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Matt Savage Introduces New Average Stack-Based Tournament Structure

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2024-01-08

Matt Savage Introduces New Average Stack-Based Tournament Structure

In the “Savage Average” structure, blind levels increase based on the average stack size instead of time. [Image: Flickr.com / World Poker Tour]

Tournament director extraordinaire Matt Savage has revealed a new No-Limit tournament structure, set to be taken for a test drive in a $570 buy-in, $50,000 guaranteed event at WPT Rolling Thunder festival on March 17.

average chip stack rather than time to determine when blind levels increase

The new “Savage Average” structure uses the average chip stack rather than time to determine when blind levels increase. In this format, the average stack will never fall below 50 big blinds. When the average stack climbs high enough – generally in the 60ish big blind range – it’s on to a new level with increased blinds.

In an example Savage posted on X, the tournament has 100 players, each starting with 50,000 chips, and a big blind of 1,000. When the average stack gets to 60,000 – when there are about 83 players left – the level changes and the big blind goes up to 1,200. Average stack is back to 50,000. The next threshold is an 80,000-chip average stack, or about 63 players remaining.

Blinds will not increase during the late registration period.

Savage explained that the benefits of this structure include the elimination of the tournament clock, structures that stay consistent tournament to tournament, and breaks that are at scheduled times without the need to wait for the end of a level. Floor managers also must be more engaged in order to monitor when to increase the levels and color up chips.

As Savage emphasized, the March 17 event is just a “one off to see how it goes.” If it doesn’t work, it’s back to the drawing board. If it’s a hit, then maybe the poker world will see more of the “Savage Average” in the future.




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