I played a poker tournament at the Gold Strike last night. The buy-in was $125 with a dealer tip for $10. We started with 10,000 in chips. The levels were only 20 minutes and they zoom up pretty fast. Forty-one runners signed up.
I always like to figure out how many chips are in play and divide it by 10. That means that figure would be an average stack at the final table. I'm not sure why I do it because I don't really change my play to reach that "goal." Rather, I let the game come to me and take what I can get away with. Still, it's nice to know.
One of my big chip ups was with big slick. I raised three times the big blind, and another player moved all in. I had him covered, but not by much. Finally, I decided screw it and called. He turned over A-10, and my hand held up. This is normally a bad call because I've already represented my hand, but whatever.
I had determined that an average stack at the final table would be 41,000. There were 41 players with 10,000 chips each and that divided by 10 is 41K. This is an arithmetic average, and is usually above the median because there are always one or two huge stacks. When I got to the final table, guess what? I had 40,400 chips.
Then a funny thing happened. A guy suggested we chop the prize money. I've seen that one time before (where all 10 players agreed to chop instead of playing it out). That time, I was a short-stack and was happy to chop.
This time, five places would get paid. First was $1,850 and second was $1,030. Third was around $600 and fourth about $400. Fifth might have been $260 or something like that. If we chopped (divided the prize money), we would all get $410, the same as fourth-place money. I didn't really care because I was in the middle of the pack, chip-wise. Finally they all agreed, so I did, too -- end of tournament. I had mixed feelings, but these things end up being a crap shoot, so what the heck.
I didn't take any photos, so I'll go back Saturday and play again, and take care of that detail.