Charity Poker Tournament
This event is ideal for your charity or club fundraising needs as it can become a great annual social night that often creates moments that will be endlessly talked about. With so many people knowing how to play Texas Hold ‘Em we provide here some poker tips for running these poker nights. Not to worry if your club only has a few knowledgeable Poker players ask them to volunteer to teach others the game in a early learn to play section or have a separate learn to play events adding more socialising to your fun poker event.
Players pay a fee to enter the charity poker competition and at the start they are all given a set amount of chips say 1000 in value for this explanation. This is called the ‘starting stack’ and we’ll refer to it again later. This and many details here can be varied but first we will explain a simple version recommended for fundraising poker tournament beginners. It is best to have 2 sections to your poker tournament to maximise your fundraising receipts. During the first section that lasts one to two hours there is a ‘rebuy’ period so that when any players are busted out and lose all their chips they can rebuy another set of chips with the same value as the starting stack. Note you can also use this period to allow late arrivals to join the poker tournament but you should make them pay the charity a small penalty for arriving and joining late and don’t forget to remind everyone 10 or so minutes before the end as this usually makes some people play more aggressively, upping your take!
Before starting the second section give everyone a short comfort break and serve any refreshments included in your entry fee. Usually at the start of this break you can offer all remaining poker players a ‘top up’ whereby everyone the chance to buy more chips at the same value of the starting stack. For charity event sit is not uncommon to offer 2 or 3 starting stacks to boost your charity earnings. Once all the top ups are complete the tournament restarts in it’s ‘freeze out’ section. Now play continues usually for 2 or 3 more hours but no one is allowed to buy more chips.
Setting Blinds (Minimum Bets) in a Poker Tournament
When starting with a 1000 starting stack we found small and big blinds of 25 and 50 work best. You can double this blind to 50 - 100 halfway through the first rebuy section. The freezeout section can then start 100-200 blinds and at this time it’s convenient for someone to make change any players individual poker chips wotrth less than 10 as it will help speed up the gameplay otherwise some players might take a long time counting the betting chips required to continue to play.
At the start of the freeze out section you should be able to tell how many chips are in play. You can then plan your blind increases so that by your intended finish time 10% of the chips in play is the value of the big blind. So for example say you have 200,000 chips in play. The big blind need to be in the region of 20,000 and you should be close to the final two players at this point. With a gradual increase in blinds players will naturally get knocked out as they are forced to go ‘all in’ - bet all their remaining chips. When players are eliminated you can condense the number of tables by moving players on the emptiest table to other tables, assuming you have more tables.
The easiest way to work out your blinds is to work backwards until you get to a number below the starting big blind. Starting with 20,000 half it to 10,000 and again to 5000 to 2500 to 1250 to 625 to 312 but since you working with chips with a minimum value of 100 you need to round up so working forward assuming you start with 200 big blind at the start of freeze out 400 – 800 – 1600 which can be rounded down to 1500 and then you can remove all 100 value chips maybe taking another short break to allow this to be done! 2500 to 5000 to 10,000 and 20,000 So there are 8 different blinds needed and if you have 2 hours to do this then 120 minutes divided by 8 is 15 minutes per blind increase. You can vary a little to suit chip values as shown above.
At the end of tournament you’ll have a winner and usually they win a prize. From your fundraising receipts you should first remove your actual expenses and then perhaps split the surplus 50 – 50 for your charity and winners prize money. You can then allocate the prize money to as many places as you like but usually not more than the number of players you seated at the final table and perhaps not less than 3. Of course if this is all too much then you can get one of our tournament director’s to be your completely neutral referee and teach you how to do your first poker tournament.