A poker tournament is a tournament where players compete by playing poker. It can feature as few as two players playing on a single table (called a “heads-up” tournament), and as many as tens of thousands of players playing on thousands of tables.
A Sit & Go (S&G or SNG) is a tournament that does not have a pre-assigned start time; it simply begins when all the seats are filled. There are many types of Sit & Go, ranging in size from heads-up to 990 players, in both satellite and cash tournament form.
A Spin & Go Cash poker tournament is a type of Hyper-Turbo Sit & Go that gives players a chance to play for a prize pool that is much bigger than a tournament buy-in would indicate. Each tournament has only three players, and before a Spin & Go begins, there is a random draw to determine what the prize pool will be. Spin & Go’s are available in a range of different buy-ins.
‘Fifty50’ is a type of one-table Sit & Go tournament. In a Fifty50 Sit & Go, the event ends when half of the entrants have been eliminated. For example, in a 10-player Fifty50 tournament, 5 will be paid. Half of the prize pool will be distributed equally among the 5 winners, and the other half of the prize pool will be distributed among those same 5 players based on the chip count percentages at the end of the event. The 6th-10th place finishers win nothing. So in a 10-player INR100*10 Fifty50, the prize pool is INR1000. Each of the final 5 finishers would receive INR100 each, plus a percentage of the remaining INR500 in the prize pool.
In a multi-table tournament (MTT), players start with an equal, fixed number of chips. Players at numerous tables compete for one another’s chips as the blinds and/or antes increase incrementally. When you run out of chips, you are eliminated from the tournament. As players are eliminated, tables are ‘broken’, meaning players are moved to keep tables full, or evenly ‘balanced’. Eventually, the last few surviving players with chips are brought together at the final table, where the winner is the individual who wins all the chips from his or her opponents. Cash prizes are awarded to top finishers on the basis of number of tournament entries.
A shootout is a special kind of multi-table tournament. Normally, when you play in a multi-table tournament, players are moved from table to table to balance the number of players at each table. Eventually, the last remaining players end up at the ‘final table.’ In a shootout, no such table balancing is done. You remain at your original table until only one player is left standing. If you win that table, you advance to another table and repeat the process against players who each won their first table.
In a DOUBLE SHOOTOUT, you need to win two tables to win the event, although often there is some money for everybody who reaches the final table. Each starting table is played to its conclusion; the final table is formed of the winners of the first round matches. For example, a full Stud Double Shootout might start with 8 full tables, a total of 64 players, in Round 1. Each of those 8 tables would play down to one winner, and the 8 winners would then be brought to a second table for Round 2, where they would play until there is one winner.
In a TRIPLE SHOOTOUT, you must win three tables to win the entire event (again, there may well be some prize money distributed along the way). For example, assuming a standard (9 players per table) triple shootout is full, in Round 1 the 729 players will be placed, 9 per table, at 81 tables within the tournament. Each table will play until there is one player remaining with all of the chips from that table. The 81 remaining players will then be moved to 9 tables for Round 2. As in Round 1, each table will play until one player has all of the chips from their table. Finally, the 9 remaining players will advance to the final table for Round 3, where the Champion of the tournament shall be determined.
Note that this whole process could be extended to quadruple shootouts and on up. Also, the tables don’t necessarily have to start at nine players each. For instance, in the past we have offered triple shootouts with four-player tables (a total of 64 players in each event). Also note that if a shootout is not filled to capacity when it begins, some of the tables in Round 1 could have more players than others. Late registration is not available in shootout tournaments.
Another form of a shootout tournament is a Heads-Up tournament, also called a 1-on-1 tournament. This is a tournament where players are matched in pairs, and play a ‘bracket’ tournament until there is only one player left. Just as in other shootout tournaments late registration is not allowed in Heads-Up tournaments. For most heads-up multi-table tournaments, the time limit for unregister is five minutes (as opposed to two minutes in most other tournaments).
A satellite is a tournament in which the prize is an entry into a larger tournament. It can be less expensive to enter a satellite than it would be to enter the main tournament directly. Multi-table satellites also are scheduled as regular tournaments, and play are identical to other multi-table tournaments, with one important difference – the tournament will only play down to the number required to award all of the equal-value seats.
