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The first ever World Series of Poker Asia Pacific kicked off with a brand-new tournament format: The Accumulator. To explain this new structure we spoke to WSOP gold bracelet winners Daniel Negreanu, Joe Hachem and Dan Kelly.
Matt: Welcome back to Melbourne for the second day of the first ever World Series of Poker Asia Pacific. There's still just one gold bracelet event playing out here at the Crown Poker room and it's a brand new format called The Accumulator. Today, we're going to take a closer look at this innovative new structure and talk to a few big name poker pros to find out what they think.
Re-entry tournaments have been taking over the live poker scene but The Accumulator takes that concept one step further. In re-entries, you have to bust before you can buy another stack, but in The Accumulator you can buy in once to each of the Day Ones and take all of the chips you accumulate with you to Day Two.
Daniel: This Accumulator thing I think is fabulous. I think re-inventing the game and creating fun ways to play it like the Mix Max where you start nine hand and six hand and you go heads up to the end. Anything we can do to spice things up, shoot out formats, whatever the case may be. That's really important because eventually people get tired of the same old fifteen hundred no limit hold-em tournament.
Matt: Over the last few days, we've heard a lot of talk about what strategy works best. Gold bracelet winner, Dan Kelly, finished the first Day One heat as chip leader and according to him it plays a lot like a regular no limit hold-em tournament.
Dan: I think people probably overestimated how much they should change their strategy. Some people might think they have to play really crazy in the beginning to accumulate chips or whatever but I think you should generally just play your standard game. Normally, you're trying to accumulate chips anyway but you don't want to go over the top.
Daniel: Realistically, I'm going to agree with most of the pros and say there's really no adjustments that are necessary. The best approach is just to play as if you're playing a regular tournament and do the best you can and accumulate the most chips you can. There's no go crazy, go wild, try to get some chips. It's really essentially if you want to start with all three days you get nine thousand chips. You can play them however you want. It makes sense to play every hand the best you can. No, I don't think you have to play all three. I came in for the second one, gave myself two shots at it. There's an argument to be made also about being fresh. Instead of playing twenty-seven hours of poker in three days, you come in and play nine and have a good day, take a couple days off and you're fresh for the important Day Two and further.
Matt: The only downside we can see is that it's going to be even tougher for amateurs to make it deep. You can bet every pro is going to be firing more than one bullet but not every rec player has the bank roll to buy in more than once.
Joe: I think it's a very interesting format. I think giving people the opportunity to play three separate days and accumulate all their chips and if they get busted out on a day they can come back the next day. I think that's a very interesting format especially with the variance of poker these days. Poker is played with such a high variance. Giving you the opportunity to build up a stack over three days is awesome. I hope it catches on because I really enjoy it.
Daniel: I don't think there is a problem with the fact that the pros do have a little bit more of an advantage because when the amateurs do get there, they're just going to win so much more money. If you're on one bullet and you're just here to have fun instead of winning a tournament that has essentially three hundred players, you're winning one that has nine hundred players. You're payout's going to be three times bigger.