I’m sad. I will get into why I am sad in a bit, but here is some background. I organize a casual weekly poker tournament through PokerStars, it’s quite fun. Started in April for quarantine and we have not missed a week to date. $20 buy in, two tournaments each Wednesday that always start at 8pm est. and 9:15pm est. If any of the 5 readers of this blog do not already play, and are interested, comment with your email address and I will send you the details.

Anyway, the game has started to get bigger. Started with around 8-10 people on average, and now we have gotten up to 16 people at times! I’ve noticed when you are consistent with something, and people know exactly what they can expect, turnout will typically be good. It is like the Wawa of online poker tournaments. “Hey I’m free on a Wednesday night, let me hop in some tournaments and have a good time for a couple of hours!”  This is what I envision people say when they register. We also have a zoom going to shoot the shit, have a couple drinks, couple laughs, talk about the bad poker plays being made, fun stuff I know. Some people like to control the zoom and rant which is…..ok I guess. Now to why I am sad.

Last night we got 15 people in the 9:15 tournament. Historically, we pay 3 places. I try to break down the payouts to be 10% for 3rd, 30% for 2nd, and 60% for first. Things get super tricky if we get 12 people as an example, for a $240 prize pool. Does 3rd place get $20, $30, $24???   Keeps me up at night. I end up using my big brain to round up or down depending on my chip stack.  If, at the end of late registration (30 min after the tournaments starts), my chip stack is high, I will round down for 3rd and 2nd place and make sure first place gets the biggest nut.  Just kidding.  

A light bulb went off in my head last night. We have 15 people, a nice and friendly casual game, people are enjoying themselves- lets pay 4 places. What a smart decision. I brought it up on the zoom, expecting overwhelming support. Immediately shot down, and now I am sad. I organize the tournament, welcome in new players with open arms, collect the money via Venmo, make sure nobody is colluding, and I offer a very sound suggestion to pay 4th place! I didn’t even get any credit for it being a good idea!   If I were a person on the zoom last night, I would be ashamed at myself for not reacting more positively to the suggestion. I wanted to pay over 25% of the participants, what a terrible decision! Who would think of something that awful?  

Let’s put it to the ever rational readers of the blog:

If you enter a tournament that has 15 players, would you rather:

Option 1 – 3 places paid:  1st – $180, 2nd – $90, 3rd – $30

Option 2 – 4 places paid:  1st – $160, 2nd – $80, 3rd – $40, 4th – $20

Which Poker Payout?

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