PokerTDA
POKER TOURNAMENT MANAGEMENT & PROMOTION BOARDS => Event structuring => Topic started by: Georg on November 27, 2009, 02:53:12 PM

Hello guys!
There is a formula to calculate the estimated duration of a tournament. Something like if the blinds reach a certain percentage of the total amount of chips in play the tournament will likely be over.
Can someone please help me out!
Thanks, Georg

Hello guys!
There is a formula to calculate the estimated duration of a tournament. Something like if the blinds reach a certain percentage of the total amount of chips in play the tournament will likely be over.
Can someone please help me out!
Thanks, Georg
Georg, of course that depends on how tight or loose your average player is. But, I'd suggest as a rule of thumb, in nolimit blind games, once the average stack drops below 20X the BB there's quite alot of pressure for action. Once it hits 10X the big blind, the end is fairly near.
So, let's say you start out at 2550 with 100 players and 10,000 starting stack, no rebuys so there's 1 million in tourney chips in play. You can expect to be very near the end when you have, say 4 players, with an average stack of 250,000, and your blinds are between 1/20 and 1/10 the average stack. So, when you get into the big blind range of 6K12k to 12K24K you're going to really be putting pressurie on your final four players. NOW, let's say you want this to happen around midnight. Then you just have to work backwards to your starting time, and craft a blind raising structure to get you there. I would also heartily enourage adding an ante somewhere along the way (about 1/3 to 1/2 into the tourney works well), and the ante will help to "move" the very shortstack rocks who will hang onto a stack equal to 5 or 6 BB's for a couple turns around the table unless you pressure them with an ante...

Mike:
Since you brought up "Antes", do you have a recommendation/suggestion for the size of the Ante in relation to the Small Blind?

Mike:
Since you brought up "Antes", do you have a recommendation/suggestion for the size of the Ante in relation to the Small Blind?
As a starting baseline I like to use 1/10 of the BB... So if you're at 500/1000 on the blinds, the ante would be 100. This can be adjusted up or down depending again on how tight your players are, and especially how tight your timeframe is.
I find in general that good tournament players tend to be pretty selective and will doggedly hang onto a chipstack in the face of a small ante, so if you're on a tight time schedule and have to finish by a certain time, you may find yourself needing to pressurize the ante a bit... say to 1/8 or even 1/6 of the BB, in order to encourage action. It's a very effective tool, better even than just raising the blinds without an ante IMO which doesn't do much to budge the rocks and really irritates players who are active and have competitive stacks.
On the other hand these ratios can be too tight if you're not on such a strict schedule.

I agree with MikeB, of course.
The formula I found long time ago said that the last BB should be when you arrive between 4 and 7% of the total amount of chips.
I personnaly use 5%, which is a good compromise, whatever there are antes or not.
So :
(Nb of Player X Starting Stack) x 5% = BB of the last level
With experience, I can say it's always good (sometimes 1 level shorter or 1 level longer depending of the player's tightness), but I often predicted the end of a tournament at 15 min max ! :)

This is a copy/paste of a post I wrote on a French forum, in a discussion with Matt Savage himself ;)
I do like to build structures, according to the differents constraints and factors (mainly nb of players, duration,...).
The last I did was this afternoon for a friend, for a little home game with 12 players and a 6h constraint.
Give a look to the excel sheets I built for years (and still improving) :
(http://img35.imageshack.us/img35/5858/structureacf.th.jpg) (http://img35.imageshack.us/i/structureacf.jpg/)
I like to see the percentage of blind increasing, which is graphically reported on the right, and of course, I adapt the structure not to go too fast or to slow.
Sometimes, for sure, I speed up a bit at a certain (need to bust some players to give deepness to the survivor, in porder to play a better poker at the final table, and so on...).
This example is as soft as I can do with such a short time of play (6h, not more than 20min levels...).
You can see at the bottom of the structure, "7200" which is the result of (12 players X 15.000 chips) X 4%
(I used 4% this time, because I knew the players were loose and wild ;) )

The formula I found long time ago said that the last BB should be when you arrive between 4 and 7% of the total amount of chips.
I personnaly use 5%, which is a good compromise, whatever there are antes or not.
So : (Nb of Player X Starting Stack) x 5% = BB of the last level
With experience, I can say it's always good (sometimes 1 level shorter or 1 level longer depending of the player's tightness), but I often predicted the end of a tournament at 15 min max ! :)
That's a great example. If you are headsup (2 players remaining) with the above formula, then each player has ON AVERAGE 10 big blinds left, b/c #Players x Startstack = total chips in play. If the BB is 5% of total chips in play, then there's 20 BB's remaining between these 2 headsup players. At that point, you know the end is going to be very near. In fact in many cases you won't reach that level, players could easily bust out one or two levels before that, so that should be very safe.

