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Tournament Seeding

by Lee Watkinson |  Published: Feb 23, '09


Well I set a new speed record getting knocked out of day two of the LAPC. I was in the car and on the way back to Vegas 5 minutes after day 2 began. I had already packed and checked out being that I was down to $8k of the $20k starting chips, and it was more likely than not that I would get knocked out, but I didn't expect it to be that fast.

Day 1 was an interesting table of mostly very tough players, but was dominated by Danny Negreanu who was making the nuts against "almost the nuts" on a regular basis. He was chip leader most of the day.

It was a fun table and I enjoyed talking with Danny most of the time, he was in a good mood because his mother had improved greatly. I did irritate him at one point, however, to the extent that he had to throw his headphones on, saying "I can't even believe we are talking about this!"

It had to do with "seeding" players on the second day of the tournament according to chip counts. I thought and still do, that it would be a good idea. Danny thinks it is ridiculous and gives the big stacks to much of an advantage.

The way it works is, say for example 20 tables remain, you seat the top 20 chip counts in seat 5 at each table, then you seat #21 at #20's table in seat 10, #22 at #19's table and so on, all the way down…… I think this a great system because it eliminates the chance that the top three chipleader's could be unlucky enough to draw seats right next to each other, which can be a huge fluctuation in the chipleaders EV all based on the random draw. At least we assume it is random, but ussually there is no verification. It is also much beter because the amount of chips are almost identical at all the tables, perfectly fair.

Danny's, and everyone elses(noone took my side), main argument was too much advantage to the bigstack and it punishes the small stack. First of all this should be agreed before tournament starts so perfectly fair. Also, I think it is good to make day ones result more important and therefore more interesting, most people say that stack size afterday 1 of the WSOP dosen't matter that much just so long as you survive. I don't agree, but would still like to see an added insentive to accumulate chips on day one. As to the other objection… How bad does it really hurt the short stack in the tournament to be sitting next to the biggest stack? Everyone has him covered and it dosent really matter if his neighbor has ten times his stack or 100 times, he has a big hill to climb. The stacks that are hurt by this are the medium large that cannot get lucky and draw all small stacks that allow them to be the biggest stack at the table, but why should this table draw be a huge factor? There is enough luck and randomization in the game itself.

So if I am missing the point I still don't see it, please tell me. Danny said , "98% of the players will disagree with me". I said "that dosen't make me wrong". They are just set in there ways and don't want to change or think outside the box.

Good luck to Danny the rest of the tournament and more importantly best wishes for his mom.

Lee Watkinson has accumulated nearly $4 million in tournament winnings over his career. His accomplishments include a World Series bracelet in the 2006 $10,000 pot-limit Omaha event and an eighth-place finish in the 2007 WSOP main event. Lee is a Full Tilt Pro and uses his poker winnings to help a chimpanzee rescue charity. Learn more about Lee at his website,

Any views or opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the ownership or management of
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