What’s New In Round 2

The core principles of PIFT will remain in tact, but after lots of feedback and comments from players and Canterbury as well, we’re implementing a few changes for our July 20-22 events at Canterbury Park:

A few structure tweaks

While still acknowledging our aim of providing fun one day tournaments, we’ve heard those of you who thought the tournament starts off just a little bit too quickly.  The blinds and antes themselves remain unchanged for each level, but we have given everyone 2,000 more chips than last time.  That means in Friday’s $80 and Sunday’s $100, all players start off with 10,000 chips (last year, the Sunday $180 began with 8,000), and our Saturday $250 this year you’ll get 12,000 chips (last year, it was 10,000 in the Saturday $450).  Additionally, we’ve lengthened things just a bit for this year’s Saturday compared to last year.  Last year it was 20 minute levels until the end of the buy in period, then 30 minutes after.  This year, it’s 30 minute levels the whole time.  To see the structure as it is currently planned for this year, click here.

Charity Is Winning More

Our goal is to always ensure that you, the player, still has a respectable prize pool left to play for.  But enough of you said last time that 1% of the prize pool going to charity just wasn’t enough.  So this time we’re upping the ante and having roughly 5% of the prize pool go to the Ronald McDonald House.  On Friday of the $60 that is left of the prize pool, $3 is going to charity (5%).  On Saturday, of the $208 that is left of the prize pool, $10 is going to charity (4.8%).  On Sunday, of the $80 that is left in the prize pool, $4 is going to charity (5%).  Which brings us to the next point…:

PIFT is Donating Too

That’s right.  For Saturday’s $250, for every entry in the tournament, PIFT is donating $.40.   We’re doing this both to get in on the action, and because our goal was 5% of the prize pool going to charity, and this $.40 means the $10 plus our $.40 is exactly 5% of the $208 prize pool on Saturday.  We did it this way instead of just taking $10.40 out of the prize pool to simplify it for payouts and keep the prize pool from having any change in it.  So please, DO PLAY and stick PIFT for the 40 cents a pop!  Heck, even rebuy a few times and really get us good, which nicely transitions to the next change…

Four Total Entries Allowed Per Event

A lot of people requested this.  Their reasoning was simple and sound: “Every buy in benefits charity too, why limit how many times we can rebuy?”  Touche.  We see the point, and are trying to finesse a happy medium between unlimited rebuys, and no rebuys.  Our whole reasoning for not having unlimited rebuys is to make it so a recreational player doesn’t have to go through a seasoned pro half a dozen times in a tournament.  But we also want to raise as much as we can for charity, as possible.  Hence, upping the max buy ins allowed from 3, to 4.

Payout Charts Touched Up

Our goal is still to be paying at least 15% of the field, that hasn’t changed.  But this time, we’re also aiming to get a min-cash right around 2x the buy in, most primarily.  We see this as serving a few positives: 1) it makes any cash more worth your time invested.  2) In theory it becomes a bit easier to want to rebuy when you know a min cash means you likely won’t be down much, if at all those times you do cash an event.  We will be releasing the new and improved payout charts soon, with a comparison showing how last year’s events look with the new payout chart compared to last year’s payout chart.

Slightly Smaller Buy In Sizes

We know there will be a chunk of people disappointed by this, but overall, based on feedback received, we think this move is for the greater good.  Plus, with “Crazy Pineapple,” PIFT had to factor in that over 1/4th of the people who voted in our social media polls, replied saying they didn’t even know what “Crazy Pineapple” is (and we’re guessing those following us on social media are going to be slightly more plugged into poker than those who aren’t).  This is a hurdle for us to overcome, and definitely an easier hurdle to tackle at the lower price points.  For those of you disappointed the “Crazy Pineapple” options will only be $80 and $100, please consider that these events, in many way, are a litmus test of sorts…  If they go well, in the future it will be way easier not only for PIFT to offer a higher buy in “Crazy Pineapple” option, but also it’s even easier for us to dive into even more exotic and risque twists because you the players told us that “yes, I do want to support trying out something different.”

A Revamped Social Media Effort

We did a decent job with utilizing our twitter account last year.  Not quite as well with Facebook.  Non-existent elsewhere.  This year, we’re going to kill it on Twitter (follow us @piftpoker), kill it on facebook (follow us @piftpoker), and even become regularly active on YouTube with our own channel (check it out here) in the coming days and weeks.


My Personal Ronald McDonald House Story


Money Delivered to Second Harvest Heartland

This afternoon, Second Harvest Heartland received all proceeds from our “Winners Shown” events at Canterbury Park on September 9 & 10.

