Dara O’Kearney on Crushing Your Next Mystery Bounty

Dara O’Kearney on Crushing Your Next Mystery Bounty

In online poker, new formats and variants are constantly created to add flavour and excitement to cash games and tournaments. One of the most popular ones in recent memory has been the Mystery Bounty, where you can be the biggest winner of a tournament with a single knockout and envelope pull.

The Festival Online has incorporated multiple mystery bounties to give the players what they want, and we’ve done even better than that at PokerListings: we got to chat with one of the best poker coaches out there, Dara O’Kearney, to talk about how you can crush your next online Mystery Bounty.

Tips From the Master of the Mystery Bounty

When asked how someone should approach their first Mystery Bounty, Dara focused on the importance of survival. “Since the bounties don’t start until late in the tournament, surviving long enough to potentially claim them is vital,” he said. “You can maximize your chances of getting that far by max late-regging, although that might make it difficult to build a stack to cover people, which is desirable.”

Adjusting to the Mystery Bounty Aspect

The element of mystery KO prizes adds a conundrum for poker players. However, Dara has a simple method for gaining a mental foothold in this area. “Work out what the average bounty is worth, and when playing against people you cover, adjust your ranges as if that additional amount of chips were in play.”

How Much Does The Bounty Element Matter?

This is a fair question for most poker players, but a hand history from Dara perfectly encapsulates the importance of the bounties in play. Dara shared a moment when he got it all in FIVE WAYS with T5s (and got there!), but it was a relatively easy spot for the strategy expert. “The hand has decent equity five ways, and once I added in the bounty equity, it was a fairly easy call,” he said.

However, Dara also points out a common mistake most players make in these poker tournaments. “Over-adjusting when the maximum bounty is in play, and over-adjusting when it’s not,” are the biggest pitfalls to avoid.

What is the most challenging aspect of a Mystery Bounty? “Adjusting your ranges appropriately for the bounty and reacting to others who are either over or under-adjusting,” Dara said.

Dara O’Kearney at Poker Table

“You have to be willing to gamble more when short-stacked. You also have to recognize that you’ll get called lighter because of your own bounty. If you’re likely to get called by multiple players, you need to choose hands that do well multi-way.”

What would Dara’s key advice be for someone looking to crush the Festival Online Mystery Bounties? “Work out the average value of the bounties and convert it into chips!” exclaims Dara. Sage advice from one of the best in the tournament format.

You can follow Dara on Twitter, purchase his latest guide on Mystery Bounty Poker Strategy, or view all his poker coaching material.

Next Up for The Festival Online

The Festival Online has already handed out over $200,000 in prize money, and the train is not slowing down anytime soon. You can utilize the incredible advice from Mystery Bounty expert Dara O’Kearney in multiple events during the middle of this week. - here are our highlights from the Festival Online schedule this week:

Wednesday, 19th July

The Festival Online - #14 PKO Mini, $6,000 GTD

  • Buy-in: $22
  • Start Time: 16:30

The Festival Online - #15 PKO, $8,000 GTD

  • Buy-in: $109
  • Start Time: 17:00

The Festival Online - #16 Mystery Bounty, $10,000 GTD

  • Buy-in: $22
  • Start Time: 18:00

Thursday, 20th July

The Festival Online - #17 Mystery Bounty High Roller, $12,000 GTD

  • Buy-in: $320
  • Start Time: 17:00

The Festival Online - #18 Mystery Bounty $12,000 GTD

  • Buy-in: $55
  • Start Time: 17:30

The Festival Online - #19 Mystery Bounty $10,000

  • Buy-in: $22
  • Start Time: 18:00

The Festival Online - #20 PKO Turbo Deepstack $8,000 GTF

  • Buy-in:$109
  • Start Time: 18:30

$150,000 The Festival Online - #31 Mystery Bounty Day 1 (Two Flights)

  • Buy-in: $160
  • Start Times: 18:00 and 20:00

These tournaments give everyone a chance with a mix of buy-ins, regardless of whether you are a high roller or a beginner in the MTT streets. The Festival Online gives you the best opportunity to get in the mix in the Mystery Bounty format, using the expert advice we got from poker strategy expert Dara O’Kearney to win you a huge payday. After reading the above and understanding the unique strategy behind Mystery Bounty tournaments, you can manoeuvre your way and boost your bankroll this week.

Final Table Spin-Up Takes “ZeiKo” From Shortie to Champion

The Festival is only a few days in but has already crowned a champion in dramatic fashion. A player went from the shortest stack at the final table of the $109 Opening Event $100,000 GTD to the winner within two hours!

The player was “ZeiKo”, who sat shortest at the eight-handed table with just ten big blinds and the top prize of $14,680 seeming ever-so distant. Still, the Lithuanian saw both some run good and some excellent re-jam spots to get his stack all the way to heads-up with the UK’s “Ghost164”, who saw the run good and opted for a chop - a wise decision!

“ZeiKo” took home $14,860 while “Ghost164” scooped $11,909, with the duo happy after manoeuvring their way through a tough field of 876 entrants.

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