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Choosing Online Casino Tournaments

By: Fabian Rictor, Saturday March 12th 2011
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Tournaments are as much a part of wagering at online casinos as are playing the games. Online tournaments allow players to wager with limited investments and also offer an opportunity to compete with other players rather than wagering alone. Therefore most online casinos offer a wide range of tournaments. This gives the players a problem of plenty. They have to choose the online tournaments most suitable for them from the range offered. Most online tournaments have a guaranteed prize pool that is distributed among the winners in a given manner. This article discusses how such tournaments should be evaluated.

Ask any project manager what is the most important criterion for evaluating a project and the answer will be return on investment. The same applies to online tournaments. In online tournaments that allow players to play through only once, the entry fee is the sum total of the investment. But most tournaments at online casinos are rebuy tournaments. This means that the player can rebuy fresh chip stacks by paying the additional rebuy fee if his earlier stack is depleted. Rebuys are optional and the total rebuy cost depends on how many times the player rebuys. Here each player will have to consider his wagering pattern. If the player does not opt for rebuys at all then his investment remains the entry fee. If the player assesses that he rebuys five times on an average then his investment in the tournament will be the sum of the entry fee and five times the rebuy fee.

The second step is to determine the return. The prize pool would appear to be an obvious choice, but this has some problems. An individual player will get only a share of the prize pool and not the entire prize pool. If a larger prize pool is shared by a more than proportionately larger number of players then on an average each player will get a smaller prize amount. Hence selecting the prize pool as a measure of return would not be a good idea.

Two indicators are suitable and the player will need to choose from them depending on his temperament. One indicator is the prize paid to the leader board topper. The risk taking aggressive player would look at this as the indicator of return. He is not that much interested in winning the lower amounts. Even while playing the tournament he will not be satisfied by being in the prize pool but will take chances in order to try for one of the top spots. The more conservative player can select the average payout as an indicator of return. This will be the total prize pool divided by the number of players sharing it.

Having arrived at indicators for investment and return players need to combine them to form an indicator for the return on investment. The simplest one is the ratio of the return to the investment. The larger is this indicator for a given online tournament the better the tournament is compared to others. There are two factors that need to be kept in mind. The process of calculation the investment and return must be uniform across all online tournaments. The player must also be aware that other factors could affect the choice of the tournament such as the designated game and tournament period, and these factors must also be given due consideration.

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