Poker Tournaments

Everything You Need to Know About Ignition Poker Tournaments

Fifty years ago, the World Series of Poker made the switch from cash games to tournaments. It wasn’t big news at the time – the WSOP was still in its infancy – but it would prove to be the most important decision in the history of poker. The “freeze-out” format turned a simple game of cards into an actual sporting event, where titles could be won and champions crowned.

Thanks to the internet, online tournaments have become the most popular way to play the game. And we have an endless supply of Ignition poker tournaments waiting for you. No matter what level of player you are, or how big your bankroll is, there’s nothing quite like the feeling you get when you win one of these events. Better still, start playing tournaments now, and you can build your craft (and your bankroll) so that you’ll be ready to take on the biggest names in poker at the WSOP and other major festivals. We have everything you need to make those first steps towards poker greatness.

If you haven’t had the opportunity yet to play at Ignition Poker, now’s your chance. We have some of the best online poker tournaments available, and you can play them from the comfort of your own home – or on the go using your mobile device. Welcome to the world of tournament poker : learn more about the structure behind the games, how you can get involved, and even a few poker strategy tips to increase your chances of winning.

 

 

What Are Online Poker Tournaments?Online Poker Tournaments at Ignition Casino

Before tournaments were introduced, cash games were the standard way to play poker. Each hand in cash poker is a single event, with the winner (or winners, if the pot is split) earning a handful of chips. Players can cash out whenever they like, and if they run low on chips, they can always buy more.

Online poker tournaments elevate poker to the level of sport by establishing an end goal: take everyone else’s chips. You can compete with thousands of other players at the same time. Every player buys in for the same amount, which are put into the prize pool, and receives the same number of chips to start with. Players are assigned seats at the virtual tables. Then the tournament begins. Hands are played, chips move around, and eventually, players will lose their entire stacks and be eliminated, until there’s only one person left standing.

The goal in a standard poker tournament is to win all the chips in play, leaving you as the last player standing. The prize pool is distributed among the top survivors, usually around 15% of the players who enter; the longer you survive, the bigger your prize gets, with the most cash going to the winner. When you play poker tournaments online for money, you can earn up to six figures just by winning a single event. It takes some skill, and some luck, but anyone can win – even a beginner.

 

Online Cash Games vs. Poker Tournaments

Cash games are still played online today, and they can be entertaining as well as rewarding. But they don’t have quite the same allure as poker tournaments. Some people choose only to play tournaments; they’re more fun, and the promise of a big cash prize at the end of the rainbow can be too hard to pass up.

Tournaments do require a little extra work, though. Scheduling can be an issue; with a cash game, you can sit down at the table and get up whenever you want, and if you happen to lose your stack, you can buy right back in. An online tournament has a specific start time, and you have to keep playing if you want to see a return on your investment. Some tournaments are over in a matter of minutes, while others can take up most of your day – sometimes several days, with breaks in between. But as long as you’re willing to invest the time as well as the money, tournaments offer the most rewarding experience there is in poker.

 

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How Online Poker Tournaments Work and How to Play

How to Play Online Poker Tournaments - Ignition Poker

Live Tournaments vs Online Tournaments

The online tournament format works exactly the same as it does on the live felt. Thanks to the WSOP, No-Limit Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker variant in the world right now, both live and online. Most of the tournaments at Ignition are Hold’em tournaments; however, Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo are both increasing in popularity, and you can find both on our schedule. 

Having said that, there are some important differences between live and online tournaments that you should understand. The biggest difference is the sheer number of events. Live players might enter one or two tournaments a day, and those tournaments can take several days to complete. At Ignition Poker, you can play dozens of tournaments in a single day – you can even play up to 15 tournament tables at the same time.

The other major difference to consider is the size of the buy-ins. At most live events, the smallest buy-ins available are somewhere in the $300-to-$500 range. At Ignition, you can buy in for as little as 50 cents. You can even play for free when you receive a ticket to one of our special Poker Freerolls. The combination of more events and lower buy-ins gives players at every level the opportunity to build their bankrolls while they hone their skills.

