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Terminate Last Chance in 2003

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  • Terminate Last Chance in 2003

    Having examined these "Last Chance Events" over the past week or so I have come to the conclusion that they must be eliminated, or at least severely reformed, for the 2003 Big One. I have a number of points that I have listed below in support of this position.

    Now, I would like to make a few assumptions about the motivating factors behind PSO's decision to offer these Last Chance tourneys before I offer my main rationale for eliminating them:

    --PSO probably wants to promote membership (new and renewal) by dangling the Big One at the end of the year as a of right membership.

    --PSO probably wants to offer to as many members as possible the opportunity to "hit it big" so to speak duirng the Big One and have an opportunity to participate in a bigtime B&M tournament.

    I'm certain there are many more reasons for the Last Chance tourneys but the above notes a couple reasons.

    Now, in defense of my position to end (or drastically alter) these Last Chance Events, I offer the following:

    My main concern derives from the disproportionality in qualifying for the Big One. Shouldn't one have to substantially EARN their way into the Big One, and not just receive entrance into the tourney by virtue of being a member?


    As I stated above, I understand that PSO probably desires to make the opportunity to participate in the Big One somewhat attainable as a reward for its members. But shouldn't there be some REALISTIC qualifying mechanism in place so that one's quality of play becomes some significant proportion of the overall equation is gaining access to play in the Big One?

    It is a battle to compete with hundreds (a thousand?) of students each month to get one of the top spots for qualification into a Round 2 event. Then, these same members that played outstanding poker during the month now have to finish in the (top 30 I believe) of a few hundred qualifiers AGAIN in one of the two Round 2 events in order to qualify for the Big One. In general, I have absoultely no problem with this, what I will call "Round 2" qualification, in order to attain entry into the Big One. I strongly believe that such a qualification obstacle MUST exist to preserve the integrity and mission of the School and its players.

    The other two avenues that one might avail themselves of for qualifcation into the Big One are Annual Member Events (2 chances per month) and the Last Chance Events.

    No reasonble person could attempt to argue that either of these two "avenues of qualification" are remotely as challenging as the aforementioned "Round 2" avenue. It seems extremely unfair to me that a member who achieves great success in any given month over the course of a minimum of 5 mutis or 10 sats, thereby qualifying for Round 2, and then proceeding to finish in the top 30 in the Round 2 should achieve the same status or qualification as someone who happens to finish in the Top 6 (I thought that was a sick joke when I first saw it) of one of the 54 (That's right FIFTY-FOUR) Last Chance Events offered in the first 18 days of December for entrance into the Big One II.

    This system cheapens, dilutes, and basically renders incredibly meaningless any member who has come through the, relatively speaking, extremely challenging Round 2 avenue en route to a BO-II birth.

    Now, I know, I know, if you finish in the top (3-20 I believe--could be a little off here) of a Round 2 event you get "B qualification" and if you finish 1st or 2nd you have the ability to trun your B into a C or D qualification. The Annual Memebrs avenue offers qualifications somehwat similar to the Round 2.

    Please, please don't conterargue that a Round 2 participant has the opportunity for a higher qualification then a Last Chance qualifier where only A or B qualifications are awarded. The Round 2 players damn well better receive or have the opportunity to earn a higher qualification because THEY HAVE EARNED IT!!! By playing well during the month in MULTIPLE tournaments and then finsihing high enough in Round 2 I sure as heck hope they would get a higher entrance tag--and they do.

    With 54--I am still astounded by that mammoth figure--Last Chance tournaments there are...brace yourself...324 (yeah, that's right THREE HUNDRED AND TWENTY FOUR) places for members that have failed to qualify in either the Round 2 or Annual Memebers monthly tourneys. Almost HALF, yes HALF of the qualificants for the Big One 2 will come from these LC events--that is sickening!!!

    I realize that there has to be a balance between a member's "right" to participate in the Big One by sole virtue of being a member and a member having to "earn" their way in but these LC events skew the balance way, way out of line.

    Am I alone out here on a limb feeling that we should require a heck of a greater deal of performance in order to play in the Big One? I hope not and I think not.

