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Vikram Singh

Value vs Value owned

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It's my niece's birthday today so I woke up early to play some of the morning tournaments on Pokerstars and decided to register some spartan tournaments as well.

A lot of people would still like less turbos on Stars however 'turbo' is just a label just like 'MTT' is, when it comes to the tournaments on offer.

Some basic facts at the time of making this post - Stars averaged about 8-10K players. Spartan had less than a 100, went upto 112.

Now of course they are going to need unlimited rebuys to get those guarantees or they could be doing what stars is doing - using turbos and higher GTDs to get a player pool before curtailing the structures.

This is where I come back to the 'Turbo' and 'MTT' lable. The Hot 100 and 200 on stars this morning (the latter breaking it's 7k GTD easily and reaching 11.4K with 3 re-entries allowed) vs the same BI tourneys not labelled as Turbos on Spartan that barely made it to their GTDs - all tournaments here averaging almost the same runners, I made the following are the observations:

Non Turbo tournaments on Spartan lasted 90 mins less than Turbo tournaments on Stars.
Spartan Starting Stacks promoted reentries and were not limited, Pokerstars for instance had 5K SS with same blind level length.

And just like .ES did not have a lot of sngs (barely any) we don't either BUT this is where the label MTT is misleading and looked at from a top down approach.

.ES had a lot of turbo 3 Euro 2r1a 500 GTD tournaments and we also have a few of these - including the Hots. When your field size is 60-100 people and structure is turbo - the Stars tournaments have to be played with an ICM dense 45 man, 90 man, 180 man strategy and the slower the structure, the less impact ICM has over the entire tournament.

That's all. As the site grows, think of these as sngs with great starting stacks, soft fields, solid structure and then you can play them optimally.

Spartan OTOH is making you cough up more re-entries in tournaments that last half the time Turbo tournaments last on Stars and should in practice be considered far more ICM dense.

With a broader view in mind:

Players on Spartan poker over-emphasise how much they will win in the long run given crap shoot structures with a high avg. BI just because the guarantee is good. The winner of such a tournament or a regular participator (that would be a better way to look at this) is not assessing the quality of their decision and instead assessing the outcome. What in poker is simply known as 'results oriented'

Forget about the fact that almost similar runner Spartan non-turbo tournaments last half the time than labeled turbo PS tournaments, the amount of bad beats and 'it's rigged' conclusions on Spartan come from this very fact - a lot of gambly punting leads to unexpected outcomes.

You will not be a losing player if you get 2 outered on the river with 11 to go in a crucial pot or getting coolered on the FT. You will be a losing player if you don't focus on the quality of the decision and focus on the outcome. You will forget the -EV plays that yielded a positive outcome that one time and remember the +EV players where you were let down by a bad beat.

I am playing a 1,100 INR 100K GTD tournament on Spartan and a 1000 50K GTD Turbo on Stars that hasn't yet started.

I can tell you right now which one will last longer - Stars turbo and which one is going to earn you more money down the road - Stars turbo.

Also factor in that across the board there are less tournaments (almost none now) with unlimited re-entries on stars therefore your ABI will be lower, you will win more because of the better structures and can save that extra cash and perhaps invest in learning the game better.

Do I even want to get started with the 9 min breaks to get more runners on Spartan (blatant exploitation) and the general ethical code of conduct they operate using? I can shout that off the roof and no one would hear me.

So, pick your poision - A soft site with better structure and integrity where you will win more (and the site will grow), will have funds for studying the game VS the crapshoot structures (bar two tournaments a week) where yes you will win a bigger amount every so often, but in the long run, will ultimately under-perform, never improve (who wants to learn craps strategy anyways?) in games that are very ICM dense and that alone should make you want to demand for an improved structure and ethics.

In the end, a game like this (Spartan 1K 100 GTD) you don't really need to learn much when a good play will still be subject to variance (yes I won and yes it's a trivial call but subject to variance)

Vs a Stars Turbo that is still deeper than most of what Spartan can offer and you will use far more robust, gain a better edge and reduce your variance because in the end the softness of player pools on both sites is pretty much at par.

So pick your poison but, remember you have to drink it too.

I'd suggest gravitating to Stars and using Spartan and other Indian sites the same way 888 was used where it had good structures and a softer field, albeit Spartan has you on the glory hunt with perhaps less than 10 games worth being called a proper game of skill.

The rest is up to you. Get value from a site or value own yourself on another in-circle big-boys-club throwing vibe of a site and the false idols it generates from being a high variance, therefore, inherently, a game where the luck factor, reputation, backing and ghosting all lead to subjectivity in the judgement and worth of results and players.