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S-Points Calculator

Instructions
Buy-In:
Fees:
Orbit 6:
Orbit 10:
Orbit 14:
Orbit 18:
100% Mins:
 
Vig%
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S-Points
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S-Points Calculator

Use the below calculator to determine how good a poker tournament's structure is. After entering data from a structure sheet, the Main Calculator will determine the Vig % (money from buy-in not going to prize pool) and assign S-Points (Structure Points). The more points the better the structure (more starting chips, longer levels, slower blind increases). Run through the example once to get a feel for it, then feel free to enter real data to compare tournaments so that you can play in the one best one.

Step 0:     Overview

The Main Calculator is really the only one you need to use. But because a lot of the values it takes as inputs are themselves calculated, I provided a Sub-Calculator to help.

You don't need to use the Sub-Calculator if you can understand this:

[Orbit Cost] = [PlayersPerTable]*[Ante] + [Small Blind] + [Big Blind]

An [Orbit Cost] is the sum of the blinds plus the antes for an orbit of the button at a level. Using the Example Structure in the right column, assuming its played 10 handed; the [Orbit Cost] of Level 6 is 950 (10*50 + 150 + 300).

You will need to do the [Orbit Cost] math a few times to generate the values to input in the Main Calculator. Like I said though, you can use the Sub-Calculator to do that [Orbit Cost] math or just do it in your head and use only the Main Calculator.

The Main Calculator is really the only one you need to use. But because a lot of the values it takes as inputs are themselves calculated, I provided a Sub-Calculator to help.

You don't need to use the Sub-Calculator if you can understand this:

[Orbit Cost] = [PlayersPerTable]*[Ante] + [Small Blind] + [Big Blind]

An [Orbit Cost] is the sum of the blinds plus the antes for an orbit of the button at a level. Using the Example Structure in the right column, assuming its played 10 handed; the [Orbit Cost] of Level 6 is 950 (10*50 + 150 + 300).

You will need to do the [Orbit Cost] math a few times to generate the values to input in the Main Calculator. Like I said though, you can use the Sub-Calculator to do that [Orbit Cost] math or just do it in your head and use only the Main Calculator.

In the Main Calculator, enter values for Total Buy-In: and Vig & Fees:. It should be obvious what data needs to go in there, but to be clear:

Total Buy-In: Total amount it costs to register one person into the tournament.
Vig & Fees: Amount from one registration that is not going to the prize pool.

Determining these values isn't always as straight forward as you would think. Tournaments hide their fees in the fine print, scatter them throughout the structure sheet and require conversion from percentages to determine their exact costs. The Example Structure does this as well. All the yellow highlighted items are values that should be used for these 2 inputs.

For the Example Structure the Total Buy-In: value you should input into the Main Caculator is 310 ($300 Buy-In + $10 Add-On). The value you should enter for Vig & Fees: is 62 and is very obfuscated. In the Example Structure, some fees are listed at the top ($28 + $10 Add-On) and then there's more at the bottom ($18 Dealer Gratuity + $6 Promotional Costs).

The next 4 values in the Main Calculator are the [Orbit Costs] at different levels (6, 10, 14 & 18). For this you can use the Sub-Calculator to calculate the correct values for the Main Calculator, or you can do the math in your head and enter the data directly.

The below instructions will walk you through using the Sub-Calculator. All the relevant data is now highlighted in the Example Structure.

  1. Enter 15000 into the Starting Chips: input (10,000 + 5,000 Add-On).
  2. Leave the Players Per Table: input at 10, but note that when you enter data from a real tournament that plays 9 or 6 handed you can adjust it.
  3. For each row of inputs that correspond to a Level (6, 10, 14 & 18) enter that level's Ante and Blind data. Using the Example Structure, the first row should have 6 in the Level drop down, 50 for the Ante, 150 for the Small Blind and 300 for the Big Blind.
  4. Select Caclulate Orbit Costs from the bottom drop down and click the Execute button. The Orbit Cost and Stack % columns will populate for each of the 4 levels. For verification, the correct Example Structure Orbit Cost values should be: 950, 2500, 7600 & 22000.
  5. When the Orbit Costs are correct, select Move Orbit Costs To Main in the drop down and click Execute. That will move the Orbit Costs from the Sub-Caclulator to the corresponding inputs in the Main Calculator.

