View Full Version : Calcutta--When should you buy half?

02-25-2002, 09:22 AM
I played in a team tournament a couple weeks ago that had a calcutta. Our team was the first blind pick for $370. We were trying to decide whether to buy half or not and based our decision on these facts. It was a pretty strong field, 42 teams, and probably 7-8 teams that could be considered 'favorites' or teams that, if they won, you wouldn't be surprised. There ended up being a total of $2800 in the calcutta, with a payback of 6 places.

Our team decided that if we couldn't break even on the calcutta with a 4th place finish, that we wouldn't buy half of ourselves. We figured that 4th would be about 10% of the total money and the way it ended up, we would have lost money with a 3rd place finish. This didn't seem like very good odds and we decided against buying half. The person who bought us seemed a little shocked when we told him we couldn't buy half, but he didn't hesitate to buy us a round of drinks when we won the tournament.

I was just curious what some others would have done, or what rules you follow.

Mike B.

02-25-2002, 10:01 AM
It sounds like you felt you had a good chance to finish in the top four at least having a chance of breaking even on the calcutta. What I think you were not considering is the high payoff for doing better than fourth (third if it is true you needed third to break even). A calcutta is a gamble where the payoff can be several times your investment so you can finish out of the money entirely a few times and still come out way ahead. I think you should have figured in the potential of a big payoff since you must have been considered a favorite to have gone in the blind draw.

I don't see how the payout for third could be less than $370 in a $2800 calcutta. That would mean around $1700 for first and second. With those odds if you have any chance to win you should probably buy half. Of course, you have no idea what the rest of the field will go for and I don't suppose you can wait until bidding is over before deciding.

02-25-2002, 10:07 AM
I always buy half. There are a few tournaments that I play in that are over my head...I play for the experience. I figure that if I (we, in team events)aren't favored to win, then I'll go pretty cheap and the odds are worth it. But most of the time, I when I get into a tournament, I'm playing to win, regardless of the size or strength of the field. And if I'm not confident enough to bet on myself, then why even bother to pay the entry fee. I rarely bid on myself after the first couple offers though - no sense inflating the out of pocket expense.

02-25-2002, 10:55 AM
Can someone explain a Calcutta to me?(Don't tell me "A city in India"). Thanx

02-25-2002, 11:24 AM
Prior to the start of play and presumably before anyone knows any of the details of the draw an auction is held. Usually anybody can bid on any of the players. The amounts bid will be based on an assessment of the players' chances of placing high in the results. The TD will probably keep a bit of the money and pay the rest out to the persons bidding on the top finishers.

Usually if a player is not well known he will buy himself for the minimum as a courtesy but if others bid he will usually let the bidding go since he is customarily permitted to pay the successful bidder half of the bid and get half of his payout. The payouts seem to be a bit skewed toward the top places and don't pay as deep as the regular purse.

A player that is not well known can get a big payout this way as happened recently in a Joss event. The winner was a player who finished second in the same stop last year but nobody remembered. The one time I regret not getting there early enough to participate in the bidding.

A blind draw is a bid that has no player associated with it. The winner of the auction is permitted his pick of any of the players. It is often a good strategy since the next bids may go higher than the blind draw.

02-25-2002, 12:02 PM
Yes, we could wait until the bidding was over to decide. I am not sure the exact payouts, but we were going by the common 40/30/20/10% payouts for 1st-4th and then taking a little from each spot to payout 5th and 6th when we were trying to decide what to do. Third ended up being a little less than $370 and if I remember right 1st was a little more than $1000.

02-25-2002, 12:52 PM
Additionally, any 'non-purchased' players go into the "field", although I have no idea how the odds/payout works for it.

02-26-2002, 12:15 PM
The "field" or "pool" consists of all players who have not been bought. They are then auctioned off together as a group for one price. Anyone ever get a winner out the pool??

02-26-2002, 12:31 PM
Been involved in countless calcuttas and I have never seen a winner come out of the pool(players not bid on the first time through) but I have seen a winner come from a minimun bid $10 calcutta purchase. The guy bought himself too!! /ccboard/images/icons/cool.gif

02-27-2002, 02:43 PM
Does anyone know of a polite way to decline to buy back half of yourself without looking like a nit? Sometimes I hate the feeling of the understood obligation of buying back half yourself, especially when you don't like your prospects because you know the field better than the guy that bought you.

02-27-2002, 02:54 PM
If you don't like the money amount, you could opt to buy back less than half. I once took a player in a calcutta and he opted to buy back a quarter of himself, and he happened to get to the finals and was playing the other player that I had purchased and only had half of. Luckily the first player won...

02-27-2002, 02:55 PM
Tell him what you just said. You don't like your chances,
because you feel the field is to strong. Nothing like
being honest. On the other hand you never know what will
happen in the draw or how well you may play that day.
If it isn't to high you might want to take a chance, I
think it gives people a little more incentive to play better.

02-27-2002, 03:11 PM
Sound advice from both of you, thanks.

02-27-2002, 06:32 PM
Then, would it be slightly better odds, to not buy yourself, and assuming no one else is going to buy you, go into the field, and then buy the field, which would now include yourself?

Of course, the field usually goes for more than the $10 for yourself alone, but do you think it makes sense?

02-27-2002, 07:01 PM
Well I guess the question is, do you feel lucky?
I don't see any advantage there at all. You might
think your increasing your odds, but the bet has
increased well past the original $10. Nobody liked
these players to begin with, and the chances of a winner
or even a 3rd place is very remote. At least a person
thinks enough of his game to invest $10, where the rest
never felt they had a chance.

02-28-2002, 06:11 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: Rod:</font><hr> Well I guess the question is, do you feel lucky?<hr></blockquote>I know what you're thinking. Can he run out from the six or the five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as this is a Predator 2K Magnum, the most powerful cuestick in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?

Ralph S.
03-06-2002, 02:54 PM
To answer one of the questions in this thread, I had recently played in a bar room calcutta tourney and was one of the new players in the field. I was able to get myself for the minimum and wound up placing second, and as an added bonus I had bought the remaing players no one wanted{a total of 2} for the minimum and one of them was the one that beat me out of first place.
Ralph s.