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Revamp needs revamping

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  • Revamp needs revamping

    Just a thought on the PSO league....

    In January, the league games paid out the top 15%. In January, the league games allowed for a maximum of 2000 entrants and by the end of January it was getting very close to reaching that cap.

    Then they lowered the payout to the top 10% and upped the maximum entrants to 10000.

    Now looking back it appears they made a mistake here. The number of entrants does not get anywhere near 2000 anymore. And now that the Warm Up promotion is over there will be even less because there were some that only played to get the minimum score for those freerolls.

    I don't look at the number of people listed on the leaderboard because many of them play a couple of games and disappear. That number does not reflect the true number of regular or even semi-regular participants.

    With the lowered payout percentage and the end of the Warm Up promotion I am guessing that league participation will continue to decline in April. I know this league is here to provide pokerstars more active players and it does do that. I just think they were heading in a much stronger direction when they allowed the newer poker players a 15% chance of placing. Take a few minutes and scroll through the blog pages. It is littered with discouraged and frustrated newer online players. This league is supposed to be a starting zone for newer players to get their game on track using the lessons and the training, maybe winning a few bucks, and gaining the confidence to head into the pokerstars world.

    Not to say that some of the frustrations of dealing with bad beats, donkeys and maniacs are not part of the game. They are. And people need to be able to deal with those things. But lowering the payout percentage makes it even more frustrating. Toss in the ever dwindling time bank so they don't even have much time when they need to make a tough decision and the frustration grows even more. Heck, even some of the more experienced regulars have had about enough of this league.

    I appreciate that this league exists. It allowed me a chance to grow a bankroll and improve my play at the same time for free. Truly a lucky time to be playing online poker for all of us that see the PSO opportunity for what it is. But it could be so much better. The staff has vacated the premises and left patrol duty to the mods. There is a suggestion thread with dozens of unanswered suggestions. Ummm why have the thread at all?

    OK, rambled enough. Just wanted to throw out there the idea that the league took a step back with lowering the payout percentage and it will likely show more in April with no more Warm Up promotion to draw more people in also.I am so sure of this theory, I am willing to bet that participation in the league in April will not be higher than it was in January.

    Love to hear what other people think about the league, the changes, and its future. After nine months, they should be drawing 2000 a tourney. Or with the changes, is that number unreachable?

  • #2
    well, I will say this. The reasons to lower it to 10% and lowered the clock is so that someone can't automatically clock their way into the $$$ without playing a decent number of hands..... also to get rid of some of the donks that were only playing for the pennies (which are now harder for them to get).

    I think the reasons were correct, but everything can be tweaked. Although, I will say that at 10%, it's a whole lot harder to make up for a variance run.

    Lower numbers of people, if you get rid of the correct ones, can be a good thing and make for better games.

    6 Time Bracelet Winner


    • #3
      Originally posted by JWK24 View Post
      well, I will say this. The reasons to lower it to 10% and lowered the clock is so that someone can't automatically clock their way into the $$$ without playing a decent number of hands..... also to get rid of some of the donks that were only playing for the pennies (which are now harder for them to get).

      I think the reasons were correct, but everything can be tweaked. Although, I will say that at 10%, it's a whole lot harder to make up for a variance run.

      Lower numbers of people, if you get rid of the correct ones, can be a good thing and make for better games.
      I like what you say but the donks aren't the ones leaving the PSO. It is the ones who come thinking they are going to see some poker being played. Everyone hears the complaints about the site being rigged and the cards are not random. They show up and see their pockets aces cracked by 93 and some of the most unbelievable hands ever dealt and then start to believe what they hear about online poker. Toss in the low starting stack which only allows for minimal error before becoming short stacked, a low time bank to use to make decisions, and a 10% payout. All things that are not helpful to a newer player.

      Yeah reducing the time bank is a way of making it tougher to stall into the money. A better solution is a bigger starting stack and/or longer blind levels. Or even more blind levels like a regular tourney if that is the image they want to present. More starting chips would mean nothing to the donkey player but to those that are trying to play poker, it would be nice to have some room for error before you are forced into a shove or fold mode. Introducing people to poker with a semi-turbo format can really only lead to many frustrated players, which it does. I like that so many people are blogging now but it gets tiresome to see so many that are just full of anger and frustration at the league. The staff either doesn't care or never bothers to address people's concerns and suggestions for a better league.

      The experienced PSO'ers adapt to what is thrown at them but the newer players walk into a minefield without a metal detector. It could be better. That is all I am saying. And I think the participation numbers next month will continue to show that is the case.


