A Detailed Look at the Poker Tournaments Best Suited to Beginners and Recreational Players
You have to be careful where you play online poker tournaments in 2023 – while some games are still very easy to beat, others are full of small stakes ‘pro grinders’ waiting to take your bankroll!
This article highlights my picks of the best games for beginning players who are looking to build their experience at the same time as making some money. This was one of the original articles here at Sit and Go Planet, and has evolved over the years as the poker landscape has changed, sites closed and other sites become easier or more difficult to profit from.
Instead of a list of 10 possible games, you will find more details on the top 3 in this latest update, followed by a quick run-down on the remaining 7. The idea is that, by giving more information on the top picks, I can better highlight the type of player who should be playing in each game – you can see more clearly which is the right game for you!
Planet Mark’s List Of The Best Beginner Poker Tournaments – The Top 3
America's Cardroom Nightly $2k Guaranteed
America's Cardroom have carved out a niche, offering poker tournaments for both US and international players with eye-watering prize pools. When you compare the experience level of players with the big brands, the games here are notably more 'recreational'. Instead of pros grinding out profits, ACR attracts amateurs playing poker for fun.
The daily schedule is packed with guaranteed prize pools in the $1k to $5k range. A great starting point is the 8pm combination of a regular $4.40c tourney with a $2,000 guarantee and $6.60c Turbo with a $1,000 guarantee. The fields are small enough to end the games in time for sleep, and with even a little skill, hitting the paying places should not too hard.
Add PKO games, qualifiers to the $10 million guaranteed 'Venom' tournaments, events like the 'Online Super Series' and even free to enter $50 tournaments 24/7 and you will see why ACR is so popular worldwide.
New players get a huge matched bonus of up to $1000 with bonus / referral code SNGPLANET. If you deposit with Bitcoin or other coins, this is doubled to a 200% match.
Add loyalty rewards, promotions and those loose / soft tournaments, and it will be hard to go back to those bigger brand sites!
If you enjoy poker tournaments, and love making profits - there is no better place to play. Check out www.americascardroom.eu for yourself now!
GG Poker Daily $10 Specials
GGPoker are crushing it for non-US players. They are set to overtake PokerStars to become the biggest site this year, and their tournament schedule is amazing.
For beginners, the daily $10 specials make the perfect starting point. These run throughout the day. You get a $10k guarantee, $4k guarantee and so on. Expect super-soft fields, extra features you don't get anywhere else and entertaining animated emojis to use while you play.
GGPoker have novel poker formats which tournament players love. They include the new 'Flip and Go' games. These get to straight to the money paying places (after a random flip where you discard one card), saving all that time in the early stages. Add progressive knockout games, events, Omaha, spin and gold, qualifiers to the WSOP (GG are sponsors) and much more.
You can choose from a matched bonus or $100 in tokens at GGPoker. I also recommend checking out the 'Honeymoon' promo. This unlocks another $350, based on completing challenges over your first 30 days. There is an excellent loyalty program, and new promos combing up every week.
Check out these soft beginner tournaments and see the latest promos now- over at www.ggpoker.com!
Flip and Go Tournaments at GGPoker
Getting into the money and to the final table can take time. When you are relatively new to tournaments, this is exaggerated by the huge fields the smaller buy-ins attract.
Flip and Go Tournaments solve this issue in a novel way.
There are two stages. First, an all-in every hand Sit and Go. You get dealt three cards preflop, and choose to discard one of them. Everyone is all in, until a winner is decided. You can enter each flip with up to five stacks, and accumulate profits from up to eight of them.
Those chips then go with you to a tournament - the difference is that you are already in the money. With the top 10% of the field playing, you are that much nearer the final table.
Not only is this format unique, it means new players can get tournament experience without the usual long grind.
You can play them at GGPoker.
Planet Mark’s 10 Best Beginners Poker Tournaments – 5 More Great Ideas!
#4 – Party Poker Lucky Dollar – Extra Easy Games For Brand New Players
These run several times a day, and have a $1 entry fee while being restricted to players in their first month at the site. A simple idea to combine a low buy-in with a chance to gain tournament experience without the sharks around! Party Poker have a well developed tournament schedule, which includes a lot of qualifier games to enable smaller bankroll players to play for big money by winning their seat in a low buy-in tournaments. I have a section of the site dedicated to Satellite Qualifiers or you can find out more on the infamous Party Poker here.
#5 – PokerStars Daily Big’s – Big Fields, Big Guarantees and Small Buy-Ins
PokerStars really do crush the other poker sites when it comes to the list of tournaments running each day. There are 13 games branded as the ‘Bigs’, which have high guarantees compared to the buy-in. There are several at $11 and under which appeal to new players including the Big $2.20 ($5k guarantee), Big $3.30c ($6k), Big $4.40c ($15k), Big $5.50c ($20k), Big $8.80c ($25k) and The Big $11 which has a huge $60k guarantee each night. A great opportunity to make significant cash from a small buy-in!
#6 888Poker – Super-Soft Tournaments + $88 Free Bonus To Try The Games
888 Are the fastest growing poker site around in 2023, and when you look at their games, you will see that they are focusing on creating a fun, recreational site – rather than catering to the multi-tabling small stakes pros which infest some other sites. There are tons of tournaments on offer, and I like that the fields are smaller (in the 100’s rather than 1000’s), so you will not need to sit up for half of the night to reach a final table. Players from most countries can grab $88 free bonus upfront to try the games – you’ll still get your deposit bonus after this if you like what you find.
#7 – Full Tilt Poker – 90 Player Knockout Sit N Goes (Now Gone)
Great for people who do not have hours to spend, 90 player Knockout Sit N Goes are like Mini Poker tournaments which are starting any time 90 players sign up. With 4 different buy-in levels to choose from starting at £3.30 these are fun games. Every time you knock an opponent out of the game you will get a bounty payment straight into your account, the rest of the entry fees make up prize pool for the last 9 players. You can read my strategy article on these cool games here.
Note: Full Tilt has now merged with PokerStars... you can still enjoy the software, though the player pools of the two sites are now combined. The 90's are no longer at the top of the tournament lobby, and so not as busy as they once were. You can still find these under the 'Sit N Goes' and then 'Multi' tabs.
#8 – Satellite Qualifiers at Titan Poker
Some players would like to emulate the famous Chris Moneymaker, and qualify for a live event where life-changing money is up for grabs. For beginners, I’m going to recommend Titan Poker once again. They have an established 3-tier system, where you win your way up to ‘SuperSatellites’ which award prizes to games around the world including the World Series Of Poker, Aussie Millions, Caribbean Poker Tour and many more.
Wrapping Up: Planet Mark's Pick!
Whew – What a list, If the choice of game is making your head spin then my top rec has to be the ever growing list of guaranteed tournaments at ACR Poker. This site has blown away the competition for US-based players with their huge tournament events. When you drill into the daily schedule, you find a lot of mid-sized soft games with guaranteed prize pools. These are prefect for players looking to combine getting experience with growing a bankroll. After a couple of final tables, you will be ready to take a shot at the big guaranteed - which go right up to $10 million for the amazing 'Venom' events.
Remember referral code SNGPLANET for the best available 100% (200% crypto) matched welcome bonus - see www.americascardroom.eu now and check out those easy tournaments!