Poker Tournaments: Everything you need to know about Live & Online Poker Tournaments in 2019

The Ultimate Guide to planning your poker schedule in 2019. Find your favourite online and live poker tournaments at Check it out now!

Content List

  1. What are Poker Tournaments?
  2. How do Poker Tournaments Work?
  3. Online Poker Tournaments
    3.1 Poker Sites
    3.2 Biggest Online Poker Tournaments
  4. Live Poker Tournaments
    4.1 WPT
    4.2 WSOP
    4.3 EPT
    4.4 APPT
    4.5 LAPT
    4.6 Triton Poker Series
  5. Famous Records of Poker Tournaments
  6. Final Thoughts

1. What are Poker Tournaments?

A poker tournament is a fixed format game. The rules and details of the game are predetermined such as buy-in, antes, time limit, the blinds, stack sizes, and structure. The amount of buy-in can range from free to $ 0.5 to $1,000,000. You can see a cut for the poker room, which is easily available online. Most of the poker tournaments will be denoted by $X+$Y, where X represents the buy-in, and Y shows the total amount of poker room will get.

Poker Tournament: Sign up

After entering into a poker tournament, you have to appear when the tournament will begin. If you are playing for sit & go’s (SNGs), you will start whenever the tables are full. However, if you are playing an MTTs, then there will be a defined place and time. If you are playing an online poker tournament, they will assign you a random table in the poker room.

Poker Tournament: Chips

The poker room will provide you with a stack of chips to play the poker. Everyone will be given the same amount in the start unless they will offer add-ons and re-buys. After that, the tournament will start.

Live Poker Tournaments
Flopping the Nuts in No-Limit Holdem Poker

Poker Tournament: Blinds

A poker tournament is just like a cash game. At first, each player will post their antes and blinds. Then they will play according to the game’s rules and variations. Additionally, poker tournaments have levels. Every level has a predetermined duration, such as 1 minute, 5 minutes, 1 hour, and so on. With every advanced level, the blinds will be higher. For Example: In an 18-man turbo on PokerStars, the lowest blinds will be 10/20. As the next level approach, it will go to 15/30. Then to 25/50, 50/100, and will continue increasing. Note: Keep adding chips to your stack because, with the increasing blinds, you may need more chips. If there will be not enough, you will be blinded out, and your poker tournament will be over.

Poker Tournament: Getting Paid

The poker tournament will continue until one player wins all the chips in the game. Then the player is paid depending on the total number of players participated in the poker tournament. The SNGs are fixed in paying players. For example, in a 9-to-10 man SNG game, they will pay to three players. In the game of 18 men SNG game, four players will be paid. So, it will depend on the players. After getting paid, the money will be added into your account balance. Different poker sites have different paying policies, but everyone pays for sure.

Poker Tournament: Summary

This was the basic knowledge about poker tournament. You can find online poker tournaments, live poker tournaments in casinos, and can even play from home. There is a lot more about poker tournaments which you will discover in the next sections of this article.

2. How do Poker Tournaments work?

As we discussed before that a standard poker tournament will start with a specific number of chips to everyone. The players have to add in chips as the game proceed. Here are a few important concepts regarding poker game:

Poker Tournament: Buy-ins

Each player must pay for a buy-in to participate in a poker tournament. The buy-in adds in the total prize pool that everyone is competing for. The poker room charges a small fee for it, which is normally 10% of the total buy-in. Below are examples of buy-ins along with fee attached:

  • $1 + $0.10
  • $5 + $0.50
  • $10 + $1
  • $20 + $2
  • $50 + $5

*The left side shows the buy-in for the prize pool. *The right side shows the 10% fee charged by a poker room for the tournament.

Poker Tournament: Prize Pool

The cash for which the players compete in a poker tournament is known as prize pool. The last player will get the highest prize. Here is an example of apoker tournament payout involving a prize pool of $1,000 and approximately 330 entries.

  • 1st = $200
  • 2nd= $150
  • 3rd= $100
  • 4th =$75
  • 5th =$50
  • 6th-10th =$25
  • 11th-20th =$15
  • 21st-35th =$10

The prize pool is either fixed for every player or variable depending on how many players entered the tournament.

Poker Tournament: Table Sizes

Poker tournaments are also classified as to how many game players are on each table. A standard table has 9-10 player. There will also be tables with 2 heads up, 6 max, or 8 players per table. You can say heads-up events are just like shootout poker tournaments as only the winners will move on to the next table.

