Math Behind Ultimate Poker’s Chase the Dream $5,000 Bet

June 9, 2014
Math Behind Ultimate Poker’s Chase the Dream $5,000 Bet

Ultimate Poker Nevada is offering two promotions related to Chase the Dream.  Players may take advantage of a $100 reload bonus and a special chance to turn $1 into $10,000.

Chase the Dream Reload Bonus

Players that deposit at least $100 between now and June 15 will receive a $100 reload bonus.  The bonus releases at a rate of $25 for every $50 in rake or tournament fees paid.  Any portion of the bonus not cleared within 30 days expires.

Chase the Dream Tournaments

Ultimate Poker is offering a way for players to run $1 up to $10,000 in its Chase the Dream promotion.  It all starts with $1 round 1 qualifiers.  These are either 7-seat sit and gos where first place receives a round 2 ticket or $1 MTTs where first and second place receive a round 2 ticket.  The MTTs start at 7:20PM daily between now and July 4.

Round 2 consists of 7-man sit and gos.  Players may enter with 5,000 U-Points or a round 2 ticket won in the $1 events.  Players must be Green Chip status or higher to buyin with points.

Round 3 is offered every Sunday in June and on Saturday, July 5.  Round 3 is a $15,000 guaranteed tournament.  Players may enter this event with a round 3 ticket or 25,000 U-Points.  Players must be Orange Chip or higher to redeem U-Points.  First and second place win $5,000.  The remaining $5,000 is distributed between third through 18th place.  All players in the money also receive a $100 ticket to the weekly $10,000 guaranteed tournament.

The players that take first or second place will be offered a special opportunity.  The $5,000 won may be placed on a blackjack hand at Red Rock or Green Valley Ranch.  A winning hand will be paid $10,000 cash on the spot and must be witnessed by an Ultimate Poker employee.  Pushes may be played again.

A player that loses the $5,000 bet will be awarded $2,500 in $U to enter future tournaments.  Players have 90 days to spend the $U won through Chase the dream.

Blackjack Bet Math

The blackjack bet is an interesting one due to the consolation prize of $2,500 in tournament dollars and the poor blackjack rules, including getting paid even money on a blackjack.  It would appear that double downs and splits are not allowed.  These are terrible blackjack rules, but the consolation prize more than makes up for this.

The rules do not state it, but we are assuming a single deck blackjack game for the math.  A shoe game would add almost .5% to the edge.  An even money blackjack adds 2.27% to the house edge.  Not being able to double down or split adds 1.91% to the house edge.  The dealer hitting a soft 17 adds .18% to a single deck game.  This means the house edge of the game is about 4.3%, according to blackjack edges published at Wizard of Odds.

The house edge on the $5,000 wager is $216.  In reality, it is half that, as we will explain below.

A player has two outcomes.  He will either win $5,000 or lose $2,500, assuming the player has a use for the $2,500 in tournament dollars and can spend it in 90 days.

Another way to look at this is that the player will receive 3-1 on a $2,500 wager.  That is because a player is only risking that much to win the $10,000 since $2,500 is returned as free play if the hand loses.  A winning bet would receive the $2,500 wager back and $7,500 from the house.

Getting paid +300 on a -104 bet is massive +EV.  The expected value of accepting the blackjack bet is $1,089 higher than just accepting the $5,000 in cash.  For this reason, we recommend players that are offered this scenario take a shot if this money does not represent a substantial portion of a bankroll and the tournament tickets will be used within 90 days.  It will be a high variance play considering it will all be resolved on one hand, but that is part of the fun.


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