April 2008
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A week ago, Poker Stars launched their "Battle of the Planets" leaderboard week for sit-and-go tournaments. You get points whenever you finish in the money, then your best blocks of 20 results (the "low orbit") or 100 results (the "high orbit") determine your league position.

As I happened to be playing quite a few SNGs at the moment anyway, it’s looked to be a nice free shot at some extra money.

My first set of results is now in: not even close.

The likely difficulty for single table sit-and-go players like myself is that although the leagues are divided by entry fee you also have to compete against players in the 18-man and 27-man tournaments, and they receive nearly twice as many points for a first place finish as you do for winning a 9-man SNG.

Of course, whatever you play it would take a pretty insane run of luck to win one of these things, but five or six first places in 3-table tournaments from a block of 20 seems much more achievable than ten or eleven single table victories in the same period – that would be first place at least every other game – to get the same number of points.

ryan422323, this week’s winner in the "Earth – low orbit" (blocks of 20 for $10-$19 tournaments – the level I’m playing at), looks like a losing player who suddenly got lucky at the right time. It happens.

As expected, Sharkscope reveals his most recent results are from a mixture of 18-, 27- and 45-man sit and go tournaments (although the 45-man results don’t count for this leaderboard – that’s apparently enough players to be considered a real tournament).

Second place finisher jellycz has had a rather better tournament career, with Sharkscope showing a long term return on investment of 19% across his PokerStars tournaments.

Still, he would have had to do much better than that over the block of 20 that counted towards his leaderboard position.

In fact we can work out just what kind of return is needed to win the Battle of the Planets from the final points totals.

Regardless of the buy-in, the points you receive are based on the prize distribution rather than the actual dollar amounts won. The number of points is the same as the prize money would be for a $10 buy-in. For example, first place in a 9-man SNG gets 45 points – although you actually win $67.50 for a $15+1 stake or $112.50 for a $25+2, the prize is always 4.5x your stake. First place in a 27-man SNG wins 8x the stake, so you receive 80 points.

So, with 637 points the winner would have received $637 in real money if he had played 20 sit-and-go tournaments that cost $10 each. That’s an amazing 219% ROI! Second place with 552 points is still-insane 176% ROI.

My hottest block landed me 369 points, with 11 in-the-money finishes out of 20 (5 x 1st, 4 x 2nd, 2 x 3rd). That’s a fiendishly good 85% ROI, and I finished 256th.

1 comment to G-Force

  • I thought it would be virtually impossible to reach a prize-worthy position in any of the new PokerStars Battle of the Planets sit-and-go leaderboards playing only single table tournaments, but obviously I just forgot how great I am.Seriously though, look

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