If you are new to the game of poker, or you are a cash player who wants to expand your repertoire and take a few swings for a big payday, then the first step is familiarizing yourself with how tournaments work.
Unlike cash games, a WPT tournament will have many different rules and guidelines. Understanding how they work is crucial to becoming a solid player. With that in mind, we put together this brief guide to take you through the basics of online tournaments and what you should expect:
The Different Types of Tournaments and Buy-Ins
The first thing to understand about poker tournaments is that there are many different options to choose from. Here are a few examples:
- Deep stack
- Turbo/hyper turbo
This is a very small sample size of the kind of action you can expect to find when you play tournaments online. Before you jump right in, take the time to learn each game’s different rules and nuances.
Table Structures and Seating
Tournament structure refers to things like blind levels and amounts, size of the payment field, starting stack, and other information regarding the actual gameplay rules. Most tournaments these days are 8 or 9-handed, but many are also 6-handed or (short-handed). You may even find a heads-up tourney in rare cases, although these are much rarer.
Understanding the Blinds
While we mentioned this briefly in the above section, it is worth looking at more deeply. The way blinds work in tournaments is probably the greatest distinction between them and cash games. Blinds start at a certain level and continually increase throughout the event.
Some tournaments have slow blind levels for half an hour (usually deep or mega stacks). However, some tournaments have blind levels as low as 3 minutes (hyper turbo). Knowing the blind structure is crucial to developing the right strategy.
The Break Period
WPT tournaments (like all other online tourneys) have regular break periods during play. This allows you to get up, stretch your legs, get a snack or drink, as well anything else you might need to do. They usually last 5 minutes and occur 5 minutes before the top of the hour.
Understanding the Bubbles
Bubble play is something that you must learn about tournaments, whether they be online or live. The “bubble” refers to a part of the tournament where there is about to be a transition into a new aspect of the game.
There is a “money” bubble when you are getting close to making the paid field, a “ladder” bubbles when the payout amount is about to rise, and a “final table” bubble, which means the tournaments are about to be down to one table.
The Only Thing Left to Do Is Sign Up for a WPT Tournament!
Now that you know how tournaments work, what are you waiting for? Log in, scroll through the tournament schedule, and pick the one that looks like the most fun. Whether you are a serious player who wants to make money or a casual player who just enjoys the thrill of playing poker, WPT has what you are looking for.