Author Topic: Balancing tables & new players (again)  (Read 17876 times)

K-Lo

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 869
  • @AskTheTD on Twitter
    • Ask the Tournament Director
Balancing tables & new players (again)
« on: March 02, 2013, 10:00:35 PM »
OK... so I may have to eat my words in this last debate on balancing tables:  http://www.pokertda.com/forum/index.php?topic=667.0

I am told that the intention of the new balancing rule may have been indeed to introduce a player as BB even if it means that no seat will be reserved for a dead small blind.  This is contrary to "old school" thinking (which generally was, if in doubt, let the button pass) -- so if this is true that it is how balancing is done at most of the majors now, the rule needs to be clarified so that everyone gets on the same page.

Here's the gist of the situation again:

Button is on seat 1, sb on seat 2, bb on seat 3. seats 4, 6, 7, and 8 are occupied. Seat 5 is vacant.

Seat 3 busts.

Now the button moves to seat 2, seat 4 posts BB. Seats 3 and 5 are vacant. It turns out the table is on break though, so the hand is not played. After the break, a player is brought in from the other table... do you put him in seat 3 or seat 5, and who posts what?


And here is a follow up question -

What happens if it is a NEW player with a new stack coming in, and he has been assigned to seat 3.  Does he post a single BB with the button in seat 2 (and no seat reserved for the "dead" SB)?  Or does he have to wait until the button passes?  The rules only discuss breaking & balancing tables as triggering an incoming player - which assumes that no "new" players may come in after the tourney has started.  We know that is no longer the case.  I think "old school" and "new school" TDs will answer this question differently too.  Let's clarify the rules in this regard.

Tristan

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 453
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2013, 10:37:35 AM »
Moved player, I put in seat 3 and they are single big.  Button does not move the next hand.  Seat 2 does get the button for 2 hands, but they would have had it for 2 hands if there was a dead button anyway.

New player or a player from a broken game would assume the small blind if they drew that seat.  This makes it so that arriving player is not punished and seat 2 does not end up with the button for 2 hands.
Tristan
@TristanWilberg on Twitter

K-Lo

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 869
  • @AskTheTD on Twitter
    • Ask the Tournament Director
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2013, 10:48:20 AM »
New player or a player from a broken game would assume the small blind if they drew that seat.  This makes it so that arriving player is not punished and seat 2 does not end up with the button for 2 hands.

This is interesting... I think a third option!  I don't mind it at all. I think if we polled all the TDs on how they currently do it, this probably won't be the most popular option - but maybe it should be. 

diz475

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 48
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2013, 03:20:42 PM »
yes i agree with tristan
im glad to see that this has been cleared up
im impressed that k-lo has Continued to research this subject 
i hope nick finds this post

Nick C

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 3359
    • http://www.pokertda.com/forum/index.php?action=profile;u=557;sa=forumProfile
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #4 on: March 03, 2013, 08:10:25 PM »
diz475,

 I did find it, and I promise when I have time to dedicate to it, I'll get back to you. At the moment I'm concentrating on Accepted Action, Raise Rules and some others that are more urgently in need of repair.

Stuart Murray

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 645
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2013, 04:53:11 PM »
Tristan is correct in his very "by the book" interpretation, I would of just put the player in seat 5 as its less hassle and I don't need to argue with players who 'think' they know what they are talking about - whatever causes the least upset for me so I don't have to waste 30 minutes explaining the English language to someone!  Frankly often the laziest way of doing something is the best.

I don't think I have ever implemented this requirement of a seat having the BB twice yet, but likely now I have written about it, it will happen soon lol

Stu

K-Lo

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 869
  • @AskTheTD on Twitter
    • Ask the Tournament Director
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2013, 10:14:11 AM »
Can we explore the difference between balancing tables and new player/broken table scenarios a bit further?

Suppose the button has just moved from seat 1 to seat 2, seats 3 and 5 have been vacant for some time.  Seat 4 just busted, and seat 6 is about to post a single Big Blind.  Players from a broken table arrive, and have been assigned seats 3 and 5.   If these players were coming in as a result of balancing tables, you could argue that seat 3 should simply post 1 BB... but it is not a balancing situation.  So what do you do?

Tristan

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 453
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2013, 11:28:53 AM »
Can we explore the difference between balancing tables and new player/broken table scenarios a bit further?

Suppose the button has just moved from seat 1 to seat 2, seats 3 and 5 have been vacant for some time.  Seat 4 just busted, and seat 6 is about to post a single Big Blind.  Players from a broken table arrive, and have been assigned seats 3 and 5.   If these players were coming in as a result of balancing tables, you could argue that seat 3 should simply post 1 BB... but it is not a balancing situation.  So what do you do?

