LA Poker Group calls for boycott of Bike Quantum tournaments


The Bicycle Casino is back with its “Quantum” tournaments – and not everyone is happy. A group of Los Angeles poker players are boycotting the events, claiming they are unfair and lead recreational players into shark infested waters.

A flyer circulating on Facebook hopes to quell a popular tournament format at California casinos, claiming that events that allow players to register on day 2 of a tournament are bad for the poker ecosystem. (Image: Facebook / LARounders)

On Wednesday, as part of a series of WSOP circuits, the Bike will host event # 27, a No-Limit Hold’em Quantum tournament with buy-ins ranging from $ 300 to $ 2,000 and a guarantee of 300,000 $. This is the last of three WSOPC out-of-ring events that a group of LA players are asking other players to avoid.

“The Quantum format is possibly the worst ‘innovation’ in tournament poker history,” said Heath Mendelson, tournament player in Los Angeles. “It hurts recreational players and favors professional players (and the home) far more than any other tournament format – both in terms of money and time – and will cause significant damage to the ecosystem of the game. poker in any city. “

The creators of the tournament format disagree and believe the numbers back it up. Event # 3, the first boycotted event in the series, came with a $ 200,000 guarantee, which it more than tripled. Critics, however, say this is part of the problem.

“These are the main six-figure warranty events where the horrific exploitation is occurring,” boycott organizer Scotty Wayne, administrator of the Rounders Facebook group, told CardsChat.

How quantum events work

Quantum tournaments use a patented format and payout structure with different buy-in amounts, multiple start times, and different stacks of starting chips. They were introduced almost 10 years ago and have since grown in popularity… but not without controversy.

The catch is that they allow players to put in only a few hundred dollars for a chance to earn relatively large salaries. The catch, according to a group of players on the Rounders Facebook page, is that it hardly ever happens like this.

There are three different buy-in levels. During Bike’s current set of Quantum Events, players can participate in different Days 1 for buy-ins of $ 300 or $ 550, or participate in Day 2 for $ 2,000. In such events, $ 300 entries start with 15,000 chips, with a 10% lead on Day 2. Players who choose to enter for $ 550 start with 30,000 chips, with a 20% lead. More expensive buy-ins mean more chips and a greater likelihood of advancing further (eg $ 300 level gives you 15,000 chips and 10% of your flight advances through Day 2, compared to level $ 550 which provided 30,000 tokens and 20% upfront.)

In theory, this gives players with lower bankrolls a chance to be part of a larger guarantee event and compete for payouts that would otherwise be unheard of for a buy-in of a few hundred dollars.

Bike’s Event # 3 this week, for example, hit a prize pool of $ 641,000, with first place paying over $ 100,000 – what a spin-up for someone who entered for just $ 300.

“Quantum is suitable for different players and different buy-in levels,” cycling tournament director Mo Fathi, who created the Quantum format, told CardsChat. “The alternative is multi-day tournaments like at the Venetian or other casinos. But I have players, businessmen, who only play on the last day because they don’t want to waste their time.

Is more rake better?

While this may be desirable for some, critics say a tiered rake structure makes these events a bad investment. Essentially, the the larger your buy-in, the less commission you pay. Players who bought the flight for $ 400 on Dec. 8, for example, paid 17.5% commission. But the players who bought on day 2 only pay 10%, which means the hobbyist is giving almost double the house.

Bike’s Event # 3 charges a rake of 20% for the lowest buy-in option, 15% for the intermediate buy-in and only 10% for the most expensive Day 2 direct buy-in.

“The dealerships are more expensive now, and so are the costs,” says Kevin Pound, co-owner of Quantum Tournaments. “There is a base cost to host a tournament, regardless of the buy-in. “

Another circulating boycott flyer further explains Wayne’s beef with these events:


These low buy-in multi-flight events attract recreational / amateur players to build up the guaranteed prize pool for the casino. Which then allows pros and big bettors to buy on Day 2 and give them 150,000 to 200,000 starting chips for Day 2.

Day 2 buy-in players often fill out the final tables for these events. Don’t help casinos meet their guarantees and then allow the pros to jump in with big day 2 stacks.

Don’t volunteer to be dead money.

Final tables dominated by the pros

With so many fans knocked out on previous flights, the grounds on Day 2 tend to be much more choppy than usual, and therefore detrimental to the sustainability of the poker community. At least that’s what the Quantum boycotters claim, who would rather see more money for recreational players stay on the low-stakes tables.

They argue that players who buy on Day 1 (mostly non-pros) and move forward do so with a stack of chips at a disadvantage, and therefore barely stand a chance of winning a significant portion of the prize pool.

As WSOP final table Nancy Matson pointed out, these Quantum events have final tables dominated by Day 2 participants – even going as far as Quantum events resulting in “One person at the final table is NOT one. second day buy-in “.

There’s a lot of youAccording to the organizers of the boycott, if they do well on Day 1, they will have roughly the same number of tokens (if not more) as one of the participants on Day 2.

“Potential Day 1 players are manipulated into ‘seeing’ the cost of the Day 2 buy-in and then attracted by the attractive amount of the Day 1 buy-in,” said Wayne. “It ignores the obvious advantage of the Day 2 player entering with a stack of chips which ensures an advantageous play over the scores of the Day 1 players who reached Day 2 with underprivileged stacks of 10 to 20 BBs. “

Fathi disagrees, saying the events are designed for everyone to have eThe same amount of tokens entering the last day.

In defense of his concept, he shared this video of Tony Dunst from the World Poker Tour, who five years ago asked players what they were thinking:

Fathi and Pound insist the complaints just don’t match. “I have listened to the comments of the players and have done a historical analysis of their complaint, and it is not true,” said Pound. “They don’t know the end result.

He highlighted a Quantum event that recently took place at Hustler Casino in which no direct Day 2 buy-ins made it to the final table.

Shark friendly waters

Wayne’s call for a boycott did not exactly gain momentum. Despite receiving a handful of comments and retweets, nothing has really gone viral.

“The reason for this boycott is that the poker community has remained silent, which poker room managers mistakenly regard as an endorsement,” said Wayne.

His biggest concern is the spread of these events to other casinos, as is already the case with Hustler, Gardens and Oceans 11 in Southern California alone. These Quantum events started at the Bicycle Casino where the managers own the rights to the format and allow it (translation: collection of fees) to other casinos.

“Poker players are difficult to rally because by nature they are individually motivated and have no interest in the community, ”said Wayne. “Without a community conscience, it is difficult to motivate the players. They ignore that they have the collective purchasing power to induce change.

Written by

Amanda botfeld

Mid-stakes grinder, author of “A Girl’s Guide to Poker” (D&B Publishing, 2020), and instructor at Poker Power.

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