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Progressive Knockout tournaments

What are Progressive Knockout tournaments?

Multi-table tournaments are one of the most exciting poker formats thanks to them making it possible to win a massive payout for an investment that is relatively small in relation to the overall prize pool. Progressive Knockout (PKO) tournaments are arguably the most popular tournament format in the online poker world, especially at PartyPoker, where dozens take place every day.

PKO tournaments add a unique twist to the standard poker tournament format while making it possible to win cash without players having to navigate their way into the top 10-15% of finishers to receive a prize.

Over the following few hundred words, you'll learn everything you need to know about progressive knockout tournaments, from what is a PKO tournament to the richest bounty tournaments at PartyPoker and more besides. So, please make yourself comfortable and check out our guide to PKO poker tournaments.

What is a Bounty Tournament?

Bounty tournaments are not a new concept in the live or online poker world; they have existed for many years. Bounty events play like a standard tournament but award their prize pool differently. If a bounty tournament has a $50,000 prize pool, $25,000 is paid out in a traditional manner, with the remaining $25,000 divided equally among all the entrants and placed on their heads as a bounty. Eliminate an opponent, and you win their cash bounty.

What is a Progressive Bounty or Knockout Tournament?

Progressive bounty tournaments, or PKO, take the bounty format and enhance it, taking the excitement to the next level. The prize pool is split in half like in a "normal" bounty tournament, with half going into the main prize pool and the remaining 50% placed on the heads of each entrant in equal amounts. Here is where things start getting interesting.

When you eliminate an opponent from the field, you instantly win half of their bounty amount; it immediately lands in your PartyPoker account. The other half of the bounty is added to your head, which makes you a more attractive target for your opponents! By the time the tournament reaches the latter stages, the bounties can grow to epic proportions, and it is not unusual for the final bounty amount to be larger than the first-place prize money!

Should you finish in first place in a PKO tournament, you not only reel in the entire bounty on the second-place finisher's head, but you also scoop the bounty on yours!

What is a Mystery Bounty Tournament?

Mystery bounty tournaments are another twist on the bounty format; they are not currently available at PartyPoker and tend to be more prevalent in a live poker setting. Bounties in a mystery bounty event are placed into sealed envelopes and only come into play after reaching a predetermined blind level or when a specific number of players remain in the tournament.

You get to select a sealed mystery bounty randomly each time you bust a foe from the mystery bounty event. Sometimes you win one of the smaller prizes; other times, you pull out the largest bounty. The mystery element adds a layer of excitement to the proceedings.

Which are the best PartyPoker PKO tournaments?

It is difficult, if not unfair, to label any PKO tournaments at PartyPoker as the best because each is fantastic in its own right. Open the PartyPoker software, head to the "Tourneys" tab, and tick the "Knockout" checkbox to reveal every PKO event available. You'll notice there are PKO tournaments starting from only $0.11 and increasing to $530 with every buy-in level you can imagine between these two extremes. There is a PKO tournament for everyone at PartyPoker.

Our progressive bounty tournaments not only come in a range of buy-ins but feature several blind structures and table sizes, in addition to being available in No-Limit Hold'em and Pot-Limit Omaha games!

Two of our most popular weekly tournaments have a PKO format. Every Sunday, at 19:05 GMT, the Sunday Carnival shuffles up and deals. It has a guaranteed prize pool of $50,000 despite only costing $22 to enter, although you can win your way into it for as little as $0.01!

The Sunday Party is our flagship PKO event, not least because it offers a prize pool guaranteed to weigh in at an enormous $150,000. $109 is what it costs to buy into the Sunday Party directly, but satellites run around the clock from only $0.01, making the Sunday Party accessible to everyone.

Is there an ideal PKO poker strategy?

The golden rule of a PKO strategy is not to turn up fashionably late if you can help it. Although PartyPoker's PKO tournaments have a late registration period, entering the battle late will usually mean tens, if not hundreds, of players, have already been eliminated, meaning you can win fewer bounty payments. In addition, turning up late means you will have fewer big blinds, making it trickier to bust opponents and clinch their bounties.

You will notice that most bounty tournaments play looser and more aggressively than a standard tournament with the same buy-in. This is because the progressive bounties play a massive role in how you should approach the event. PKOs are a constant battle between whether ICM or the bounty's value influences your decision-making. For example, in an $11 PKO event, a min-cash may be $15, but someone with a $45 bounty on their head moves all in. Here, it is evident that you shouldn't be too worried about a min-cash if you can win a bounty worth three times its size. However, other spots are not as clear cut, leading to players frequently making too tight or loose calls.

Having a big stack is always an ideal scenario to find yourself in during any poker tournament, but it is especially great in any PKO event. Being in the envious position of being armed with the biggest stack at your table means you can eliminate any of your opponents, but they cannot send you to the rail! You should wield your big stack like Thor would swing his hammer, Mjölnir, around! Always try exerting the maximum pressure on your opponents at all times, and you will likely see your chip stack continue moving upwards.

Expect and prepare for your all-in shoves to be called by some weird and wonderful holdings that may leave you scratching your head at first, especially if your bounty is on the larger side of things. All-in calling ranges vastly widen when bounties are up for grabs, leading to some exciting encounters when all the chips are in the middle of the virtual felt.

PKO Tournament FAQ

Q: What bounty tournaments can I play at PartyPoker?

A: PartyPoker has one of the best selections of PKO bounty tournaments anywhere in the online poker world. We currently offer No-Limit Hold'em and Pot-Limit Omaha PKO games with buy-ins from $0.11 to $530, sometimes even higher during our biggest series.

You'll find PKOs running at six, seven, eight, and nine-handed tables with deep stack, turbo, and hyper-turbo blind structures.

Q: Do I receive cashback points when I play in a PKO tournament?

A: Yes! You earn 2 cashback points for every $1 you pay in tournament fees. Earn at least 10 cashback points in a calendar week to receive a cashback payment the following Monday.

Q: Do I have to finish in the money to receive my PKO bounty payments?

A: No, and that is what makes PKO events so popular. Fifty per cent of your opponent's bounty is placed in your account as soon as they bust, regardless of what stage the PKO tournament is at. Usually, eliminating two or three players from one of our bounty tournaments will see you freerolling your way to one of the main prize pool's bigger payouts.

Q: Are Progressive Knockout tournaments available on the PartyPoker mobile app?

A: Yes! Our PartyPoker mobile app, available for Android and iOS-powered devices, has our full suite of online poker games, including progressive bounty tournaments.

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