PLO/8 SNGs, and how they can be improved

Sinister_Inc posted this 11 May 2015

I have considered writing this post for several months, and since has created a new forum I am going to seize the moment to describe to you what is fundamentally flawed with PLO/8 tournaments.

Let me preface by saying that before I was a regularly winning PLO/8 player on Ultimate Bet. While using that software there were regularly PLO/8 SNGs being played around the clock, and I would multi-table 3-5 tournaments at a time everyday.

If one were to inspect the PLO/8 SNGs on, they are rarely played. Why?

The answer is simple. No turbo tournaments are offered and the structure is far far far far too slow. Under the current structure a PLO/8 SNG takes, on average from what I have observed, to be at least a 90 minute game and often the game will run into 120-150 minutes. This, all, for a 6 handed game. A full table game is not even offered, and many players including myself are not interested in investing so much time for a minimal payout.

Consider the structure. Players begin with 2,000 chips, with the blinds raising every 10 minutes. The problem is the blind increases are too small, and take too long.

It goes:

10/20 15/30 20/40 25/50 30/60 40/80 50/100

It takes an hour to get to a point where a player is only putting in 7.5% of their chipstack on blinds. In a split pot game where chops are the norm.

The structure of these games needs to be reconsidered, and is missing out on a fair size pool of players who are desperate to play SNGs. Adding a daily PLO/8 MTT would also be beneficial.

Please institute turbo tournaments. Please institute full table SNGs. Please restructure the blinds.

Last edited 13 May 2015

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wsopbill posted this 11 May 2015

Thanks for the suggestions. We'll be looking at whether or not these changes make sense.

You do bring up a bigger point though regarding the popularity of these games. I have to say that it's difficult to say, "These games were popular when I played at X" because each market is very different (as well as the fact that the site you mention hasn't even been in operation for about 4 years - a lot changes in poker in 4 years). For instance, with fixed limit games, especially FLH, they do quite well in NV but don't perform anywhere near as well in NJ. Same stakes, same games, etc. Why? Two entirely different demographics.

Same as in the live environment as well. You can walk into most So. California card rooms and see games being dealt and getting plenty of interest that there isn't even enough interest in to spread in NV.

I mention that as it will be one of the things we're factoring when we consider making the changes you suggested. There are a lot of different factors in play.

Sinister_Inc posted this 12 May 2015

Thank you for responding Bill.

Please let me clarify that I did not mean to cite Ultimate Bet as my example, although before Black Friday I did play PLO8 tournaments and cash games there regularly. I meant to say Ultimate Poker, and many of the players from that PLO8 community came to, but like me they only play cash games now. The PLO8 community on is not large, true, but I would say there are a solid 20-30 players during the week, with weekend games obviously being more populated. The .$50/1 PLO8 game is regularly juicy, as is the .25/.50 and .10/.20 games, so there are certainly players with more than $5 bankrolls. At the same time I have read your previous responses to different requests and suggestions regarding your philosophy on a healthy poker ecosystem.

It is also true that PLO8 is not a very popular game, but it is played locally in Vegas in a variety of casinos in both cash games and tournaments. The best tournaments, in my experience, are at The Orleans in terms of players, but they only offer limit Omaha Hi-Lo. The Venetian, Red Rock, Sam's Town, East Side Cannery, Planet Hollywood and a few others all offer either Omaha Hi-Lo, or PLO8 cash games and tournaments.

Where Ultimate Poker fell short is their MTT selection wasn't robust. The buy-in was flawed. Ultimate Poker offered Turbo $5-20 sngs, with a full table and not 6 players, but their MTT was offered daily for only $4. Players like myself who would multi-table 4-5 tournaments at a time did not have an interest in those. If there had been a MTT with a higher buy-in, even a modest $11 tournament, I would have been eager to regularly play. Having a MTT worth playing time and investment wise would likely make a small pool of your players very happy.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Last edited 12 May 2015

wsopbill posted this 12 May 2015

Appreciate the feedback.

Like I said, we'll take a look at this but, to be completely honest, we've been burned on Omaha and Stud before. In fact, I don't think we've had a major tournament series where we've offered these variants where we didn't end up overlaying them.

Believe me, I love Omaha and I'm far more likely to be found playing Omaha live (if it's available) than NLH but the real-world results are what they are.

I think the biggest problem has to do with the fact that there's no consistency to these games. It's hard to put any type of real guarantee on them because half the time they make it and half the time they don't even come close.

We're all for doing what we can to make these games viable, and we'll take a look at your suggestions, but ultimately we have to offer what the market can support. If the demand is there, we're more than happy to spread more tournaments.

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