Sunday, August 06, 2006

Poker Tournament "Alternates" Part II

I had some questions regarding my post on Poker Tournament "Alternates" so I turned to Excel for the answers. I made a spreadsheet of the chip distribution numbers by table for the WSOP tournament that I entered. It shows how different the average chip stacks vary depending on what table you are seated at. As expected, the players with the worst situation are the ones who come in as alternates near the end ot the end of the alternate entry period. In the worse case scenario, the non-broken tables are a 5 to 4 favorite over the table of alternates (T1927.25 to T1500).

View Spreadsheet



The left column displays the table number. The columns to the right of that indicate the number of tables that have been broken up to let alternates come in. The data at the heart of the spreadsheet shows what the average chip stack at each table should be.

It is pretty easy to determine the average chip stack per table. The new alternate table's average chip stack is always T1500. All of the other 199 tables share the chips from the table that was just broken up.

If you want to maintain the best advantage in a tournament that allows alternates, you want to be one of the last tables seated. Seating is random for large scale tournaments such as ones in the WSOP, but I believe that the randomness is confined to groups of tables. For example, the first 110 players might be randomly seated in the tables 1 through 10, and then the tables 11 through 20 are filled in a similar fashion. My brother and I registered back to back for the same tournament and we were seated within 2 tables of each other (both tables in the 150's). If you see anyone registering for your tournament, ask to see what table they got. You can gauge what table group you will fall into if you register shortly afterwards. Anything after table 100 should be acceptable.

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