Seat 3 assumes the small blind, seat 5 assumes the big blind.

There are some small but subtle differences between filling seats (via broken table or new entry) and moving a big blind.

Let's take a situation similar to what you just used.  Button has just moved to seat 2.  3 just opened (busted on their big blind), 4 is occupied, 5 is open.  I'm bringing a big blind to balance the tables. 

I will put the player in seat 3 as the single big blind.  Seat 2 will be the button for 2 hands.

Fairness. When moving a big blind it is imperative to get them as close to the big blind as possible.  This accomplishes that.

Button.  Some would bring up the point that seat 2 gets the button for two hands.  If I had moved the player into seat 5, seat 2 would have had the button for two hands anyway.  (The second would be when the button is dead in seat 3)

There is no good reason to move the player into seat 5 that I can see.

Now, in the situation you brought up, there are subtle differences in both categories.

Fairness. In a seat draw for the broken game, a player could, very possibly, have just paid the big blind and have drawn seat 3.  Forcing him to pay a big blind here could not be deemed as making the fairest decision possible.

Button. If all the seats were filled by players from the broken game, and we allow seats 3 and 4 to assume the small and big blind, seat 2 will only have the button for one hand.  If we make seat 3 pay a single big and freeze the button for a hand, we are letting seat 2 have the button for two hands when we don't need to.

As for a new player, they drew a random seat.  In the beginning of the tournament, if seat 2 was drawn to start as the button, the player who drew seat 3 would start as the small blind.  I don't see any reason that this should change at a later stage. 


« Last Edit: May 02, 2013, 12:47:53 PM by Tristan »
Tristan
@TristanWilberg on Twitter

K-Lo

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 869
  • @AskTheTD on Twitter
    • Ask the Tournament Director
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2013, 03:40:49 PM »
I agree with everything you've written, except maybe that seat 3 should get the small blind.  If seat 4 (who was previously BB) just vacated, but would have received the small blind, would you not consider moving the button in seat 2, and have seat 3 sit out a hand (i.e. a player [from a broken table] will not get a hand "between the SB and the button")?  If seat 4 had even one chip left, seat 3 would have definitely been sitting out -- is it fair that we even force him to post a SB here?

Tristan

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 453
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2013, 12:09:28 PM »
No, because there is no small blind when this player is being seated.

"Players going from a broken table to fill in seats assume the rights and responsibilities of the position. They can get the big blind, the small blind, or the button. The only place they cannot get a hand is between the small blind and the button."

If there is no reason to make them sit out, I don't think they should sit out. 

While it is true that if seat 4 had not busted out the new player would have had to wait...that was not what happened though.
Tristan
@TristanWilberg on Twitter

K-Lo

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 869
  • @AskTheTD on Twitter
    • Ask the Tournament Director
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2013, 01:45:03 PM »
Hi Tristan:

I am discussing this exact same issue on another forum, so it is timely.

I know that many TDs have seat 3 post small blind here (I would even guess more than half), but a few of us rule geeks agree that the rules don't actually support it.  

First, while it is true that the rule says that an incoming player can get the big blind, small blind, or the button, it does also say that he has to fill in a seat and assume the rights and responsibilities of the position. This suggests that one must consider what the responsibilities of each seat are on the next hand -- seat 4, having posted big blind previously, is due for the small blind. Our view is that if the player did not draw seat 4, then that should be sufficient to not have them take on the responsibilities of a player who does draw seat 4.  Seat 3 is therefore between the seat due to post the SB and the seat due for the button, and can sit out.  It can make a difference to the game, particularly if the incoming player is short stacked.

Second, I don't think the same issue arises if a moving button rotation is used.  In a moving button rotation, we move the button, and have subsequent players post blinds accordingly.  In that case, certainly seat 3 should get the small blind.  However, in tournaments, we are directed to use a dead button rotation, so I think we do need to worry about the placement of the big blind and the small blind first, and not last.

As I said, I think many people would just make seat 3 the small blind because it seems strange for a person to be sitting in between the Big blind and the button and not post, but I think you are effectively moving the responsibility for seat 4 to post SB one position backwards, which is at odds with the first sentence of the rule. I agree with those TDs who have pointed this out.  

