Matrix Poker Part 2
I finally tried one of those Matrix SNG's at FullTilt. Just in case you missed my fascinating post a while ago about the Matrix tourney's they work like this:
9 Player SNG. Each player plays four simultaneous SNGs. 1/5 of the prize pool is allocated via the normal payout schedules to the top three players in each table. The remaining 1/5 of the prize pool goes to the Matrix Points winner. You get points for eliminating other players and outlasting players in each of the four tourneys.
I did a little research online for what other people were saying about the tourneys and the consensus I got from what little commentary was out there was that the format helps mediocre to moderately losing players by giving them access to 1/5 of the pool that they normally wouldn't get, meanwhile winning players will win slightly less than under normal formats.
I don't know if I agree with that or not. I think good players will more often than not last longer in each of the tourneys, thus accumulating more points providing insurance for when they get hit with a bad beat and don't finish as high in as they might normally have expected.
Regardless of whether or not it was +EV, it was fun. I could just be that I was playing four tables again, instead of just the one that I've been doing as I ease myself back into the online poker scene, but I also think the fact that I had the same players at each of my tables helped. There were times when I was looking at the matrix points standings and comparing them to the players at my table to figure out who I needed to outlast more. And I think the fact that busting someone was worth two points, enters into the expected value of any given pot. Finally you can use player's tendencies, or situations on one table against them in another. For example I was in a lengthy heads up battle on one of the tables, and I knew that if I had him with a difficult decision on the heads up table I could easily steal his blinds on the other table.
Speaking of the heads up battle, it had to be the longest heads up match I've ever been in. We got to heads up well before any of the other tables, and yet we were the last to finish up. I think we were at 30/60 blinds when we started and at 250/500 when we finished. That's eight levels. I started out with a 3:1 chip lead, but I just couldn't finish him off. I was playing more aggressively, but fell into the familiar routine of stealing a few small pots, then losing a bigger one when he pushed into my garbage. Eventually he hit a few big hands and I doubled him up. He must have had to go somewhere then because on both that table, and the other table we were still playing he went into all-in or nothing mode. He got bumped from the other table pretty quickly and I once I figured out his new strategy I just waited for big hands for him to double me up. And he did. And I ultimately won.
So I came in first in two of the four, and seventh in the other two. I also won the matrix points pool. It was a $10 entry, and I won $9 for the three first place finishes. Which is $17 profit. If I had entered four separate $10 tourneys instead I would have paid $40 and won $90, for $50 profit, which would have averaged out to 12.5. So in this smallest of sample sizes, the Matrix format was profitable.