The game of poker has existed for hundreds of years, but Texas Hold’em has only existed for 100 years or less, and it has only been popular for 2 or 3 decades. Hold’em is the game of choice for poker millionaires, and for both online and offline pros. It is the star of the WSOP Main Event, and is played in casinos and poker rooms around the world.
The best way to play this game and to get the most out of it, is to stick to tournament play, as that way you can mimic the success experienced by the greats, turning a handful of dollars into a life changing sum.
The multi-table tournament structure can be a little confusing for first-time players though, so in this article we will help you to decipher this, to find the best online Aussie poker rooms, and to pickup the biggest bonuses.
Understanding Hold’em Tournaments
Poker tournaments operate by charging a buy-in, and the adding together the culminated buy-ins from all of the players, after taking a cut. For instance, if the buy-in is $1.00, then you will actually pay $1.10. The $1 will be added to the pot and the $0.10 will go to the house. If there are 1,000 players, then that means the pot will be $1000, a large share of which will go to the winner, with the other places being paid increasingly smaller amounts (poker tournaments typically pay the top 10% of placers, so in the above example, you would need to finish in the top 100 to get paid, and you would probably just get your stake back for the first few places).
What we discussed above are standard tournaments, but then you have something that is known as a “Guaranteed Tournament”, which is a simple take on this format.
The problem is, when these tournaments are announced they have no entrants, and even when the places begin to fill, there is very little to tempt players. A tournament with a prize pool of $1,000 and a buy-in of just $1 sounds intriguing, there is no doubt about that, but that tournament has a long way to go before it gets to that point, and when there are 10 players and a pot of $10, it sounds considerably less intriguing.
To get around this, poker sites supplement the tournament with their own money, to a certain extent. In the above example, they will work out how many people will enter the tournament. If they determine that between 1,000 and 1,500 will enter, they may put $1,000 in the pot, and call it a $1,000 Guaranteed Tournament. This means that even when there are no entrants, the pot is still $1,000. However, further buy-ins do not add to this amount, and that $1,000 will not increase until after 1,000 players have entered, at which point that money has been covered and the house knows that they stand to profit and not lose.
There are very few instances in which a Guaranteed Tournament will not hit this target, but they do exist. On sites like Pokerstars, they are incredibly rare, although you might get one such instance if there has been a global/national loss of connection, or if the Pokerstars site was down for some time. On sites like 888 Poker, however, they are more common. That’s because 888 Poker are on a promotion drive, keen to overtake Pokerstars in the top spot. And in doing so, they are going out of their way to offer bigger and better tournaments, and bigger and better bonuses.
In the last few months, there have already been more instances of guaranteed tournaments not reaching their potential on 888 Poker than we have ever seen on Pokerstars. And this is great news for players.
888 Poker Bonuses
888 Poker are not flawless, but right now they have the best bonuses, the biggest tournaments, and they are also trying the hardest, which is more than enough to make them your number 1 poker site. All of the following can be found on 888 Poker.
- New Member Bonuses: 888 Poker, and poker sites in general, operate a little differently to the casino sites and sports betting sites you might be used to. You have to remember that you are betting against other players, and not the house. The goal of 888 Poker, is therefore to take a small rake from each game, and it does not receive any of your money if you lose. This makes it difficult for them to offer new member bonuses, but you can find one of these on 888 Poker,. As things stand, you can get up to $400 in free cash thanks to a matched deposit bonus of 100%. But these are rare, so take it when you an get it and don’t expect it to stay around for ever.
- Loyalty Program: This program rewards you every time you play a cash game, SnG, or tournament. Basically, whenever you generate rake for the house, you also generate points for this program, and those points can be used to unlock prizes, tickets, and more.
- Other Promotions: If you keep your eye on their “Promotions” page, you can stay up to date with all of the special tournaments, SnGs and cash games that they run, as well as prize draws and everything else.