Friday, April 30, 2010

Unenthusiastic for SCOOP

That's right, I'm looking a gift horse in the mouth.

Back in January I won a tournament ticket to the upcoming SCOOP series on PokerStars. This was through a freeroll that they gave to some of us poker bloggers. I'm grateful for Stars doing this for us. Really, I am.


I am just now discovering the limited utility of what I won. It's a $16.50 ticket. SCOOP is organized in a clever way, with three tournaments going on simultaneously, one at each of three different buy-ins--low, medium, and high--so as to accommodate players of differing bankrolls. The low entry points range from $5.50 to $55 (plus a couple at $109 and $270), most of them being $11 or $22.

I looked at the schedule. There are only six events with a $16.50 entry fee, and none of them seemed up my alley--standard NLHE or HORSE or razz. OK, I thought, so instead I'll go for a $22 event, of which there are several that would suit me just fine, and use the tournament ticket plus $5.50 of my own money to enter. Nope. Can't do that. The system won't let me.

All right, then, I'll give up a little of the value (it's free, after all), and just use the ticket to enter an $11 event, because again there are several of those with which I would be perfectly content.

Not so fast, pilgrim. The system also won't allow that. When I try to register, the only option it offers is cash, not the use of the tournament ticket.

So I'm resigned to the fact that I have to use the ticket for an event that is exactly $16.50, no more and no less. Here are my six choices:

1. Badugi. No thanks, I barely even know the rules.

2. NLHE heads-up. This is a possibility, but I don't think I'm very good at heads-up, so this doesn't maximize my chance for making some money.

3. NLHE, Ante Up. Nothing wrong with the format here, but I can't tell whether part of the prize pool is taken out for the charity. At least I assume that the "Ante Up" in the title means that it's a charity event for Ante Up for Africa. The tournament lobby does not explain how much, if any, of the prize pool is removed for the organization. Whatever portion it is (assuming it's at least something), my value is reduced by that percentage.

4. NLHE, 2x chance, turbo. A possibility, but I think my game is better suited to slower structures, not turbos.

5. PLO, 6-max. No thanks.

6. PLHE/PLO mix. Again, not for me.

So basically my best choices are between NLHE heads-up, NLHE turbo, or NLHE with some unknown portion of the prize pool taken out for charity. Frankly, that's not a very appealing set of options. I've registered for the Ante Up one. Even if I'm giving up some value from the prize pool, it may be less than the value I would be giving up by picking an event that doesn't fit where my meager skills lie, and at least whatever value I'm sacrificing goes to a decent cause.

Again I emphasize that I am grateful for having had the opportunity to win a free entry at all. That was very generous. But really, Stars, would it hurt you to make the tickets more flexible, so that they could be used for events at a price point slightly higher or lower, thus vastly increasing the number of tournaments from which one could choose?


As several commenters have pointed out, "Ante Up" refers to a rather oddly structured tournament apparently unique to PokerStars, not the "Ante Up for Africa" charity, as I had erroneously assumed. I had never heard of this before. It sounds crazy enough that I think I'll keep my registration there and give it a try.


SirFWALGMan said...

CK posted this recently maybe you can break yours down too?

"I was only able to play one event in the most recent WBCOOP, but I finished 27th / 2,062 in the Main Event to win a T$215 SCOOP ticket.

The kind folks at PokerStars were willing to break down my T$215 ticket so that I can play several smaller buy-in events (more my speed) rather than one medium buy-in event."

BWoP said...

This from the PokerStars website: "Ante Up! is a format unique to PokerStars in which the forced betting in each hand is controlled by the antes as opposed to the blinds. Antes are in play from the start of the tournament and increase as play moves along; the blinds do not increase."

Snuffy said...

Ante Up is antes from the start of the tourney, not the charity.

Anonymous said...

Ante up is where the antes go up every level and the blinds remain the same. Not a charity tourney.

Cardgrrl said...

You'd better have a look at the tournament structure for "Ante Up." They generally feature antes that progress at INSANE SPEED (the name has nothing to do with charity).

CWBoP managed to get Pokerstars to accommodate her wish to play different tournaments with her SCOOP ticket. You should try emailing them, they might do the same for you.

Keiser said...

Try contacting customer service, CK managed to get a $215 winning turned into 8 different entries.

Gallopin Gael said...

Ante Up at PS usually refers to the structure where the blinds stay at 5/5 with the antes rapidly increasing every level and not to the charity tourneys for Africa. So, while I'm not 100% certain that they aren't holding out part of the prize pool for the charity, I'm pretty confident that they aren't.

These tourneys can turn into a crap shoot pretty quickly, but are also a whole lot of fun.

I'd suggest giving that one a try.

Moviedogs said...

I believe "ante up" means there are antes at every level.

gr7070 said...

I was expecting to write a very negative comment about how it's not such a bad thing to give a little to charity, especially when it's not even your own money, not yet anyway. Fortunately you mostly came to your senses near the end of the post.

Wouldn't you much rather play the $16.50 Ante Up than an $11 option anyway? It's not that likely you loose 1/3 of your "win-value". Even if you do (or even a little more) isn't it better to have that extra 5 bucks worth go towards a charity than Stars more or less pocketing the leftover $5 you wouldn't have spent playing an $11 event?

You are looking a gift horse in the mouth, and even worse are complaining about the small chance of you winning less than the full amount because some of the winnings might go to help those who didn't win the childbirth lottery.

I usually appreciate your character (I often share your outlook), but this was a bit disappointing, even though you chose the right thing in the end.

Blindraise said...

What is meant by [Ante Up!] in the title of Event 13?
Ante Up! is a format unique to PokerStars in which the forced betting in each hand is controlled by the antes as opposed to the blinds. Antes are in play from the start of the tournament and increase as play moves along; the blinds do not increase.