A reminder of how we raised $2,472.30:

PIFT Players: $463
Good Day Cafe (gooddaycafemn.com): $463 (100% match up to $1000)
Belgarde Property Services, Inc. (belgarde.com): $500
Fay & Associates: (mcfay.com): $500
Garelick Steel (northsecond.com): $400
Daily Fantasy Sports Rankings (dailyfantasysportsrankings.com): $46.30 (10% up to $100)
The Iverson Family: $100

Awesome work everyone — a huge thanks once again to our players, and the generous businesses and individuals who helped us reach such a large number!

Roughly $7 worth of food and groceries can get distributed for every dollar Second Harvest Heartland receives, which when looked at that way, means we did over $17,000 worth of good. Second Harvest Heartland can provide 3 meals for every dollar received, so we’re on the hook for helping to provide 7,416 meals to people who are in need.  Tremendous!


Retrospective: The PIFT Inaugural Weekend – Part 3: I Want Some Feedback and Just Share a Few General Thoughts

Hi ladies and gents, I thought I’d share with you all some insights into my mind, now that I have had time to let everything from our inaugural weekend marinate just a bit.  I truly do believe that a ton went super well in our first ever events, while also recognizing some things I dropped the ball on and can definitely improve before we go back at it.  I entered the creation-of-PIFT-journey knowing “these first events I will learn what I know, and quickly realize what I didn’t know I didn’t know about operating a poker tour,” and can say by the end of Sunday night, it definitely rang true.

Part 1: The Good
Part 2: What Can Be Worked On

I Want Some Feedback and Just Share a Few General Thoughts

One thing on my mind, is I am toying with whether we should bump the charity take up to either 2% or 3% of the prize pool… My goal since day 1 has been to raise money from charity, while doing so in a way where a player doesn’t start adding up the admin fee, staff appreciation fee, and charity fee, see those add up to some huge percent of their total buy in, and decide “this tournament doesn’t have enough money left to play for” and skip it for that reason.

But then, I also feel like, “maybe the fact this tour offers forms of poker that are different than the norm, maybe a player is willing to let charity take a slightly bigger slice as payment for getting to try out a new novelty, and nobody will feel angry about this fact after all?”  Please do let me know what you think; keep it at 1% or bump it to 2% or 3%?

Additionally, I’m debating whether to continue to limit the total number of entries at 3, or allow unlimited.  I had multiple players tell me “this tournament benefits charity, don’t limit how many times we can enter it!”  My initial reasoning for limiting the re-entries was so that a recreational player doesn’t feel like they have to go through a Mike Schneider caliber player 6 times in one event, and feel like they’re drawing super slim against the bigger name pros with huge bankrolls…

But maybe the fact charity is also winning in all PIFT events means it’s alright to remove the maximum number of entries?  I also need to make sure in all future events, all displayed signage makes light of the fact a charity is benefiting via X% of prize pool being withheld for it.

Since this write up is getting long enough, a few other bullet points in my head:

  • I’d love for future PIFT events to have multiple satellites leading up to events, with the satellites awarding a certificate specifically for the upcoming PIFT event. I think it’d be fantastic if 5 days before an event, I am able to put out on social media, “we’ve ran 4 satellites already with one more still to go, and have had 25 players already win seats for this weekend’s $450!”
  • A challenge for future events is that several of the “tweaks” that sound really fun to play, are not the easiest to convey succinctly on a sign or brochure. For example one idea that another player had for me that I think sounds AWESOME, but how do you succinctly educate people what it is?: Receive 2 tokens, and at ANY point in a hand, you can give one to an opponent, and they in turn have to show you one of their hole cards.  At the end of 8 levels, you trade in whatever tokens you have left for extra chips.  Bust a player get their tokens.  Or this could even be played where after 8 levels, you trade in your tokens (for chips) back down to 1 token in front of you, and the tourney goes on in this style with excess tokens being traded in for extra chips at every break.  Or maybe allow a person to block the card show by paying 3 tokens back to the person who paid them one?  Sounds awesome, but, how do you advertise what this event is in a short, concise way that works on a sign or in a few words?
  • Price points: would it be better to run two separate $285’s or whatever price in that ballpark, that are each a different twist — compared to how our inaugural weekend we had the same twist at two different price points? Or if keeping two different price points, are $185 and $450 the best price levels, or do those need to be adjusted a bit in either direction?

So, that’s that.  I want you to feel like PIFT is your tour.  That’s why I’m so thoroughly telling you what’s in my head, and because I want any and all feedback and thoughts so PIFT will continue to give you a poker event that you want to keep coming back to.  PLEASE let me know what you think – I love hearing compliments, but I double-plus LOVE hearing constructive criticism.