As poker has become more popular than ever, online poker tournaments at various levels have come about and feature on all of the major and reputable poker rooms. As with many sports, the game also appeals to celebrities and there are special celebrity tournaments for spectators to watch and enjoy. Whenever a poker pro like Phil Ivey is involved in the action, it’s also sure to attract a lot of attention.
Different types of online poker tournaments exist for players of all skill levels and bankrolls. The most common type of online poker tournament by far is freezeout tournaments where all players start with the same number of chips and players are not allowed to re-buy. As players run out of chips the tables are reduced until one table remains. Usually, all of the players at the final table get some sort of reward, although if it’s a smaller field, typically only about 10% of the players get paid, so as few as the top 3 players will make the money.
In shootout tournaments rather than reducing the tables as players are eliminated as in freezeout tournaments, each table continues play until one winner is left. Then each winner proceeds to the final table for the last game.
Re-buy tournaments are similar in structure to freezeout tournaments but allow players who run out of chips to pay additional money for more chips so they can “re-buy” their way into the game. These games generally play more aggressively because players know they can re-buy back into the game. If you are playing in a re-buy tourney, you should take full advantage of the re-buy to give yourself the best chance of winning the tournament.
Many of the online poker tournaments take place at online casinos and online poker rooms. If live poker is more your thing, there are always plenty of various tournaments you can play at your local casino and poker room. However, tournaments range from the local to the national level with vastly different buy-ins. Some areas even have satellite games where a group will get together and each put in a portion of money. The winner will get to use the money to play in a more expensive and prestigious tournament.
While poker tournaments used to be associated with brooding old men, today’s young online poker players are gaining experience at a much more rapid rate, thanks in large part of grinding online poker tournaments, and being able to play a lot more hands per hour. Whatever amount of experience you have, there will always be an online poker tournament suitable for you, even if it’s just a poker freeroll tournament, without you having to risk your own money.