View Full Version : Single versus Double Elimination

11-27-2002, 11:31 AM
I've always considered single elimination events more difficult than double elimination events. I never really thought about it, but I guess I came to this conclusion because a single elimination event does not leave room for error.

But I was reviewing charts for both a single elimination and double elimination. I noticed that to win a double elimination event on the winner's side, you have to win one extra match compared to a single elimination event. I never realized this before.

I've also noticed that many Pro events this year changed their format from double to single elimination with best out of 3 or 5 sets.

I was interested in what everyone here perfers for a tournament format regardless of time constraints or discipline. What would be your prefect world to play in and/or spectate?

11-27-2002, 01:09 PM
Here is what I hate about single elim. I just played in one last night. This is the annual turkey tournament at a local pool hall. It is a single elimination race to 5. My first match was against the player who would eventually go on to win the tournament. The score was 5-4. I'm out. He wins the tournament. It's just to fluky.
Single elimination is ok as long as it is a long race and the top players are seeded so they don't play each other in the early round(s).
If time were not a constraint I would not have a race but would play it 3 or 4 ahead.
The next best thing is to have a race but require a win by 2, as in tennis.
World 9-Ball Championships are far to short. None of the top player's skills are truly challenged in today's venue. Snooker championships are far more challenging and interesting. They play a game whose elements combine those of 9 ball and straight pool, on a surface almost twice that of pool, with pockets 3/4 the size of pool pockets, to a score that is a marathon.

Steve in CA

11-27-2002, 01:33 PM
Next session i cannot play APA because of a conflict with my work. There is a local tournament here on sunday afternoon, which I will be competing in.

From my prospective, I like the fact that it is a double elimination because I get my money's worth and get to play more games that way. I am not going to win, since my sl is low ,but for the experience, the fun and competition.

I guess everybody has their reasons and very good players and pros I am sure have different reasons than me.


11-27-2002, 02:50 PM
What we do here is double elimination. If it's 8-ball with at least 16 people, it's race to 2 on the winners' side, race to 1 in the losers' bracket. After several matches on the losers' side, we might bump the race back up to 2. If we have less than 16 people, then it's usually race to 2 on both sides.

If it's 9-ball, it's still double elimination, race to 3 on the winners' side, race to 2 on the losers' side. Nine ball is faster and games are more often won by luck than in eight ball.

I don't see the advantage of single elimination other than the faster speed of the tournament. There has to be some margin for error to reduce the luck factor. Best out of 3 or 5 sets is better than nothing, but luck is not distributed out equally in the short run.

11-27-2002, 03:48 PM
From a Players perspective,

Single Elimination can be very good from the luck of the draw. All the weaker players may end up on one side of the bracket. This provides a good chance for a weaker player to do well and actually have a chance at winning some of the prize money. This is a good thing.. for the players. A better chance to win. Or there maybe only one or two good players in the weaker side that will matching up against each other.. By the way.. you can also add a Buy Back in option if there are any "BYES" in your single elimination tournament.. if there is one.. the first person that gets a loss.. has the opportunity to "buy back in" If there are multiple 'Byes' then there is more available spots for the the first round losers.

Double Elimination
You get more for your money, two matches rather than one. There is also more of a chance to play the better players. If two of the better players are matched up on the winner side, one will make it to the one-loss side and you have a chance to play them there, also.

Tournament Director's perspectives

SE is much easier to run.. Brackets are easy for everyone to read. Once you draw all the players for the spots, its a no brainer for who plays who next.

DE means you have to deal with two brackets. Keeping sure you are placing all the winners and losers into the correct matches.

Time management... it takes longer to play a 16 player DE than it does a 16 player SE..

Pool Table considerations. If you have enough to get startedk, DE can go quick. In a 16 man tournament, 8 matches 8 tables. Then there is the first round of the one loss side that will require 4 tables. This can be the cause of players having to wait a long time between matches. DE doesn't provide an easy way to manage table assignments. Unless you are very experienced at doing this. Which means you need to know who your slow players are.. and be also tell players that "as soon as that match ends, you play on that table"

I have played in both and enjoy it either way. From a player and TD perspective.. its good to be able to offer or have the choice to do either.

Duke Mantee
11-27-2002, 05:52 PM
I prefer round-robin competition. A round-robin format gives each player the opportunity to compete in several matches and a chance to recover from an uncharacteristic loss. A round robin enables each spectator to see his or her favorite player in action at every stage of the tournament.


Chris Cass
11-27-2002, 06:47 PM

I hope I don't upset anyone but I like single elimination tourneys. Lose and your out. You can go home instead of waiting forever. It teaches you to play hard. On the other hand I prefer double if the tourney is far away or $1000. added and higher tourneys. Vegas, would have been a real bummer if it was single elim. Travel, food and lodging and then the entries. Glad that's double.



11-30-2002, 10:17 AM
Yeah, I like the round-robin format, if time permits. The only problem I have with a round-robin format is the players can influence the outcome, which can be unfair.

For example, let's say two friends are in an event. One of them has no chance to hit the money, but the other friend could win the whole event with a win in his final match. If the two of them are playing each other in the last match, one friend would dump to allow the other to win.

Single and Double elimination events don't prevent these situations from happening completely, but it's more difficult to do.

I like both single and double elimination events as long as the format is correct. In a single elimination event, I want longer races to ensure the better player really wins. Otherwise, if the races are short than I perfer a double elimination event.