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When planning a poker tournament there is never a single blind structure that will work given your requirements. You will need to make certain decisions that will affect the blind structure. One of these decisions is the length of the blind levels.
Let’s look at an example. If you are planning a 6 hour freezeout tournament (no rebuys) for 18 players with starting stacks of 1500 and an initial big blind of 20; either one of the following structures would meet your requirements:
|20 minute levels||30 minute levels|
|Level||Small Blind||Big Blind||Level||Small Blind||Big Blind|
In one, each level is 20 minutes, therefore 18 levels to finish at 800/1600 after 6 hours. The other has 30 minute levels; hence the 12 levels to hit the 800/1600 level at the desired 6 hour duration. We could have theoretically made 45 minute or even 1 hour levels but the increases would become dramatic, often more than doubling. Both of these structures have reasonable progressions. All of the blind increases are less than 100% (the blinds never double). So the question becomes:
Which is better?
You may ask this question in poker strategy forums and you will probably get posters vehemently defending one or the other of the structures. Some will argue that it is better to have the longer blind levels because they don’t like the constant changes and it will let you ‘settle in’ to each level while others will argue the shorter levels allow for a smoother progression and the blind increases are less pronounced.
Well, they are both right. As long as the structures are reasonable as in this case, it largely comes down to a matter of preference. I would personally tend towards the smoother blind progression but I wouldn’t say it is better. Poker, especially tournament poker, is about adapting to changing circumstances whether that be caused by eliminated players, losing or winning a big pot, or the increasing blinds. So, experiment with different structures and learn to adapt to the peculiarities of each.
Total blind structures created to date: