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Mixed Reactions to PokerStars 180-man Payout Changes


One of the most popular games played on PokerStars are the 180-man turbo sit ‘n’ gos. These 20-table tournaments give players the chance to sample what life it like in a multi-table tournament (MTT) without the need to sit down and grind for several hours – they are usually completed in around 120 minutes.

You may recall that it was the 180-man games that Shaun Deeb used to crush on a daily basis, then there was Marty “The Lipo Fund” Mathis who stepped into Deeb’s shoes, and let’s not forget the time Annette Obrestad won a 180-man game without looking at her holecards! The 180-man games are a great way to get your feet wet in the tournament poker world, but recently they have been at the centre of a negative cloud over on Two Plus Two due to changes made to the payouts.

PokerStars’ representative regularly post on the Two Plus Two forums to obtain feedback from their members and to give the poker community a chance to voice their opinion on PokerStars matters. A few weeks ago word started to circulate that the 180-man games would start to pay out the top 27 players instead of 18 and the PokerStars reps confirmed the rumours as being truth. Little did they know the backlash this would cause!

Those who play the 180-man games as their bread and butter were massively against the changes, the major concern being that money was been taken from the higher finishing places in order to payout the 19-27th places. PokerStars argued that paying out 27 places is needed due to the sheer numbers of recreational players in these games – PokerStars did not quote any figures but suggested the 180-man games are frequented by recreational players more than any other format.

After much deliberation, the following payout schedule was agreed upon. We have tabulated it with the old scheme so readers can compare the two.

Old SchemePositionPrizeNew SchemePositionPrize
 130% 130%
 220% 220%
 311.9% 311.4%
 48% 47.4%
 56.5% 55,8%
 65% 64.3%
 73.5% 73%
 82.6% 82.2%
 91.7% 91.5%
 10-181.2% 10-180.95%
 19-27n/a 19-270.65%

As you can, the differences between the two tables are quite small with the top two places remaining completely unchanged. As someone who plays these games on a semi-serious level, I welcome the changes with open arms, not least because I have busted out of quite a few 180-man games in 19-29th place whilst playing aggressively on the button! While I see why a number or regulars are unhappy, at the same time we have to look at the broader picture and if these changes keep recreational players in the games for longer then that can only be a positive thing.

The 90-man games will now pay out 13 places instead of 12.

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