Don’t Make These Bounty Tournament Mistakes

Avoid making these common bounty tournament mistakes at all costs

Bounty tournaments continue to prove extremely popular in the online poker world. The addition of bounties on players’ heads adds a different dynamic to the tournament. The concept of these events is straightforward but so many players make severe bounty tournament mistakes.

Registering late for a multi-table tournament is a strategy some poker players employ. Phil Hellmuth famously turns up late to most live events and he’s won 15 World Series of Poker bracelets! Buying in late is one of the biggest bounty tournament mistakes you can make.

The prize pool of a standard poker tournament is awarded to the top 10-20% of the field. Buying in late means you’ve a smaller starting stack but all the prize money is still in the prize pool. This isn’t the case in bounty events.

Dozens of players are eliminated during the early levels of all tournaments. Each of those busted players had a bounty on their heads. Half of that bounty is now unavailable to win because it’s taken by the player who busted the other. It’s like buying into a $5,000 guaranteed tournament that only has $4,500 up for grabs. This is without a doubt the biggest of the big bounty tournament mistakes.

Playing Too Tight Is One Of The Most Common Bounty Tournament Mistakes

There’s a saying in poker that goes tight is right when it comes to the early stages of a poker tournament. A tight-aggressive strategy is a viable one, but some players take it too far and play like a rock. Playing too tight is one of the most common bounty tournament mistakes.

We’re not saying start playing like a madman, or Gus Hansen, and three-betting 7s-3d for the laugh. You do, however, need to widen your ranges a little. This is especially true when your opponent is all in and you can win their bounty.

You need less equity to call all-in bets when bounties are in play. This is because each starting bounty is worth 50% of the starting stack. The bounty in a tournament with a 10,000 starting stack is the equivalent of 5,000 chips.

This leads us onto the following example where everyone started with 10,000 chips. The blinds are 250/500/50a and the small blind shoved for 5,000 chips. You’re in the big blind and have more chips than the all-in player. How much equity do you need to call?

There’s 10,950 in the pot now, the blinds, nine 50 antes, and the 5,000 all-in bet. You need to call 4,500 (remember you’ve paid the 500 big blind) to win a pot that will be 15,450. A quick calculation reveals you only need 29.12% equity to call here thanks to those 5,000 bounty chips. You’d need 46.30% equity to call in a standard tournament without those extra bounty chips. That’s a huge difference and shows why being too tight is one of the worst bounty tournament mistakes.

Always Keep An Eye On Stack Sizes

You should always pay attention to stack sizes in a tournament but especially so in bounty events. Not doing so is another on the list of considerable bounty tournament mistakes.

Being a big stack is great in bounty tournaments because you can eliminate everyone and claim their scalp. Being a short stack is awful for the opposite reasons. Keep an eye on your opponents stacks because although you want to call their shoves lighter, you don’t want to lose and then jeopardize your chances of winning more bounties in the future.

$50 Million Guaranteed Bounty Series at Americas Cardroom

Practice makes perfect in all walks of life, including poker. You have plenty of opportunities to practice not making bounty tournament mistakes at Americas Cardroom over the next few weeks.

The U.S-facing online poker site is running a Mo Mo Mo PKO Tournament Series. It has more than 500 scheduled bounty tournaments with combined guarantees of $50 million! It’s the biggest bounty event ever held in the online poker world. Sign up to Americas Cardroom today and get involved in the series from September 13.

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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