How poker tournaments are structured and set up

Poker tournaments, especially no-limit Hold'em, has tremendously grown in rates over the last few years. Majority of the time what you see on TV is what is known as the final table in a much larger tournament. Poker tournaments normally follow the same basic structure no matter what kind of tournament it is. This article will be explaining the exact structure and strategy that is needed in order to play in any poker tournament.

Before you enter a poker tournament, you need to make sure you know exactly how it is organized and structured. This includes everything from the game itself, what the limit is, what the bidding structure consists of, the percentage when it comes to payout, and the places that are paid. For example, in a game of no-limit Hold'em, the structure of the entire tournament is based on about 100 different entrants with each paying a total of $110. $10 of that total is the entry fee, while the rest goes to the prize pot, thus making the grand prize $10,000. The top ten places in the tournament will end up paying the following percentages of the overall prize pool

1. 40%= $4,000
2. 20%= $2,000
3. 10%= $1,000
4. 8%= $800
5. 6.5%= $650
6. 5%= $500
7. 4%= $400
8. 3%= $300
9. 2%= $200
10. 1.5%= $150


At the start of the tournament, everyone has $1,000 in chips and the blinds start at $10 for a small and $20 for a big (10/20.) Blinds, big or small, are forced bets that are designed to basically put some money at stake to stimulate the betting. Players that have to contribute to both blinds will rotate one position to the left after every hand. Normally, the big blind is the minimum bet at the playing table and the small blind is half the big blind. For example, if the minimum at the table is $20, then the big blind would also be $20 and the small would be only $10. The blinds in the tournament raise every hour, also called levels. They normally look something like this;

Level: 1 Blinds: 10/20 Ante: 0
Level: 2 Blinds: 20/40 Ante: 0
Level: 3 Blinds: 40/80 Ante: 0
Level: 4 Blinds: 50/100 Ante: 20
Level: 5 Blinds: 100/200 Ante: 50
Level: 6 Blinds: 200/400 Ante: 100
Level: 7 Blinds: 300/600 Ante: 150
Level: 8 Blinds: 500/1,000 Ante: 200
Level: 9 Blinds: 1,000/2,000 Ante: 500

See how the blinds are increasing every hour, this makes it to where they are able to quickly reach the point the will start to force the players with the smaller chips to start to take chances to try to keep from having the blinds eliminate them from the game. Most of your tournaments will be set up along this line mainly to just force action so everyone will have a decent idea of when the game will possibly be ending.



Head of content

Lukas is one of the leading authors at Casinoble. He entered the casino world through his passion for online poker. Lukas is also a dedicated sports betting fan. At Casinoble, Lukas usually writes about Live Dealer Games, Sportsbetting and Betting Strategies.

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