Thursday, March 30, 2017

Quickie Mega Millions Postscript

This is just quick follow-up to my two posts about the Mega Millions tournament at the Bike (see here and here).

Day 2 was this past Tuesday.  And I saw that 108 players paid $4,300 to enter directly into Day 2.  So when they started, there were a total of 407 players playing, so a bit less than 300 made it into Day 2 from all the Day 1 flights combined.

As you can see from the payouts they posted (here), they are paying 135.  So about 1/3. Remember I heard when I played you had to be in the top 30% of the Day 2 finishers to cash any more than you got for just making it into Day 2.  That was essentially correct (my source probably just said 30% when he meant 33-1/3%).  It’s a weird payout structure.  In a “normal” tournament you would expect 10%—or maybe as many as 15%—to get paid.  But again, since they already cashed in Day 1, you might also expect that payouts would continue immediately on Day 2 and of course that’s not the case.

So if Day 2 is really the tournament and the Day 1’s were just satellites for it—and I guess they were—why pay so many people on Day 2?  Why not the more standard 10% or so?  It’s just a unusual kind of hybrid tournament.  Half satellite, half stand alone.  But they’ve been doing this for many years and it gets a lot of people, so obviously the format is popular.

Also saw that the total prize pool was over $1.8MM.  But I’m not sure if that’s the total starting on Day 2 or if it includes all the money paid out for the Day 1’s.

Now take a closer look at that payout sheet.  Not the top—a $311K score for the winner.  Look at the bottom.  The min-cash is $1,200.  That’s not bad if you came in through a Day 1, especially if you only paid $160 (or, more likely, $260 with the add-on).  But….no doubt some of those min-cashers paid $4,300 to enter directly into Day 2.  So for those folks, even though they cashed, they actually lost $3,100.  For cashing!  Now that’s a new definition of min-cashing!  A real minnie-cash!

In fact, you have to make it to 54th place to make a profit.  A sweet $100 score for a $4,300 buy-in.

Kind of makes that $40 I made for a $260 buy-in seem like gold.

Note: This post is more like a Tweet than a real post, just wanted to put a period on the stuff I wrote about the Mega Millions.  So come back tomorrow morning and I'll have a brand new post for you. BTW, it will be salacious!


  1. Makes you rethink the concept of the minimum cash.

    1. Indeed. And imagine being short-stacked as the bubble is about to break you're sweating cashing for ONLY a $3K loss instead of a $4K loss!