EPT9 Barcelona: When blinds attack

August 19, 2012


Three days ago these Super High Rollers started playing with stacks of 250,000 chips and blinds of 500-1,000. Even to those cursed by peanut sized brains, that’s a pretty straightforward big blind to stack size ratio calculation.

(The starting stack here represented 25 2,500 150 237…er…250 big blinds.)

Flash forward two and a half days and there are now only three players left in the tournament. The leader, Dan Smith, has about 9.6 million chips, but as rapidly as his stack has accelerated today, it is still nothing compared with the blind level raise. Nine-point-six million (9.6 million!) only actually equals 121 big blinds, ie, less than half what they started with.

That, in short, is how poker tournament directors ensure poker tournaments end. Although we do sometimes see players clinging on and clinging on and clinging on, never shoving their short stacks in the middle, that is not accepted tournament strategy these days. Rather whenever a stack size creeps down close to 20 big blinds, all the money goes in.

As you may have read/seen on our hand-by-hand updates (either on the top panel of the main Super High Roller page or on EPT Live), we have just seen a rash of eliminations from this tournament. Talal Shakerchi, Erik Seidel, Mike McDonald and Ilari Sahamies all went out within a level and a bit – all with something like 25 big blinds apiece.


Erik Seidel, one of the short-stacks who got it in


Ilari Sahamies, and another

The three players left have just negotiated for about 20 minutes about a deal, but never managed to reach agreement. That means that when they return to play this to a winner, it’s 127 (Smith) v 64 (Alvarado) v 15 (Watson).

There’s play, and shoving, to come.

Here’s a chat with Mike McDonald from slightly earlier in the day:


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