Tournament Season

Tournament season is in full swing in Minnesota. Kicked off by the Tournament of Champions, tournament season runs through the middle of October with events nearly every weekend. Let’s break it down.

August 16th to 18th – MSPT event in Grand Falls, at one of my favorite properties. I don’t know if I’ll make it to this one, but I’ll definitely be at some upcoming MSPT events. Good luck if you are heading to Grand Falls this weekend!

August 23rd to 25th – The Twin Cities Poker Open at Canterbury Park. I’ve already got my seat, and if you are serious about poker, you need to get yours. An $1,100 event in the twin cities is too good an opportunity to miss, and the field should be pretty good.

August 30th to Sept 8th – The inaugural Keep It or Cash It MSPT event at Downstream in Oklahoma. I love the property, and the Keep It or Cash It idea is so good that I can’t miss it. Whoever came up with that idea is a genius. OK, it was Me, Mileski, and the poker room manager Dale at Downstream. We were drinking in a little dive bar in Joplin and in between terrible Karaoke songs, we came up with the idea. And it’s brilliant. So good that I’m driving to Oklahoma to play it.

August 18th and 25th – The $65 buy-in team battles at Running Aces, while the $230 team battle will happen on September 1st. These should be a ton of fun.

September 11th to 22nd – The Midwest Poker Classic at Running Aces. Awesome structure, a great schedule, and multiple events every day, make this series a can’t miss for me. Click the tab at the top of my site for a web version of the whole schedule. I’ll be chasing the player of the series points and grinding hard in every event.

September 30th to October 4th – The Ultimate Overlay at Canterbury Park with a $111,111 guaranteed prize pool. Hopefully next year we can get 20% of Blake Bohn’s winnings…

October 5th to 21st The legendary Fall Poker Classic at Canterbury Park. A great series with big fields.

October 24th to 27th – The HallowScream tournament at Running Aces was the best tournament of the year last year (hint, I can see the trophy from here). A lot of fun!

November 24th – The Big Turkey Tourney at Running Aces looks to be a great event! I’ll be representing Team Aces along with Erick Wright and Dave Gonia trying to take this one down. We have all committed to the event and we’ll be doing some fun giveaways as well.

December 6th to 8th – The MSPT at Canterbury Park will probably set an MSPT attendance record again. Another can’t miss event and first place might be over $100,000!

There are also MSPT events at FireKeepers, Ho Chunk, Meskwaki, and Canterbury Park by the end of the year, all great events within a reasonable driving distance!

That is a major tournament series every weekend and a lot of weekdays too, all the way until December 8th. Over 100 days of tournaments between now and the end of the year! I may not have to leave the state except to go to MSPT events until next year.




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  1. #1 by rwestrom on August 17, 2013 - 9:16 pm

    I think the $3k at CPC was softer than the $300 but that’s more a testament of how insanely good that tourney is, especially when you consider that it’s basically rake free.

    I’m probably being a bit too negative on kici, it would at least fit a glaring hole in canterbury’s tourney schedule and rake a ton.

  2. #2 by rwestrom on August 17, 2013 - 8:13 pm

    it is nice to be able to re-enter a tourney after busting but not as nice as being able to enter a softer tournament a different day. travel costs, etc probably more than make up for this though so re-entries are probably not quite as much of a negative thing in live tourneys as they are in online tourneys.

    circuit entries are independent so bankroll calculations are normal, just remember to factor in the increased skill of the field as they are re-entry. i think bankroll requirements are much higher now than they were in years past, especially so in re-entry events.

    it would be a big mistake to assume bankroll requirements for a keep it or cash it event to be the same as a normal $460, there will be significant prize pool money completely out of reach for anyone who enters a single time. proper strategy will likely dictate that you should expect to enter around a dozen times to play optimally so i do think it should be considered a $5k tourney. of course the prize distribution will be much flatter so if one is not sure how to adjust for that you could instead assume a $2k buyin and probably be close enough.

    the 7-day cpc event was significantly tougher than any other $300 tourney in chicago that i’ve played. sure it still wasn’t very tough but it’s a $300 live tourney, they never will be tough, although they will likely continue to get tougher every year w/o legal online poker.

    • #3 by Fox on August 17, 2013 - 8:20 pm

      You are right in your assumption that entering a KICI $460 event would require a higher bankroll than a standard event. 12 times as high? No way. Treating it like a $600 event might be better if you were only playing once. If you are playing it more than once, your chance to make day two multiple times or at least make the money once, go way up. You should be well aware of the fact that a flatter payout structure requires a much smaller bankroll, and entries after you have made it through once are going to pay you if you make the top 10%, giving it some of the qualities of a satellite or 9 man sng when it comes to bankroll management.

      The fields I played with in the seven day CPC were very soft, but we’ll have to agree to disagree on that point. The bigger buy-in events following it, and the big guarantee, had a lot more to do with making the field tougher than the re-entry aspect. Bad players often re-enter too.

  3. #4 by rwestrom on August 17, 2013 - 6:11 pm

    Re-entry tournaments are bad, they make fields a lot harder and having to pay full rake on a 2nd entry feels wrong. However, they increase rake for the house and increase prize pools so they are here to stay.

    Re-entry tourneys with buybacks are ok because the only decision other players can make wrong cost themselves $ but at least it also juices the prize pool.

    Keep it or Cash it sounds like the worst of all worlds to me, 8 day 1s amplifies the problems with re-entries to a huge degree. Also because of the random points prizes it will be necessary for solid players to enter every single day, fields will be maximum difficulty (still probably not that difficult, but still) and a player aware of bankroll should probably consider these to be a $5k+ tournament. Not only that but other players will constantly be making decisions that both cost themselves $ and also will cost me $ except they won’t realize it. I find this aspect to be similar to penny auction websites.

    Unless my logic is wrong I really hope these tourneys don’t catch on and I don’t think I will be playing them.

    • #5 by Fox on August 17, 2013 - 7:26 pm

      I have to disagree with most of what you are saying Robby. I know that you would re-enter a tournament if you bust early, it would be silly not to. So what do you care if it’s five minutes later or the next day? Anything that increases the field size also increases the rake for the house, that’s not a negative.

      The fact that solid players can play multiple starting days should be a good thing for a strong player like you, the same with the points prizes.

      Your bankroll logic is definitely flawed. Would you go to a circuit event planning to play $4k worth of events and only play if you were bankrolled for a single $4k buy-in? If you play multiple starting days you are much more likely to make the money and also get the Keep It or Cash It option as well as being much more likely to make the money than if you played a single $5k buy-in event.

      I don’t see hordes of pros showing up for a $450 buy-in, but the field might be slightly tougher because of all the starting days. I did not see that with the CPC event that had six or seven starting days, the field was very soft every time I played.

      I think you just aren’t looking at the concept clearly. The only thing I would agree with is that we would like a lower rake, but we know that houses are going to charge whatever they can charge and this rake is not unreasonable, in fact it’s pretty standard. I think the standard is too high, but it is what it is.

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