How to Win On-line Knockout Poker Tournaments: Winning Strategy for No Limit Hold ‘em Poker Bounty Tournaments
Many on-line poker sites have introduced knockout poker tournaments similar to the Shooting Stars tournament held at the Bay101 casino as part of the World Poker Tour. These tournaments take a proportion of the entry fund and allocate it to a bounty on each player’s head which gets paid to the conqueror when they are knocked out.
These tournaments are a great way to make your bankroll go further, because you can play multi-table poker tournaments and make a profit without having to make the final table.
How to Win Knockout Poker Tournaments
The introduction of bounties does change the dynamic of the game by adding a new element to the strategy. Should players be looking to take chances to knock players out or should they be trying to make the final table?
The answer is somewhere between the two and varies depending on the stage of the tournament. If, for example, it is early in the tournament and a player gets the chance to call an all in fairly cheaply, it is worth taking the chance. As the tournament progresses, however, the bounty is a small reward against finishing in the money, where the majority of the prize pool is up for grabs.
Care should be taken as chasing bounties with less than premium hands can lead to a player’s chip stack being depleted which will turn them from shark to chum very quickly.
A tight aggressive strategy is most effective in winning knockout poker tournaments. Players, blinded by the bounty chase play far looser than they would in normal multi-table poker tournaments and will call big all-ins with hands that they wouldn’t normally consider.
If possible, players in this style of poker tournament want to stay at an above average chip level. This means that there will be a number of bounty targets at the table which can be picked off. There is nothing more frustrating in knockout poker tournaments than winning a big hand, which cripples a player, only to see someone else pick up the bounty next hand with very little risk.
All in Play in Knockout Poker Tournaments
All in play works differently in bounty poker tournaments. Players need to think very hard about calling an all in bet with a less than premium hand in early position. This can be an unsafe manoeuvre as there may well be other callers, (or even raisers), behind as players are attracted to the bounty.
All bets are off post flop too. In a normal multi-table poker tournament, players will normally check down a hand to try and eliminate the all-in player, but with the bounty at stake, the hands will be very competitive and can lead to significant side pots, so players not prepared to go to the river shouldn’t get involved.
As a small stack, players are hunted ruthlessly with the other players looking to bag the bounty, but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Players with a small stack and a big hand can double, or triple through very quickly and shouldn’t be afraid to get the chips in.
Premium Hands in Knockout Poker Tournaments
Smart players can use the loose aggressive style that bounty poker tournaments attract and use it to win big pots. There is often no need to slow play a big hand as an all in bet has a high likelihood of getting called with less than optimum hands.
This makes it quite easy to get double ups during the course of a tournament, so players shouldn’t be afraid to bide their time before getting their chips into the middle.
Bluffing in Knockout Poker Tournaments
Bluffing is a big part of no limit hold ‘em poker tournaments, but the balance shifts significantly in knockout tournaments. The propensity of players to call with any two cards in this form of the game makes bluffing a very risky option, especially the all in bluff.
Players looking to bluff should pick their spot very carefully and stick religiously to the usual rules about position and number of players in the pot before trying to steal in this form of poker tournament.
Make Money from Knockout Poker Tournaments
As well as being great fun, Knockout poker tournaments can be very lucrative when played well and even if a player doesn’t make the final table, winning some bounties can ease the pressure on bankrolls.