A Phased tournament is one in which some number of levels at the beginning of the tournament are played non-concurrently from the end of the tournament, for different groups of players. Players can chose from different starting phases that begin at different times. Each starting phase will play the same amount of time, and then all remaining players will later combine in a single, larger tournament. Phased tournaments allow the schedule flexibility normally associated with smaller-field tournaments, while still enjoying the large prize pools associated with larger-field tournaments. Chip counts at the end of Phase 1 will be carried over into the next round.
For example, a tournament might have Phase 1 on Friday at 12:00, another Phase 1 on Saturday at 12:00, and then conclude with a Phase 2 tournament on Sunday at 12:00. Entrants would play for a specified number of levels (or until elimination) on Friday and/or Saturday, and all players that survive would combine to finish the tournament at 12:00 on Sunday.
When you enter a Phased tournament you must ensure that you will be available to play in the future phases, as you cannot unregister from Phase 2 (or beyond) in Phased tournaments.
Phased tournaments allow for multiple entries into the first phases. For example, if you play Phase 1 and are eliminated, you may enter another Phase 1 and start again at the beginning. You cannot qualify for the next round more than once, so if you survive Phase 1, you will then be unable to enter another Phase 1 leading to the same Phase 2. Note that if you survive Phase 1 with even one chip, you will still advance to Phase 2, and will not be able to play another Phase 1.
Most of the high-profile tournaments seen on TV are essentially phased tournaments, with the entry phases usually referred to as Day 1A, Day 1B, Day 1C, etc.
A re-buy tournament is one in which you have the opportunity to buy more chips during the event. In a standard ‘freeze out’ tournament, when you run out of chips, you’re out of the tournament. In a re-buy tournament, you can (with some restrictions) buy more chips.
Here are some facts about re-buy tournaments:
There is a ‘re-buy period’ at the beginning of the tournament. A typical re-buy period might be the first hour of the event (until the first break starts). Once that period is over, no more re-buys are permitted.
During the re-buy period, there may be a fixed number of re-buys available, or an unlimited number.
If you run completely out of chips, you will automatically be offered a re-buy (if one is available). At any time when you have chips, you can click on the dealer tray and select the ‘Add More Chips’ option to re-buy. If you’re not eligible for a re-buy (because you’ve reached the maximum number of re-buys, or because there is a maximum number of chips where re-buys are allowed), you’ll get a message to that effect.
In general, you may re-buy using the ‘Add More Chips’ button in the dealer tray any time your stack is less than or equal to the starting chip stack. This means you can re-buy once before the tournament even starts!
The re-buy may cost any amount, but generally costs the same as the original buy-in, and gets you the same number of chips that you got for your original buy-in.
A re-entry tournament is one in which you have the opportunity to enter an event again after you have already been eliminated from that event. In re-entry tournaments, when you lose all your chips you will be offered the ability to re-enter immediately. If you choose not to re-enter at that time, you can still register normally from the tournament lobby any time during the late registration period. Multiple entries at the same time are not allowed.
Re-entry tournaments are similar to re-buy tournaments, but are different in a few ways:
When you lose all your chips in a re-entry tournament, you are eliminated from the event and receive a place in the finishing order.
In a re-buy tournament, when you re-buy you keep your seat. In a re-entry tournament, you will receive a new seat, and will be seated like any other new player, usually ending up at a different table.
In a re-entry tournament, each entry is considered a new registration in that event, so you pay a new fee as if you were a new player joining the tournament. Re-entries also earn VPPs for the fees paid.
Note that a re-entry tournament may limit the number of times you can re-enter. This number will be noted in the tournament lobby. Once you have used up the allowed number of re-entries, you will not be allowed to play again in that event.
In bounty tournaments, a special cash prize is awarded to the person who eliminates a particular player. For example, if there is a bounty on the head of ‘Kid Poker’, whoever eliminates him wins an extra prize, ranging from a couple of bucks to hundreds of dollars, depending on the tournament!
There are three types of bounty tournaments:
In a knockout tournament, every player pays an extra buy-in, which serves as that player’s bounty. For example, a knockout tournament might have a total buy-in of INR 200+INR 50+INR 20, of which INR 200 goes into the regular prize pool, INR 50 is each player’s bounty, and INR 20 is the tournament fee.
Most Progressive Knockout tournaments put half of your buy-in into the prize pool, with the other half as your own starting bounty.
50% of the buy-in goes to the prize pool
50% of the buy-in funds each player’s initial bounty
50% of the bounty is progressive, meaning that when you knock a player out your pocket half of their bounty value, with the other half added to your own bounty value.
