It has been suggested that
tournament structures should not be created
that might somehow compromise the integrity of a best all-around player (BAA) competition. This is an upside down idea. BAA competitions
should not be created that compromise the integrity of tournaments!
At the time of this writing the Commerce Casino has a BAA that decapitates the true results of tournaments. Players who get fifth
place money "win" tournaments when
they triumph in a playoff for a trivial amount of money and the BAA points after a deal has been made for the vast majority of the prize
money. The Bicycle Casino has a superior but still flawed system where the BAA competition intrudes on tournaments less, in that if a
deal is made for all the prize pool then the person with the most chips must get the most points and the most money.
Windows - Mac
It has been suggested if I was playing head-up at the Bike with a player who might pass my friend Chris Ferguson to win the BAA, that
if I made a deal when the opponent was chip leader that it would be unethical for me to make such a deal, even though it benefited me
(like making a 55/45 chop of the money when I am a 75/25 chip underdog). This is very wrong.
In the first place, in an earlier tournament Chris may have made a similar deal with another player. But whether he did or did not, it
would be ridiculous for me to base my tournament decision-making on a deal decision HE made two weeks before. It would be ridiculous
for me to try to KNOW how all the players got their BAA points!
In the past on RGP, people have stated the position that it is the responsibility of a player to always play with his own best interest
in mind -- that playing with the interest of another player in mind is cheating. (For example, if you make a token 5% swap with a friend
but don’t alter your play in the slightest, that wouldn’t be cheating, but if you dumped chips to him it would be.) What has been suggested
is that I should turn down a deal that (assuming my opponent is not in my opinion so inferior to me that the "good deal" wasn’t
actually a good deal) is in my best interest to protect the interests of another player. Couldn’t that be considered cheating?
Best all-around awards should not intrude on tournaments this way!
Now let’s turn
the suggestion around. Suppose it is now Chris Ferguson who offers me this head-up deal. Should I continue to play against my friend,
against my own best interests to protect... Sam Grizzle? What if Sam was the one who would benefit from me playing on?
It should be clear that costing myself
expected value by giving any consideration at all to a
BAA that I am not involved in is ... not ... right. I am there to play a tournament and maximize my own results. It is absurd and even
unethical for me to make choices that
are not best for me.
In my opinion, the Bicycle Casino’s BAA is superior to the Commerce’s because players who are not involved in the BAA are always in a
position to maximize their own expectation. Still, currently the BAA clearly can intrude on tournaments in ways beyond the one way
that it should -- where individuals in the points race make decisions about their own best interests.
Best all-around awards can be fun. They can profitable to
talented, regular players and can also be in a
casino’s interest. However, they should no longer be allowed to manipulate the real results of tournaments. Fifth place money
finishers should not get first place points. And, players uninvolved in the BAA competition should not have an opportunity to play in
a way that goes against their own self-interest.
The solution is clear: do not allow deals in tournaments with BAA prizes. All the real and false conflicts of interest disappear. The
only way that players not involved in the BAA can influence the BAA (besides performing well or poorly) is by deliberately cheating.
Cheating is an entirely different issue. Players should always simply play to do their best, for their own financial self-interest.
No deals. Flatten the prize pools. Let the results show the true “winner” -- the person who gets the most money, who wins all the
chips, who gets the most BAA points.
See also Tournament Dealmaking and
Man at the Top