    Do we want to give members an opportunity to play in the Big One or do we want to give members opportunity to QUALIFY to play in the Big One? I prefer the latter. Please no responses with, "Well, they actually do have to qualify in the LC events." Come on, technically true, practically a complete joke! I (a far below average player here) could play a few of the LC tourneys drunk and qualify easily within a few days or so at the latest.

    That brings me back to the Round 2 avenue of qualification, though relatively challenging, it hardly is a serious obstacle for a member that has been here the better part of the year of the Big One and has had several months to come through qualification. Again, I'll use myself as an example. My ranking is currently 60% and that's only because I had a career perfromance in November. For the overwhelming protion of my tenure here at PSO I've been in the mid to low 50th percentile. That's terrible and far, far below school average, I think I'm ranked in th 600's. I also have earned no scholarship points nor have I ever really come close. My bankroll has been histroically horrendous until my miraculous November where I was able to build a nice 'roll.

    I offer my personal stats for this reason: I qualified for the Round 2 event 3 times having been a member only since May of 2002 and I did well enough in the Round 2 tourney to get a B qualification. Now, if I (a relatively terrible player) can get into the Big One via Round 2 then every other member could do it too. My point here is that Round 2 qualifying offers the perfect qualifying mechanism for the Big One.

    A note about Annual Members Events: While I wouldn't stand in the way of elimiating or restricting these also, I feel as though the AME offer PSO the opportunity to include as many members as possible the right to be included in the Big One. These are only offered twice a month and are thus not even close to as easy a gateway as is the revloving door of the LC events.


    Even though PSO probably wants to encourage memberships and offer members a shot at the bigtime once a year, shouldn't we require some sort of LEGITIMATE qualification for entry into the Big One. Don't we want our best players to have the best shot at winning the Big One? Wouldn't PSO want the best PSO players to represent the school at B&M tourneys to promote the welfare of the school and elevate the integrity of the school? Now, I would be happy to see ANY MEMBER who has LEGITAMTELY QUALIFIED into the Big One take the title home.

    Also, what's wrong with limiting the entrants in the Big One to say 350 or so. That would be all of the Round 2 qualifiers plus the Annual Member qualifiers and maybe 10-20 from the LC events. Also, under no circumstnaces ever, should a LC qualfier be able to attain the same Qualification Letter (A, B, C, D) as a qualifier from the Round 2 event.

    Practical suggestions for the Big One III (2003):

    (1) completely eliminate last chance events.

    This is the best option but probably extremely unrealsitic to encourage PSO to accept.

    (2) make certain that no LC qualifier can achieve the same level of qualifcation as a Round 2 qualifier under any conditions (i.e.: I don't care if you win one of the 54 LC events)

    (3) allow all previously qualified Big One entrants--from the RD2 and AME--to play in the LC events and have a One or Two Level "bump" in qualification for finishing high in an LCE.

    (4) extremely limit, and I mean EXTREMELY, the amount of spaces awarded for qualification in the LC events. I think it should be no greater, under any circumstnaces, then the equivalent of 5-10% of the already qualified number of entrants from the RD2 and AME which would mean about 25-35 spots.

    (5) play the same LC events 3-a-day for the first two weeks Decemeber and then take the top X amount of players from each of thise evetns and make them playoff in a final LC event tourney a few days before the Big One for a limite (25 or so) amount of spots in the Big One.

    While it is true that a good poker playing member could get very unlucky and go through the year unable to qualify in the RD2 or AME, this scenario is extremely unlikely. No one could argue that the poker playing abilities of the average RD2 qualifier is not superior to a LC qualifier (in general).

    I would like PSO's and fellow members thoughts on my dissertation!!!


  • #2
    I agree completely and could not have said it any better.

    The last chance events and annual members events cheapen the Big One II for those people who worked hard every day to play their best game possible.

    If PSO truly wanted the best possible player - they would take the best of the best, from players who have been consistently doing well.
    Instead, there is a chance that someone (because on any given day, it is possible for ANYONE to win a NL tourney) to represent PSO that truly does not represent what this school SHOULD be about.



