With Bounty Builder Turbo Series starting this weekend, you might be tempted to play your first ever Progressive Knockout (PKO) tournament. If so, you know what we’re going to say: Jump in! And to make everything even easier, here’s a guide to make sure your experience is as pleasant as it should be.
There’s always a lot of variety in major series on PokerStars. They are designed to cater for people across the full player base, from newcomers dipping in toes for the first time through to seasoned high rollers. It means that buy-ins vary greatly, as do the types of tournaments on offer.
You should probably first familiarise yourself with the whole schedule, but then hone in on what appeals to you most. In a recent post, we analysed that unwieldy 184-tournament schedule and broke it down into various sub-sections. Head to our Schedule Breakdown post to see smaller lists of tournaments, including the low and high buy-ins; the freezeouts; the hyper-turbos; the non hold’em tournaments; and events played at weekends only.
After you launch the PokerStars client, you can find the Bounty Builder Turbo Series via the “Events” tab (see Fig 1). You’ll then be presented by the full list of tournaments available. Clicking on any of the sub-headings — Start, Game, Buy-in, Name, Prize Pool, Speed, State or Enrolled — will sort the events in order by that criteria.
Remember, the “Prize Pool” tab at this stage shows what’s guaranteed to be in the prize pool. That number will very probably go up after the tournament has started, but it will never go down. That’s the bare minimum you’ll be playing for.
If you highlight a tournament on this screen, you’ll get a short preview of the tournament information in the box on the right hand side. However, if you double click (or click “Tourney Lobby”), you’ll go through to the lobby for that particular tournament and find everything you need to know about that event.
The most useful tab to click from the tournament lobby screen is the one that says “Structure”. That will then bring up another screen in which you’ll find all the really important information for the tournament, including:
a. Starting stack
b. Blind structure
c. Information about buy-in, re-entries, breaks and how the PKO system works. Note: you can scroll down in this box for even more information about the event. See Fig. 2 above.
PokerStars history is full of stories of players who won enormous amounts of money having barely wagered anything to get involved. Everyone knows about Chris Moneymaker’s 2003 exploits at the World Series (the satellite winner who “turned a matchstick into a lumberyard”), but there’s also “maratik” and Alex “AAAArthur” Brito, who both won more than $1 million on PokerStars after qualifying for a major event via a satellite.
These are the obvious standout highlights, but players qualify for tournaments all the time via satellites, and even if they don’t go on to win life-changing money, they gain valuable experience of playing in high stakes without breaking the bank. In Bounty Builder Turbo Series, as always, there are a host of satellites for tournaments with slightly higher buy-ins, and you’ll almost always be able to invest a tiny amount in a bid to start a big spin-up.
You can find details of satellite events by clicking through to the main tournament lobbies, as discussed above, and then looking in the bottom left corner of the “Home” tab. Satellites are announced frequently, and usually run right up until registration closes, so there’s always a chance to get involved. Here’s something else you need to know: there are often satellites to satellites. So if you double click on the satellite that interests you, you will probably find an even smaller buy-in “mega” satellite that you can play to book your ticket in the bigger sat. See Fig 3 above, which shows a path from a.) an $11 satellite into a b.) $109 satellite into the $1,050 Bounty Builder Turbo Series Event #6.
All events in the Bounty Builder Series are Progressive Knockout (PKO) events. What’s a PKO event? Well, we have a post to explain all that.
Generally speaking, the main difference between a PKO tournament and a “regular” tournament is that half of the prize pool goes towards bounty payouts. Players are rewarded for knocking out an opponent, and those knockout payments get progressively bigger as the tournament goes on.
It usually makes for a slightly more volatile tournament, where correct strategy often means calling shoves in a bid to pick up bounties, even with more marginal holdings. It also means that players can make money even if they don’t reach the bubble.
Read the explainer: What’s the difference between KO, PKO and TKO poker?
As mentioned above, PKO tournaments demand a slightly different strategy to “regular” tournaments. But it may well be one that suits your natural game. PokerStars School is always a mine of information for players of all levels to develop their skills, and they are characteristically excellent on the subject of PKO tournaments too.
You will be well advised to read the following:
Here are five more tips from PokerStars Blog to help you on your way.