Each of the satellites is doling out a guaranteed three $5,500 packages (including main event entry; acommodations, food, and ground transport for two to the venue; and $1,670 for travel expenses). Only three packages are awarded, the rest of the prize money is packaged in $2,000 increments. The first game’s approaching the end of the third hour of play as I write, and it’s down to about 50 of the original 207 entrants, with the Punta Cana packages, seventeen $2,000 cash prizes, and am eighteenth cash prize of $1,250 in the prize pool. Median stack at this point is about 15BB, with the max at 76BB.
I like the Survivor-tournament payout structure. Most of the players not winning the package are going to get +640% ROI on their buy-in. Even with the field paying only 10% of the players (the $100K that started a half-hour earlier pays 15%), the expected ROI for those cashing is much higher. By comparison, you’d need to win about $1,200 in today’s $162 entry $100K to make the same ROI, and that means making it to the final two tables in a 1,260-entry tournament; beating 98.5% of the field, as opposed to 90%.
If I made it to the money in the satellite, I might intentionally go out just to get the sure cash, even with tickets from Portland to Punta Cana going for less than $500 RT.
UPDATE: The Punta Cana satellite hit the money after about four hours, with the $100K busting the bubble at four-and-a-half, practically at the same time, since the $100K started half-an-hour earlier. Minimum ROI for the satty was +360%, with most of the rest of those cashing making the aforementioned +640% ROI. Minimum ROI in the $100K was +51%. At the time the bubbles broke, the median chip stack for the satellite was 42K; it was 29K in the $100K (with both tournaments starting at 5K). The satellite completed in a little more than five-and-a-half hours. At six hours of play, the $100K is down to the last four tables, with players from here on out making at least +310% ROI (and the potential for as much as +19,400%, $31,666).
UPDATE 2: The $100K made it to two tables after six hours and forty-five minutes.
CORRECTION: The reference to the frequency of the satellites was corrected from “weekly” to “bi-weekly”.