PokerStars Releases Knockout Poker
I think most of us are familiar with bounty poker tournaments. They are a fun, maybe a bit more pressure-packed, variation of a standard poker tournament in which every player has a price on their head. Eliminate someone, get their chips AND their bounty. PokerStars has had Knockout tournaments for a while, but today the world’s largest poker room introduced a slightly tweaked version called – get ready for this vastly different name – Knockout Poker (well, technically it has been branded “PokerStars Knockout Poker,” but I really don’t feel like typing that out every time).
In Knockout Poker, the total buy-in for a tournament is split in half. Half goes to the regular prize pool of the tournament, while the other half is put in place as each player’s bounty. The entry fee is still the entry fee – that goes to PokerStars. When a player is eliminated from the proceedings, his bounty gets split in half yet again. Half of the bounty is awarded to the player who knocked him out and half of it is added to that player’s own bounty. As you can see, a player who is able to tally up a bunch of knockouts will have quite the spotlight shining on him, making him a very tempting target for the opponents at the table.
Compare this to PokerStars’ previous Knockout tournaments (which still exist), where a separate buy-in is tacked on to serve as the bounty. Players win each other’s bounties for eliminations and that’s it – there is no transferring of part of it to create larger individual bounties. The former part – the division of the buy-in – is really just semantics, but the latter difference is what really separates old from the new.
To start, Knockout Poker Sit-and-Go’s will only be of the hyper-turbo variety. Here are what the initial offerings will be:
- 36-player: $1 and $5 buy-ins
- 24-player: $10 buy-in
- 6-player: $1.50, $3.50, and $7 buy-ins
PokerStars has also added loads of Knockout Poker multi-table tournaments to the schedule.
It really appears that these Knockout Poker contests are basically the same as what has been called Progressive Knockout tourneys on PokerStars. Both still exist, but are now labeled with a special “KO” logo. Knockout Poker also gets a separate tab in the software and a fancy quick-lobby where players can easily select game type and stakes, as well as the number of Sit-and-Go’s they would like.
PokerStars is also running a promotion to kick-off Knockout Poker. It’s nothing to get excited about. There are Daily Challenges that award seats into a $10,000 All-in Shooutout tournament for knocking out four players in a day. The Weekly Challenge is basically the same, just requiring a dozen knockouts in a week for a ticket into a $50,000 added tournament. I wouldn’t go out of my way to try to complete these challenges, but if I am playing Knockout Poker, it is nice to possibly earn a little something, even if it’s just a tournament ticket, for doing so.
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