Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Full Tilt Poker Matrix SnGs

Have you ever thought that you were better than the rest of the folks at the table, but that you couldn't prove it because of a cold deck or bad beat?

Full Tilt has introduced a new concept called a Matrix Sit-n-Go. The idea is that they take 9 players and sit them down to 4 simultaneous single table SnG tournaments. It's one thing to get lucky and win a tournament. It's quite another to pwn the same field of 9 over the course of 4 independent ones.

But is it worth it? Let's analyze the Matrix and see how far down the rabbit hole goes.

There are actually 5 prize pools in a Matrix tournament - one for each of the individual tournaments, plus an overall prize pool for the Matrix itself. The prize pools take the traditional 50%, 30%, 20% breakdown for 1st, 2nd and 3rd. If you win all four of the individual tournaments, you can "scoop" the Matrix pool. So let's make the math easy - There are 50 "points" for the Matrix, and winning any of the contests gets you 5, coming in 2nd gives you 3 and coming in 3rd gives you 2. "Scooping" the Matrix gives you 10. So the best you can theoretically do is 4 * 5 + 10 - 30 points. For a $22+$2 Matrix SnG, each point is worth $3.96, so that's $118.80. If you instead had entered 4 plain SnGs each worth $5.50 + $0.50 (which is the $22+$2 divided by four), you'd have won $99. That's a premium of $19.80, or 20%. The next best finish you can get is winning 3 of them and placing 2nd in the 4th. No scoop for you! Instead, you'd almost certainly win the Matrix prize, plus 3 1st place and 1 2nd place, or 4 * 5 + 3 - 23 points. That's $91.08, compared to the alternative of $89.10 - a premium of only 2%!

Still, I played a $22+$2 one for the novelty of it. I didn't do too badly. I won two of the four tournaments, placed 4th in the third (bad beat) and 9th in the last (made an ill advised move against pocket kings). I wound up 1st in the Matrix prize pool, so I earned 15 points, or $59.40. Had I played individually, I would have won $49.50 - a 20% premium.

Here's how it broke down:

Figuring out who benefitted is easy. Everybody who cashed at all cashed 20% less than they would have, except for the 3 of us who cashed in the Matrix pool. So if you don't make it into the upper echelons pretty predictably, you probably should avoid these. I may play one once in a while for the novelty of it, but playing 4 SnGs at the same time is a bit more busy than I would normally want to be.

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