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Sunday, February 27, 2011

What's wrong with the nearby tournament scene?

I start to get somewhat disappointed about the tournament scene in the short driving distance around Munich. I already wrote a blog entry about how much I dislike it to find places that advertise events with many chips but then destroy them by crappy structures. But in other places it doesn't look better at this time.

One of my favorite places now offers almost only satellites during the week. Satellites might be a good thing if you live close to that place ... but not if you have to drive one hour or more. The only "real" tournament during weekdays (10k chips and a decent structure) has a guaranteed €1.500 for first place. Not bad if you get 80+ players ... awful if you only get 30-40 players. In that case you end up with a payout-structure offering something like €150 for second place and so on. Of course in most cases this will result in a deal at the final table - which makes the idea of a fixed first price even more worthless.

An other place adds tickets for other events to the prize-pool. Well, adding isn't the right term because they are part of the prize money. This ends up in playing a tournament for €175 or maby €350 and not getting any cash before the final table as a lot of the first ITM places just get a ticket of maybe €1.000. Nothing wrong with the ticket in general (as it is for a very good tournament) but personally I prefer cash and like to decide for myself if I come back another time and invest all or a part of my cash won.

Don't get me wrong, I love creative tournament concepts. But they must be creative and helpful for both sides - the customers and the card-room. It seems that currently the marketing of an event seem to be most important. Advertise many chips, huge prizepools and big first prizes and the people will come. Currently the advertisers are right. Most people allow themselfs to get flashed by those marketing-stunts and don't really look at the ratio of cost and potential outcome. But I am not sure if this will be valid in the long run.

On the other hand, if there is a real good event somewere you can be sure other places nearby try to offer something similar (or better) at the same time. So instead of playing 2 or 3 good events on two or three weekends you are stuck with playing just one and make a decision. And again the places steal people from each other. So guaranteed prizepools may result in overlays or have to be lower as they could have been. Another thing that can't be good in the long term although it might work short-term.

Both, the marketing-stunts and the hard competition during events seem to indicate that we had too many places in the past (or not enough customers for all those places). The competition becomes harder and card-rooms try to find options to get enough customers.

I'm not sure how this will work out in the end and who will survive but what happens at the moment isn't very good for the customers. And those who can calculate correctly will do the right thing. Looks like I will play less regular events in the near furture and keep my money for really good events somewere else. As I wrote several times: With proper planning it isn't really expensive to get to Nottingham, Dublin, Vienna and some other places and play real good tournaments for real cash options. I love to play Poker but I am not playing just to play. If I don't like what is offered ... then I don't play!

PS: There is a reason I didn't name anybody directly here in my blogpost. Although I took real life examples I have no intention to side with anyone. In fact nobody is better than the other here ... and those who have read the whole post will realize that everybody around Munich got "slapped" the one or the other way!


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