A Quick Guide to Poker Formats (part 2)

21 Jan
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Progressive Knockouts

Progressive Knockouts are a relatively new and very popular twist on normal MTTs, in which each player has a portion of their buy-in placed not into the overall prize pool but onto their own head as a bounty. When another player eliminates this player, they gain half of the bounty immediately to their bankroll, and the other half is added to their own bounty. The final winner of a Progressive Knockout (PKO) MTT will keep their own bounty as well as the 2nd place finisher’s bounty, making for a big difference in payout. 

PKOs limit your overall potential ROI as they spread funds out more widely across the player pool, as a result they also lower variance somewhat (as you can cash before getting in the money (ITM)). They are not worth registering after about 20% of the field has busted, since there is too much money already missing from the prize pool and bounties combined. If you’re still buying in for a lot of bbs, the playability of your stack may offset this rule slightly. 

PKOs are highly popular, and very common in today’s game.

PKOs require special focus in study, as the bounties at risk in a given hand will distort the range you need to play with, and that range will need further adjustment based on your awareness of how your opponent understands PKO effects in-game. There is quite a lot of nuance to this, but overall it makes for a more aggressive game where players are willing (and sometimes justified) in stacking off much lighter than they would in a normal tournament. 

Sit and Gos (SNGs)

Sit and Gos are smaller tournaments, where the tournament begins not at a fixed start time, but when the required number of players are registered. These tend to run between 2 (Heads-up SNGs) and 9 players for single table tournaments (STTs) and between 18 and 360 players for larger SNGs. 

SNGs have got somewhat tougher over the years, especially the single table format. They are still beatable for a small ROI but tend to be reg-infested above about $11 level on some of the larger sites. They are still pretty soft on some lesser known sites. Some variants exist such as double-or-nothing, which has a really weird ICM structure similar to satellites, and jackpot SNGs which offer some kind of prize for certain randomly drawn tables. 

Some popular forms of SNG include 6-max turbo STTs, 18-man turbo SNGs, 180-man turbo SNGs, and heads-up hyper-turbos. 

SNGs are a good choice for anyone who is concerned to keep their grind time down to increments of a few hours and that wants to intensively study ICM and payjump effects on ranges, and who is comfortable playing at a wide range of stack depths especially very short-stacked. They are a great preparation for getting better at ICM for MTTs as well. 

Spin and Gos

Spins and Gos are a newer cousin to Sit and Gos, offering action which is usually three-handed and very short-stacked. Depending on the site you might sit with between 10bbs and 25bbs to start, with a fast blind structure. The strategy required involves detailed study of ranges for a variety of short-stacked lines, including limp/calling, limp/shoving, min/folding, min/shoving etc. 

Spin and Gos are unique in offering huge randomly selected jackpots for certain table draws, and commonly paying out less than the total buy-ins combined to more frequently drawn tables. This means that you must play high volume to hit multipliers in order to book your profit, since many of the more regular tables you play will offer, for example, $20 for 1st place where three players bought in for $10 each.

Spin and Gos are great for anyone who loves playing short-stacked, having a ton of all-ins, grinding it out ‘til you hit your bigger multipliers and getting into the thrill of those bigger, more rare payouts, and for anyone who is very limited on time, as a single one of these might take under 10 minutes. What’s not so great about them is the potential stress on players when they do hit that big jackpot table, and the tedium of grinding out smaller payout tables without tilting or misplaying in some way. 

Satellites

We can’t close out this article without giving some guidance on satellites, as these do present an awesome way to get into bigger events without spending a ton. Satellites allow you to register a small event with the hope of winning not a cash prize but a tournament ticket to a larger event, and these are sometimes stacked so that one can enter in steps or ladders, for example, a $1 event yielding tickets to a $10 event which yields tickets to a $100 event which yields tickets to a major $1k event with a normal guaranteed prize pool. Players can fire multiple efforts at the $1 ticket (or any other) level and try to bink that big seat for cheap. 

Satellites have very extreme ICM effects since the bubble is all that stands between winning nothing and winning the same as all the other winners. Therefore there is no incentive to build a big stack, and many weird spots come up when relatively safe for a ticket, such as opportunities to correctly fold pocket aces preflop, which never come up in most poker formats. 

One really nice feature of some of the bigger sites such as Pokerstars, Partypoker, 888 and sites on the Winning Network is that they offer players the chance to win entry via satellite to big live events, including European Poker Tour Main Events and even the World Series Main Event itself, for a very modest investment, if they can only run good enough to bink a ticket! In some cases the prize won includes an entry to the main event as well as hotel and travel / incidental expenses. That’s really a prize worth battling for!

We hope you’ve enjoyed this PokerDeals round-up of the most popular poker formats online today. Good luck out there!

Now you’re spoilt for choice, what will you go for? Be sure to tell us over at our PokerDeals Discord!

 

by Lucky Luke

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Marcelo Simoes Mesqueu Becomes First Brazilian to Ship an EPT Main Event in Monte Carlo!

