Now that I have your attention, please do not flip out. I just want to start a discussion. While there has always been talk about how to improve the league concept, I am going to argue that it has inadvertently already taken place in a new form.

I actually do not want to kill the Open Skill League; it serves several good purposes. This includes being a gatekeeper for the Premier Skill League. A source of income for some who are very dedicated to time stalling meta-gaming. A place for peeps - who have busted their bankrolls - to find action. A ticket provider for the Big Bang tournament, and an opportunity for a smart minority to start their bankrolls from scratch. Mostly the league is just about PokerStars providing some free entertainment. There are probably a few more side benefits than just mentioned. Like learning to curse in a variety of languages like Russian, Spanish, German, Flemish, Hungarian, Romanian, and New Zealander.

What is being suggested here instead, is that there should be a small shifting of funds, perhaps as little as $1142.50 for starters. Why? Because  PokerSchoolOnline has recently created an interesting new league that it has not recognized as such yet. In many ways it serves IntelliPoker and poker players better than the other ongoing system. It consists of two groups of semi-regular participants (time-zone dependent) with one usually being distinctly larger than the other. The skill level range includes many new players, intermediate players, Premier League players, and some solid cash game players. What they have in common is that they regularly use this website.

While the Open Skill League will have around 130,000 participants this month, many of them will not visit this website. Most of them will not read - let alone compose - any blogs or forum posts. They will not watch any training videos. They certainly will not take any poker courses other than the basic one, which gets them the ticket to play in the Open Skill League. Today there was around 100 students in Andy's classroom when I joined in, but at that same time there was close to 200,000 active players online.

In this new league there are many peeps who regularly visit the website, promote the website, participate in classes, pass courses, and work at improving their game. This also includes many players that are new to the game who want to learn. They also often share information about poker. This is a foundation which is solid to build upon.  It is based on the School Pass Promotion. Participation is based upon criterion that limits how often someone can find a ticket into the game. It encourages PSO members, who want to play, to be active members. This has been a step in the right direction. There is potential to expand this concept, and to increase its vitality.

This ongoing participation could be expanded by tracking the results of these tournaments, and creating a leader board for them. It would need a reward system that could be both linked to participation and results. Because these tournaments are re-buy format, early exits can not be punished. Time stalling will not be a factor, because there are only 56 to 62 tournaments a month, and it is almost impossible to acquire 60 tickets - even if we were to squirrel them away for months at a time. The winners would have to consistently run deep. PSO Admin may want to expand on this idea to develop a broader, more comprehensive strategy. For example, they may want to limit how many tournaments someone can register for in a month, but increase the number of ways that interested players can acquire tickets.

Here are two suggested point earning systems per tournament:

Top 9:  10 or 20 points
Top 18: 5 or 10 points
Top 27: 3 or 5 points
Top 35: 2 or 3 points
Participant: 1 point

Or points awarded could be incumbent on how many players participate in a given tournament, with more points being added to the tournaments with larger field sizes.

Here is a suggested prize pool, 150 places paid:

1st              $215 ticket
2nd             $109 ticket
3rd              $82 ticket
4th              $55 ticket
5th              $44 ticket
6th              $33 ticket
7th              $27 ticket
8-10th        $22 ticket
11-15th      $16.50 ticket
16-20th      $11 ticket
21-30th      $8.80 ticket
31-40th      $5.50 ticket
41-50th      $4.40 ticket
51-70th      $3.30 ticket
71-100th    $2.20 ticket
101-150th  $1.10 ticket

Total cost: $1142.50

I am going to to run this idea up the flag pole, and see who salutes. This will be a blog, forum post, and email to PSO Admin.  This post is here to kickstart the discussion. Ultimately the goal is get more students in class, more regular visitors, more participation in PSO, and more people playing poker at a higher skill level. I would like hear your comments and ideas on the subject.