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  #41  
Old 06-18-2007, 12:48 PM
jogsxyz jogsxyz is offline
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Default Re: Final tables taking 1/2 as long at 2007 WSOP

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Have they ever considered having blind structures not set in stone? Make it table or mixture of player styles dependent. If the players came to play and are busting out quickly, use more gradual blind increases. On a table where all the players are folding and trying to chip up, use steep increases. Allow the TD flexibility to decide which is appropriate for that final table.

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I suppose this could work if an exact formula could be devised and published so that anyone with the information needed could independently figure out what the changes would be in advance. Anything else involves subjective judgement by the TD that would be open to second guessing and rightfully so.

If you came to the final table and the tournament organizers unilaterally announced a change in the blind structure from what had been previously published wouldn't you object? I would probably do so unless given stack sizes, relative skill levels (as I perceived them) and so on I thought the change increased my EV. If it increases my EV it must be decreasing somebody elses.

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Yes, an exact formula based on level and players remaining must be posted.
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  #42  
Old 06-18-2007, 03:20 PM
BJ Nemeth BJ Nemeth is offline
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Default Re: Final tables taking 1/2 as long at 2007 WSOP

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Have they ever considered having blind structures not set in stone? Make it table or mixture of player styles dependent. If the players came to play and are busting out quickly, use more gradual blind increases. On a table where all the players are folding and trying to chip up, use steep increases. Allow the TD flexibility to decide which is appropriate for that final table.

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That idea has corruption written all over it. With hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake, some people would "tip" the tournament directors to get a more favorable structure for their personal style of play.

The structure should be independent of any one person's decision, or how the players are playing. What if eight players are playing one way, but one player has a different strategy? Should he or she be punished because he or she is in the minority?

The structures should definitely be set in stone (or at least printed on paper) before a tournament begins. A variable structure determined by the play or the TD is a bad idea, in my opinion.
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  #43  
Old 06-18-2007, 04:19 PM
BustoPro BustoPro is offline
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Default Re: Final tables taking 1/2 as long at 2007 WSOP

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5. When the structures are evaluated for next year, they need to be compared more directly and more closely to prior years. The speed with which the blinds increase (and during which stage of the tournament) is just as important as the size of the blinds themselves.

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Have they ever considered having blind structures not set in stone? Make it table or mixture of player styles dependent. If the players came to play and are busting out quickly, use more gradual blind increases. On a table where all the players are folding and trying to chip up, use steep increases. Allow the TD flexibility to decide which is appropriate for that final table.

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Yes, this would end all controversy immediately. But an even better idea would simply to have the TD designate the winner and other placings, based on who he felt was striking the right balance between caution and aggression. Why let the randomness of the cards decide?
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  #44  
Old 06-18-2007, 05:11 PM
jogsxyz jogsxyz is offline
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Default Re: Final tables taking 1/2 as long at 2007 WSOP

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Have they ever considered having blind structures not set in stone? Make it table or mixture of player styles dependent. If the players came to play and are busting out quickly, use more gradual blind increases. On a table where all the players are folding and trying to chip up, use steep increases. Allow the TD flexibility to decide which is appropriate for that final table.

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That idea has corruption written all over it. With hundreds of thousands of dollars at stake, some people would "tip" the tournament directors to get a more favorable structure for their personal style of play.

The structure should be independent of any one person's decision, or how the players are playing. What if eight players are playing one way, but one player has a different strategy? Should he or she be punished because he or she is in the minority?

The structures should definitely be set in stone (or at least printed on paper) before a tournament begins. A variable structure determined by the play or the TD is a bad idea, in my opinion.

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The TD will not have discretion to do as he please. There will be strict guidelines based on players remaining during the next level change. The TD will interpret and implement the guidelines.
F1 10K/20K-2K
F2 12K/24K-2K
F3 would be dependent on the number of players remaining.
If all 9 are left, go to 20K/40K-4K. If only 6 are left,
go to 15K/30K-3K.

