Full Tilt Poker
Roland De Wolfe
Poker tournaments are all the rage these days, mainly down to the fantastic spectacles created by televised tournaments, such as the World Poker Tour (WPT). It's understandable why the WPT in particular has caught viewers attention; tense characters, dramatic climaxes, bright lights and bundles of cash are always easy on the eye. While the WPT tournaments are the most flamboyant, it is the World Series of Poker (WSOP) that is generally considered the most prestigious of all poker tournaments. With record number of entrants and astonishing prize pools being created each year at WSOP, the future of tournament poker looks bright.
The European Poker Tour (EPT) is a relative new series of poker tournaments, however the rising popularity of poker in Europe, especially poker tournaments, has seen vastly increasing number of entrants to these events. There are other annual European poker tournaments which are not televised but draw huge interest. Every corner of the earth seems to be hosting poker tournaments, not forgetting the poker tournaments being played aboard poker cruises, such as the Party Poker Millions.
Online poker tournaments run around the clock, ranging from free rolls to mammoth buy-in events such as PokerRoom's $1000 Grand Tournament and the Paradise Poker Masters tournaments. The World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is online pokers equivalent to the World Series of Poker, generating huge fields and prize pools. Like the winner of the WSOP main event, the winner of the WCOOP main event is considered the World Champion of Online Poker.
Types of Poker Tournaments
A Freeze-Out poker tournament is the most commonly played multi-table tournament. When players lose all their chips, the individual's tournament is finished, they are knocked out (hence, freeze out). The tournament ends when one player, the winner, has won all the chips from all other players who started the tournament. (Article about Poker Tournament Strategy)
A Rebuy tournament allows players the option to buy extra chips if they lose their stack or merely get low in chips. Players can Rebuy within the Rebuy period, which is usually the first hour or two of the tournament. Rebuys are usually only allowed if a player has less than the original starting chip amount. Generally a Rebuy costs the same as the tournament buy-in, and players receive the same amount of chips as the original starting stacks. For example, in a $100 Rebuy tournament with T2000 starting chips, players would receive another T2000 for a Rebuy at the cost of $100. Many Rebuy tournaments allow unlimited Rebuys within the Rebuy period, however some only allow one Rebuy and an add-on. An add-on occurs straight after the Rebuy period finishes, this costs the same as a Rebuy, but players receive extra chips compared to that of the Rebuy. Using the example above, players would receive T1500 or T2000 for $100. After the Rebuy period finishes and players have added-on, the tournament is played out in the Freeze-Out format.
Double Chance Tournaments
Double Chance poker tournaments are similar to Rebuy tournaments. The differences being that in a Double Chance tournament you have only one add-on, this add-on costs nothing, opposed to Rebuy tournaments in which players have to pay for additional chips. Players can take their Double Chance add-on at any time during the Double Chance period, regardless of their chip stack. Normally the Double chance period is held during the first few blind levels. Players have to take the Double Chance add-on, if they haven't already taken it, at the end of the period.
Sit and Go Tournaments
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Sit and Go poker tournaments are played in the same format as Freeze-Outs, the difference being that Sit and Go tournament are usually single-table tournaments whereas Freeze-Outs are played over multiple tables. The expression Sit and Go is because the tournament starts when all seats at the table have filled.
Shoot-Out poker tournaments are multi-table tournaments with a Sit and Go flavor. Numerous one-table tournaments are played simultaneously and only the winner of each table progresses to the next round. There can be multiple rounds before the final table, a Shoot-out with two rounds is known as a Double Shoot-Out, three rounds is known as Triple Shoot-Out etc. Heads Up poker tournaments follow the same Shoot-Out format.
Satellites are poker tournaments that are played to gain entry in to a bigger tournament.
Playing online poker satellites is an inexpensive way to get into very big poker tournaments, like Pacific Poker's $80,000 Guaranteed Sunday tournament. To enter this tournament you can win a seat via micro satellites for a very small buy-in.
Shorthanded tournaments are events which allow a maximum number of players at the table. Normally, the number of players at the table in shorthanded tournaments is 6. Shorthanded tournaments can also be referred to as 6-max (6m) tournaments.