All of a sudden the Mob forum has gone structure-mad. I've been trying to stay out of it because it's not really any of my business what the structure is for £3K tournaments, as I'm not going to enter anyway. In any case Neil "Bad Beat" Channing made a couple of excellent posts which I simply direct your attention to as being correct. In my opinion the luck factor is not higher with larger blinds, it's just more apparent. In the early stages, there's a ton of luck regarding who actually hits his set when the other guy has Aces, whether the big draw hits or misses against two pair, and so on. What happens in between with pots that amount to 5% of the average stack isn't so important.
DY chipped in something that caught my eye though, as he described how he laid down a set in a cash game. Good laydown David - provided you believe the guy when he told you he had a bigger set :-). Of course you can only make this kind of laydown when the chips are deep.
However, I don't subscribe to the commonly held belief that the "best" player is the one who can make these laydowns. Sure they're difficult, sure there aren't many players who can do it but how often does this situation arise in a tournament, even with small blinds ? Every now and then I suppose. In the meantime someone who is believed to be a "great" player because he can lay down trips once in a blue moon can be making mistake after mistake short stacked, in situations that arise time and time and time again.
I was thinking about this as I hacked my way around the golf course yesterday. At the end of the round, your score is more dependent on how many bad shots you play than how many good ones. Rolling in a 20 foot putt for a birdie (it happened !) doesn't count for a lot if you hack the next tee shot into the ditch (now that's more believable). Similarly in poker, making a great laydown once in a while isn't going to compensate if your idea of short stacked play is calling a reraise cold because "KJ is the best hand I've seen in an hour".
There is one further aspect to this. Making these "great" laydowns is all very well until you get one wrong. If you lay down a set [or Kings pre-flop] twice when you're behind and once when you're in front, you'll usually be out of pocket over the three plays. Frankly if you're not careful you'll end up like Hellmuth, walking out of tournaments crying "I've made laydowns that no one else in the world would make !!". Maybe there's a reason for that. Just not the one you think.
The best player is the one who can adapt to the structure around him and make correct decisions by properly balancing risk and reward *. Great play = great laydowns is a misconception that costs some people a ton of money in tournaments. Making great plays occasionally is nowhere near as important as not making bad plays on a regular basis.
* And the good player is the one who realises that if he can't do this, he'd better find a structure elsewhere that suits him, instead of just moaning about it.
Update 22/10 :
If you saw the Party Poker thing on Channel 5 last night you will have enjoyed the Good Doctor's demonstration of how to adapt to a fast structure. I missed the end because I set my video wrong. Look, I've got a cold, ok ?