    • #3
      I am now an annual member, but I agree totally that annual and monthly member qualifications should not be segregated. Never made any sense to me, but I am going to take advantage of it and play the two tourneys next week.

      As for the Last Chance events, I believe that these are necessary for players, like myself, who haven't had time to play 5 multis or 10 satellites every month to qualify. I don't have time to play 5 multis, so I played ten satellites in November trying to qualify, and that is a lot of time.

      Personally, I think that players should be able to use a big bankroll to enter the tourney, but that idea got lost along the way. Reward performances for the past year by letting people buy a C or D for a big price, 30K or whatever.



      • #4
        Totally agree with Bster had thought the same thing myself.

        Plus while we're at it, on a trivial point, can we make the best qualification an A, then B, then C, etc. Just seems backwards to me. Maybe I'm just too used to U.S. schools grading system with A being best.

        Ricky Hard


        • #5


          • #6
            While I am in general agreement with the position expressed here, remember this.

            Any person can enter the $10,000 WSOP Championship event if they show up and put their money down. So even in the "real world", there is no requirement that anyone be a good poker player to "qualify" for these events.

            I would think that Mark's personal goal would be to have one of the best players in the school win the seat and then go on to win the big event. Think of the exposure for PSO! Given the element of luck, it is unlikely that the best player would win in a field where you double the field with last minute qualifiers. Limiting the field to those who make it through the multiple qualifying steps would at least provide some guarantee that the person who wins and goes on to the big one would have the ability to perform at a high level over some period of time, which indicates an increased chance of winning the big one IMO.

            I wonder how many people are in the school only because they can earn a seat in the big one...frankly, I don't think that many. So making the qualifying more meaningful would not adversly affect membership numbers, I don't think. In fact, it might have the effect if increasing the quality of play, since I have no doubt if I hadn't qualified through the monthly system I could qualify through a last chance tourney. If that opportunity weren't there, might I take my playing a bit more seriously every month?


            • #7

              To me though, it's not about giving everyone a chance - it's about having PSO represented by their best.

              Call it pride, but I want to see PSO do well in a big event - I love reading about players like Huk and depraved kicking butt.



              • #8
                I agree that the last chance events should be shelved. I just heard about the poker school a couple of weeks ago (joined up immediately) and just barely managed to squeek into the round 2 events for this weekend. If I fail to advance there, however, I would have the option of trying the last chance events, and given the large number of events, it dosen't sound like securing an "A" qualification would be difficult. I have to say it dosen't seem fair that someone in my position should be able to sneak in so easily when many of you have been trying for most of the year.

                My question reqards the payouts. I just read the Big One rules and by my calculations there will be 14 "D" qualifiers and 21
                "C" qualifiers. However, there are 20 payouts for each event, meaning 6 "D" prizes go unclaimed and one very unlucky "C" player gets shut out. What's up with that?



                • #9
                  i feel the last chance events should stay, i have failed to make the round 2 event every month, and most months it was only by a few % points. However, there should be sometype of by-in for it, a high buy in for $500 or something. maybe higher for better seats.

                  To a business stand point though, if it was only from the round 2 events that would be less people in the event, i am sure mark wants as many people in it as possible (there is a set number though). It's $10K, he doesn't want it to be easy. That is the point of the freeroll last chance.


                  • #10
                    All the C and D prizes can go unclaimed. It isn;t a contest just between the players in that category. They still have to beat the other 700+ players.


                    • #11
                      Noodles, thanks for the explanation. Somehow I was unable to grasp that - uh, somewhat important - distiction (was thinking there were 4 tournaments).



                      • #12

                        Some very good points, however I did originally join soley based on the Big One. I Joined in March 2002. Things have since changed and would stay on as a member even with out the chance to make the big time, I love the community, the lessons, and the chance to play without risking at the casino. My point is though that these promotions are to attract new members and they work. I think that they are an excellent way for Mark to promote his business and give us all something to talk about. For myself as a fringe player i appreciate the extra chances to qualify and I still think that many members will miss the big event and the ones that do qual in the LC well have somewhat earned it. We all know that the Big One II is a one day event like most tourny's and it should be that way. Take the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA if the reg season winner was champion then why play the playoffs. Why play the Super Bowl? I think a solution to your complaint is to award yearly prizes along with the monthly ones make the sponsor points high for those. Just ideas not arguing your well taken points.