Poker Tournament: Elimination Formats

Poker tournaments are also classified as to how many game players are on each table. A standard table has 9-10 player. There will also be tables with 2 heads up, 6 max, or 8 players per table. You can say heads-up events are just like shootout poker tournaments as only the winners will move on to the next table.

Freeze-out Format

The standard elimination format for a poker tournament is a freeze-out, which means that the player will be out when his chips stack finish. The winners are selected in reverse chronological order such as the last player will be the 1st winner, and so on.

Rebuy Format

Rebuy is another format for online poker tournaments. This permits the players to add more chips and buy-in after they ran out of chips. The Rebuy events allow you to add chips and buy-in up to a certain point during the tournament. After this point, the game will be just like the freeze-out format.

Shootout Format

Another format of the poker tournament is a shootout. Such events have multi-table tournaments. This allows the top player of each tournament to move onto a new game where there are other top players as well. This is a huge event as tables are only linked when there are so many top players from different tournaments.

3. Online Poker Tournaments

3.1 Poker Sites

There are plenty of poker sites, but only a few are a reliable one. Here is a list of top trusted poker sites.

888 Poker

It is a famous poker site the offers softest online poker tournaments. This site was initially known as Pacific Poker, was one of the first trusted and real quality site in the poker industry. It is the world’s third-largest poker site. The software and technology of this site keep improving, so if you have not visited it yet, do visit it for a high-class poker experience.

The graphics of this site are excellent along with the new upgrades. The lobby offers many advanced search functions for players. Additionally, 888Poker runs a juicy poker tournament series and tons of freerolls for beginners.


The largest poker site in the world is PokerStars that offers a wide variety of poker games ranging from high-limits to the rarest mixed poker games. Many PokerStars players become famous poker players including Brit Liv Boeree, Canadian star Daniel Negreanu, and Chris Moneymaker.

This poker site is home to various players of different skills around the world. The site has many features, such as outstanding graphics, updated software, fast game-play, multi-table options, and other innovative functions. The site is fully stable and can be customized as per the needs of players. You can turn on or turn off all the audio and visual options. The games played on this website ranges from Short Deck Holdem to Mixed Games.


It is a leading poker site from the last decade because of high player volume in both the online poker tournaments and cash games. It also offers several poker games for beginners and experts. The site is famous for offering promotions every month. The software is also upgraded to give a better poker experience.

The big events hosted by Partypoker will keep giving the sire millions by both live and online poker tournaments. It also offers many guaranteed tournaments to Partypoker live tour. The site is now linked with the Triton High Roller Poker Series. The new thing about the site is that it now offers Short Deck Holds ’em online.


Winamax is a famous poker site which offers a variety of online poker tournaments and series. To play real-money games, you have to scan your real documents including ID card and send it to Winamax. They will then validate your poker account. They will further ask for a valid bank account registered on your name.

The site is limited to players from member states of the European Union and other linked countries.


One of the most established trusted poker sites is Natural8. The upgraded software of this site offers many popular features as well as a rare type of poker games. They have a Fish Buffet loyalty system which provides your three bonus points for each $1 raked on the site. The site has a majority of players from Asia. It also offers MTTs for smartphone devices with cookie freerolls.

Americas Cardroom

Online poker industry will not stop surprising you by providing sites like Americas Cardroom. This poker site is famous for its vast capacity of international players from the USA and 98% other countries. It supports dozens of Altcoins and Bitcoin. The charming features about this site are the Lottery-style Jackpot poker and Million dollar poker tournaments. It also provides free credit of $50 on deposit.

3.2 Biggest Online Poker Tournaments

The poker tournaments have a variety of series and events to join. Series includes a set number of different tournaments. Usually a venue or poker site host the series of poker tournaments.

Here are the biggest Online Poker tournaments:


The Spring Championship of Online Poker as known as SCOOP, is one ofthe biggest online poker tournament. The series offer guaranteed prize of more than $115,000,000, from which $75M GTD to SCOOP events separately, and a $1,000,000 cash as a guaranteed event each day.

Below is the general schedule for a full SCOOP tournament:

  • Daily Millions: The tournament will offer one poker tournament each day with a minimum guaranteed prize pool of $IM.
  • Above $75,000,000:  More than $75,000,000 in guaranteed prize money that is massive for a PokerStars series.
  • Spin & Go’s running: It offers three buy-in levels. You can play from just $2 and win tickets up to $1,050 for SCOOP events, start with $22 editions to get the winning chance of $10,300 worth entries for SCOOP or go for $215 versions to win above $1M cash, and Main SCOOP Event High entries.


