Paul Cronin

Peerless Victories?

At a recent Regional the winners of a 15 table 299er pairs received 3.53 MPs, while the winners of an 21.5 table Stratified Pairs received 10.85 MPs. Why did the latter get proportionately so many more MPs? The 6.5 difference in the table count explains part of it, but why the rest? Some will argue that you should get more MPs when you beat better players – but is this really true? Do the winners of Stratified or A/X pairs typically beat their peers, or do they beat a field of lower level players who are forced to play against them by the masterpoint limits set by the tournament organizers? Suppose for instance that in an A/X game the MP limits are set at A = 2000+ and X = 0-1999, and that the eventual winners of the A flight have 8000 MPs each. In the course of the day’s play, how many other pairs do you think the winners played that also had 8000 MPs (or more) apiece. Maybe not as many as you would guess, as there are only 454 players in the entire ACBL having 8000 MPs or more. Of those 454, which is about 1/4 of 1% of the total membership, how many do you think would be at that one specific Regional? What probably happened is that they beat a field of players having significantly fewer MPs who were forced to play against them by the low 2000+ MP limit for the strat. While there is logic in giving more MPs to players who play against and beat their peers, what is the logic in giving a large number of MPs to players who have only defeated those with significantly fewer MPs? And since there is logic in giving more MPs to players who have truly bested their peers, why not base MP awards on simple table count? If the largest section table count on a given day is the 299er game, why not give them the largest MP award? What’s that I hear? The shrieks of those screaming that we can’t give big MP awards to “lesser” players because MPs are sacred and must be saved for those who really deserve them? Maybe as in the Gatlinburg KOs!   

1 Comment

Steven GaynorJune 20th, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Right – the award for winning the top bracket of a KO is usually at least 2 times the award for winning the 2nd bracket. If you go down to the lowest brackets, the winners there sometimes earn 10% or less of the top bracket despite playing the same # of hands, the same # of session and paying the same entry fee!

Strength of field averaging has brought this out. There are two remedies to this:
1. Top off a player at 10K for strength of field calculations. That means when a couple pro teams with 100K MP’s each enter a KO, the MP award is not skewed by their huge holdings that bring the average MP per player so high.
2. Use the system we have in place now, but set a %age that the lower brackets pay – e.g. bracket 2 pays 90% of #1, then #2 pays 90% of two, etc.
It is just as hard for a team in bracket 20 to win their event as it is for a team in bracket 1. They have to beat the same # of teams of their peers and play the same # of hands to do so.

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