I played the Friday night Bounty tournament at Aliante the other night and did a video reporting on what happened, here it is:
I thought the chop negotiations (or should I say lack thereof) were interesting. We were down to 10 people. As soon as we hit the final table, someone proposed that the remaining 10 players all be able to keep their own bounty. This is a pretty standard deal in this tournament and I always say yes to that deal. We played just a few minutes 10 handed when we hit the end of a level and were on a break. I called into home to give a report and waited to get back to it. The total chips in play were t362,000 and I was at t96,000. We were coming back to blinds of t4,000 - t8,000. The next level would be t6,000 - t12,000 and I believe they would double every level after that. There were two players with stacks around t40,000 - t45,000. Everyone else had somewhere between 10k and 30k. As it stood then, the top 7 would get paid. The total prize pool was $1700 (if this seems like a small pool, remember that in this tournament half the prize money goes to bounties). The payout structure is 35% to first, 20% to second, 15% to third and then small drops down to seventh.
As the break was ending one of the players who was probably between 20k and 30k asked me if I would take $300 and have everyone else chop. I checked the actual payouts and saw that second place was scheduled to be $340. I told the person who was proposing the deal that I would take $350 and leave the rest for everyone to chop. When everyone got back he proposed that deal and to my surprise everyone said yes without any kind of debate. One of the guys with around 40k was just on my left and I could tell that he didn't like the deal. He said something along the lines of, "we really should wait till a couple of short stacks bust out," and I could tell he didn't really like the idea of giving people who were unlikely to make the money a share of his equity. He finally said that he didn't care and gave the thumbs up to the deal.
I thought the guy who was pushing the deal was pushing a bad deal for himself. If he just waits for the short people to bust then he increases his payout considerably. It's true that the blinds were high, but he should have been able to dodge the bubble, so I figured he cost himself.
I wish I could say that I picked my figure of what I offered to take on some formula taking into account my chip equity or something, but I didn't. I basically knew it was right for me to get somewhere between second and first place money. I looked at the payouts and suggested the next round number higher then second place. I actually didn't think that everyone would agree so quickly. It turns out I had 26.5% of the chips and got 20.5% of the prize money. I think that's a pretty good deal for me being made while we're still three off the money. Even though I didn't get a full payout on my chip equity stack sizes relative to the blinds make that equity pretty volatile. I think if I can lock up more then second place money while we're still not even in the money that's a good deal.