Re: seat 3 posting the small blind, if that should be standard, they should simply delete the words "to fill in seats assume the rights and responsibilities of the position. They" from the rule, and just say incoming players can get the big blind, the small blind and the button. But some might argue that if you are going to fiddle around with the responsibilities of each seat, consider whether seat 3 should simply post a single BB just to be consistent with the balancing rule, despite the shortcomings that you pointed out.  I think the rule makes sense the way it is, it is just not applied consistently in this particular situation.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 04:32:28 PM by K-Lo »

Tristan

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 453
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2013, 03:09:00 PM »
So let me get this straight.

For demonstration sake, lets say you have 3 tables left.  1 9 handed and 2 8 handed.  25 total people.  You are running a 9 handed tournament.  During the course of a hand, you lose 6 people from the 9 handed table and 1 from one of the other tables.  You are breaking a game to fill in seats.

When the players get to the table that was 9 handed, you realize on the previous hand the big blind, and UTG 1-5 busted.  Last hand the button was in seat 2, now it is in 3.  Seats 4-9 are open.  As the players sit down, you would have all of them wait out for one hand and would make seat 1 and 2 post the blinds and play that hand with 3 players?

I kinda thought the reason behind balancing the tables is to prevent players from having to pay the blinds at a faster rate than other tables.  Poor seat 2 would have just paid small, big, had the button, and then paid small and big again.  That is pretty rough!

Obviously that situation is kind of rare, but it does happen and I think it demonstrates what I am trying to say.
Tristan
@TristanWilberg on Twitter

K-Lo

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 869
  • @AskTheTD on Twitter
    • Ask the Tournament Director
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2013, 04:09:52 PM »
I think this is how it would be done in your example:

Seat 4 was just the big blind, seat 5 now has a player and thus can lawfully receive the big blind moving from seat 4.
Seat 4 having just been the big blind, will now take the small blind.
Seat 3 having just been the small blind, will now take the button.

Everyone plays and has taken on the responsibility of their seat.

Suppose seat 3 was previously vacant and seat 2 was the small blind and seat 4 was the big blind.  Everything is the same except that seat 2 having just been the small blind, will now take on the button, and seat 3 must sit out a hand.  Everyone else plays.

Tristan

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 453
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2013, 07:21:44 PM »
I think the difference you and I are coming across is that I view position as in relation to the button and you are viewing it in terms of the seat. 
Tristan
@TristanWilberg on Twitter

K-Lo

  • TDA Member & Veteran Poster
  • ***
  • Posts: 869
  • @AskTheTD on Twitter
    • Ask the Tournament Director
Re: Balancing tables & new players (again)
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2013, 08:30:04 PM »
I'll let you ponder that one.... It's not 100% clear from the first sentence of the rule is it?  Mind you, the situation is rare and the likelihood that the small blind and big blind seats are not directly after the button anyways once a table is filled-up is pretty small.

I was thinking that as people get used to allowing an incoming player when balancing a table to come in right after the button and post a single big blind without saving a seat for the small blind, that there may be a movement to do the same thing when multiple players come in from a broken table and the first seat after the button is vacant.  This was actually brought up by several TDs.  Why not keep it consistent? Isn't breaking a table really just a balancing of tables anyways? I was predicting someone might propose changing the breaking rule to be consistent with the balancing rule this summer.

But I especially like your point that if you were to do that, you are giving a player the advantage of having the button for two rounds when we do not have to. I hadn't thought of that, and I think it is a good reason as any for keeping the rules different.

So what do you think about this situation:

Button is in seat 1. Small blind in seat 2.  Seats 3, 4, 5 are vacant. Big blind is seat 6. Utg in seat 7.  Seats 8 and 9 occupied.  The hand is played out and no one busts. Players from a broken table fill in seats 3, 4 and 5. Do you agree that seat 6 is small blind, seat 7 is big blind, and we have to play one hand six-handed, and cannot just allow the new players to start playing?

If so, consider the same situation except that the big blind in seat 6 busts.  If the movement of blinds is based on seat, then seat 7 will still post big blind, and we play one hand six-handed (five-handed if seat 6 is not filled right away). If however "position" is not by seat but based on button position, then seat 3 can post SB and seat 4 can post BB... But now seat 7, who was supposed to post BB next, miraculously now  gets to evade the BB for three extra hands (two if seat 6 is not filled) when we did not have to give seat 7 that extra advantage.  The big blind was supposed to move forward, and now suddenly has moved back 3 spaces... I don't think that conforms to a dead button movement, and I feel there are some parallels between the reason you gave to not play with one BB in a broken table situation, and interpreting the rule as maintaining the responsibilities of a "position" based on who can take the blinds after the button rather than considering the _seat_ being filled.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2013, 08:59:57 PM by K-Lo »