EPT9 Deauville: Got to be in it to win it, and half the field aren't

Day 1A is drawing to a close in Deauville and it seems as though about half the starting field of 307 will have departed by the time the curtain comes down. That is roughly on par for these events, even though players started with 30,000 chips -- or 300 big blinds. It seems very easy to dust them all off in eight levels.

It is very much the fashion these days to count stacks in terms of big blinds, and in theory a starting stack wouldn't be too shabby even at the beginning of Day 2. On Tuesday, when the two opening flights will combine, the blinds will be 400-800 (100 ante) and that 30,000 starting stack would still be 37.5 BBs.

That, of course, is purely academic. Registration is open for only two levels, meaning we don't see the kind of Hellmuth-ian late arrival that feature on some other tours. Players need to get themselves in the line at the buy-in cage before the gong sounds to end registration. And once you've sat down with chips, the chances are you're going to gamble with them.

chips_ept9_deauville_day1a.jpg

Chips. You need them

The option is always open, of course, for someone to turn up, buy in, place a stack down and then disappear for as long as they like. But it will be blinded away throughout the day (at least from level three onwards). If half the field here allowed themselves some results-oriented thinking, that would have been the profitable play. So how much would they be coming back with tomorrow?

Time for some rudimentary mathematics.

Neil Johnson, the PokerStars Live Events Specialist, estimates that players in the main event see an average of 24 hands an hour which, at a ten-handed table during 75-minute levels, means you will need to place a big blind and a small blind about three times per level, plus an ante on every hand it is required.

Level-by-level that would cost you the following:

Levels 1-2 - no blinds taken
Level 3 (blinds 100-200) - 900 chips lost in blinds
Level 4 (blinds 100-200 25 ante) - 1,650 lost in blinds
Level 5 (blinds 150-300 25 ante) - 2,100 lost in blinds
Level 6 (blinds 200-400 50 ante) - 3,300 lost in blinds
Level 7 (blinds 250-500 50 ante) - 3,750 lost in blinds
Level 8 (blinds 300-600 75 ante) - 4,950 lost in blinds

...which means you would lose 15,750 chips in blinds throughout the day. That, in turn, would mean that a starting stack of 30,000 would be reduced to 14,250 if you didn't play a hand all day. That would mean starting Day 2 with 18 big blinds. You're pretty much in open-shove territory already.

That said, plenty of players have won poker tournaments from a position of fewer than 18 big blinds at one stage. So PokerStars Blog is going to break it's own rules and dispense some strategy advice: next time you're thinking of playing Day 1, don't. Playing is for losers; allez the no shows!

Follow all the action from the tournament floor on the EPT Deauville main event page. Follow EPT Live on PokerStars.tv. Follow the leader. Follow the bear.

Howard Swains
@howardswains in European Poker Tour