The World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) is a famous online poker tournament series. It is sponsored by PokerStars and played in the September on their official site. It was started in 2002, aimed to be a competitor of World Series of Poker. WCOOP is the biggest online poker tournament series in the world.

  • The WCOOP is not only about huge guarantees of cash prizes, but it’s an opportunity to play the best poker players in the world again as a part of a big online poker tournament.
  • You can embrace this by being a champion in WCOOP online series. There are 73 events for payers of all skills, levels, and bankrolls. There are numerous satellites, low-cost routes, and easy qualifiers for beginners to play and become the part of the big game starting from just a few dollars.
  • WCOOP 2019 Highlights:
    • There will be a variety of low, high, and medium buy-ins for almost all the events.
    • The entry can be done on $2.20 only.
    • The player Leader Board will start from $50,000 in cash prizes.
    • There will be Phased Events with a guarantee of $3M.
    • The service of daily satellites along with added $5,200 seat of the main event.


One of the big and best online poker rooms is Winamax. It is also popular as a trusted room among sports betting sites. With 3 million registered real-money poker players, Winamax has a lot to offer.

Here is what you will get while playing a Winamax online poker tournament:

  • Chances to win more the €10M guaranteed per month in multi-table tournaments.
  • €100,000 guaranteed for MAIN EVENT of Winamax
  • €100,000 guaranteed for Grand Tournament of Winamax
  • €10,000 guaranteed weekly for 12 daily MTT freerolls
  • Unlimited Sit&Go freeroll online poker tournaments.
  • €18,000 monthly as a Grand Prix
  • €4,000 weekly as a Sit&Go Challenge
  • €5,000 weekly as a Cash Game Challenge
  • €6,000 weekly as a Hand Challenge
  • €35,000 weekly as an Expresso Challenge
  • €3,500 weekly as a Grinder Challenge

There are additional challenges to get you more and more prizes from online poker tournaments.

Partypoker MILLIONS

It is a live poker flagship series and been sponsored by partypoker. The series held on the most attractive and glamorous locations worldwide. The main event prize pools ranges from $5,000,000 to $10,000,000. There are also High roller & Super High Rollers with a buy-in capacity of $100,000.

MILLIONS is the platform for the most aspiring international poker players. You can secure your spot by playing any event of MILLION live poker tournaments.

In November they are also playing the online version of the partypoker MILLIONS, which had a prize pool of $ 20 million in 2018.

PKO Poker Tournament

Progressive Knockout (PKO) poker tournament is a platform where you will start with a bounty on your head. When you defeat a player, a part of his bounty will be given you as a cash payment, and the remainder will add in the bounty on your head. The added bounty will make you an attractive competitor in poker tournaments. If you win the tournament, you will secure the bounty which may become more worthy than the actual price you started with.

The prize for the first and second places are similar, which is sponsored by partypoker. There are many KO series poker tournaments for partypoker players. The buy-in starts from the lowest range of $2.20 and can increase up to $ 5,200. The low-cost satellites are also available from $0.22. You can win KO series tickets by playing special edition SPINS poker tournaments.

There are 10 Championship Events scheduled which will offer $1M guaranteed. One of these events will offer a boost of $2M guarantee. These events will be played on 8-max tables, so, secure your spot and get started.

4. Live Poker Tournaments and Poker Tours

4.1 WPT

The World Poker Tour (WPT) is a worldwide onscreen gaming, betting, and entertainment brand. Started since 2002, the premium live poker brand WPT has functioned as a series of many international Poker Tournaments and television series broadcasting. It has been a host of some of the huge events in Global record. WPT main tour host the prominent world tours of poker. The WPT range of buy-ins starts from $500 to $ 25,000. The winners of WPT main tour events get membership of Champions Club of WPT. The winners also get a Champions trophy on which their names are engraved. 

The players can win a share of $100,000 as cash or prizes, including free seats to WPT main events.

4.2 WSOP

The World Series of Poker (WSOP) is a series of Live Poker Tournaments in Las Vegas each year. It is started since 2004, sponsored by Caesars Entertainment Corporation formerly known as Harrah’s Entertainment. WSOP is a giant of poker game and a well-established live brand of poker. It teams up with PartyPoker to host poker live festivals in Canada, Europe, and Latin America.

The WSOP consists of 74 main events along with major poker variants. Nowadays, half of the events are variants of Texas Hold ‘em. The events were held in June-July for one day or more, but now the events are presented in October because of the Presidential Election in the USA.

