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Old 10-05-2008, 12:40 PM   #1
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Running Charity Poker Tournament - Advice Needed

I'm in charge of running a charity poker tournament at my college. We're expecting about 50-100 people.

I already know how to run a poker tournament. But I do have a few decisions.
  1. The buy in doesn't go directly into the prize pool. We're getting like $300 in prizes donated that are going to be paid out regardless. What's the best way to get the most money? At the moment I'm making it $10 buy in. But do you think I can make it "If you get knocked out, you can get back in for $10"? Or does that just look bad?
  2. It would be tremendously easier to make it a shootout tournament, with each table playing down to 2, then the final 10 forming the final table. This would avoid having to explain to people why they have to break up tables when people get knocked out. But will this piss too many people off?
  3. I made the blind structure to have no antes since that seems unnecessarily complex. Also, I'm not coloring up chips until the final table.
  4. I'm speeding up the blinds once we get to the final table. Since, with 100 people, half the tournament would be at the final table, which would be a pain in the ass. So I'm going to make the blinds go twice as fast at the final table (not time wise, but I'm going to skip half the levels).
  5. How many chips should we give to each player? They're starting with T1500, but obviously if we really wanted to, we could give them 11 chips each (1x1000,4x100,3x25,2x10,1x5), but that just sucks. But we can get hold of like 2000 chips til we have to buy more, so I don't want to give excessive amount of chips.

What do you guys think of these ideas? I want to keep the most people happy and make it go as smoothly as possible. But, getting repeat customers doesn't matter since it's a one-time thing.

Last edited by Hawklet2; 10-05-2008 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:00 PM   #2
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Re: Running Charity Poker Tournament - Advice Needed

Quote:
The buy in doesn't go directly into the prize pool. We're getting like $300 in prizes donated that are going to be paid out regardless. What's the best way to get the most money? At the moment I'm making it $10 buy in. But do you think I can make it "If you get knocked out, you can get back in for $10"? Or does that just look bad?
If you are trying to keep it simple. Consider allowing players to take a an add-on at the start for additional chips this is easier to administer than rebuys.

Quote:
It would be tremendously easier to make it a shootout tournament, with each table playing down to 2, then the final 10 forming the final table. This would avoid having to explain to people why they have to break up tables when people get knocked out. But will this piss too many people off?
Shootouts are nice and easy, but they carry one drawback. Players who win the first round fast are forced to sit around doing nothing waiting for the last table to finish. Some people don't like that.

Quote:
I made the blind structure to have no antes since that seems unnecessarily complex. Also, I'm not coloring up chips until the final table.
NOOOO!! color up as soon as you don't need a smaller denomination. Otherwise its a mess. And smaller chips need more time for counting and cause players to bet smaller amounts dragging out a tournament.

Quote:
I'm speeding up the blinds once we get to the final table. Since, with 100 people, half the tournament would be at the final table, which would be a pain in the ass. So I'm going to make the blinds go twice as fast at the final table (not time wise, but I'm going to skip half the levels).
The players will love that nonsense. Most players would rather it be faster earlier and slow down when deeper in.
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Old 10-05-2008, 01:21 PM   #3
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Re: Running Charity Poker Tournament - Advice Needed

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Originally Posted by psandman View Post
If you are trying to keep it simple. Consider allowing players to take a an add-on at the start for additional chips this is easier to administer than rebuys.
I think players are significantly less likely to double-buy-in than they are to get knocked out then rebuy.


Quote:
Shootouts are nice and easy, but they carry one drawback. Players who win the first round fast are forced to sit around doing nothing waiting for the last table to finish. Some people don't like that.
Agreed 100%. Not exactly sure how people will react to that. I'll ask around.


Quote:
NOOOO!! color up as soon as you don't need a smaller denomination. Otherwise its a mess. And smaller chips need more time for counting and cause players to bet smaller amounts dragging out a tournament.
An overwhelming majority of the players don't understand what coloring up is, or what is the reason for it. That may cause problems.
Quote:
The players will love that nonsense. Most players would rather it be faster earlier and slow down when deeper in.
Not sure what you are trying to say. But keep in mind we're playing with people who don't know if a flush beats a straight.
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Old 10-05-2008, 06:40 PM   #4
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Re: Running Charity Poker Tournament - Advice Needed

If you're running a tourney, run the damn tourney. Who cares if players don't understand color-ups. You tell them "put out your green chips" and you color them up. I wouldn't worry about race-offs, just round up everybody to the next biggest chip. It's a charity tourney with a fast structure, who cares.

Regarding the time, for my "party" tournaments, I have very low beginning levels, as that gives more players more play. The final table isn't sped up so much as the rest of the tournament is stretched out. So I'm down with that idea.

For a structure, just look at the schedule and then structure sheets for the WSOP. It's all online. That's what I use, adjusting as necessary (for example, a 25/25 and 75/150 round do a lot to pad the early stages).

I agree a shootout could be problematic. Balancing tables is incredibly easy. Someone says they lose a player, you find a table with two more players than the short table, you take the next person who's going to be the big blind and put them in that seat. Don't stress if they skip a hand or if they come in on the small blind or button, just play where you lie. If no tables are off by more than one, no balancing is needed.

