Re-Entry Tournaments

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  • Creator
  • #23654

    Rocco Merolli

    There’s been a lot of heat lately on the WSOP for having so many tournaments structured as re-entry tournaments. One of the bigger arguments against this, is the elite of poker, can essentially buy tournament wins (and titles) in this format. The fact that most of the “elite” have seemingly never ending trunks of cash and don’t have to worry about being eliminated any certain number of times. When some amateur player, on a very limited bankroll, ends up playing a tournament and drawing a seat next to some of the best in the world, if they are lucky enough to knock one of them out, they dont (and maybe shouldnt have to) worry about having to knock them out again any more number of times. While the amateur, if they get knocked out of a tournament, the buy in could be a consider part of their bankroll and probably can not afford multiple “bullets”. The fact that these tournament structures run at all buy-in levels (High Roller $100k buy in event is usually reentry also) makes no difference to these players.
    One of the bigger arguments for the other side is, that it allows for inflated prize pools with a smaller amount of participants. As by rebuying, your not adding another player to the tournament, but just reseating a player that had already existed. The inflation of the prizepool does also help all the players, and for those that did not have the lucky (or unlucky) experience of having to play against these elite players, they basically receive a free bonus of added prize money.
    I described two sides of the argument, just to present it as a question for the rest of the forum. IMPO, I dont think the added prize money is worth it. I would agree to play tournaments with a set number of re-entries. As this at least gives everyone that plans on playing, and idea of how many bullets each player could fire. What potential there is for the prizepool, etc… But with some of these talented players, that have already made their endless trunks of money, I feel they are taking an added advantage that is currently only a loophole. Hearing the Danny Negraneu (sp? Sorry Daniel!) spent over $40K on a $1K re-entry just makes me feel that no matter what, he was going to buy his way deep into that tournament. I feel it would be similar to going to play a $1/2 cash, and putting $20K on the table when everyone else is playing with $300.
    Whats everyones thoughts? And secondly… could we change the WSOP’s mind on this?

  • Author
  • #23663


    Unlimited reentry is a fancy word for “unlimited rebuy” tournaments which players already know can be expensive and a shovefest until the rebuy period is over. I think this is BAD for the casual player and hurts poker overall, it only caters to the well ROLLED (whether Pro or Deep Pockets). A rebuy tournament (more than 1) has significantly less value to me.

  • #23665

    Mike Caro
    -- Poker1 staff --

    I wonder if rebuy tournaments are misnamed. Are they really tournaments or try-to-buy-your-own-bracelet events? Not sure.
    But one thing I liked years ago at the WSOP was the rebuy chips that were built into the no-limit structure. Everyone got them for the price of the original entry fee, so having a terrible beat still left you with a second life. I liked it.
    One thing management seems not to consider is that rebuy events can be bad for their poker rooms. They keep players away from the regular games longer. One original marketing argument for tournaments was that players could be steered into regular games as they were eliminated. — Mike Caro

  • #23679

    Mick McCarthy

    I really can’t speak of a reentry tournament but I have much experience with re buy tournaments and perhaps they are comparable. First, let me go on record to say that for the most part re buy tourney’s are not my favorite type of tournaments. With that being said there is one exception. I have found that a loose re buy tournament, with mostly bad players can be very, very profitable.

    Let me explain. I was a regular at a tournament that was run at a local social club. On average there were about 40 players weekly. They buy in for the tournament was $50, which basically would generate a $2000 prize pool without any rebuys or add ons. However, when getting your initial buy in you could also ad on for an additional $50. Besides that, there was an unlimited rebuy period (first hour I believe) and a double add on($100) at the first break.

    Each week I would commit myself to a $100 investment – initial buy in and add. My strategy was to take advantage of the poor play that existed, mainly because of the unlimited re buy To say that 95% of the players who showed up each week were terrible players, it would be an understatement. I have seen players re buy 4 and 5 times before the deal made 1 complete orbit. It was unbelievable the plays these players were making in trying to accumulate chips and I always tried to put myself in position to be the beneficiary of this poor play. I would just smirk to my self when others told how I was the luckiest player on the planet.

    So basically what I am getting at, what should have been a $2000 prize fund for a $50 investment would end up being an $7000-$8000 prize fund for $100, with the same amount of players. Now , I realize this is really a small buy in compared to some of the tournaments at the casino and the play is probably much worse – so perhaps it isn’t comparable. Just wanted to show how I feel someone with a smaller bankroll can try to take advantage of a bigger pay day when it comes to rebuy and re entry tourneys.

    • #23684

      Mike Caro
      -- Poker1 staff --

      Thanks for sharing your experiences, Mick. In general, rebuy tournaments tend to have much larger prize pools, but slightly fewer contestants. This can often mean a favorable situation for superior players, as you point out.
      I still don’t think rebuys are in sync with the definition and intention of a tournament. — Mike Caro

  • #23705

    Rocco Merolli

    Hey Mick! Re-entry and rebuy tournaments are pretty much the same. The only difference is, a rebuy tournament, you keep your seat at the table you were at when you got knocked out. A re-entry tournament, once your busted, you can “re-enter”. But you will draw a new seat and a new table (more then likely. I have seen re-entry that happened to get the same seat at the same table. But very few times). There are also usually two other differences. In a rebuy, you can rebuy a stack of chips (usually) once you fall below your starting stack. And there is usuallly an add-on period with rebuys. With re-entries you must bust in order to re-enter. And there are no add-ons.
    I should say, it sounds Mick like your playing what would be considered a “daily” tournament. Which is one run by the casino, usually for the regulars and just as an added bonus to the poker room. I should have made this point before. I dont have a problem with “dailys” being structured any way the casino wishes. Its the circuit events, main events, and big events that I was more referring too. Where winning it usually will bring more then a paycheck, or the check is life changing. When these events happen (because they are less often then dailys), having them structured as re-entries really gives the deep pockets a big advantage over what would be consider important titles.
    I hope you did well Mick! Those dailys are great practice, and good to increase your bankroll, for all the reasons you stated :-)

    • #24431

      Mick McCarthy

      Thanks for your reply Rocco. I should have made it clear that I understood the difference between a re buy tournament and a re entry tournament but the only experience I have in re entry tournaments is in some small buy in tournaments on line.