An interesting, fun variant of re-buy tournaments, in Multi-Stack tournaments each player’s starting chips are divided into equal-sized smaller stacks. Each player then decides how many of the available stacks they want to start with, and how many to keep in reserve for later. A player can reload (add available remaining stacks) later. The total number of available stacks for each player is posted in the tournament lobby and is the same for all players in that event. There is no additional cost for adding an available stack.
For example, a participant in a Multi-Stack tournament may have five stacks of 1,000 chips available, for a total of 5,000 chips. At the start of the tournament, that player may choose to play with the minimum of one stack (1,000 chips), or can choose to add any or all of their four remaining stacks at that time. During the tournament, a player can choose to add remaining stacks at any time by clicking the ‘Add Stacks’ button on the table, or ‘Add Chips’ in the dealer tray or ‘Options’ menu. These buttons will only be visible if stacks are still available. Note: Stacks will be added at the end of the current hand; they will not be in play during the current hand.
If a player loses all of their Poker chips in play, they will be offered the option to add any remaining stacks, and will be required to add at least one stack. If only one stack remains, it will be automatically added. Once a player loses all of the chips available in all of their available stacks, they are eliminated from the tournament.
A limited amount of time will be available for players to add available stacks, as specified in the tournament lobby. Any stacks which have not been added by the end of that time will automatically be added to each player’s chip total.
You can see how many stacks a player has available by scrolling over their name in the lobby player list, or by scrolling over the ‘stack’ symbol by their seat at the table. If no symbol appears by a player’s seat, they have used all of their available stacks.
‘6-Max’ in the tournament’s title indicates that at each table there will be 6 seats, instead of the usual 7 to 10 (depending on the game). There are also ‘4-Max’ events with 4 seats at each table.
Some poker variations are always played with 6 or fewer seats at the table. Examples are 8-Game Mix and Deuce to Seven (2-7) Triple Draw.
Please note that in 4-Max tournaments, the final table will form when 5 players remain. This is done to remove the inequity of having one table play 3-handed and the other one heads-up.
In a Zoom tournament, you can fold your hand and immediately move to a new table with new opponents (selected randomly from the entire pool of players who have entered the tournament). You can even use the ‘Fast Fold’ button to fold before it’s your turn to act. This makes it a fast poker format, as you don’t have to wait around for each hand to play out before playing the next one. See the Zoom page for more on how it works.
Note that in Zoom tournaments, when the player pool gets small, with only the last few tables remaining, the tournament reverts back to a normal freeze out format.
A turbo event is one in which the blind levels increase much faster than in standard play. The length of each round (before the blinds/antes increase) in a turbo tournament is usually 5 minutes (as opposed to the standard 10 or 15), though there are some turbo events with 6-minute rounds.
Turbo re-buy events usually go on break at 30 minutes, as opposed to 60 minutes in a standard re-buy event.
A hyper-turbo event is one in which the blind levels increase extremely quickly – even faster than in a turbo tournament. The length of each round (before the blinds/antes increase) in a hyper-turbo tournament is usually 3 minutes.
Hyper-Turbo satellites are a great way to quickly win your seat in an event just a few minutes before it begins!
A Splash tournament is a special kind of turbo re-buy tournament (usually a satellite) in which the levels increase at turbo speed, but the re-buy time is 90 minutes in length. The available chips – including the starting stack, re-buy, and add-on – are tailored to each event. Be sure to check under the ‘Tournament Info’ button for detailed structure info.
A Time Tourney is a special kind of tournament which has a pre-set duration. The time for the event is indicated in the tournament name and in the tournament lobby. At the end of the set amount of playing time, the event will stop and all remaining players will receive a distribution of the prize pool based on their ending chip count. Time Tourneys are indicated by a ‘clock’ symbol in the tournament lobby.
Time Tourneys are offered throughout the day in durations of 15, 25 and 45 minutes of playing time.
In many of cash tournaments, the prize pool is guaranteed to reach a specific amount. Regular guarantees range from INR 500 to INR 1000000!
Win the Button is a tournament format that awards the winner of each pot with the dealer button. Some Win the Button tournaments switch to normal button movement in the later stages of the tournament.
Bubble Rush tournaments are designed to reach the money quickly. Usually in the money in about an hour, Bubble Rush tournaments slow down to deep-stacked play when the prizes are biggest!
Beat the Clock tournaments are special variants of Time Tourneys, where play stops after a specified length of time and all remaining players are awarded a proportion of the prize pool based on their chip count.
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