As the tables get shorter, you'll be able to break entire tables onto others. I don't know if you have seating cards, but if not you can simply assign people around the room in order. Seat 1 goes to the first open seat in the lowest table number, seat 2 goes to the first open seat in the next lowest number, etc. That's sufficiently random and doesn't allow for bias.

Redraw for seats and button on the final table.

I've been running regular tourneys for two and a half years. We're all used to it and it runs smoothly. It's still a madhouse, and I only do 3 or 4 tables. Good luck! Wear a helmet!
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Old 10-06-2008, 05:43 AM   #5
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Re: Running Charity Poker Tournament - Advice Needed

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Originally Posted by PrekiGeo View Post
The buy in doesn't go directly into the prize pool. We're getting like $300 in prizes donated that are going to be paid out regardless. What's the best way to get the most money? At the moment I'm making it $10 buy in. But do you think I can make it "If you get knocked out, you can get back in for $10"? Or does that just look bad?

What percent of the buyin are going to charity?


If any cash prize were given out (50%, etc) I was wondering if the following were possible: 100% of a normal payout is given to the winner, then the winner directly "donates" whatever % expected so that he can write it off on his taxes.
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Old 10-06-2008, 08:54 AM   #6
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Re: Running Charity Poker Tournament - Advice Needed

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Originally Posted by dismalstudent99 View Post
What percent of the buyin are going to charity?


If any cash prize were given out (50%, etc) I was wondering if the following were possible: 100% of a normal payout is given to the winner, then the winner directly "donates" whatever % expected so that he can write it off on his taxes.
100% goes to charity.
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Old 10-06-2008, 09:36 AM   #7
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Re: Running Charity Poker Tournament - Advice Needed

I ran a charity poker venue for over a year... I recommend this...

$10 BI sounds good
2,000 starting stack
(20 - T25, 10 - T100, 1 - T500)
20 Minute Blind Levels (yes, this is good for 50-100 ppl)
1st hour, if you are out or have less than 2k chips, do a 1k add-on/rebuy for $10 (this will generate roughly 2-3x the amount of chips in play, and the charity's take)

This blind structure should have it last 5-8 hours, depending on the number of people in the tournament, along with the number of addons/rebuys... It's a sketchy structure, with ample room for change... I would keep the antes in though, with this many people...

I wouldn't recommend using the WSOP structure, because this allows for more play in the first 6 levels, which I feel that the WSOP doesn't allow (at least in the smaller BI tournaments, where you only have 2k in chips)...

The addons/rebuys allow some people to stay and play in the game and enjoy themselves, while also making the tournament more of a deeper stack... They are here to have fun, and the first few hours let them have that fun without having to be pressured to make a move...

Blinds:
25/50
50/100
75/150
Break (10 minutes)
100/200
125/250
150/300
Break (10 minutes)
200/400 +50
300/600 +75
400/800 +100
Break (10 minutes and color up the 25 chips)
500/1k +100
600/1.2k +200
700/1.4k +200
Break (10 minutes)
800/1.6k +300
1k/2k +400
1.5k/3k +500
Break (10 minutes)
2k/4k +700
3k/6k +1k
4k/8k +1.5k
Break (10 minutes)
5k/10k +2k
7k/14k +3k
10k/20k +5k
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Old 10-06-2008, 10:51 AM   #8
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Re: Running Charity Poker Tournament - Advice Needed

I think I'm just gonna make it a flippament.

Level 1 - 10k/20k 5k blinds.
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Old 10-07-2008, 08:33 PM   #9
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Re: Running Charity Poker Tournament - Advice Needed

We've got "Charity" tournaments where I live on a daily basis, it's only 15-25% that goes to charity, but the same type of thing.

We had one venue just start doing $300 freerolls with $10 rebuys for 90 minutes and they made more money in those than they did when they had a $10 buy in. And as for the Addon at the beginning for double chips, You'll see 75% or more buy the $10-$1000 chip add-on at the beginning. Everyone wants more chips.

The color up is easy, just whenever you have a break scheduled, color everyone up right before they go on break, you don't really have to do it at every situation where a chip isn't needed, but you're gonna be at 300/600 or 500/1000 4 hours in and have people with $25 chips, it'll be a mess. ex: if you have 100 people and give them $1500 in chips [$25(8) $50(6) $100(5) $500(1)] 20 chips total. When you get to 25 people, you'll have 32 $25 chips per player when they aren't needed. That'll effect the play the rest of the way out.

Suggestions: Color up, do $10 for $1500 chips, and a $10 $1000 chip add-on and rake in alot more money for your charity
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Old 10-09-2008, 11:17 AM   #10
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Re: Running Charity Poker Tournament - Advice Needed

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrekiGeo View Post
I'm in charge of running a charity poker tournament at my college. We're expecting about 50-100 people.

How many chips should we give to each player? They're starting with T1500, but obviously if we really wanted to, we could give them 11 chips each (1x1000,4x100,3x25,2x10,1x5), but that just sucks. But we can get hold of like 2000 chips til we have to buy more, so I don't want to give excessive amount of chips.
I great resource for calculating how many starting chips, which denominations, blind structure, minutes per level, and overall tourny length is Blind Valet. Check them out.
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