It's also possible to have 90 minute levels for the first two levels only, then 60 minute levels.
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  #45  
Old 06-18-2007, 07:01 PM
Nate tha\\\' Great Nate tha\\\' Great is offline
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Default Re: Final tables taking 1/2 as long at 2007 WSOP

Good stuff in this thread, but I think the real question is whether the new structure tends to reward skill on balance as compared to last year's. IMO it probably does, because it allows more play with larger stacks, even if it affords less play with medium stacks.
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  #46  
Old 06-18-2007, 08:10 PM
Matt Savage Matt Savage is offline
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Default Re: Final tables taking 1/2 as long at 2007 WSOP

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I posted this on my blog on PokerWire, and I think it's a very important consideration for players.
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The announcement that the World Series of Poker would begin each tournament with double the starting stack of last year’s events was initially recognized as a move on their part to accommodate the players’ request for more play. However, the move was tempered by adjustments to the blind levels.

On his way to a Stud 8-or-better event, Daniel Negreanu stated, “There’s absolutely no difference with the double stacks because of the blind structure. People just don’t realize it.”

Daniel is not alone in his opinion; I posted a conversation between Mike Matusow and Greg Mueller a few days ago. FBT summarized their conversation by stating, "It's so annoying. You want to make a play---it's the World Series. They used to play for a bracelet until 6 AM because there was play. Now they just want you out of here. There's more play at the beginning, but who wants to play for four hours then get busted?"

I hesitate to say I agree with anything that comes out of “The Mouth,” but the outspoken pros are right—the new structure offers more play in the first few levels but turns the late stages into a shove-fest. Players have the freedom to splash around a bit more in the early going, but have little room to maneuver when the chips matter the most.

The structure really begins to speed up when players return for Day 2. By the time they are down to four tables a standard raise usually pot-commits the average stack. If you want to see where the greatest discrepancies lie, look no farther than any final table.

After writing about Mike Binger’s quick start to this year’s WSOP, I began following his play through the final sixty players of the $5,000 No-Limit Holdem event. By the end of the night, Mike had made the final table (albeit as the short stack) along with several other good players.

The next day I found a seat outside the media center at the Rio to watch the one-hour delayed final table on the big-screen TV. I was anticipating a final table that would demonstrate some great end game play.

If I were a betting man, I would’ve placed money on Nick Schulman to win. It’s a good thing I’m not, because Nick made an appearance by the TV while he was still on it. Confused? So was I, because Nick had a ton of chips on the big screen, and it was only a one hour delay. As it turns out, play was an all-in fest from the time the cards were in the air.

Last year’s $5,000 event had a field of 622 and a star-studded final table (Phil Hellmuth, Marcel Luske, and Eugene Todd, bro to name a few). Play began just after 2:00 PM and lasted until just after midnight. Take out the dinner break and they played for 8.5 hours.

As a spectator and poker fan, I was horrified by the rapidity of eliminations at this year’s final table. After whittling down the field of 640, it only took James Mackey 48 hands to claim his bracelet. They played for about 2.5 hours. In no way do I want to take away from the bracelet-winning efforts of “mig.com”, but the disparity in times must be pointed out.

Second place finisher Stuart Fox played exactly one hand before he was heads-up with Mackey. One hand. He then folded the next three before he was all-in and lost. Two hands equals second place.

When Jon Friedberg captured the $1,000 No Limit Holdem bracelet in the 2006 WSOP, it took him 122 hands. With double the starting stack, this year’s first $1,500 No-Limit event took less than half that many hands to finish—only 59. Brandon Cantu’s victory in event #2 last year lasted nearly 10 hours; Ciarin O'Leary’s took less than 5.

WSOP officials have shown a bit more willingness to make changes on the fly this year, and I hope they can see a problem when players begin describing the end of tournaments as a “crap-shoot.” I’m not sure what changes the Nevada Gaming Commission allow to structures once they have been posted, but something needs to be done about the late stages of these events.

An immediate solution would be rolling back the blinds once players reach the final table. Officials could make an easy decision based on X# of big blinds for the average chip stack (50 would be ideal; 35 seems more likely). Yes, events would last several hours longer, putting that much more of a strain on tournament staff and the media…but we’re not the ones playing for hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In the words of the not-always-articulate-but-usually-insightful Mike Matusow, “We can fix it.”

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I was asked by many players and event current Tournament Director Jack Effel about the structures and the double chips and I told both him and Howard Lederer (he also worked with Jack on them) that the structure would not be better and in fact they would be worse.
I created the structures for the 2002-2004 WSOP events and they were the same ones that they used (for the most part) up until this year. Yes the ones I created were a little fast in the front but were far slower in the later stages when it matters most.

