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Slot Tournaments - Are they worth it?

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by JosieCat, Oct 4, 2013.

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  1. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

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    Me and my BF tentatively are talking about a May trip to Vegas. We both got our big Bellagio offer book within the past few days. It showed upcoming tournaments, and now he is thinking he'd like to try one. They have one in May with a $500 buy in.

    I'm not as convinced, because then you are giving up any free play you would probably get.

    So, are they worth it.
     
  2. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    I've been invited to plenty of slot tournaments, top prize of $5,000 sometimes, but I NEVER had to pay to enter. It is/was part of the comp offer.
    The way our comp offers work, you can enter the tournament or use your free play, but not both.
    EDIT: I also get invites for craps & VP tournaments, but never had to pay upfront. Of course we are downtown, things may be different on the Strip. Just one more thought...every slot tournament I have ever played in was just mindless pounding of the buttons for the allotted time period.
     
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  3. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    If you have to pay to enter the tournament then I don't see why you would think you would lose some of your free play, plus I've had offers that included a free slot tournament entry and still included free play.

    As for the tournaments themselves it really depends on the tournament and structure but if you have to pay to enter then it really just depends if you are OK with laying out the amount of the buy in: they are based almost entirely on luck and the casinos usually don't take anything out of the prize pool from tournament buy ins... like if it was a 100 player tournament where the buy in was $20 and first place was the only one paid and the prize was $2000 you are the same 1 in 100 chance of winning that everybody else is so there is no "house edge" to these things.

    The only real catch that comes up is if some or all of the tournament prizes are paid in slot play. Then you have to look at things like if there are any restrictions on the slot play, a few issues could be:

    - if the slot play is only good for a week and it takes them a day to pay it out then if you win on your last day in Vegas you might not be able to play it before you have to head home.

    - if you hit a big win will you be able to play the slot play through at a comfortable level, IE: if you won $10,000 in slot play and you are normally a $1 per spin bettor... yes, you could run it through some $25 slots and be done with it pretty quick if you have to catch your flight the next morning because if you play it at your normal level if could take you 17+ hours to run it through the machines just once

    - A lot of tournaments pay out some or all of the prizes in slot play and some people really don't like that because you won $1000 in slot play isn't the same as you won $1000 in cash - by having to play it through the machines at least once you might end up with more than your $1000 prize, but more likely you will end up with less than your $1000 prize.
     
  4. JosieCat

    JosieCat VIP Whale

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    Thanks both of you. You've definitely given me some things to look into before we make a decision. As far as the buy-in - we get many invitations to free tournament, but sometimes get invitations to ones with either $500 or $1,000 buy in. I assumed in this case, it was to make the payout's higher.

    I don't have a problem with winnings being paid in free play, depending on when the free play expires. I'll do some more research.
     
  5. cjohnson202

    cjohnson202 VIP Whale

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    I wouldn't pay to enter a slot tournament where the payout is restricted slot pay. Say you win your money back, but then are forced to play it through the slot machine once, you're likely to lose money overall.
     
  6. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    it's always worth it when it's a free entry. I would never pay, but a lot of people do.
     
  7. luvstp

    luvstp High-Roller

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    So I'm one of those people who have paid to play in several slot tournaments at Wynn, Bellagio and Aria. Earlier this year (April), we entered a $5K buy in tournament at Wynn and got 4th place for $30K!! We were both stunned and this time, the $30K was in hard cash and not free play. Most of the Wynn buy-in tourneys that we enter are limited to 100 or 150 people and top prize is often $250K or more. How many times do you get a 1 in 150 chance at winning $250K? Also, the Wynn tourney that we cashed in guaranteed everyone at least $1000 in free play. Thus, the true cost of the tourney was $4K.

    I posted a trip report on my Aria tournament last month. It was a very unsual slot tournament in that it was a winner take all tournament ($1000 buy in) and then they had drawings for HGS points and for free play. I was very lucky and my name was drawn for $2300 in free credit which I turned into $2400 of cash. Brensan, evoni and Kimsa70 were also in this tournament.

    We obviously don't win all the time as I still remember one Wynn tournament when we finished dead last......and we weren't trying to finish last. LOL

    We make our determination on playing in buy-in tournaments based on the prize structure.

    I have yet to see a free tournament where the first place winner (I'm still hoping that's me some day) walks away with more than $200K in cash. Free tournaments are also fun, but the prize structure is usually much less than the buy-in tournaments.

    I love the slot tournaments....it's a nice break from the gaming action and it's the only time I've ever hit the top jackpot on a slot machine....... :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2013
  8. snowplower12

    snowplower12 Tourist

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    free tournaments are the best
     
  9. luvstp

    luvstp High-Roller

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    Why? Because they are free?

    Free tournaments usually have twice as many or more participants as buy in tournaments thereby reducing your chances for placing in the money. Also, the prize pool is usually far less......which is what you would expect given it is free.

    Both types of tournaments depend on you getting very lucky.
     
  10. Kickin

    Kickin Flea

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    I did one free invite-only one in AC once. It involved me waiting in a line full of mostly senior citizens to keep pushing a button for a few minutes, waiting a few hours for the results during which I dropped a few k, and then finding out I wasn't even close to any prize. I doubt I would go through with it again unless the odds looked seriously attractive just because it wasn't any fun for me.
     
  11. calpsy

    calpsy Low-Roller

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    Couldn't imagine paying $5k to enter a slot tourney no matter the prize .
     
  12. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    Well its not anything I would pay for a slot tournament either, but by comparison you could look at the WSOP "Main Event" and how many people realistically have almost no chance of even cashing in that tournament end up shelling out $10K to enter it...

    At least with a slot tournament the role of skill is almost non-existant enough that everybody has an equal chance to win so its more like you are putting the money in to a communal prize pool that'll be divvied up amongst the entrants.
     
  13. 2VegasNuts

    2VegasNuts High-Roller

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    I just started playing at V/P and now I get offers that look like this

    1) Suite and $400 in FP or
    2) Suite and Free Entry to $100,000 slot tourney with pay structure 40k, 20k, 10k, 5k, 2k, 6-10 $1000 all cash. 11-100 get $200 in FP. I suspect there are about 250-300 in the tourney.

    What would you chose?
     
  14. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    Usually these things pay 25% of the field, so this prize structure is likely set up for 400 entrants.

    Since its a $100,000 tournament with 400 entries that means the value of the tournament, your equity in it, is $250.

    Because these offers are sent out to a wide range of people you can assume that there are going to be some players who can't slap the SPIN button as fast as everybody else (IE: the classic "little old lady" slot player stereotype) and there'll be some stupid people who have no clue what they are doing, so you could maybe bump the value up to $275-ish.

    So that'd make the free play ($400) more valuable than the slot tournament entry ($275) where the only real advantage to the slot tournament is that you have a chance to win a pretty hefty prize - if you just look at the top 3 prizes you have a 3 in 400 (0.75%) chance of winning $10,000 or more, which is going to be much much much much much better than your odds of turning your $400 free play in to a win of $10,000 or more.

    So for long-run value the free play is worth more than the tournament entry, but short-run value the tournament is worth more than the free play.
     
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