Category: Poker Tournaments

Different Types of Poker Tournaments

Texas Hold em poker has become one of the most popular poker games played both online and at land based casinos. Several yearly major poker events brought that popularity including large tournaments, which give the opportunity to the players to gain big amount of money.

What exactly does a poker tournament looks like? Mostly at tournaments the competitors play No Limit Texas Hold em but it is not unusual competing in the limited version of the game. The online poker tournaments are structured competitions where players compete against each other to gather all the chips held by the opponents.

In normal cash poker games, each hand is unrelated to any other. Players can quit whenever they want but in tournaments, players cannot quit and cash out their chips. Play continues until there is a winner.

There are some different types of tournaments:

Single Table Texas Hold em Tournaments (SNG)

This format is very popular in online Texas Hold em, and is also referred to as a shootout, or a ‘sit and go’. Single table Texas Hold em games can be interpreted a couple different ways. All the players start with the same arbitrary dollar amount.

This format has both advantages and disadvantages, but for most good online poker players the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. If player’s running well and hr has won a couple nice hands and has a healthy stack, unfortunately he can’t win more than what first place pays.

At the same time, if player’s catching cold cards all he has at risk is how much he put up to enter. Unlike a Texas Hold em Poker cash game, especially no limit Texas Hold em games, the risk is defined in a tournament. If his tolerance for risk is low or he is a player that goes on tilt, at least, his downside is limited.

Multi Table Online Poker Tournaments (MTT)

There are multi player online poker tables, where everyone pays the same entry fee. This format is similar to single table online poker tournaments, in that players are 9 or 10 starting with the same amount of chips.

The difference here is that the table can be one of a hundred tables, all-playing to make one final table. This is the format of the tournament used in World Series of Poker and World Poker Tour. The risk is limited to the entry fee, which every player pays to participate at the tournament.

Elimination tournaments (Freeze Out)

These are the most common type of poker tournament. All players begin with the same amount of chips, and play continues until one player has accumulated all the chips. As players are eliminated, the active players are re-seated at fewer and fewer tables. While the winner of the tournament is the player who accumulates all the chips, the payout structure rewards several players. Commonly the final table of players would receive prize money.

Rebuy Tournament

These are tournaments where players who lose all of their chips are allowed to rebuy more chips and continue to play. This is only allowed for a certain amount of time, most often 1 hour. There are also “Add-on” tournaments where you can rebuy more chips once you reach a certain threshold before you bust out.

Rebuys often lead to larger total prize pools being played for than would be standard for the initial entry cost. Rebuy tournaments generally feature more aggressive play earlier on as players do not face the prospect of elimination if they lose all their chips.

Shootout Tournaments

In this style of tournament, each table plays down to a single winner. Then table winners proceed to a finals portion of the event. So, if a tournament starts with sixteen tables, the sixteen table winners then compete elimination style until there is a winner. Shootout tournaments normally last several hours less that the other.

I have also seen other shootout tournaments that will play a certain number of hands or a certain amount of time before the round ends. Then, between the top 1 and 4 players are selected out of the 10 to advanced to the next stage of the shootout.

Satellites

These are preparatory, mini tournaments. These mini tournaments are one of the strategies used by the online casino sites to attract poker players. Often the prize pool includes a seat for one of the biggest poker events for the year.

Many satellites at online poker rooms will offer a prize of a free seat into an expensive poker tournament ($100+ entry fee). The thing that makes these tournaments popular is the small chance to win a lot of money while you are only risking a small amount of money.

Strategies for Texas Holdem Tournaments

Every poker player who puts some effort into the game learns strategies which can make his winning odds better. Such strategies are definitely very effective but there are times when you need have something extra to emerge as a winner.

This something extra is a set of those extra special strategies which have the mettle to overcome the pro players. The ordinary game skills may beat the ordinary players but to beat players player who are more than ordinary, you need to have strategies which are more than ordinary themselves.

Let’s look at some strategies which can be useful on a table populated with good players:

Unpredictability: The better your opponent is the easier it is for him to know your plans.

When he sees you trying to change that expression on your face, he knows you maybe be trying to bluff. The moment he sees you looking at the small blind, he knows what your next more going to be.

So, a very important is to make your moves unpredictable. Twist your strategies, make the steps less obvious and use your tricks at the right time.

The right time is when your opponent does not expect you to do so. The important thing is to remember that even your opponent knows that you are trying to do the unexpected and you have to take special care to be truly unpredictable.

Ending Math: It is essential to be good at math and to be able to do calculation fast.

You have to keep working out the chances and the ways in which your opponent may try to exploit you. All the good players wait for the last part of the game to make their strong moves.

Techniques such as SAGE system and Nash-Equilibrium are mathematic procedures which make it easy for a player to have a better idea of the final moves before they happen.

These may not be very useful when playing on the normal tables, but play crucial roles in high stake pro games.

ICM: This is another math-based technique which makes calculations easier and presents a clearer picture of the odds to players so that the best decision can be made.

ICM stands for Independent Chip Model and this enable the player to understand the value of stake in terms of dollars instead of the number of chips in the stack.

This is very useful for making long-term game plans.

Watching the pros: Watch the pro tournaments whenever you can. Take notes of the strategies used by the players and the results of those.

This first advantage of this is that you get to learn new tricks and strategies which make you stronger.

The second and more important advantage is that you will get to know the strengths, weaknesses and playing styles of players who may be your opponents in the tournament.

Knowing how your opponent players can be a major help if you want to outwit them.

If you are only concerned about online poker tournaments, you don’t have to worry about your tells the same way you would at a live poker tournament. Playing small home game tournaments will help you develop the skills and patience needed to win in a live tournament.

But above all this is practice and hard work. Just knowing the skills and strategies cannot help you. You have to master these techniques with actual practice.

Poker Destinations

Poker is without doubt one of the most famous card games in the world, played over kitchen tables, in clubs, casinos and even over virtual tables in online poker rooms. While some other card games, such as casino war, are based on chance, in poker it is skill that often decides who will end raking in the chips. And when skills are at stake, it’s a short way to a tournament.

Nowadays many players choose to play from the comfort of their own homes, visiting one of the online poker rooms. However for many players sitting by a real poker table seems more prestigious, allowing to truly mark your presence in the poker world and perhaps meet face to face with some of the best players there are. Not to mention that prize pools in major tournaments often reach truly astonishing sums. Therefore many choose to travel to often distant places to feel the unique atmosphere and put their skills and luck to the test in hope for fame and big money.

Prize pools benefit very much from buy-ins paid by players when they sign up to a tournament. But paying buy-in to a major poker tournament is often a big expense for an average budget. Because of that tournament organizers offer less wealthy poker players to qualify at a lower cost through satellite tournaments. Apart from that many online poker rooms and casinos offer special tournaments where a skilled player can win a package including not only a seat in one of the events, but also travel, stay in a hotel and some pocket money to enjoy your time in one of the famous casino resorts.

And if by any chance poker action and big money were not tempting enough, the destinations certainly are. The World Series of Poker, the most important tournament in the poker world takes place in Las Vegas, the ultimate destination for all casino fans. But other tournaments do not lag much behind. Poker Tour series organized by PokerStars on various continents invite players to casinos in Monte Carlo, Moscow, Sydney, San José in Costa Rica or an exotic casino resort in Macau. This way even if you are not the one to play at a final table, you can still indulge in the unique casino atmosphere in some of the most exciting places in the world.