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Old 02-11-2020, 11:19 AM
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HeyHomie is offline
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Managing A Texas Hold 'Em Tournament With Multiple Tables

Hello, I'm looking for a system that I can use to manage how players are seated, and when (if) they move tables, in a Texas Hold 'Em Tournament in which there are x players, playing at multiple tables.

Assume, for the sake of this thought experiment, that each table can fit 8 players. Thus, if x=8, I put all 8 players at Table A, problem solved.

If x=9, then I'd put 5 players at Table A, 4 at Table B, then combine tables once one player was eliminated.

If x=10, then five at each table, combine when two players were eliminated.

...and so on.

The problem I'm running into is what to do when x gets to be 20, 30 or more, and I have three or more tables. Players being eliminated left & right, someone needing to keep track of who goes to which table and when.

Surely Vegas casinos have been handling this problem for a couple of decades. I need to know what the formula is so I can study it for a big home game.

Anyone here work in the math or casino industry and know the Secret Formula?
Old 02-11-2020, 07:36 PM
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Zakalwe is offline
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Originally Posted by HeyHomie View Post
Anyone here work in the math or casino industry and know the Secret Formula?
Don't know any secret formula, but I would assume that you want to keep tables even. If you have 3 tables with 6 players and someone drops, don't do anything. You now have 6-6-5. Another guy drops - 6-5-5. Then another guy drops 6-5-4. Merge to two tables - 8-7. You could have dropped at the step before, but that would require you "picking" a table to split. Wait until there's a shortest table, then split.
Old 02-12-2020, 10:45 AM
notfrommensa is online now
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I think you are making this more difficult than it is. When a table has two or more few players than another table, move a player from the fuller table to the emptier table.

What player to move?

Look at the empty seats of the less full table. If the empty seat is about to be the Big Blind, move the player on the fuller table that is about to be Big Blind to the empty seat.

If the empty seat is behind the button? Move the player from the fuller table that is behind the button.

Can the players Re-Buy? If so, let the table play short-handed and put the player right back in the same seat after he/she buys more chips

BTW, if you have a big enough table, I would go ahead and keep a 8 max rule, until you get to the final 9 players. And go to one table when you get nine players. One table with 4 players and one table of 5 players is generally not done.

If your are acting as the Tournament Director (TD) , I would not plan to play unless you have three or less tables. If your players are 'experienced' then you might be able to play, but if your players are rookies, I would recommend that you just be the TD.
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Old 02-14-2020, 02:59 PM
GreenHell is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 276
Former pit boss and I have directed tournaments.

There is a series of thresholds for breaking a table. Each threshold is where the total number of players is equal to a multiple of a table's capacity. So if you are playing nine-handed, you break a table when the tourney is down to 27, or 18, or 9.

Before that time, there may be a table or two that loses players faster then others. If one table is a rock garden full of people checking down the river or making minimum bets, while all the maniacs are across the room shoving all-in, you will have to balance the tables.

When a table is short ("short" means a difference of two or more between it and another table) then grab a player from the largest table. Be consistent in how you choose which player. It's not an uncommon practice to take the player in the cutoff (right of the button) and put him in the seat nearest the cutoff at the receiving table. If asked, explain that you are taking the player who has just paid blinds (so no one is getting out of posting) and giving him the best position at the receiving table.

Grab an extra deck to pull cards for consolidating a table. If you have four or fewer tables to fill, even better. When it's time to consolidate, the player will draw from the cards you put face down on the table. The rank is the seat they go to and the suit is the table.

When the tourney is down to two tables, you may want to go to hand-for-hand play. Some players will intentionally try to play quickly or slowly when down to two tables. Hand-for-hand play prevents this. Basically, if a table finishes a hand, the dealer shuffles and waits for the other table to finish its current hand. The director will watch for this, dealers are not expected to watch their table and the other one, of course.

TL;DR version, consolidate when down to even multiple of a single table's capacity. Balance tables that get too short or remain too full.
Old 02-15-2020, 07:38 AM
RickJay is online now
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I suppose a glitzier cardroom with Bravo or some similar automated system at the tables could do it for you using some kind of programmed algorithm, but for the most part it's just a matter or walking around and using one's eyeballs to ensure table balance.
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