You also don’t need to make any travel arrangements when you play online. All you need to do is sign up, download our poker software, or log in directly using your mobile device. Try a few "Play Money" games to practice, then make your first deposit into your Ignition Poker account – and don’t forget to claim your generous Poker & Casino Welcome Bonus, which will get even bigger when you use Bitcoin.

Once you’ve installed the software, you’ll be taken to the main lobby, where you’ll be able to log in and view the entire tournament schedule and choose the tournament you want to play in. Click or tap on that tournament in the schedule, and the lobby window for that event will open, showing you the details: starting time, buy-in and entry fee, prize pool distribution, number of entries, and so on. Click or tap “Register” to join. When it’s time for the tournament to start, your table will open in a separate window, then it’s time to play some poker. Raise, call, check or fold as you see fit, until either you’re eliminated or you win the tournament.

 

Poker Tournaments Rules

In order to keep the game flowing properly, there are some specific poker tournaments rules that you need to know before playing. The most important rule is with the blinds. Unlike with cash games, the blinds at poker tournaments increase after a set number of minutes. An event might start with the small blind at 10 (no dollar values applied) and the big blind at 20, then move to 15/30 for the second level, 25/50 for the third level, and so on. This ensures that players will get eliminated if they don’t act.

You’ll also need to learn about antes. These sometimes come up in cash poker but are usually reserved for tournaments. After a certain number of levels, in addition to the blinds, each player will be required to contribute a small number of chips to the pot. For example, Level 6 in a tournament might have the blinds at 100/200, then Level 7 will be 150/300 with a 40-chip ante. If there are nine players at the table during this level, that means there will be 810 chips (150+300+360) in the pot before the cards are even dealt. That’s a lot of chips, so don’t be shy: Go after them. You can also visit our Poker FAQ if for additional info.

 

 

Types Of Online Poker Tournaments at Ignition Best Poker Site for Tournaments - Ignition Casino

One of the other great things about playing at Ignition is the wide variety of tournaments on the schedule. Unless you’re at the WSOP, almost all the tourneys you get to play live are No-Limit Hold’em freeze-outs. Not only can you play Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo tournaments, there’s also a whole lot more on the menu besides the basic freeze-out format. Here’s a quick list of what you’ll find here:

  • Re-Entries: These are like rebuy tournaments, but you only re-enter if you’ve been eliminated. You’ll receive the same number of chips that you had in your starting stack. Keep in mind that the later you re-enter, the smaller your stack size will be relative to the blinds. Many re-entry events also have rebuy periods to help extend your tournament life.

  • Knockouts: In this popular format, you receive a “bounty” for every player you eliminate. At the beginning of a knockout tournament, roughly half of the prize pool is reserved for bounties, with the other half distributed to the longest-lasting survivors as usual. You can see the bounty on every player’s head (including yours) listed next to their seat number. When you play a Progressive Knockout, every time you eliminate a player, you automatically win a portion of their bounty, with the remainder added to your own bounty – making you a more attractive target. Those bounties escalate even more quickly when you play a Super Progressive Knockout tourney.

  • Satellites: While most tournaments award cash prizes, you can also win a seat in a higher buy-in event by playing a satellite tournament. For example, the weekly $150,000 Guaranteed (played every Sunday, starting at 1 PM ET) has a buy-in of $150, plus a $12 entry fee. You can buy in directly to that tournament, or you can win your seat for as little as 55 cents. Each satellite will have a certain number of guaranteed seats up for grabs, with the potential for more depending on how many players sign up. Once the field is whittled down to the number of seats in the prize pool, the satellite tournament ends and the prizes are awarded.

  • Turbos: In order to keep the action moving in a poker tournament, and make sure players get eliminated in a timely fashion, the size of the blinds goes up at regular intervals (aka blind levels). Turbos, as the name implies, are faster tournaments that take less time to complete, thanks to their shorter blind levels. Super Turbos have even shorter levels, and Hyper Turbos are the quickest of them all.