I played in the Stud High/8 event and we did not lose a player for 4 hours and then everyone at the table had less than 13 bets. It was a total massacre of players for the next three levels.
It would be almost impossible to change them back to where they were before and to make the structure better would take to long to finish th events so there is a big problem.

Matt Savage
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  #47  
Old 06-19-2007, 05:52 AM
Alan Goehring Alan Goehring is offline
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Default Re: Final tables taking 1/2 as long at 2007 WSOP

Great post by OP.

I compared the 2006 $5k NL (Cabinillas) to the 2007 $5k NL (Mackay).

The final table started at level #18 (8/16k, or 16/32k if there was double starting chips) in 2006, compared to level #19 (15/30k) in 2007. AS/BB = 21.6x in 2006 compared to 23.7x in 2006. Basically they got down to 9 players when expected in both years, with 2007 giving one extra level of play.

Then things change dramatically:

Final Table: 2006 (90 min.) 2007 (60 minutes)
Level 1 8/16k 15/30k
Level 2 10/20k 20/40k
Level 3 12/24k 30/60k
Level 4 15/30k 40/80k
Level 5 20/40k 60/120k
Level 6 25/50k
Level 7 30/60k

The 2006 event ended sometime during the 25/50k level, so there was about 5 levels of play, which is what I would expect. The 2007 event ended during the 30/60k level, so nine players down to one with only a doubling in the blind level (2 levels in this case)---- very rare. I would have expected heads-up play to start after a quadroupling in the blinds (after about 4 hours of play), with the end sometime in the next level (slightly less than 5 hours).

The larger point is that it takes 5 levels @ 90 mintes each to "triple" the FT blind level in 2006, compared to 4 levels @ 60 minutes each to "quadrouple" the FT blind level in 2007. So 7.5 hours of play to triple in 2006 vs. 4 hours to quardrouple in 2007.

Conclusions:
1. A doubling of the starting stacks, and giving more deep chip play on day 1 (and more overall play pre-FT) was a good idea. However, the length the time to play the FT has been reduced dramatically by design. (It is clearly NOT a "coincidence" that some 2007 FT's are much shorter).

2. While players may have used more time to make their decisions in 2007 (i.e. fewer hands per hour), this is unlikely to significantly impact the legnth of time to complete final tables (when compared to the impact from blind structure changes late in NL events).

3. Recommendation would be to re-insert the deleted levels at the final table, 12/24k 25/50k 50/100k (and possibly the 2.5/5k on day 2). Although I don't subscribe to the view that it is "more important later", I would much prefer 90 minute levels to 60 minute levels at the FT since it would still end in under 12 hours (including breaks).

While I am done with WSOP prelim events (I play very few because the structures are generally very poor from my perspective), those who are playing prelim NL events should be aware of the significant changes made to the "day 3" portion of NL structures.
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  #48  
Old 06-19-2007, 06:11 AM
Alan Goehring Alan Goehring is offline
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Default Re: Final tables taking 1/2 as long at 2007 WSOP

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I can't think of a single case where a structure sheet was changed because of the number of entrants -- even in 2004, when the 2,576 entrants in the Main Event represented a 307% increase over the previous year and completely overwhelmed expectations at Binion's.

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Actually, the 2004 WSOP ME structure was changed-----day one levels were advertised/published at 120 minutes, but actually played at 100 minutes. I remember, because I was not happy. (I believe alternates were used and Binions wanted to eliminate well over 50% of the field).
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  #49  
Old 06-19-2007, 12:07 PM
jsmith5 jsmith5 is offline
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Default Re: Final tables taking 1/2 as long at 2007 WSOP

Thanks everyone for adding your thoughts to this discussion. I spoke with BJ after his excellent research, and put together a second article basically summarizing this thread I am going to speak with the tournament officials either today or tomorrow just to see if there's a chance at least some minor changes can be made.

From what I can tell by a quick glance at the ME event structure, late stage play will be sped up there as well...not good.
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  #50  
Old 06-19-2007, 12:40 PM
peterpjames peterpjames is offline
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Default Re: Final tables taking 1/2 as long at 2007 WSOP

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From what I can tell by a quick glance at the ME event structure, late stage play will be sped up there as well...not good.

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Will it be as bad at the prelim events? I REALLY hope the late play of the WSOP main event isn't like a WPT final table SNG... [img]/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
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