Tournament Types

Freeroll Tournament

Most often, a freeroll refers to a tournament with no entry free. But, get this, these tournaments still give out real money and/or other prizes (i.e. tournament tickets) to the top-place finishers. This makes them a great way to start a bankroll online, without having to risk one cent! Usually, there are no restrictions on who can play in free tournaments. However, sometimes you must meet certain qualifications and receive a password, or special tournament ticket, in order to register and play.

Rebuy Tournament

A rebuy tournament is one in which you can buy more chips during the early blind levels of the event. In a tournament without rebuys (also called a freezeout) when you lose all your chips, you are simply eliminated. In a rebuy event, if you lose all your chips, you can buy back into the tournament.

Satellite Tournament

A satellite tournament is one where the winners gain free entry into another (larger) tournament.

Freezeout Tournament

In poker, a "freezeout" is a tournament in which players are eliminated until there is just one player left with all of the chips. In addition, players are not allowed to re-buy or add-on - in a "freezeout", once a player is out of chips, they are eliminated from the tournament.

Deep Stack Tournament

A tournament in which players begin with an amount of chips that is relatively high in relation to the blind or ante. For instance, in a traditional tournament, players might start off with 5,000 chips and blinds may begin at 25/50, with antes being added later in the tournament. In a deep stack tournament, players might start with 30,000 chips and blinds of 50/100. So, instead of starting the tournament with 100 big blinds, players might start the tournament with 300 big blinds. Deep stack tournaments favour better players as there is more "play" due to the larger stacks. Hyper turbo tournaments, for instance, essentially become push-fests immediately after the start of play, while deep stack tournaments allow good players to patiently accumulate stacks while exploiting less talented players. They are also at risk much less, as the deeper structure means that they are not all-in nearly as much. Good players tend to favour deep stack tournaments, though this can result in tournaments that are heavy on regulars and light on casual players, so the quality of play can be quite a bit higher.

Progressive Knockout Tournament

A Progressive KO (Knockout) tournament is one in which half of your buy-in goes to the overall prize pool to be paid out like a normal tournament, while the other half constitutes your bounty. The progressive element comes in because when you eliminate another player, you only get half of his bounty in winnings the other half attaches to your own bounty, meaning that: the more players you eliminate, the bigger a target you become.


So, if a tournament costs 109€ to enter, 50€ will go to the general prize pool, while 50€ will go to each player's initial bounty. (the remaining $9 is the fee to play the tournament) So, let's say that you knock a player out of a tournament. Prior to the hand taking place, their bounty was sitting at $200. In a progressive knockout tournament, you would keep 100€ of the 200€ bounty, while the other 100€ would go towards your own bounty that is on your head.


So, for each bounty that you earn, you become more enticing to other players, as the bounty on your own head will grow with each knockout. If you knock out a bunch of players, other players at the table will want to play hands against you, as they want to collect the growing bounty that is on your head. Once you earn a bounty, that amount can't be taken away from you in a traditional PKO event. This changes the way that these tournaments are played, as players will play MUCH looser in hands against people with large bounties on their heads, as they want the chance to knock them out of the tournament. For instance, let's say that you enter a 109€ PKO tournament. A player that has a 1,500€ bounty decides to push all-in pre-flop. You have them covered and look down at pocket Threes.


If this situation came up in a typical tournament, you would likely fold your hand. Since this is a PKO event, however, you would be foolish not to call, as you would collect a bounty of $750 if you won the hand. It is absolutely EV+ to call in this situation. If you end up winning a PKO tournament, you will collect money from three different places:

Shootout Tournament

A Shootout is a popular form of tournament which can reward players with major tournament entries or cash prizes. Unlike in a regular tournament, in Shootouts, tables are not balanced as players are eliminated. Instead, play continues until there is only one player remaining at each of the original tables. Those individual table winners are then seated at new tables, where they again play until there is only one player remaining.