Friday, May 11, 2012

Quick Poker Tournament Formats

Poker tournaments can be very long at times… the current lower buy-in SCOOP events are a great example… 10k+ players and a good 8 hours to get to the final table. While the rewards can be great, not everyone has the time (or the patience) for this kind of long-winded game.

So, I thought I would do a post outlining some of the faster alternatives – anything up to a few hours for those who fancy a quick game in an evening, only do not want to be propping open their eyelids at 4am.

1 – 1- Table SNG Tournaments

The 1-table games last from 30 minutes (turbos) to 1 hour+ and are officially a tournament format. With the payouts for the first 3 in typical 50% / 30% / 20% format you are never going to get rich overnight playing the 1-table games… These are great when you want to relax for an hour of two and have the safety of a fixed buy-in though. My favorite place for SNGs is Red Kings Poker, a cool OnGame site where you will find a ton of opponents crossing over from the more popular sports-betting brands on this network.

2 – Multi-Table SNG Tournaments

Here I am thinking of the 45 player (5-table) games, and the 90 or 100-player 10 table tournaments, with bigger payouts and the chance to hit a ‘final table’ these games are far more tournament-like than the 1-table equivalents. If you take 1 or 2 of these down you will get a nice boost to your bankroll too!

3 – 180 SNG Tournaments

I am putting these into a category of their own, since these games are practically an institution. With the turbo versions taking less than 3 hours you will have all the ‘stages’ of a normal MTT to go through – and a big payout at the end. These start from $2.50c with the $8+80c and $3+Rebuy versions very popular due to their featured position at the top of the main tourney view over at

4 – Short Stacked Tournaments

These start with 1000 chips and have antes which kick in very quickly, meaning you are forced to play a lot of hands in order to keep ahead of the blinds… with fields in the 100’s or 200’s range these games will be over pretty fast – in my experience the standard of play is pretty damn poor too. Again Pokerstars is the place to head for these games.

5 – Timed Tournaments

These are special games which last from 15 minutes to an hour, paying out players still alive at the end of this period in proportion to their chip stack. Crazy would not even begin to describe the play, you can find plenty of these games running at a range of buy-ins. Hate to say it again – but Pokerstars is also the place to find these games.

Separate Subject: My Bonus Club Site Revamps Has Started

This is for Russian and Hungarian speaking readers. The first 2 portals in my ‘Bonus Club’ network are now live – you can see the Hungarian one here and the Russian one here.

The idea for these is to take the great content we have around and make country-specific portals out of it, each with their own local domain and writer focused on keeping them up to date. While these sites are a good few years old now, I was never very happy with the look and design of them – so it a real pleasure to see a nice new look and feel to them. With more than 70 pages each these are not thin sites by any means, and we will be working to ensure that they offer even more strategy and value moving forwards.

As a final note, there are several more of these in the pipeline – I will shout as soon as they are up.

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