Barry Carter looks at the new format from GGPoker that gets you to the end game in minutes. Try it for free in our raffle.
This week at PokerStrategy we have a promotion for the new format from GGPoker, so I played a few myself to see if I think they will prove popular.
Flip & Go tournaments promise to get you straight to the money stages of the tournament. The tournament begins with everybody being forced all-in on the first table until one player remains. Once every table is complete the tournament slows down and becomes a normal MTT after the bubble has burst.
It’s not a complete gamble at the first table. Players will be dealt three cards instead of two and discard one before going all-in, so you have a chance to pick the hand that plays the best multi-way. Players who get dealt a strong three card starting hand preflop and go on to win the flip will see their stack increased. x1 if they get a three card straight, x2 if they get a three card flush, x3 if they get dealt three card trips and x4 if they get a three card straight flush.
You can also buy a bigger stack in the flip stage, up to x10 your starting stack. So in a $5 MTT you can pay as much as $50 to get a x10 bigger stack, meaning you have a better chance if surviving the flip stage. It also means that the money stage of the tournament begins with different stacks in play.
No time wasted at all
On paper Flip & Go is the sort of format I love. If you have followed my writing you’ll know I argue strongly that casual players want formats that respect their time. I don’t want to be playing for six hours and lose sleep on a working day just for a mincash. So a tournament that parachutes you into the endgame stages really appeals.
I did have a concern, however, that it was a bit too quick. Only one player progresses to the money stages on an eight handed table, meaning almost 90% of the field have lost their buy-in right away. In general formats that give recreational players more winning moments do well, for example PKO tournaments, but you have to get used to losing right away in Flip & Go.
It’s not all that bad though, it looks like GGPoker have picked the right stake levels and frequency of games to manage player expectations. They are also filling up quickly which suggests GG are on to a winner with this format.
As much as I am concerned about 90% of the field being shut out right away, it is tremendously fun when you do win your table and are instantly thrown into the business end of a tournament. Especially so when you get a big three card hand in the flip stages, giving you a big stack.
Worth it for the regs?
Time will tell but it would appear that the end game in Flip & Go is softer than a tournament where you ‘earned’ your way into the money stages, for the obvious reason that everyone got there by gambling not on merit. Although the stacks are varied, in practice most people start the end game with 30 big blinds effective, which is about the right stack size for the ICM savvy players to enjoy an edge.
It’s early days but I have a feeling that good regulars will also favour Flip & Go if indeed the endgame edge they have justifies so many early exits. There is already a trend for serious players max late regging tournaments anyway, this could just be an extreme version of that.
Spin & Go used to be my ‘go to’ game if I wanted a short game with the hope of winning a big prize. That is another format that was derided as gambling when it first launched but proved profitable because it attracted casual players. I suspect Flip & Go might be the same, a quick gamble for most with just enough value for the regulars who don’t mind the variance.
Win one of 120 Flip & Go packages
We have teamed up with GGPoker and every day between January 14 to January 20 we will be raffling off 15 Flip & Go bundles. Each bundle is worth $12,50 and has 25 $0,50 Flip & Go Tickets per winner.
To win a bundle just head on over to our GGPoker forum every day between now and January 21 and post your GGPoker name in the raffle thread. After the first winners are announced, you have to repost in the thread the next day to have a shot at winning the next day, and so on. The next raffle takes place on January 15 and you can enter via this raffle thread.
Each day we will randomly award 15 players with the bundles and you can win more than once.
Do you like Flip & Go? Let us know in the comments: