Online poker tournament statistics: cummulative blinds

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Mark | Poker Articles, Poker Mathematics, Poker Tools

This article is a part of the Poker Mathematics series.

Recently I have wondered if it is possible to calculate the probability of winning a poker tournament based on which strategy you use and how your all in moves are distributed. During the process of collecting data to solve this problem I have run into some interesting observations which I would like to share with you.

Check out the previous post in this series: Online poker tournament statistics: player exit percentage

Having discovered a relationship between player exit percentage and the time any given tournament has been running for, the next step in calculating the probability of winning a poker tournament was to estimate the cumulative amount of blinds payed for any given period of time a poker tournament has been running for.

Just to remind you, the calculations shown below are based on the blind structure of FTP (Full Tilt Poker) regular tournaments with 10 minute blind levels (I’ve only included the first 10 levels )

Level Small Blind Big Blind Ante Blinds pr. level Tournament duration [min]
1 15 30 0 50 10
2 20 40 0 67 20
3 25 50 0 83 30
4 30 60 0 100 40
5 40 80 0 133 50
6 50 100 0 167 60
Break  -  -  -  - 65
7 60 120 0 200 75
8 80 160 0 267 85
9 100 200 0 333 95
10 120 240 25 650 105

In order to calculate the amount of blinds payed pr. level shown in the table above, I estimated a total of 10 rounds played pr. level. Because FTP tables are 9 handed the assumption of 10 rounds pr. level means that on average a player will pay the blinds a little more than once pr. level; 1,11 times to be exact.

Summing the “Blinds pr. level” over the “Tournament duration” up to blind level 34 led to the following table:

Tournament duration [hours] Total Blinds paid Total Blinds + starting stack (1500) Successive all in wins needed to pay blinds
1 800 2300 1 (0,62)
2 4000 5500 2 (1,85)
3 16000 17500 4 (3,52)
4 68000 69500 6 (5,54)
5 217000 218500 7 (7,18)
6 866000 867500 9 (9,17)

I myself was quite amazed when I saw these numbers. 866000 chips payed in total blinds for a 6 hour tournament. That’s a lot of chips!!!!

To have some sort of reference I wanted to calculate how many successive all ins you would need to win to pay these blinds. To keep things as simple as possible I assumed that each all in would double the  1500 chip starting stack. According to this assumption, 2 successive all in wins  increase your stack from 1500 to 6000, 3 successive all inn wins from 1500 to 12000 and so on.

The rounded necessary all in wins are shown in the table above (the precice numbers in brackets). Luckily it only takes roughly 9 successive all ins to win 866000 chips….aren’t you relieved:-)

I am now ready to calculate the probability of winning an online poker tournament, but you will have to wait until my next article to find out what it is.

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4 Comments to Online poker tournament statistics: cummulative blinds

March 10, 2009

Looks like some nice work. Makes me glad I stopped playing tournaments so I didn’t have to read too carefully. I guess I’m a bit more old school when it comes to analyzing the game, although I still tell people all the time they should learn stuff like this and download the poker stats programs.

March 11, 2009

Hi M.W.

Thanks for your comment. The post in question is an introduction to my next article: “Probability of winning a poker tournament”. Hope you have time to read that as well.

Mark’s last blog post..U.S. Waves the Hoover Flag

Tilt Rakeback
March 24, 2009

Wow I never thought of adding this up this is awesome. I don’t understand the notation of your column “successive all in wins needed to pay blinds”. What do you mean by: 1 (0,62) ????

March 24, 2009


Thanks for your question. (0,62) is the exact number and 1 is the rounded number.

Mark’s last blog post..100$ MLB (Major League Baseball ) fantasy bet freeroll

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