FIELD OF THE INVENTION
- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to a method of conducting a poker tournament, and specifically to a poker tournament wherein a plurality of timed sessions are utilized to maximize player enjoyment.
In a typical poker tournament, players begin with an equal number of chips and continue play until they have no chips remaining, with the overall winner being the player left with all of the chips at the end of the tournament. To facilitate this process, poker tournaments traditionally employ a series of increasing “blinds”, or forced bets, such that no player may remain in the tournament simply by refusing to play every hand. The blinds typically continually increase, with players who do not add to their total number of chips (also known as their “stack”) by winning hands eventually losing their entire stack as the amounts of the blinds approach their total number of chips.
Poker is a game based on both skill and luck. It is quite possible for a highly skilled player to encounter a bout of bad luck and lose a considerable portion of his stack. Conversely, a player lacking a great deal of skill can make a questionable play and still add to his chip stack if lucky. Thus in a tournament situation as described above, luck can play a significant role in the outcome of the tournament. The present invention seeks to provide a method of playing a poker tournament wherein skillful play is rewarded and the role of luck is significantly reduced.
- SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Additionally, poker tournaments can often have a large number of participants. Typically in a big tournament, players play until a fixed number of players are eliminated; for example, if there are approximately 2000 players to start, play will continue on the first day until the field is reduced to 1000 players. This method of organizing a poker tournament gives no guarantee of how long a player may have to play each day, and also requires a player to play long days to make it further into the tournament. Thus the present invention also seeks to provide a method of playing a poker tournament having predictable, reasonable divisions throughout, thereby reducing the stress on players.
The present invention provides a method of conducting a poker tournament having a plurality of players. The poker tournament includes a plurality of sessions. Within each session, seat assignments are first selected for each of the players. Seat selection is preferably random. Subsequently, a predetermined number of chips is distributed to each of the players, such that each of the players receives an equivalent number of chips. Next, a poker game is played for a predetermined amount of time. At the end of the session, i.e., the end of the predetermined amount of time, the number of chips each player has remaining is recorded as a session total. After the plurality of sessions, each of the session totals are added to determine a tournament total for each player. The winners of the tournament are determined based on the tournament totals.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING
In one aspect of the present invention, the session totals are combined following each session into an interim tournament total. If desired, the number of players can be reduced following any of the sessions based on the interim tournament total prior to selecting seat assignments for a subsequent session. In another aspect of the invention, the predetermined number of chips is the same for each of the plurality of sessions. In still another aspect of the invention, the predetermined time for which each session is played is equivalent for each of the plurality of sessions.
The above features and advantages and other features and advantages of the present invention are readily apparent from the following detailed description of the best modes for carrying out the invention when taken in connection with the accompanying drawing, wherein:
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 1 is a flowchart presenting a poker tournament method according to the present invention.
Referring to the drawing, FIG. 1 presents a flowchart showing the steps involved in organizing a poker tournament according to the present invention. Players begin by selecting a session seat at 10. Seat selection can be accomplished in a number of different ways as known in the art. Typically a poker table includes a fixed number of seats, for example, ten seats, with each seat numbered according to its distance from a dealer position. Each table that will be used in the tournament will also be assigned a number. Seat cards having both a table number and a seat number will then be randomly distributed amongst the players. By way of example, a player drawing the seat card reading “Table 3 Seat 4” will then proceed to Table 3, and take Seat 4, the fourth seat clockwise from the dealer position. There are many ways in which seats can be distributed. The present invention preferably employs a random method of seat selection for optimal fairness. Following seat selection 10, a predetermined number of chips are distributed to each player at 12. Each player preferably begins with an equal number of chips.
Following chip distribution 12, players play a first poker session at 14. The session is played for a predetermined time, with players increasing or decreasing their chip stack throughout. The present method can be played with any sort of poker game, for example, a Texas Hold'em format, a Seven Card Stud format, an Omaha format, or any other poker format as known in the art. Additionally, the session can be played using limit or no-limit betting rules. It should be noted that while the present invention contemplates using a timed-session format for a poker tournament, the timed-session method can be used to play other types of card games without changing the inventive concept. At the end of the session, the total number of chips each player has remaining is recorded at 16, with players losing all of their chips during the session recording a “0” for that session.
The present method contemplates at least two poker sessions, with each players' total number of chips being recorded following each session at 16. Each session may be played using a different poker format. For instance, the first session may be limit Texas Hold'Em, with the second session being No-Limit Texas Hold'em. The tournament will preferably have a predetermined number of sessions, with the method asking whether the total number of sessions have been completed at 18. If the answer is “No”, which would be the answer following at least the first poker session, the method proceeds to box 20. If it is desirable to reduce the total number of players in the tournament, the total number of players can be reduced between sessions at 20. For example, if approximately 2000 players begin the first session, and it is desirable to cut the field to 1000, then the 1000 players with the greatest total number of chips following the session may continue playing with the other players being out of the tournament. Reducing the number of players 20 is optional, and may occur after each session, after one or more poker sessions, or not at all within the scope of the present invention.
