   ;)

Lol, yep...that is my biggest concern and the reason when players say "you should do this once a month or at least once every other month" that I hold strong in keeping it less frequent than that. 

I almost feel that players should be allowed to say anything they want, as long as they don't show their cards.  Otherwise, you are simply giving players the incentive to come up with good signals to share that information since it would be a huge advantage to do so.  In fact, even if they COULD say anything, I think teams would still have the incentive to come up with a set of signals (verbal or non-verbal), the meaning of which would only be known to their own teammates but not to the opponents. I'm not sure how you are able to deal with this.

I'm inclined to agree with that.   The more I allow, the less advantage that signals would have.  The thing stopping me is that the players seem divided on the issue too.  Some think they should be able to say more, but the bulk of them like it that there is some mystery involved. 

I was contemplating holding a similar team-style event at one point, but in the more 'standard' fashion, where teammates would all play at different tables in a shootout format.  But it doesn't have the added excitement as your game, where I'm sure part of the fun is to have players gang up on opponents on the other team at the same table.

I thought about that type as well.  Part of the reason I came up with this is that I (inadvertently) created a (good?) monster.  I started off by naming a few Club Pros and calling them #TeamAces.  They were just primarily a marketing tool.  They wear our patches and they use our name when they post on social media...things like that.  Now we have the Poker Jokers, the HammerDongs, and the Grand Poobahs that formed as 'teams' in the area.  Also a big local poker tour and our main competitor have named pros. None of these guys play 'as a team' they have competitions against the other on which teams members will place higher in big events.  For example, if a Poker Joker wins a big tournament, there is a lot of bragging/smack talk about it.  They all wear patches/logo'ed gear and they hash-tag their team name in all of their social media.  Overall it has been really good for promoting poker in the area as the rivalries get chatter going and it really hypes our upcoming events. 

It also comes with some concerns too.  I realize some of the players fear that these 'teams' would work together in regular tournaments.  I know that is not likely the case, and if it was, it is a horrible idea as everyone knows who they should watch. (Hey, we might want to keep an eye on those two guys wearing matching patches!)

So team battles were a way to give a separate outlet to play with their team, without concern, and also promote the whole rivalry concept.

I should tell you though, the most interesting thing that I (and others) have learned out of this whole experiment is that it seems that collusion is not as powerful as most people would think.  4v1 and 5v1 underdogs are coming back to win quite regularly and that surprises me!  How can
Tristan
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Brian Vickers

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Re: Team Battles
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2015, 04:19:35 PM »
Here's another interesting way that I've seen a "team tournament" run, note that this is not a bracket style elimination tournament.  Also please note that I do not remember some of the exact rules but have substittuted some of my own from a proposed variant of this tournament that I did not get a chance to actually run (but can't wait to do someday): 
Players are written down as members of a team of three.  Individual re-entry is permitted.  All players are registered and randomly assigned seats just like any normal tournament. Players are given points based on when they are eliminated from the event.  Players who are eliminated prior to the end of registration are given 0 pts.  Players who are eliminated at various stages of the event are assigned an individual point amount based solely on their finishing position.  At the conclusion of the event, payouts are based on the team's total points.  As the final table plays out, teams will know what place they need their final member(s) to place to earn X amount of money.  There's obvs a lot more details but you get the idea :)