Large tournaments broken up into several heats with different starting times let players from around the globe join in the action without the need for marathon playing sessions or sacrificing a good night's sleep.
A "heat tournament" is a big online poker tournament featuring multiple starting heats, or flights, just as in the WSOP Main Event or other big poker events.
The first opportunity for players to experience this new format will be in the 17th edition of the Grand Tournament, running on Ongame sites such as Hollywood Poker with one starting heat on Sept. 28 and a second on Sept. 29.
Ongame is introducing the concept of heat tournaments to make it easier for online poker players to participate in tournaments with very big starting fields. Until now,players interested in this kind of tournament were confronted with a couple of logistical challenges.
Because poker has become a genuinely global phenomenon, depending on a player's geographical location, attractive tournaments may start late in the evening and run through the night, thereby conflicting with other activities, such as work or family life.
Furthermore, the prospect of having to play for 12 or more consecutive hours certainly makes a lot of players think twice before entering a big tournament. The concept of heat tournaments addresses both of these problems.
"We can now do a better job of tailoring our partners' tournaments in accordance with the habits, geographical origin and overall scheduling demands of their customers. Secondly, players can participate in tournaments with even bigger fields than before without the drawback of having to dedicate more than a few hours at a time in order to be able to finish them," said Tomer Katz, spokesperson for Ongame Network.