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Global Poker Launches Bounty Poker Tournaments

What’s Different About Progressive Bounty Tournaments?

by Barry Carter |  Published: Sep 23, 2020

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Bounty Poker Tournaments just launched at Global Poker and for many they are a great unknown. The popular poker format has become a massive hit in the European-centric Global Poker market and looks poised to become the dominant format in online tournament poker.

But despite their popularity, many players, even good players, do not yet know how to adapt to them. All this means is that there is a real opportunity for American players to get a head start on Bounty Poker Tournaments before they become just as big in the states.

I have just co-written a book on these tournaments called PKO Poker Strategy along with online MTT legend Dara O’Kearney. In the book, we present the biggest adjustments you need to make in Progressive Bounty tournaments. The best way to learn is to think about how you would play in a regular MTT and then study how your strategy should diverge in a PKO.

Bounty Tournaments have proven to be one of the most complex forms of poker, but understanding the broad differences will put you ahead of the field in these games. Let’s highlight some of the biggest adjustments you can make now, as well as some need-to-knows about Bounty Tournaments.

Serious Players Hate Them

The biggest opportunity where Bounty Tournaments are concerned is that otherwise good players seem to hate them. They may even consider Bounty Tournament players as gamblers because recreational players get rewarded for making loose calls and have more “winning moments.”

The reality is that they are not gambling at all, it is just that Bounty Tournaments are higher variance than the other forms of tournament poker we have been brought up on. If you regularly bust the first level of a normal tournament, then you are definitely doing it wrong, but busting early in a Bounty tournament could actually be a sign you are playing them well. This is very hard for good regulars to conceptualize when they have spent their career trying to get to the money, and beyond.

As a result, you will see less professional poker players in Bounty Tournaments and many of the ones that do play them have not studied the format well. This is a great opportunity for the player who is willing to put in the work studying the format.

They Are Good For The Health Of A Poker Site

The other thing you need to know before you even start is that the poker rooms love Bounty Tournaments. Those “winning moments” do come more often for recreational players, which means they will stick around longer. The prizes are also more widely distributed due to the bounty pool. While a normal MTT might reward the top 15 percent of players, perhaps 40 percent of players will walk away with some prize in a Bounty Tournament. This means more players can play for longer on the site.

You need to know this because it highlights why they are only going to get bigger, wherever you play.

You Can Call Much Wider When You Can Win A Bounty

The most important question to ask yourself in any hand is whether you cover your opponent. If you cover them, you can win their bounty. This means you are playing for a bigger immediate prize than they are and as such you can widen your range compared to what you would normally play.

There are times when the bounty is so big and/or the cost to call an all-in is relatively low that you would be correct to call with 100 percent of your hands. Yes, you read that right. There are times in Bounty Tournaments when your best strategy would literally be to not look at your cards and go for the bounty.

It is also worth taking some early risks to become the chip leader at your table. When you are the chip leader you can literally win every bounty at the table right away. You are playing for a bigger immediate prize pool than everyone else and as such you can often play any two cards profitably. This is why I mentioned busting early regularly is a sign of a good Bounty Tournament player. The upside of getting an early chip lead outweighs the downside of the early exit.

You Have Very Little Fold Equity When You Are Covered

The flip side of this is that when you are the player at risk of elimination and cannot win a bounty, you should not expect many folds from your opponents. If you have a particularly big bounty and/or a short stack, you should expect to have no ability to make people fold whatsoever.

This is why a lot of players struggle with Bounty Tournaments. They wrongly assume this means they have to play really tight because they are guaranteed to get called. This is actually one of the things that makes Bounty Tournaments profitable when you know what you should do. When you are the player who is covered you can actually widen your range, not tighten it. The adjustment is that you should change the type of hands you go all-in with.

In a Bounty Tournament, high card hands go up in value. You might never shove a hand like K-2 offsuit in a normal MTT but it is the sort of hand that performs well in a Bounty Tournament. When you shove with K-2 offsuit or Q-J offsuit, don’t be surprised to get called by somebody with J-10 offsuit, allowing you to win unimproved.

The same works post-flop too. It’s common to shove all-in with K-Q offsuit for a gutshot on a 10-9-x board, get called by Q-J offsuit for a lower draw, and you win without needing to hit.

Memorize this – high cards go up in value when you are covered. This one fact will put you ahead of a lot of players who routinely play too tight when they are at risk of elimination.

At the start of every hand, it is often best to think about how you would play in a normal MTT, then ask yourself whether the presence of the bounties should widen your range or not. There are a lot of spots in Bounty Tournaments which are real head scratchers, going back to basics is a good way to remove some of the uncertainty. ♠


Join the action in the fastest-growing poker room in the world with Global Poker.

If you have been around poker players in the United States lately then you have probably heard about Global Poker. The new kid on the block as far as online poker sites go has taken the poker world by storm. After launching, Global Poker has cemented itself among the top 10 sites worldwide for player volume.

It doesn’t matter what your stake or preference is, Global Poker has something for you.

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