Live WSOP events guarantee most of the time $1,000,000. So, you can start it today and become a part of the big win.

WSOP in Las Vegas
Every year the WSOP is hosted in Las Vegas

4.3 EPT

A similar series to WPT is the European Poker Tour (EPT) for live poker tournaments. It was created by the Poker Million Tournament winner named Jhon Duthie. As a part of famous Texas Hold ‘em, the EPT began in 2004. Since 2011, the EPT has been owned and sponsored by PokerStars. For the television broadcast in Europe, the Sunset + Vine TV channel tape it.

The EPT has a buy-in about half the amount of the WPT in its 1-3 seasons. This was increased in season four as the buy-ins were increased to 8,000. In 2007, the buy-ins became $10,000, which is equal to the buy-ins for most of the WPT events.

Moreover, the final table has seats for 8 players, which is even more than the final tables of 6 seats for the events of WPT.

4.4 APPT

Asia Pacific Poker Tour (APPT) is the main series of poker tournaments. It is an international series that started in 2007 for the cities across the Asia Pacific. It is sponsored by major tours including PokerStars, European Poker Tour, The Asia Pacific Poker Tour, and Latin American Poker Tour.

In its first three seasons, APPT presented 14 different poker tournaments in six different locations. The APPT series was the first to bring Hold’em Poker Tournaments to China and Korea. The series is also filmed for TV and production.

4.5 LAPT

Latin American Poker Tour (LAPT) was a famous poker series from 2008-2016 in Latin America. The sponsors were PokerStars, Asia Pacific Poker Tour, European Poker Tour, and North America Poker Tour. Started in 2008, the LAPT is a live poker series taking place in various countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Peru, and Uruguay. Players can access the news, photos, videos, chips count, and live to report of LAPT on the PokerNews.

The LAPT’s first season had three main events: Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Brazil, which formed the main event of the poker series. The second season excluded Brazil and added players from Chile, Mexico, and Argentina. The third season was hilarious as it removed Mexico, added Peru, and re-added Brazil. The fourth event of LAPT became the first biggest poker event in Latin America. LAPT added Columbia and removed Costa Rica in that event.

Commonly, LAPT events last for four days per tournament, and the range of buy-ins is from $1,000 to $10,000. The events are fixed, such as 10,000 chips in each event, level duration of 60 minutes, and slowly adding blinds rules. There are interesting side games for each event.

There are offers for PokerStars players such as to avoid buy-in and win a seat or travel package. Players can also use T$ from PokerStars which they have won already.

The winners of LAPT usually walk away with a minimum cash of $150,000. The biggest win prize was $381,030 by German Dominik Nitsche. He won it in season two at Casino Central in Argentina.

4.6 Triton Poker Series

The Triton Poker Series was created by Richard Yong, a famous Malaysian entrepreneur, and unskillful poker player. These series includes Super High Roller Poker Tournaments in which players can play with No-Limit Hold’em variant. The first tournament was The Cali Cup, begun in January 2016 as a part of WPT National Philippines. The Cali Cup broke WPT records as in the highest Buy-in tournament ever in poker history with more than $200,000 per entry.

That series got an enormous 52 entries and Fedor Holz won the title of winner of the series. The series got popular and carried out three more events in the same year in the Philippines. The series extended to Macau, Montenegro, Manila, and Budva in 2017. Triton Poker series featured short deck poker tournaments for the very first time in 2018. The series has famous winner including Daniel Colman, Daniel Cates, Phil Ivey, and John Juanda.

5. Famous Records of Poker Tournaments

Largest poker tournament in history$82,512,6122006WSOP Main Event
Biggest online poker series$90,000,0002016SCOOP
Biggest live tournament prizeAaran Zang $23,10 M2019Triton Million
Youngest WSOP Main Event winnerJoe Cada2009WSOP Main Event
Youngest WSOP bracelet winnerAnnette Obrestad2007WSOP Europe Main Event
Leader all-time money list live tournamentsBryn Kenney $55,75 M

6. Final Thoughts

The information above can help you understand the basics of poker tournaments either live or online, rules, formats, strategies, famous trusted poker sites, famous poker tournaments, and series. The best tip to play poker is to start with low-stakes events and practice different strategies before climbing up the ladder of advanced poker. You can also start watching poker streams, check on the latest content of poker, and read books. With the hard work, you will eventually become a winning pro player of poker tournaments. I hope this guide will help you understand the basics of poker tournaments.