I agree with MikeB, of course.
The formula I found long time ago said that the last BB should be when you arrive between 4 and 7% of the total amount of chips.
I personnaly use 5%, which is a good compromise, whatever there are antes or not.
So :
(Nb of Player X Starting Stack) x 5% = BB of the last level
With experience, I can say it's always good (sometimes 1 level shorter or 1 level longer depending of the player's tightness), but I often predicted the end of a tournament at 15 min max ! :)
This is very interesting and I'm going to test out your formula at the Southern Poker Championship. There's another interesting correlation between Number of Players and Number of Downs needed until the end of a tournament as well.
If your formula used 5.5% as a median, could say (Nb of Player X Starting Stack) X 5.5% ± 1.5% = BB of the last level
Likewise, another formula for personnel is (Nb of Player X 1.1 Downs ±0.3) = Number of Downs needed to end the tournament X 2 = Number of Dealer Hours Needed to operate a NLH tournament.
This does not work for deepstack events with generous structures. For deepstack NLH events and all other game types except for Draw, use 2.0 Downs ±0.5.
For main events of $5,000 buyins or higher use 3.0 Downs ±0.5.

Hi All!
I have observed the duration of my tournaments and total chip amount for the past weeks and found out that they usually end by the time the SB and BB together reach 5% of the total chips (eg: 600k total chips  tournament ends at blinds 10k20k). So far so good. What I would like to know now is approx. how many players will be left in the middle of the tournament? (I don't really need to know how many players are left, but it would be good to know how many dealers I need :) Any thoughts?
Georg

Hi All!
I have observed the duration of my tournaments and total chip amount for the past weeks and found out that they usually end by the time the SB and BB together reach 5% of the total chips (eg: 600k total chips  tournament ends at blinds 10k20k). So far so good. What I would like to know now is approx. how many players will be left in the middle of the tournament? (I don't really need to know how many players are left, but it would be good to know how many dealers I need :) Any thoughts?
Georg
Georg, this is very useful information, let's break it down. 1) if you reach the end of the tournament at these numbers, that basically means you just have 2 or 3 players left. If the SB & BB combined are 5% of the total chips in play then at your example of 600K total chips in play at 1020k blinds, you have a total of 30 BB's at the table. So if you have 2 players, the average stack is 15x the Bb and if you have 3 players the avg stack is 10X the BB.... the key is that anytime you get down to that level where the average stack is 10 to 15X the bb "the end is near".!!
2) Now, as for "in the middle of the tournament, I would not go that far back, I'd look for where I want the FINAL TABLE to start... with, lets say, 15 or so BB's per player at the final table. (20 or more if you want the pressure to be a little easier so they can go an interval or 2 without allin pressure, it just depends on how much time remains on your clock)..... so if you have 9 players that's 140 BB's at the final table (assuming of course you're playing with an ante to knock the shortstack rocks out). SO, now you know where your BB has to be to end the tourney, and you know where it has to be to get you a final table, and you know where you STARTED the tourney. Just exatrapolate from there, what sort of increments you need to use to get you from SB/BB at startl, to the SB/BB required for a final table at whatever time that has to happen, and to the final conclusion at whatever time that has to happen.
This is a longwinded way of saying that IMO there are 3 critical points you want to calculate for: the start, the beginning of the final table, and the final headsup ending. You just have to scale your increments between these three points so they increase steadily in a more or less constant percentage rate of increase. The middle of the tournament will just fall into this scaling.

Formula I use is when total of blind and antes reaches 5% you're close to the end and the following level is about BB equaling 5% and it should definitely end at that level. This is a general guideline only. Overly tight, loose or short stack all ins doubling up repeatedly can alter this.

Here is an interesting formulae that was posted on the Poker Tournament Formula web site. Its is Math Boys Patience Factor Calculator. You can download it from http://www.blackjackforumonline.com/ on the left hand side of the page.
It was actually designed for when you are playing but it does give a good approximation of when the final table will be reached, what level it will be reached, and what time into the tournament it is reached, and what the average chip stack will be.
I have played several tournament and used this and it is usually correct to within 1 level. And i have ran and set up some tournaments using this as a guide line and i have found very good at estimating the finish time and the average stack size.

I think you need to understand your audience as well. You may find that they will play super tight and fold down to only a few big blinds. This may be an amateur move and as we all know that once your M ratio is around 15 you gotta get those chips working for you. A lot of the tournaments in my room run long, due to these overly tight players. I cannot stress how important antes are for stopping this. I prefer slower blinds with slightly more agressive antes to even stacks out and remove the players who want to sit and fold all night long. This is a business! Unless you're playing for fun then don't bother with antes at all. Play and drink all night long ;D
Antes which start earlier around your 100200 level should be 25 but if your next level is 200400 think about making the ante 50 and so forth. If you can stay around 1/8th your BB you can keep the tournament quick and easy.