The drop down gives you the ability to reset the Sub-Calculator, but you should not use that function at this time. You will use Stack % value in the next step.

The final piece of data required for the Main Calculator is how many minutes you can play before an [Orbit Cost] is greater than your starting stack. Determining this is a manual process of calculating [Orbit Costs] and comparing them to the Starting Chips, but the Sub-Calculator can help.

From the previous step, the Sub-Calculator should have this data:

LevelAnteSmall BigOrbit CostStack %
650150 3009506.3%
10100500 1000250016.7%
144001200 2400760050.7%
1810004000 800022000146.7%

You need to find the first level where the Stack % is over 100%. Looking at the above data you can tell that occurs somewhere from Level 14 to Level 18. To find out exactly, you need to calculate the Orbit Costs for every level prior to 18 until you find the one that is under 100%.

Do this by overwriting the Level 14 data with Level 17 data. Change the Level drop down to 17, replace the Ante and Blind data with that of Level 17, select Calculate Orbit Costs in the drop down and click Execute. Do this until you find the first Level that has a Stack % under 100%.

LevelAnteSmall BigOrbit CostStack %
650150 3009506.3%
165002000 40001100073.3%
1710002000 400019000126.7%
1810004000 800022000146.7%

For the Example Structure, Level 16 is the last level where the Starting Chips: is greater than a level's [Orbit Cost]. Since levels are 30 minutes long in the example, 480 (16 x 30) is the value you put into the 100% Minutes: input of the Main Calculator. After inputting that, click the Calculate button. The Vig % and S-Points boxes will populate and tell you how well the example tournament is structured.

Once done, you will see the Example Tournament Structure has a 20.0% Vig % and 56 S-Points. The Vig % should be easily relateable. If you paid attention to the tournaments you've played you will find its a little high for a special tournament series, but right in line for a weekly tournament.

56 S-Points on the otherhand means nothing, so you need to give it a context. Establish a benchmark by calculating the S-Points for what you think was the best structured tournament you've played in, then use that to measure other tournaments against. For example, I play in the lower level WSOP Circuit Events (~$350) which have 65 S-Points. Since the Example Structure has 56 S-Points I would consider the Example Structure a good tournament structure.

The more S-Points, the better. See the About Page for my rambling explanation and math behind S-Points. This is the jist:

S-Points compares the Starting Stack Size and Level Lengths to how much the blinds are increasing.

The more starting chips, the better the structure. The longer the levels, the better the structure. The smaller the blinds increase, the better the structure. Those 3 variables are all relative to another though. A larger starting stack can be negated by skipping levels. 10% more time at each level isn't that great if the blinds/antes are increasing 25% more each level.

S-Points relates those 3 variables, reducing them to one simple number that lets you evaluate a tournament. Compare S-Points of different tournaments and you can objectively determine which tournament has the better structure.

Main Calculator

Total Buy-In:
Vig & Fees:
Level 6 Orbit Cost:
Level 10 Orbit Cost:
Level 14 Orbit Cost:
Level 18 Orbit Cost:
100% Minutes:
Vig%
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S-Points
-

Sub-Calculator

Starting Chips:
Players Per Table:
Level Ante Small Blind Big Blind Orbit Cost Stack %
- -
- -
- -
- -
   
Example Poker Series
Event #9:     NLH
10/19/2017 @ 12:00 PM

Buy-In: $300 ($272 + $28)
Players start with 10,000 in Chips
5,000 Chip Add-On For $10 To Dealers
Level Ante Small Big
1 0 25 50
2 0 50 100
3 0 75 150
4 0 100 200
15 Minute Break
5 25 100 200
6 50 150 300
7 50 200 400
8 75 300 600
15 Minute Break
9 100 400 800
10 100 500 1000
11 200 600 1200
12 200 800 1600
15 Minute Break
13 300 1000 2000
14 400 1200 2400
15 500 1500 3000
16 500 2000 4000
15 Minute Break
17 1000 3000 6000
18 1000 4000 8000
19 1000 5000 10000
20 2000 6000 12000
$18 Of Buy-in For Dealer Gratuity
All Levels Will Be 30 Minutes
Promotional Costs Of 2% Taken From Buy-In
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