The method next proceeds back to box 10, wherein all remaining players select a session seat for a subsequent session. Seat selection occurs as described above. Following seat selection, a predetermined number of chips are again distributed to each remaining player at 12. The predetermined number of chips for the subsequent session may be the same as the predetermined number of chips for the first session, or it may be a different predetermined number of chips. Following chip distribution 12, players play a subsequent poker session at 14. At the end of the subsequent poker session, the total number of chips each player has accumulated during the subsequent session of play is recorded at 16.
Play continues in this manner until the predetermined number of sessions have been played, at which time the answer to box 18 will be “Yes”. When the predetermined number of sessions have been played, the total number of chips accumulated during all sessions by each player is calculated at 22. The duration of each session can be equivalent, or each session can last a different amount of time. Sessions may last any predetermined amount of time, and any number of sessions may be chosen. For example, one tournament according to the present invention may include four four-hour sessions, with two four-hour sessions on each of two separate days. Another tournament according to the present invention may include eight half-hour sessions, all in one day. The total number of players may be reduced between any of the sessions.
It is contemplated that a table such as Table 1 below will be used to calculate each players' tournament chip total. By way of example, the table contemplates a tournament with six tournament players: Player 1, Player 2 and Player 3, Player 4, Player 5 and Player 6. There are four poker sessions, with each player starting with 1000 chips at the beginning of each session. The total number of chips each player has at the end of each session is recorded in Table 1. As shown, Player 1 lost all of his chips in the first session, and Player 3 lost all of his chips in the third session. After the second session, the total number of players is reduced to three, specifically Players 2, 3 and 5 who have the greatest tournament chip total after the first two sessions. Play continues for the final two sessions, with the “Tournament Total” column equal to each players total chips accumulated from all four sessions.
|TABLE 1 |
|Calculating total number of chips accumulated during |
|all sessions by each player. |
| ||1st ||2nd ||Total after ||3rd ||4th ||Tournament |
|Player ||Session ||Session ||2nd session ||Session ||Session ||Total |
|Player 1 ||0 ||1200 ||1200 ||— ||— ||1200 |
|Player 2 ||1000 ||2800 ||3800 ||2000 ||200 ||6000 |
|Player 3 ||2500 ||200 ||2700 || 0 ||2200 ||4900 |
|Player 4 ||300 ||800 ||1100 ||— ||— ||1100 |
|Player 5 ||2000 ||750 ||2750 ||1000 ||600 ||4350 |
|Player 6 ||200 ||250 ||450 ||— ||— ||450 |
Preferably, blinds are set for the duration of each session, or even for the duration of the entire tournament, and do not increase as play progresses. Similarly, antes, if utilized, also remain constant throughout each session. While a traditional poker tournament relies on increasing blinds to eliminate players from the field, the method of the present invention instead uses a plurality of timed sessions, with the number of starting chips for each session preferably being equal among all the players. In addition, it is preferable for the blinds and antes to be set such that each player during a session will post or ante between sixty and ninety percent of their total stack. In this manner, the method encourages a player to play lest he lose his entire stack to blinds/antes, but does not force players to go all-in simply because the blinds are so high.
There are numerous advantages to a poker tournament organized according to the present invention. Each player is ensured a set playing time; for instance, a player in a tournament according to the present invention will know he will play for at least two one-hour sessions. Since each player starts each session with an equal number of chips, even those who lost all of their chips in the preceding session, bad beats can be overcome with skillful play ultimately being rewarded. Desperation all-in plays when the blinds are high often result in a win because of luck alone; with the present method, such plays will be discouraged, since a player has more to gain by keeping the chips he has left from a given session than by going all-in. For televised tournaments, big-name poker players will be in a tournament according to the present invention for the entire time (assuming the field is not reduced along the way), which would likely facilitate better ratings. Also, players who start a tournament together can be sure and end the tournament at approximately the same time, thereby inducing friends to play tournaments together more often. Additionally, the structure of a tournament according to the present invention will be much easier on the players, who will never have to play longer than the predetermined time in one day.
The present invention also provides further advantages. Typically, a casino poker room will have tournament tables and so-called money tables running simultaneously. As players lose all of their chips in a tournament, many are likely to want to play at the money tables. However, since each player exits a traditional poker tournament at differing times, they often have to wait for an available seat to play at the money tables. Sometimes, players will leave in lieu of waiting. With a tournament run under the present method, a great number of players will finish the tournament at approximately the same time, thereby allowing poker room operators to open new money tables to accommodate the tournament players instead of making tournament players wait for an existing seat. Thus ultimately the poker room will collect more revenue by conducting tournaments according to the present method by not losing tournament players who do not wish to wait for an existing seat. Since more players will remain in the poker room following a tournament according to the present method, it stands to reason that poker dealers will also benefit from the present invention, since more player will be in the poker room because of the present invention.
While the best modes for carrying out the invention have been described in detail, it is to be understood that the terminology used is intended to be in the nature of words and description rather than of limitation. Those familiar with the art to which this invention relates will recognize that many modifications of the present invention are possible in light of the above teachings. It is, therefore, to be understood that within the scope of the appended claims, the invention may be practiced in a substantially equivalent way other than as specifically described herein.