Simoes has done it, closing out an immense run to top a field of 1,073 runners and taking down the prestigious €5,300 EPT Monte Carlo Main Event ! In doing so he also becomes the first Brazilian to ever ship an EPT Main , winning the trophy along with a sick €939,840 in prize money. Marcelo Simoes is a big player in Brazil, where his previous best score was $109k for 1st in a $900 BSOP Main Event back in 2017. With this result being almost 10x bigger, he must be walking on air after his trip to Monaco. The Brazilian player was the only representative of South America featured on the Final Table, busting out players from across Europe and the United States to secure the win, including Spanish PokerStars Pro Ramon Colillas . During six-handed play Simoes really shone, building a huge chip lead thanks to consistently aggressive play. Across a hectic half hour's play, German Erkan Soenmez , French Hugo Pingray , US player Jaime Cervantes and Dragos Trofimov from Moldova were all eliminated, leaving just Simoes and Danish player Morten Hvam to fight it out heads-up. The heads-up itself was also a short one, lasting under an hour. In the final hand Hvam opened to 500k at 125k/250k (250k bb ante) blinds and faced a 3bet from Simoes to 1.3 million which he called. The flop came down 9 ♦ 7 ♦ 6♠ and Simoes continuation bet a further 1 million . Hvam considered briefly before shoving all-in, a total of 3.4 million chips, with Simoes snap-calling him. Simoes tabled K ♥ K ♦ for the overpair, and all Hvam had to show was the K♣T ♦ for a gutshot with overs. When the board ran out 5♠, J ♦ the Dane was eliminated, and Simoes crowned EPT Monte Carlo Main Event Champion for 2022. It had been a long, hard battle for the Brazilian over five days of intense poker action, and a well-deserved win for this passionate poker player. We are sure that his family and friends back home will be celebrating his win for Brazil for a long time to come. Well played sir. by Lucky Luke Image courtesy of Pokerstars

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Daniel Lakerveld Ships Malta Poker Festival Grand Event for €71,000

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He chose the latter, and he might have regretted it shortly thereafter as he ran straight into da Silva's A ♥ Q ♥ . The Q♠8♣6 ♦ 4 ♥ 6♣ runout could not help him, and he went home in ninth with €6,500 for his troubles. Piotr Tuczynski Nicolay Langfeldt from Norway had just got short. Like really short. With no time to waste, he put his last 425k , less than 2bbs at time time, into the pot with K ♦ J ♦ , met Georgios Ninis' A♠9♠ in the middle, and could not win the standoff, losing as he did on an A ♥ 8 ♦ T ♦ T ♥ 5 ♥ board and exiting in eighth with a €7,500 payday. Nicolay Langfeldt In a similar story UK player Stephen Kane got his last 4 bigs in facing a min-open from da Silva on the Button and sitting in the Big Blind. He was met with an ace under ace situation - his A♣6 ♦ against da Silva's much prettier A♠T♠ , and the T♣6♣7 ♦ J♠ Q♠ runout was nothing more than a tease. Kane busted in seventh with €9,000 to mop up his tears. Stephen Kane Polish Pawel Zawadowicz was powering through at the end of Day 2, as Chip Leader coming into today, but he had to put his last chips in the middle sometime, and this was the moment, as he looked down at A ♥ K ♥ . A shove, he decided, with just south of 12bbs in his 3.5 million chip stack . He was in the Cutoff , it might certainly look weaker than an open to some players. Lakerveld had too good a hand to think twice, with 8 ♥ 8♠ on the Button. The two players flipped it out, and Lakerveld landed on his feet, with a T ♦ 6♠2♠ flop making him a firm favourite. The turn and river brought nothing but a Jack and a five of ♠ s for the Pole, and the pain of elimination, and he walked out in sixth, taking home €11,000 with him. Pawel Zawadowicz Greek Georgios Ninis had been playing a solid game. He got it in on this final table in an excellent spot, A ♦ 5 ♦ on a 9 ♥ 2♣5♣ 5♠ board against a worse five, exactly what you want. Gyorgi Simon was the other involved, stuck in there with just T ♥ 5 ♥ . Then a miracle - the T♠ ! With very even stacks Ninis was struck out in fifth in a huge near 9 million chip pot. Ninis took away €14,000 in winnings from this one. Georgios Ninis Dutch player Jasper van Moorsel got it in in very fine shape with his J♣J♠ blind vs. blind against Simon Gyorgy's Q♣7 ♥ , but it was his turn to run bad as a Q ♥ in the window followed by a 5♣2 ♥ K♠ K♣ spelled the end for van Moorsel and had him out in fourth, cashing for €18,000 . Jasper van Moorsel When Simon Gyorgy put his 10 million stack in the middle from the Button and it folded to British player Chris da Silva's Big Blind , da Silva decided this was the spot to take a stand, and called it off with A ♥ 3♠ . Gyorgy showed down 4♣4♠ for the best hand preflop, and just to make the point, boated up on a Q♣8♣4 ♦ 8 ♦ 6 ♦ board runout. Da Silva, a live Pokerstars Pro, has to settle for third place this time, and €25,000 . 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Simon Gyorgy - runner up Thus this incredible Grand Event was brought to its conclusion in fitting style with an epic cooler, Gyorgy departed €43,000 richer as runner up, and Daniel Lakerveld shipped the trophy, the €71,000 and the glory! Daniel Lakerveld - Malta Poker Festival Grand Event Champion 2022! We have thoroughly enjoyed our time here in the lovely land of Malta covering this series for you, and the vibe has been excellent throughout. Good weather, good people, and oh such good games! We'll be back to do it all again soon, and we hope you will too. In the meantime, if you'd like to touch base or hang out, do please connect with us over on the PokerDeals Discord channel. May the poker gods shine on you, and best of luck. by Lucky Luke

