How to Analyze the Structure of Poker Tournaments

My plan is to compete in Event 7, a $1,500 no-limit tournament, at the World Series of Poker (WSOP).

What is the structure of this tournament? Why is this important?

Event 7:
This year players will get $4,500 in chips–many more chips than last year! Shades start at $25-$50, with one hour levels. Last year there were 2.70 players with a first prize of over $625,000, not bad for three days of work.

One way to assess structure is to use Arnold Snyder’s patience factor in the poker tournament formula. It is a way of determining how quickly you may need to play in a poker tournament.

The formula uses the world’s most patient player (WMPP) and estimates when it will be blinded. With 60 minute rounds, this player is supposed to see the blinds three times on each level (every 20 minutes).

Therefore for Event #7:

blinds —- total ——- 3x/hr —– Cumulative
$25-$50 – total $75 – 3x/h $225 – cumulative $225
$50-$100 – total 150 – 3x/h 450 – Cumulative 675
$75-$150 – total 225 – 3x/h 675 – Cumulative 1,350
$100-$200 – total 300 – 3x/h 900 – Cumulative 2,250
ante $25 – total 550 – 3x/h 1,650 – Cumulative 3,900
ante $50 – total 950 – 3x/h 2,850 – Cumulative 6,750

What this chart shows is that the WMPP will last until round 7 if you never play a hand, that’s amazing!

The WMPP will wear off in approximately 6.2 hours. The patience factor is 6.2 squared or 38.44.

The net result is that this structure will favor the more skilled players. This is a new development that you should be aware of in order to plan ahead for the WSOP.

Does that mean you should be patient and wait for the cards to come to you or should you take advantage of your opponents being patient and waiting for premium starting hands?

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