  • Sit-and-Gos: These are special tournaments where the field size is set ahead of time, and the event begins as soon as the required number of players have signed up. Sit-and-Gos at Ignition Poker can have as few as two people playing heads-up, or as many as 27. You can also play Jackpot Sit-and-Gos, which are three-player Hyper Turbos with a random prize of up to 1,200X the buy-in going to the winner.

Ignition Poker Tournament Schedule

Poker tournaments run 24/7 at Ignition; You can view the full schedule of available tournaments at any time by visiting our lobby and choosing “Tournaments” from the menu at the left (Sit-and-Gos and Jackpot Sit-and-Gos have their own sections). As we go to press, there are over 150+ tournaments available for registration, with buy-ins ranging from 50 cents all the way up to $1,000.

To make navigating the tournament schedule easier, you can filter by:

  • Tournament Type (Satellites, Knockouts, etc.)
  • Game Type (Hold’em, Omaha, Omaha Hi/Lo)
  • Buy-In (from $5 or less to over $50), Status (Registering, Running, etc.)
  • Limit (No Limit, Pot Limit, Fixed Limit)

Sorting by Tournament Type also shows you the special Mad Monday and Monthly Milly tournaments, as well as the $150K Guaranteed weekly and all their related satellites. As we go to press, the August 29 version of the Monthly Milly, with a guaranteed $1 million in the prize pool, has already seen 66 players pay their $500 buy-in and $35 entry fee. Watch out as well for our major annual festivals, including the Golden Spade Poker Open (GSPO) and the Black Diamond Poker Open (BDPO).

These are the biggest events on our calendar, with dozens of different tournaments to play and millions of dollars in guaranteed prize money. If you can make it here, you can make it at the World Series of Poker, so keep playing, keep practicing, and best of luck on the felt. 

 

 

Tips & Tricks for Online Poker TournamentsOnline Poker Tournament Strategy - Ignition Poker

Tournament poker will test your skills in ways you won’t find at the cash tables. Because the blinds keep increasing, you have to be comfortable working with different stack sizes. As your stack gets smaller relative to the blinds, you lose leverage on your opponents, and your arsenal of poker plays becomes more limited. Plus, there will be times when you have a monster stack of maybe 200 big blinds or more. These stacks also require a different approach than you’d use with the familiar 100 big blind stacks at a typical cash table.

The key to using your stacks as efficiently as possible is to understand that tournament poker is a game of survival. It’s more important to stay in the tournament than it is to accumulate chips – although that’s important, too. Seasoned tournament players will often stick to tighter opening ranges than they would in cash games, starting with stronger hole cards rather than using just their guile to win pots post-flop. They’ll also fold more often post-flop instead of raising or calling with marginal holdings.

As with cash games, how tightly you choose to play should ultimately be determined by how tightly your opponents play. It’s good to have a baseline strategy that you can use at any table – maybe you never open anything worse than King-Jack offsuit from under the gun during the early levels at a 6-max Hold’em tournament. But if you get a read on your opponents and think they’re too tight, you can open more hands. If you think they’re too loose, you might want to open less often, but also call their open-raises more liberally.

While you’re paying attention to your opponents and their different styles, make sure to keep an eye on their stack sizes as well as yours. Stacks of around 30 big blinds are especially tricky; if you see an opponent with a stack like this, you can put a lot of pressure on them by raising when they open. This will force them to fold speculative hands (like suited connectors in Hold’em) that they would otherwise have called with deeper stack sizes and more chips in play.

The most important strategy adjustments you’ll make in tournaments are when you’re dealing with pay jumps – particularly once you’re at the final table. Each move up the standings represents a bigger prize, so play even more cautiously than you would earlier in the tournament, but also be prepared to put even more pressure on opponents who are trying to fold their way up the ladder. Get more poker tournament tips and strategies here.

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