Debate – payment pattern of poker tournaments

For many years now, Roger Hairabedian has been militating the idea of extending the payment structure to 30% of the players at the poker tournaments. He had the occasion to express himself again on this matter in the last issue of the Live Poker magazine. In the same issue, Philippe Ktorza condemns the low prizes offered to those who finish on the first payed positions.

In the last issue of Live Poker, Roger Hairabedian restated his credo about the payment structures of the poker tournaments: “Rewarding one player out of ten is not enough. On the internet, 30% of those registered are payed at the SitnGos […] We have to adopt the same policy in live tournaments. We should start with 20% at the ITM and, step by step, we will get to the 30%, with the final ten per cent simply reimbursed.”

Philippe Ktorza is another player who voices out his opinion in the last issue of the Live Poker magazine. He also condemns the nowadays payment structure but he has a different line of argumentation from that of Roger Hairabedian: “The structures don’t reward the performances to their real value. [Often] the gain doesn’t even cover the additional fees. Over an year, a player who finishes on 20nd position in most tournaments loses money, while one who finishes once on the podium wins. But who is the better one?”

The debate was carried over to the forum where a variety of opinions are expressed on the subject. Xewod suggests reducing the ITM to 10 or 12%: “ I don’t see why we should pay so many players unless they will be able to register for other events. At 30% it will break the tournament dynamics […]. The average will fall and this will surely render the poker game much less interesting early in the tournament.”

Xewod is nonetheless opposed to reducing the gains of the first positions because these prizes make the players dream and are the reasons for which they “register and compete”. This is the complete opposite of the opinions of Hairabedian (“It’s not so bad to cut from the gains of the first positions an amount that allows three times more players to survive”) or of Philippe Ktorza (“I suggest to reduce the prize for the top three winners and to always double the buy-in for the payed positions”).

Just like Roger, SquawK offers the example of the online poker rooms:”The online poker rooms try to extend to a maximum the number of players gaining in the tournaments. They do this because the players who want to double their investments will replay their gains, while the first prize usually retreat their gains from the site”. He admits nevertheless that “players who have an edge are disadvantaged on the long term”.

GameAddiction is another player who reflects on the edge subject: “I believe that the field should be extended in order to reward the proficiency. With the present structure, a good tournament player who finishes in 15 ITM along the year will win less than a player who wins a tournament […] Of course, the gap between the first places and the others should remain significant, but nowadays it is too huge in my opinion”.

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