Last month, playing in the Open Skill League I sometimes wanted to know where my breakeven finish lay in terms of rank.  I started off the month wondering if it might be possible to finish well just by registering for each tournament and check/folding each hand.  As your total score increases, the scoring formula ensures this is not possible by subtracting points at a rate of 3 per hundred points your current score exceeds the average score of all tournament participants.


Below is a graph showing the points awarded vs finishing place for 5 different values of your month total score so far.  In each case the average players' score (field strenth) is 1700 and the number of participants is 10,000.

Skill Leagues Scoring Graph

A mildly amusing thought occurred to me when compiling this chart:

Although the formula used is provided very clearly by PSO, if you want to check the exact calculation behind the points received for a specific tournament, one piece of information, the value used for field strength, is missing and as far as I know, the only way of finding it, apart from asking PSO directly for the value they used , is to backwork it and that requires knowing the score first.  Otherwise, you would need to obtain the current (old) score of every participant of that particular tournament and find the average.  For this reason it's pretty much impossible to verify exactly that you have been awarded the correct number of points although you could check that the field strength used in your points calculation is the same as that used for a few others which would suggest that your calculation was at least consistent with others'.

The point is though that I'd be surprised if many people actually bother to look closely at the formula anyway or even realise that any discrepancy between what they might expect and their actual score would be virtually impossible to detect or raise at a later date.  The reason I found this slightly amusing is that I've often read in the forums complaint by OSL players that Pokerstars somehow engineers the games they play so that their AA is always cracked by a donkey with 42o or the like who Pokerstars for some reason favours.  The idea that a company the size of Pokerstars would risk committing commercial suicide in order to piss them off is ludicrous in any case, but even more so when you consider that there's a number like field strength that is virtually impossible to verify, and the undetectable tweeking of which would have exactly the same effect as any number of bad beats.  I'm not suggesting of course they do anything of the sort, but I thought it illustrated quite well the absurdity of the workings of a disgruntled, tilted mind.