2 May
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Malta Poker Festival Grand Event Day 2 Recap

Sunday 1st May saw an epic day of poker action at the Malta Poker Festival Grand Event as 273 became just 18 after a mammoth day of play here at the Portomaso Casino. A strong cohort of 73 PokerDeals patched players competing in the PokerDeals Last Longer made it to Day 2 . These have surprisingly been cut down to just two players standing , vying for who will win the free ticket to the next Malta Poker Festival Grand Event: Robert Lim & Federico Pizzazz They are also of course, more importantly, competing for some serious payouts, at the top of the pile is the glory prize itself, 1st place , rewarding €71,000 and of course, the Malta Poker Festival trophy ! Pawel Zawadowicz is the man to catch right now, leading by over 2 million chips with his stack of 7,820,000 in chips. Let's check in on how our PokerDeals Last Longer players and others were doing in the late-night action. We dropped in on the final six tables as they were rapidly slashed back to just three, across the late hours of Day 2 , and it didn't take long for us to witness some serious brutality. In fact we counted at least 17 eliminations across less than 90 minutes of play, in the final field of 45 players. That's pretty rapid, even for a Texas Hold'em tournament. Some of these spots were simply unavoidable of course, just your classic coolers. For a case in point we could look at the elimination of Cosimo de Gennaro at the hands of Jasper Van Moorsel . A simple matter of TT running into AA preflop, Big Blind vs. Button . Nothing to be done about it, and when the board ran out 9♠8 ♥ 3 ♥ 7♠ K ♦ there was no shame in this Italian's walk from the arena. Cosimo de Gennaro Another all-in hand we bore witness to featured the Daniel Lakerveid being despatched by PokerDeals Last Longer competitor Federico Cirillo , when Lakerveid's BB hand K ♥ 6 ♥ failed to get there all-in against Cirillo's K♠J♣ from the Button . Federico Cirillo Another all-in shove from a short stack was Nicolaj D'Antoni's K ♦ 7 ♦ getting it in against the A♠4♠ of the seemingly indestructible Pawel Zawadowicz , the board running out a hopeless 9♣J ♥ Q ♥ 6 ♦ 9 ♥ to secure Zawadowicz the win with just Ace high. Pawel Zawadowicz But there was worse to come, at least for PokerDeals patched player Paul Morris , who had the spot players live (and die) for, A ♥ A♣ in the Big Blind facing action when short-stacked. Who knows, he might have flatted against one, but when Jordan Dumas opens Cutoff and James Clarke decides to come along from the Small Blind , and you're sitting on well under 15bbs , a jam seems very acceptable, and that's just what Morris did. Paul Morris After consideration Dumas decided to stick around with Q♣J♣ , Clarke got out the way and the flop thundered down around Morris' head, 8 ♥ J♠J ♦ . The turn and river had nothing more to offer Morris as they fell an irrelevant 5 and 7 of ♠s . It's rough when you've grinded for days to get there, but it's all part of this game we love, and this is why we are in it for the long run! One other hand of note came from canny players Jason Shellum and Mantas Petrauskas as they negotiated a 3 ♥ 4♣6♠ 3 ♦ Q ♦ board. Petrauskas had bet all the way, and he didn't let up on the river, putting Shellum to a major question with his river bet of 600k . Shellum went deep into the tank. He was down there a while, he may have had an oxygen mask on. Eventually someone at the table called time on Shellum , and it was during that final minute of decision-making that he found the call, with, wait for it… AJ offsuit . And he was good, Petrauskas quickly mucking. "A hero call!” someone nearby remarked to him. "A hero read!” was his quick reply. We literally couldn't be more excited for Day 3 , the final day of this Grand Event today kicking off at 2pm, and a fascinating end to this highly competitive Grand Event . We'll have more coverage of the day coming out this evening on our PokerDeals Live Reporting page. Also if you'd like to see even more videos, photos and social interaction covering the event, please do join us on our PokerDeals Facebook Page !

2 May

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