Live and Online Poker Tournaments
Poker tournaments are the biggest reason poker has seen such an explosion in popularity. Televised events such as the World Series of Poker on ESPN and the World Poker Tour on the travel channel have exposed tournament poker to the greater masses, and many people have fallen in love with the thrilling action of No Limit Hold'em tournaments. Our poker tournaments page has content about all of the major poker tournament circuits, as well as the best online poker tournaments. Read the articles below for information on both online and live poker tournaments.
Online Poker Tournaments:
- Major Sunday Tournaments - Find the biggest MTTs online, which are all held on Sundays.
- Big Daily Online Tournaments - Discover the biggest online tournaments that run every day.
- PokerStars WCOOP - Learn about PokerStars' major poker tournament series.
- PokerStars FTOPS - Learn about PokerStars's major poker tournament series.
- Biggest Online Poker Tournaments - Learn about the biggest online tournaments ever.
- Best Value Poker Tournaments - Find tournament overlays and soft competition.
Live Poker Tournaments:
- World Series of Poker - The biggest and most recognized tournament series in the world.
- World Poker Tour - Another popular tournament circuit with widespread TV coverage.
- European Poker Tour - The EPT is a smaller circuit that is owned by the WPT.
- Heartland Poker Tour - The HPT is a smaller series that runs in the North Eastern USA.
- Continental Poker Championship - The CPC is a small tournament series in Verona, New York
- Empire State Hold'em Championship - Another tournament series held at TurningStone casino.
Poker Tournament Structure
If you have never played a tournament, you may become confused because tournaments are set up differently than cash tables. Instead of buying into a game with chips, you pay a fixed amount that gets you a certain number of tournament chips. Tournament chips have no cash value, and all they can be used for is playing in their specified tournament. Then, players use these chips to play until one player has every chip.
There is no "cashing out" in tournament poker, your only goal is to survive as far you possibly can. The players who make it the furthest receive a cash prize, and the player who wins the tournament receives the most money. The payouts come from the tournament's prize pool, which is the total sum of each player's tournament buy-in.
Poker Tournament Series
Many tournaments are part of a "tournament series", which are a group of tournaments played in similar geographic locations and around the same time. For example, the Continental Poker Championship, listed above, runs every year at TurningStone casino. There are five-ten tournaments with varying buy-ins, and all are part of the CPC. The World Series of Poker is another tournament series, as all 50+ events are run back to back in the same casino.
Often times, such as in the WSOP, players are rewarded for consistent play throughout the entire tournament with a "Most Valuable Player" type award. In the WSOP, this is called the Player of the Year Award, and is one of the most prestigious awards in the poker world. Read our poker profiles to learn who has won this award.
Successful tournament players need a different skill set than successful cash game players. Since poker tournaments have increasing blinds and antes, players need to be much more aggressive as the tournament progresses. Also, since tournament players can't buy-in more than once (unless it is a rebuy tournament) entrants need to be able to play correctly regardless if they have a big stack, average stack, or short stack. Read our poker tournament strategy articles to learn more, or check out our list of the best tournament poker sites.
If you want to start playing poker tournaments right away, we recommend signing up at PokerStars. PokerStars offers millions of dollars in guaranteed money every week, and it all culminates with their Sunday $750,000 Guaranteed (this tournament turns into a $1 Million Guarantee on the last Sunday of each month). Also, PokerStars has lots of unique tournaments such as Bounty Tournaments where players receive an extra bonus for knocking other players out, as well as Cashout Tournaments where players can withdraw from the tournament at any time, and receive a cash prize equal to the value of their poker chips at the time of withdrawal.
PokerStars offers tournaments in a variety of games, including Texas Hold'em, Omaha, Seven Card Stud, Razz, and Mixed Games. If you decide to play at PokerStars, use bonus code MIK500 for an exclusive 100% up to $600 bonus on your first deposit.
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