                        Thief 21


                        • #13
                          Nice to hear all the feedback, I'd like to hear from Mark and more PSO members. If there is enough of an interest to "tighten up" the qualifying for the Big One from the membership, then I'd like to eventually make a formal proposal that changes be instituted.

                          With all due respect to the monthly scholarship award winners, the Big One is where all the cash is--it's the BIG PRIZE. It's somewhat ironic that the School's biggest reward for good play is presented in such a format that anybody with one lucky day can take down a big win.

                          Now, as I said before, luck is an inherent part of NLHE. But the Big One is our Superbowl, it's where the best of the best fight it out for the big prize. As in the NFL, all teams have a shot at the Superbowl during the regular season, then must qualify in the playoffs to reach a birth in the Big Game. Not all teams make the playoffs and not all teams play in the championship game. It should be the same here.

                          In a website that gives you so much for 15 bucks a month it's a darn shame that the single most important day in the School's year is cheapened by the fact that so many undeserving people are allowed to compete for our most hallowed honor: a chance to play in WSOP or other similar event by cashing in in our Big One tourney.

                          I believe it is imperative that future entry into the Big One be EXTREMELY skewed in favor of the surviviors from the RD2 events.

                          I'd like to see a percentage breakdown of Big One participants as follows:

                          Round 2: 75%
                          Annual Monthly: 15%-20%
                          Last Chance: 5%-10%

                          I even think the 75% from the Round 2 is way too low but I have to be realistic. Going through Rd 2 is like crawling through a mine field while blindfolded TWICE compared with the smooth road of the LC events.

                          One more item: It is simply not enough to allow RD2 qualifiers "better qualification status." That is wholly irrelevant when you let 750 (an astounding number) people in the Big One.

                          My problem is not so much that a Top 10-20 player win the Big One as that the winner actually earn his/her entrance into the Big One by surviving a legitimate, challegning qualification process.

                          Keep the comments coming!



                          • #14
                            Good post, good comments and observations.

                            For what it's worth I'm as committed to PSO as anyone but I only get the opportunity to play 2/3 times a week (if that), so the opporunity to qualify for the BIG ONE II in a last chance event interests me a great deal.

                            Just as an aside, should I ever be lucky (skillful) enough to win I'd fly out and take the place (and ditto for the WPO). So, I wonder how many players are entering these tournaments who have neither the time, inclincation, or funding to support them to take part, even if they should win.

                            I know it's easy to say "I'll go" (for me as well as anyone else) but because there are so many players trying to win a spot in both the BIG ONE II and the WPO I'm curious to know how many would actually be prepared to take their seat.

                            I'm going to Tunica, but sadly I just haven't got enough time to take part in the PSO big entry tournaments to win a spot; so maybe I'll get lucky in a satellite whilst I'm out there.


                            • #15
                              Make a formal proposal if you wish, but remember, it's Marks ballgame. He decides based on his overall "scheme" of things how he chooses to allow people to qualify for this event. Last year, in the BigOne I, players from the funside were allowed to qualify, so they had even less invested, than PSO members do. I don't have a problem with everyone having an opportunity to qualify thru whatever means Mark decides, after all, there are lots of ways to earn a seat in any big B&M tournament that takes place, thru freerolls, super sats., cash buy-ins, etc., so why not have a variety of way for the BigOne? A player who qualifies in the last chance event will have to qualifty as a "B" and finish in the top 5 to get any sponsorship at all and that starts at $1000 for 5th. An "A" or "B" qualifier has to win the event to get in the REAL money, and if they are able to accomplish that goal, then I think they deserve it.
                              As far as the "best" representative for PSO...that can be any one person on any given day in a one event race. You can be the best poker player on earth and be first out (someone has to be), so it's all going to come down to the luck of the cards!