Learn the mathematics of PKO bounties with PokerStars School

August 04, 2020inPoker

No other tournament format inspires as much passion and vigour from the poker world as Bounty Builders, also known as Progressive Knock-Outs (PKOs).

Want to get better at them? Keep reading.


  • Get to grips with PKOs: The maths behind bounties
  • How to run over tight 6-Max tables
  • New cash game strategy: Killer Pre-Flop Play
  • VIDEO: Big cash game pots reviewed

Get to grips with PKOs: The maths behind bounties

One quick glance at a Progressive Knock-Out (PKO) lobby never gives you the whole story. The payouts may seem smaller than you’d expect considering the tournament’s guarantee, particularly the min-cash (which is often less than the buy-in itself).

But that’s because unlike regular tournament structures, you don’t have to wait until the bubble bursts to make money. Half of your buy-in goes to a regular prize pool, while the other half goes into the bounty prize pool.

You’ll find plenty of Bounty Builder PKO events in the PokerStars lobby

In a PKO tournament, the second you knock a player out, half of their bounty is added directly to your PokerStars account in cash, while the other half is added to your own bounty.

This drastically changes the way have to have to play. We have to aggressively try and knock out as many people as possible, and that means we have to crunch the equity numbers.

Thankfully, PokerStars School is on hand to help you with the mathematics of bounties.

You’ll learn:

  • When to call it off with no bounty
  • When to call it off with a bounty
  • How to hunt very large bounties

And more.

Check out: Progressive Knockouts – The Mathematics of Bounties

How to run over tight 6-Max tables

“Classical poker wisdom suggests that new players hone their skills at full-ring tournaments before jumping into the 6-max battlefield. Being able to play tighter ranges forces discipline and spaces out the action so that you can find your bearings and get a feel for the table.

“Even if you’re a newer player, however, there are some good reasons for trying your hand at some 6-max tournaments. One of them is running over tight tables as nittier full-ring players attempt to make the transition to 6-max.”

In Pete Clark’s latest offering, you’ll learn:

  • How to become ‘Steal Happy’
  • When to 3-bet light
  • Tips on making big folds
  • When you should 4-bet bluff

Check out: 6-Max Tournament Strategy – Running Over Tight Tables

New cash game strategy: Killer Pre-Flop Play

A solid pre-flop strategy is one of the first components any strong cash game player seeks to master. However, applying it correctly when the time comes isn’t always easy.

In this new series of cash game strategy articles, Pete Clarke delves into some killer pre-flop strategy issues you’ll face multiple times during a session, including:

Killer Pre-Flop Play – Ditching Small Pairs
Killer Pre-Flop Play – Crushing from the Small Blind

VIDEO: Big cash game pots reviewed

This week Dave “TheLangolier” Roemer kicked off a brand new hand review series, this time focusing on cash games. The hand history has been submitted by a PokerStars School student on the PokerStars School Discord, played at the 10NL level on a PokerStars Zoom table.

Check out Part 1 of the series here.

More from PokerStars School:

In the earlier parts of Dave Roemer’s Micro Stakes Tournaments series, he covered how to approach micro stakes tournaments from the early stages, approaching the money, and newly in the money but prior to tangible pay jumps that occur closer to and at the final table.

This week he looks at the deeper money stages leading up to the final table.

Micro Stakes Tournaments – Part 4

Try Poker DoJo today

Download the Poker Dojo app:

Poker Dojo is the fun, free app to help you learn to play poker and improve your game!

Choose from three exciting games: Grid Poker, Strongest Hand or All-in or Fold.

All training games include leader boards, so you can see how you rank among your fellow students.

Download the Poker Dojo app on Android and iOS.

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