From Arnold Snyder's Tournament Formula Poker 2
A must read for any tournament player, it's all about Deep Stack Poker tournaments.
The blind structure in relation to the number of chips each player starts with is the primary consideration on deciding if you should even enter a tournament, yet alone on what your strategy should be. The lower the patience factor, the more aggressive you have to be. The lower the patience factor, the more luck prevails over skill.
The Patience or Speed Factor (PF) is the first step in determining how, or even if, you should play any tournament.
First you need the tournament structure sheet that shows how many chips you start with, what the starting blinds are and how often they are raised.
Starting Chips = $1000 Full Table (9 players)
Level Blinds+Anties Total Time til blinds raise Cumulative M (# Big Blinds)
1 25/25 50 20 Minutes 50 (40) (1000/25)
2 25/50 75 20 Minutes 125
3 50/100 150 20 Minutes 275
(end of 1st hour)
4 100/200 300 20 Minutes 575
5 100/200+25 425 20 Minutes 1000
The amount of time it takes to "Blind Off" all your chips, without ever actually making a bet, is the Patience Factor, also the beginning the Minefield. In the above example you will be out of chips after 1 hour and 40 minutes, or 1.67 hours. Square that and you have the (PF) Patience Factor, in this case, 2.76 (Level 1). Which means you will most likely be all-in on the first hand you play, if you have to go to the river, as this would be a FAST Tournament. Anything less the Level 4, is a short stack tournament, no need to even look at the Utility Factor (UF).
|(PF) Patience Factor Skill Level|
|1.49 or less||0|
|1.50 to 2.99||1|
|3.00 to 4.49||2|
|4.50 to 5.99||3|
|6.00 to 7.49||4|
|7.50 to 9.99||5|
|10.00 and up||6|
The Minefield portion of the tournament is where you will see many players, mostly short stacked, making a last ditch effort to remain in the tournament or chip leaders trying to pick-off the dead money. This is also where players try to get past the bubble. Lots of All-in betting.
The Utility Factor (UF) is the 2nd step in determining how, or even if, you should play any tournament. Think again that your chips are ammunition, not just chips. The more chips you have, the better you can utilize them. The higher your utility factor, the more power and flexibility you have. Your utility is based on having at least an "M" of 60, In the above example, you are only 67% competitive. Divide your "M" by the basic competitive "M", to give you your competitive factor, in this case 40/60 = .67 "U" (utility). Multiply your Patience Factor times your "U" to get your Utility Factor, in this case it's, 1.79.
Clearly this is not a tournament worth playing, but it is typical for a "Shoot Out" Tournament where the winner of each table meets at the final table to play for the big prize, and starting chips may be doubled.
Your Utility Factor (UF) can range from 0 to over 200, which gives you ranks from 0 to 6.
A range from 0 to 40 and a rank of 0 to 2 is a short stacked tournament. A range from 41 to 100 gives you a ranking from 3 to 4 and good utility. A range from 101 to over 200 gives you a ranking from 5 to 6 and full utility.
|Quick Reference Chart (Adjusted to Patience Factor)|
|Short Stacked||0-5||0||Not a pro-level event, a crapshootat best.||KP|
|6-20||1||Low utility from the start, take early risks to double up, mostlyLong Ball, often a crapshoot by midpoint in tournament.||RCB|
|21-40||2||Low utility by second hour, some small ball may be possible in early levels, go for an early double-up. Very fast in-the-money portion||Zone|
|Deep Stacked||41-60||3||About two hours of competitive utility, more Small Ball is possible, fast by the money phase, good for aggressive semi-pros, still some ability to play at the final table.||AoW|
|61-100||4||Good utility for small ball, more trouble for amateurs, early chip accumulation can keep utility until the end, becomes mostly Long Ball by the money portion.||AoW/SB|
|101-200||5||Full utility possible all the way to the final table, pros will dominate, Small Ball skills will pay well.||SB/SA|
|201+||6||Full utility from start to finish, pros rule, amateurs will be knocked out, high-end poker skills and top tournament skills required.||M/C|
I NEVER BLUFF