      I also understand your concern with re entry tournaments in the big events. I agree with you 100% that it gives those with a bigger bank roll a built in advantage. I would have no problem if they did away with re entry tournaments altogether.

      I did very well in those weekly tournaments at the social club. I wasn’t a member there so I only knew a few people and most if those were outside people also. It got to the point where I was told in a not so polite way that it would be to my benefit if I didn’t play there anymore. I took the hint well and I haven’t been back there in over 5 years.

      Good luck to you Rocco

  • #23706


    Re-entries should be welcomed by good players.

    With every entry, be they a new player or an existing one, the prize pool goes up and your chance of cashing goes down. If we believe poker is a game of skill then by definition on average the lower skilled players get knocked out sooner and have to re-enter. This makes for a softer field overall and should be welcomed.

    On the other hand re-entries help the casinos make the guarantees so overlays are rarer.

  • #23714

    Rocco Merolli

    Hey Richard! In practice, this sounds like it would work well. But again, this turns out not to be the case. First, yes, poker has a lot to do with skill. However, you CAN NOT win a tournament without getting very lucky at least once (and usually, much much more then that). Thats why when players with huge skill advantages already, that also have never ending trunks of money, they are able to take advantage far more then most normal players. Yes, they have the money to do it. However, at what point have they just bought that title, because they were able to re-enter an infinite number of time and also had the skill and table image (Im talking elite pros… If your sitting with them, you have an image of them, even if youve never actually played with them). You NEED luck to win, unless you can buy in again so many times, that you literally buy luck right out of the equation. I guess what it comes down to is… Is it fair that some players can purchase their luck, where others have to hope? Or would it be more fair to set a limit, and let all players “play” on equal terms. There is usually max buy-ins in cash games for this exact reason. As I mentioned earlier, (and some games do allow this… Im talking the norm though, not the exceptions… if re-entries were exceptions, it wouldnt be a problem), if your playing in a $2/5 cash game, and are $500 deep. A new player comes to the table, and puts down $50K… Do you feel your on even footing with this player? Or is this player using money to his advantage in a “loop-hole” type of way? And just to retort ahead of time, the players that say “I would love that guy to show up!!”… I can say, your in a tough game. That player can put you all in constantly… and unless you have the money to play back at him, your at an extreme disadvantage. IMHO, this holds true for re-entry tournaments, when the majority of them are structured this way for big events, circuit events, and just tournaments that basically could bring in new faces. Instead, the same faces are always there, because they were lucky enough to be there during the poker boom and made their millions, and can now continue to buy thier titles. And please note, I am NOT taking anything away from these players. As a matter of fact, like you mentioned, if they sucked I would be happy about it! The fact is they dont. They are very very good. The draw to the Main Event of the WSOP has always been that amateurs can play the best in the world, and BEAT them on any given day. There is no other sport, or entertainment in the world, where you can play against the best in the world, and actually have a chance to win. But making these new changes, like unlimited re-entry, takes that away. It makes it more of an “elite” group, instead of what it traditionally was. Of course, the main event is still only one buy in. But at the rate they have been changing major events, at what point will that change also?

  • #23732


    Hey Rocco.

    I take your point that we don’t necessarily want great players sitting next to us and buying-in again. But this comes back to game selection. We can avoid tough games with re-entries if we choose.

    For every tough pro rebuying at my local casino there are 50 players who I want in the tournament as many times as they care to re-enter.

  • #23794

    Rocco Merolli

    Hey Richard,
    Yes your correct in the fact that we can just choose not to play in them. The point I was more trying to aim towards was the circuit and main event tournaments. Not really “dailies”, and smaller tournaments where other unknown perks are probably not available (like finding a sponsor, winning a major title or life changing money, etc..). We are talking about players being able to “buy titles”… not really “buying profit”. Titles are what they are, and bring many different things. So the ultimate point of this is, should re-entry tournaments be the standard for big title/events, as it seems its moving towards that direction.

  • #23929

    Rocco Merolli

    So, Im not sure if anyone is looking at this thread anymore. But I just received the schedule for the card player poker tour coming up to Foxwoods in Feb. Every single tournament on this schedule is a re-entry tournament. This is exactly what I was talking about. It seems its becoming a regular structure, instead of a special event.

    • #24432

      Mick McCarthy

      Rocco, I should be entering a few of the Card Player tournaments at Foxwoods in February. I haven’t seen the schedule yet so I can’t say exactly what events but it should be at least 2 or 3. I will not be re entering any of them but hopefully I can take advantage of some that play looser than they would because of the re entry. Who knows, maybe I will be seeing you at one of the final tables. Good luck to you.

  • #24461

    Hey Mick!
    Thanks so much for the good luck wishes. The current schedule is on also on the Foxwoods website (I think. I got the schedule in e-mail, but usually once its out in email blast, its already published). Im not sure if I will enter any events yet. I might go down to take advantage of the cash games running during the tournaments. But you never know! lol. Good luck with anything you enter also. I will look for your name in any day 2 seating schedules and see if I can catch you. Since you can see a picture of me, feel free to say hi if you run into me down there. Always great to meet more players down there!

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