Professional poker: How do poker tournaments work?

If winning poker is caused by luck and chance, then how come there are various tournaments across the world with winners far more successful than those who hit jackpots in slot games? While it is true that it’s a gambling game, it demands skills, wit, and best of all, it doesn’t have a house edge because players play against one another.

Luck is inevitable because players deal with the ratio of the probability of a well-shuffled 52 card deck. From then on, managing the cards throughout the betting rounds is where skills and wit enter.

However, that’s not all for players to be successful in poker. They could in standard cash games, but not in pro tournaments that are far more challenging. So, whether you are a curious gambler or budding pro poker player, Luckyslots unveils on this page how these major events typically work.

Type of tournaments

As franchised events, poker tournaments can be of various types in terms of availability and venue. For the former, they can either be open or invitational.

On the other hand, the latter determines the number of players they accept and the structure to narrow them down towards the heads-up. As such, the common formats are multi-table and satellite tournaments. The first is held in one venue with dozens or hundreds of poker tables, whereas the second is held at various places or, just recently, on the internet.

Buy-ins or entry fees

No matter the type or level of prestige a tournament is, every participant must pay fixed buy-ins or entry fees to receive poker chips. Both the prize pool and the rake (house fee) are already included in it. While similar amount to all players, these fees vary in the following structures:

  1. Freezeouts — Players can only pay buy-ins one time. When their poker chips run out, then they are removed from the event.
  2. Rebuys — Players can buy more chips but only in a certain period of time at the start of the event.
  3. Reentry — Removed players can join the event again, but this time, they are reseated at different tables.

Prizes in two ways

As said before, prizes are typically sourced from buy-ins. That said, since they are franchised events, additional funds enter from sponsors and gate fees from spectators. So, tournaments either award the champion and runner-ups in one of two ways.

  1. Fixed — Ranging from the champion to the least placer, each receives a certain payout, regardless of whether the event is sponsored or not.
  2. Proportional — Payouts are based on a percentage scale between the number of players and the increasing value of payouts throughout the event.

Heads-up: determining the winner

Poker tournaments attract thousands of players, notably satellite events. Each session takes an hour or two, but the event itself normally lasts a couple of days to a week, ending with the ‘heads up’. It’s the round that determines the winner with one who has all the chips.

3 biggest poker tournaments in the world

Are you excited to venture into poker tournaments? Below are some of the world’s three biggest events that you should know about. With the free-to-play mode of Luckyslots, you can practice your skills anywhere and anytime.

  • World Series of Poker
  • World Championship of Online Poker
  • Big One for One Drop

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