What is a knockout tournament?
Knockout tournament’s buy in consists of three parts. The first goes into the basic prize pool. Having reached ITM stage, you receive your share of the prize pool according to your result. The second part is so called bounty. When you knock someone out you get your reward (bounty). The third part is rake. Therefore poker rooms usually represent buy-ins in the following manner: $10+$2,50+$1. It means that you have to pay $13,50 to take part in the tournament. $10 will be transferred into the prize pool, $2,50 is the bounty and $1 is rake.
Poker rooms usually use knock out format to conduct MTTs starting with accordance with a schedule. However many poker rooms also offer knock out S&G’s. For instance, PokerStars offers 9, 90 and 180 players knockout Sit & Goes.
Sometimes people use term “bounty tournament” to say about a knockout tournament.
Why knockout tournaments are suitable to build your bankroll?
According to common bankroll management rules, you need to have at least 100 buy-ins to beat MTT’s and at least 30 buy-ins to beat 1-table SNG. However the rules for knockout tournaments are different. Even when you don’t reach ITM you will be returning the share of your initial buy-in via bounties.
Therefore bankroll management for bounty tournaments will be the following: 50 buy-ins for MTTs and 20 buy-ins for STTs.
Let’s say your bankroll is $30. In this case you can start playing $1,50 knockout SNGs.
Basic strategy for knockout tournaments
The specific of knockout tournament is that participants play looser than in regular tournaments. Many players try to hunt for heads trying to win bounties. Therefore they can push with quite weak hands. Especially chip leaders who managed to double or triple in the very beginning are ready to risk . They think in the following manner, “If I get lucky I’ll win bounty. Even if I lose I will keep quite big stack”. However such strategy is wrong. In contrast you should not hunt for heads in the very beginning. It is much wiser to take advantage of extremely aggressive play of your opponent. Just wait till you get AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AJ+ and call push of opponents who wanted to knock you out attacking with A9, 55 or something like this.
Even if you don’t win any bounty by the middle of tournament your big stack will allow you compensating the lack of bounties on the later stages. Remember that many hyper aggressive players will lose many chips and they will become outsiders who are extremely suitable to hunt for.
When you reach bubble stage you will see quite many players with short stacks. Many of them will try to float to reach ITM. And this is the great opportunity to steal their blinds and hunt. Others will have another strategy thinking, “I don’t have anything to lose, so, I can push regardless of my hand”.
However don’t forget that other players with big stacks will be also hunting. Therefore attack when you are absolutely sure that your aggression against short stackers won’t be exploited by big stacks owners.
When you reach ITM you can become even more aggressive. This is the best time to collect your bounties eliminating short stackers who have already survived the bubble. You can also try to bite from chip leaders’ stacks. Increase your raise range but decrease your call range.
Improve your skills with practice
Knockout tournaments become more popular than ever. There are many beginners participating in such tournaments. The soft players pool makes such tournaments perfect for building your bankroll (in case if you have at least some poker skills and knowledge). The more beginners participate in knock outs the more regulars want to hunt for them. Therefore we face so-called “snowball effect”. Experts say that the snowball effect will reach its peak in 2014. Why would poker rooms expand their knockout offerings in the beginning of 2014?
The most convenient poker rooms for knock out fans are the following:
PokerStars. The poker room offers wide range of MTT and S&G knockout tournaments. Buy-ins start from $1+$0,25+0,10 and go up to $200+$50+$15. Such tournaments are played almost every 15 minutes. Except regular knockout tournaments PokerStars offer special format – ProgressiveSuperKnockout. The specific of the tournaments is that bounty is equal to the share of buy-in which goes into prize pool. For instance, you can play Super Knockout $13+$13+$1 which starts at 03:00 MSK. The tourney with buy-in is $5+$5+$0,50 starts at 00:45 MSK, the tournament with buy-in $10+$10+$1 starts at 18:45 MSM. You won’t have any problems with competition; many players prefer PokerStars knockout tournaments.
We would also like to add that PokerStars features the smallest rake. You won’t find such small rake at other poker rooms. Therefore playing PokerStars knockout tournaments is even more profitable than it seems.
888Poker. This poker room also offers wide range of knockout tournaments. There are different prize pool distribution schemes available. For instance, the knockout tourney with the buy-in $2,60+$1+$0,40 is extremely popular. It starts at 18:20 MSK. Thousands of players take part in the tourney. You can also give a shot at $5+$5+$1 Super Knocknout tournament which starts at 22:00 MSK. One of the most important advantages of this poker room is quite soft competition. There are many players who lack poker skills and experience. They play poker for fun focusing on 888 Casino slot machines. Such gamblers easily become victims of grinders and players who have at least some poker skills.
FullTiltPoker. The poker room launches more than twenty knockout tournaments every day. There are different prize pool distribution schemes available – from$2,50+$0,50+$0,30 to $200+$100+$15. We would also like to mention that you can participate in knockout tournaments using your Full Tilt Points. You can buy tournament tickets for your points. Players earn points participating in real money games. Just play and watch your points balance grows.
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