Targeted poker quiz 24: Tournaments (intermediate)


Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. This 39-part series of quizzes, originally published (2004-2006) in Poker Player, is based on the Mike Caro University of Poker library of research and advice. In each entry, Mike Caro presents 10 questions covering a category of poker, targeted for beginner, intermediate, or advanced players. Answers with explanations appear below each quiz, with the questions repeated for easy reference.


The MCU Targeted Poker Quiz series

(See the index to this series)

Tournaments (level: intermediate)

  1. The power of position in the last 20 hands of a tournament…

    (a) doesn’t exist if it’s three-handed or less;

    (b) is the main factor in determining whether you’ll win or lose;

    (c) doesn’t exist if it’s heads-up;

    (d) is an insignificant factor.

  2. In major tournaments, if you finish high in the money, it’s customary to leave a tip for the dealers and other staff that is about…

    (a) 7 to 10 percent of what you got paid;

    (b) 3 to 5 percent of what you got paid;

    (c) exactly 10 percent of what you got paid;

    (d) about 15 percent of what you got paid.

  3. In proportional-payoff tournaments, your best chance at the most profit is usually achieved by…

    (a) Playing more hands;

    (b) Betting more often;

    (c) Playing to capture first place;

    (d) Playing to survive.

  4. If 500 players are equally skilled and play the same strategy, each has a “fair share” of winning once in how many tournaments?

    (a) 1,500;

    (b) 100;

    (c) 500;

    (d) 750.

  5. If 2,000 hypothetical immortal entrants in a poker tournament are equally skilled and play the same strategy in an annual tournament, then it’s about an even bet that any single player will win before how many years?

    (a) 1,380;

    (b) 1,000;

    (c) 2,000;

    (d) 4,000.

  6. Nobody has ever claimed three World Series of Poker main event championships in a row.

    (a) True;

    (b) False.

  7. If you still have chips in front of you and you exercise the opportunity to rebuy at the end of a given period of time in a poker tournament, it’s called…

    (a) a gopher gamble;

    (b) a frozen restart;

    (c) an add-on;

    (d) a royal rebuy

  8. Nobody has won more World Series of Poker bracelets than Doyle Brunson in various championship events. How many such bracelets has he won?

    (a) 4;

    (b) 8;

    (c) 10;

    (d) 7.

  9. In what year did Doyle Brunson win his most-recent World Series of Poker championship bracelet?

    (a) 2002;

    (b) 2005;

    (c) 1991;

    (d) 1999.

  10. Who is tied with Doyle Brunson for most WSOP championship bracelets won?

    (a) Nobody;

    (b) Johnny Chan;

    (c) Phil Hellmuth;

    (d) Minnesota Fats.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Tournaments (level: intermediate)

  1. The power of position in the last 20 hands of a tournament…

    (a) doesn’t exist if it’s three-handed or less;

    (b) is the main factor in determining whether you’ll win or lose;

    (c) doesn’t exist if it’s heads-up;

    (d) is an insignificant factor.

    Answer: (c). The power of position in the last 20 hands of a tournament doesn’t exist if it’s heads up. Position matters for an individual hand, even heads-up, but not over 20 hands, since each player would have the big blind 10 times. In fact, it doesn’t matter where you sit relative to an opponent heads-up, but it can matter whenever there are three or more players. Then you might care which player or players you act before or after.

  2. In major tournaments, if you finish high in the money, it’s customary to leave a tip for the dealers and other staff that is about…

    (a) 7 to 10 percent of what you got paid;

    (b) 3 to 5 percent of what you got paid;

    (c) exactly 10 percent of what you got paid;

    (d) about 15 percent of what you got paid.

    Answer: (b). The customary tip left for dealers and other staff when you win a tournament is 3% to 5%.

  3. In proportional-payoff tournaments, your best chance at the most profit is usually achieved by…

    (a) Playing more hands;

    (b) Betting more often;

    (c) Playing to capture first place;

    (d) Playing to survive.

    Answer: (d). If you want the best chance at making the most profit in a typical proportional-payoff tournament, you should play to survive, instead of playing to win first place.

  4. If 500 players are equally skilled and play the same strategy, each has a “fair share” of winning once in how many tournaments?

    (a) 1,500;

    (b) 100;

    (c) 500;

    (d) 750.

    Answer: (c). In a field of 500 equally skilled players, each should expect to win once in 500 tournaments. That’s their “fair share.”

  5. If 2,000 hypothetical immortal entrants in a poker tournament are equally skilled and play the same strategy in an annual tournament, then it’s about an even bet that any single player will win before how many years?

    (a) 1,380;

    (b) 1,000;

    (c) 2,000;

    (d) 4,000.

    Answer: (a). If the same equally skilled 2,000 players never die and play a single tournament against each other year after year, then it’s about an even bet that any single player will win before 1,380 years. Mathematically, the 50-50 point for trying to to achieve success is slightly more than 69 percent of the total “once-in-x” chances. (In other words, “x” is whatever number you’ve calculated in which you have one chance of success.) So, if you have one chance in 500 of succeeding, then you can quickly estimate that you 1have a coin-flip’s chance (50-50) or accomplishing the feat by the 345th attempt. Note that 69 percent is just a quick approximation for calculating this type of odds — 69.3 percent would be more precise (yielding an answer of 1,387 — 1,386 as the break-even point, but the word before in the question necessitating the addition of one year).

  6. Nobody has ever claimed three World Series of Poker main event championships in a row.

    (a) True;

    (b) False.

    Answer: (a). It’s true that nobody has ever claimed three World Series of Poker main event championships in a row.

  7. If you still have chips in front of you and you exercise the opportunity to rebuy at the end of a given period of time in a poker tournament, it’s called…

    (a) a gopher gamble;

    (b) a frozen restart;

    (c) an add-on;

    (d) a royal rebuy.

    Answer: (c). If you still have chips and exercise the opportunity to rebuy at the end of a given period in a poker tournament, it’s called buying an “add-on.”

  8. Nobody has won more World Series of Poker bracelets than Doyle Brunson in various championship events. How many such bracelets has he won?

    (a) 4;

    (b) 8;

    (c) 10;

    (d) 7.

    Answer: (c). Doyle Brunson has won 10 bracelets at World Series of Poker championship events.

  9. In what year did Doyle Brunson win his most-recent World Series of Poker championship bracelet?

    (a) 2002;

    (b) 2005;

    (c) 1991;

    (d) 1999.

    Answer: (b). Doyle Brunson won his 10th WSOP championship bracelet this year (2005).

  10. Who is tied with Doyle Brunson for most WSOP championship bracelets won?

    (a) Nobody;

    (b) Johnny Chan;

    (c) Phil Hellmuth;

    (d) Minnesota Fats.

    Answer: (b). Johnny Chan is tied with Doyle Brunson for most WSOP championship bracelets won. He also claimed his 10th this year.


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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

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