      • #4
        I don't know what you two are going on about regarding the clock. The time was reduced from 60 seconds to 30 for the entire game, not per hand. You don't creep by running the clock. You do it by using all the time available to you BEFORE the clock kicks in. And this hasn't changed.


        • #5
          I'll be the first to say the two changes helped the poker league. I can remember one member placing very high each month because of the clock, and the high payout ratio. When the clock went down by half, and the ITM mark became 10%, he departed.

          Now comments were made about the rigging of the site. Such talk will continue forever. Since you cannot see the cards shuffled, you automatically assume it is rigged. Think about it, if the dealers at a casino, or a card room, shuffled the deck under the table, would you trust them? Same thing here.

          For those who believe the monster pairs "always" lose to trash, I got the numbers to prove the opposite. (Shameless plug: Beginner's Questions Forum - Group One and Group Two Hands) Human nature has us remembering the bad beats and the river that killed your magic bullets, but if you reverse it, few can recall that glorious victory against impossible odds on the river.

          As to a falloff of membership, that is going to be a natural progression. Those who become good enough here will move on to the main site. They might consider these games with the same nostalgic view we have when thinking about high school. Newer players will replace them. Then we will go through the same learning curve with them. Good ones will progress. Others will be chasing the pennies.

          The last point, improvements, eludes me. I would like to see a promotion similar to the warm-up game, though the promotion needed some adjustments to prevent outsiders from stealing the thunder of those who participated. I would also love to see an expansion, such as a league sit and go competition similar to the battle of the planets, but the site blew that off when I suggested it in a very terse, and demeaning, dismissal. With the test on the limit version, I'm surprised there is nothing offered as a tie-in.

          Sad thing is, the latest two promotions related to the tests, will cost the membership. The player gets nothing for passing these tests, other than a green tick mark. Consider, the sit and go test offers you tickets to several sit and go games, but only if you make a deposit. The latest test, the MTT test, gives you nothing unless you make a deposit. There is no incentive to these tests unless you intend making a deposit.


          • #6
            This does seem a good time to review the scoring system in the skill league. I think the scoring system needs some tweaking. And I speak as someone whose fledgling game is well adapted to playing the system as it is now.

            To discourage overly negative play, I think the gradient between the big negative points for an early exit and the comparatively small positive points for almost but not quite getting into the money should be much flatter. That would reduce the incentive to simply stall and fold the first hour away to avoid calamitous loss of points. I would also like to see a steeper gradient between just making it through the bubble and reaching the final table. At present there is very little incentive to play on at all after the bubble has burst.

            Having said that, the one thing the current very complex scoring system does well via the 'choke points' system is to ensure that those who can play huge numbers of tournaments per month do not get too much of an advantage. The more points you have, the harder it is to keep your score rising. Any changes need to keep the overall points balance about the same, so as not to undermine this effect. If necessary, my suggested changes could be tapered down at the higher levels, to avoid undermining this useful effect.

            I suspect part of the reasoning behind the current points structure was to reward and encourage those who played the recommended (in the training materials) style, and played tight early, surviving the early rounds, even if they were not yet good enough to make the money very often. On the other hand, the system discourages people from lazily donking all in as soon as possible, by giving them heavy point penalties for going out early.

            Unfortunately the effect on the donks has probably been the opposite to that intended. They soon give up on making the money at the end of the month and concentrate instead on knocking others out and trying to win their own month-end battle for the lowest score in the league. In any case, there is no need for the points system to discriminate against these players. They are going to lose anyway. If going all in every hand was actually a successful strategy, then the PSO should be teaching it. It isn't and they aren't.

            Flattening the points gradient pre-bubble would have the effect of focussing players' attentions on making it into the money and beyond. The breakeven point would probably have to be pushed back closer to the bubble as a part of the change, to avoid upsetting the overall points balance. But an occasional early knockout would no longer be such a disaster for a point-hungry player.

            Post-bubble, an increase in the points gradient would surely be a good thing. There would presumably have to be a slight decrease in the points 'bonus' for reaching the money at all, but this could be offset by higher points for going deeper into the prize money places. I'm not advocating a dramatic change here, just a tweak. And if such a tweak was found to undermine the 'choke' system, it could be tapered down at the higher choke levels, and applied more aggressively for players at the starting 1500 level.

            So, those are my two suggestions for the scoring system. No dramatic changes, but some tweaking to encourage more positive play, without undermining the 'choke point' system which I think is very valuable in keeping more people interested in the top end of the table for longer each month, even those who can only play a limited number of games.


            • #7

              pokerstars couldnt run a brothel never mind a league it's embarresing !



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