Your Guide To The Best Knockout Tournaments Online
+ Knockout Bounty Tournament Strategy Tips
Knockout bounty tournaments have proven to be a big hit – and can now be played at many of the leading poker sites. The key difference with these games is that you get a cash prize for each player you knock out – ranging between 20% and 50% of their buy-in. Additional prizes are distributed in for finishing in the last places like in normal poker tournaments.
Players make big mistakes in these games, often ‘over-compensating’ in an effort to win bounties. This article provides a dual role. First to give you a strategy primer for knockout tournaments and second to let you know where to find the very best / most profitable games.
Knockout Bounty Tournaments – Knockout Poker Strategy Tips
The main strategy decision for knockout bounty tournaments is whether to adjust your play to actively seek out bounties, or whether to play your standard tournament game and see the bounties as an extra bonus. For the best results I recommend downplaying the significance of the bounties themselves. Instead you should focus on how best to exploit the BIG errors your opponents will make when trying ‘too hard’ to win themselves bounty prizes. If you are a winning player your will go further in these games on average – winning more bounties naturally!
Planet Mark's Rec: Knockouts do not get any softer than those at 888 Poker. They have standard knockouts (a percentage of every buy-in) and super-knockouts, where the entire buy-in is for the knockout part. This site is full of recreational players, and 888 even offer new joiners up to $88 free bonus (in tokens / cash game buy-ins) to try their real money games with no deposit or credit card information needed. Check out 888poker.com for yourself and see those super-easy knockout tournaments for yourself! (T&Cs Apply.)
However hard you choose to pursue the bounty prizes, an awareness of what your opponents are doing will help you make the right adjustments at the right time. With this in mind here are my 5 key strategy tips for online knockout poker tournaments:
Expect And Adjust For Looser Play: Knockouts are fun games, and so attract recreational players with a lower level of poker math / strategy knowledge. Expect to see some ‘crazy’ bets and all in showdowns between surprising hands, particularly in the early stages. Adjustments include a better chance of getting value from your made hands (value betting opportunities) and a lower success rate for bluffs / continuation bets in general.
No ‘Cooperation Plays’: In a normal tournament, particularly when you are close to the bubble, players will ‘check-down’ a hand when a smaller stacked player is all-in. This maximizes the chances of eliminating them, to everyone’s benefit. In KO tournaments the bounty completely kills this move (well, maybe with a couple of exceptions very late in the game). In general you will find players betting dry side-pot regardless of their hand, do not call with junk with the expectation of getting to showdown – it will not happen very often!
When Small Stacks Enter The Pot: Small stacks entering a pot can cause a cascade of calls and raises from players trying to win bounties with a huge variety of hands. This will often give you opportunities to ‘squeeze’ forcing the bigger stacks to fold and getting heads-up with the small stacks. If you see a big stack shoving all in a lot with weak hands to catch smaller stacks bounties, then you can look for spots to get all in with them with a card advantage.
Stay A Little Above Average In Chips: There is nothing more frustrating in a knockout tournament than winning a big hand, only to miss out on the bounty just because your opponent had you covered by a few chips. Staying aggressive enough to be at least a little ahead of the majority of your opponents for when those big stacks occur will ensure you get paid those bounties as well as winning the chips!
The Prize Pool Really Matters: The structure of most knockout bounty tournaments means that 80% of the prize pool is used for ‘standard’ payouts based on finishing position. The big money is still at the final table, so make sure you are not side-tracked from this by the ‘knockout’ battles early in the game.
Knockout Poker Tournaments – Best US Friendly Knockout Tournaments
While 888 have the softest games, they are not available for US players at the moment. One US site is way ahead when it comes to tournaments, including Knockouts. America's Cardroom on the Winning Poker Network is the site where you will find the big $1M Guaranteed events. There are a nice selection of knockouts throughout their regular schedule.
You can claim a huge 200% bonus, and enjoy qualifiers to those $1mm guaranteed specials . Check out the cool software and soft knockout games at Americas Cardroom Poker now!
Knockout Poker Tournaments – Best All-Round Knockouts (By A Long, Long Way!)
While there are a number of sites running these games, none even come close to 888 in terms of how easy the games are to beat for players with even a small amount of poker strategy knowledge. There are normal knockouts, and some where the entire buy-in is given as a bounty. These focus on the lower to middle stakes buy-ins.
If you have not yet found the sweet spot of soft games and amazing software at 888, then you can take advantage of up to $88 free bonus to try out the real money games - this starts with $8 (in tournament tokens + cash buy-ins) and then adds $8 more up to 10 times as you collect points. No credit card info or deposit is needed, though you can claim your 100% welcome bonus at any point down the line. Check out the knockouts and the latest cool promotions at www.888poker.com for yourself now! (T&Cs Apply.)