Editors’ Picks – Best Tournament Poker Rooms
Since the WSOP hit the big time in the 2000s, poker players have been drawn to poker tournaments like bored housewives to reality TV.
The invention of online poker made tournaments even easier as you could play massive events without waiting in lines or even leaving your own home. The biggest tournaments now exist online with regular tournaments that draw tens of thousands of players every week. Single table Sit & Goes also exploded online and are available 24/7 every day of the year.
Not all online poker sites are created equal when it comes to online tournaments so if you’re a huge online tournament grinder you’ll want to pick the best site to hone your craft.
When it comes to tournaments you’ll likely want to focus on at least three different attributes: volume, variety and rewards. If you play a ton of tournaments you’re going to want to want a huge player base so that a tournament is always starting. That’s why it’s important to have volume.
Variety is also important if you like to play tournaments in games outside of standard No-Limit Hold’em freezeout events. Some sites give you plenty of options with bounty and shootout tournaments.
Below is a collection of the best tournament poker sites on the Internet. Check our list of exclusive PokerListings freerolls here.
Editors’ Picks – Best Tournament Poker Rooms
About Poker Tournaments
Poker has become a world wide phenomenon over the recent years - everyone seems to play the game.
A great deal of today's poker fans became interested in the game thanks to tournaments. When TV networks started broadcasting popular poker tournaments like the WSOP they started receiving millions of viewers.
The allure of paying a small buy-in to potentially win thousands of dollars is hard to resist for most players.
If you want to win big money by playing cash games you have to play with high stakes. And if you play with high stakes you need a sizable bankroll.
The variance in cash games is huge and players who want to avoid that stress can play numerous smaller stakes tournaments.
If you don’t want to risk a fortune, poker tournaments are a good starting point.
It’s possible to even win a small satellite tournament online and go on to win the World Series of Poker Main Event – just ask Chris Moneymaker.
Above, our editors have listed the best online poker tournament sites. These top poker rooms offer a wide range of multi-table and sit-and-go tournaments.
Below is a guide to some of the most popular types of tournaments you’ll find online.
Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs)
Multi-table tournaments are the standard in online poker.
As with all tournaments, you pay a buy-in fee and you get a stack of chips.
When those chips are gone you are out of the tournament (unless of course it's a rebuy tournament, in which case you can buy another stack of chips if you bust within a certain time period from the beginning).
MTTs, as you might assume, take place over multiple tables with a specified number of players per table and have a designated starting time.
When players start to bust out from the tournament and the number of players at a table becomes uneven to the rest of the field, that table is "broken" and players are randomly distributed to other tables with empty seats.
Sit & Go's (SNGs)
Sit & Go's were essentially pioneered online and are still incredibly popular.
A Sit & Go is usually only one or two tables and begins as soon as every seat is filled.
Payouts typically go to the top three players, depending on the number of tables.
On some of the bigger poker sites online, sit-and-gos start up so quickly it's almost difficult to select and open seat in time.
Shootouts are a combination of MTTs and Sit & Go's. The overall tournament will have a huge field, but you will only play at one table at a time until there is just one person left at each table.
The winner of each table will move on to the next round and the action will repeat until there is a winner.
The number of rounds depends on the field size but if you just keep winning each Sit & Go-style table, you’ll win the tournament.
Online poker already moves faster than live poker, but if you really want to crank up the action you might want to try a turbo tournament.
Turbo tournaments are just standard MTT or Sit & Go's where the blind levels increase quickly, making fast play and quick decisions a necessity.
Bounty tournaments are simply MTTs where there is a prize for knocking out a player.
Sometimes there are bounties placed on certain players, like celebrities and poker pros while in other tournaments you get a bounty every time you bust a player.
Satellite tournaments are just tournaments where the prize you're playing for is the buy-in to another bigger prize pool poer tournament.
Chris Moneymaker won his $10,000 seat into the 2003 WSOP Main Event through a $40 satellite, for example.
Weekly Guaranteed Tournaments
Almost every online poker site has a massive weekly poker tournament with a huge guaranteed prizepool.
Perhaps the most famous is the PokerStars Sunday Million, which originally offered a guaranteed prize pool of over $1 million but is now considerably bigger because of the amount of players it draws willing to put up the $200 buy-in.
If you’re willing to pay a fairly large buy-in, you could potentially win hundreds of thousands in these events.
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