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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Plus - Tournament Frenzy

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It wasn’t too many years ago that if you wanted to find a big tournament with huge prize pools you had to do some real planning.  The biggest and most prestigious event of the year of course is the WSOP held in Las Vegas.  To get a ticket to the big dance, players had to have money and a lot of it. Not only did you need the $10,000 for the Main Event buy-in, but cash for a room, food and transportation to get there.  Once there, you could get lucky and win a satellite and get a seat to the Main Event for a few hundred dollars, if not you paid full price. This was merely a dream for average players, since they couldn’t afford to pay almost a year’s wages for one tournament buy-in.

Today, the landscape of poker events offering huge prize pools has changed dramatically. No longer do you have to be well off financially to be able to enter mega events like the WSOP, sometimes all you need is one lousy dollar to become a multi-millionaire.

You also don’t have to be a great or even good player. As a matter of fact, you can get a seat in a big tournament even if you have little or virtually no poker experience. How you may be wondering? Simple, you qualify online for a huge prize package to a big live event.

Almost every poker site on the internet offers satellite qualifiers to the WSOP and other major events like the WPT (World Poker Tour). And, they start out costing nothing! That’s right - you can take a shot at some life changing prize money in a Freeroll or FPP (Frequent Player Point) buy-in qualifier, for no cost. Of course you have to go through more steps than a line dancer in A Chorus Line, but it still can be done.  And, if you would prefer not to leave home, you can still win piles of cash without ever going out the door.

Poker sites are always trying to one up each other to get your business. Of course they are; more players equal more income and who doesn’t want more income? The poker business is huge and competition among the sites is fierce, keeping the promotions teams on their toes. One of the ways poker sites try to attract players is with huge guaranteed prize pool tournaments. These tournaments are just what they sound like and have a guaranteed prize pool no matter how many players do or don’t enter.  These are not just prize pools of a few hundred dollars either; many are now an impressive one million dollars!

PokerStars has a weekly guaranteed tournament every Sunday, the 1/4 Million, and it's pretty cheap, at just $11.00 to enter.  The payout structure is generous with up to 4,500 places being paid, from first worth over $25,000 all the way down to $23 for barely making the money. The downside is you have to outlast anywhere from 25,000 to over 30,000 other hopefuls, but for the relatively small buy-in, it is well worth taking a shot in.  Of course there are qualifiers for this tournament, many for just 70 FPPs or less.

While there are guaranteed events with prize pools of anywhere from $500 on up, the granddaddy on PokerStars is the weekly Sunday Million $1,500,000 guaranteed event.  For this event there are daily Freerolls, where you can go through the step qualifiers and win your seat free. With a first place prize of at least $100,000, this is one of the best deals anywhere even if you opt for the $215 direct buy-in.

Other poker sites offering monthly million dollar prize pool tournaments include:

•    Party Poker
•    Full Tilt Poker
•    Everest Poker

While the competition heats up to offer bigger and better guaranteed tournaments, watch for almost every poker site to start offering mega million dollar events. Player demand is on the rise for these big events and they don’t want to have to travel to enter them.  The fact is, if you are looking for a big score, there is no other way to do it except by winning a tournament with a hefty prize pool. Tournaments offer a big payday for little investment other than time.

Be prepared, by entering these big tournaments you will have to withstand not only thousands of opponents, but you will need a great deal of physical stamina. With entries of over 20,000 players, making it to the final table can take you eight hours or more. This is why most final table players make a deal when they get down to the last few; they are mentally and physically worn out and simply want to end it with a fair share of the pool.

But when you think of all the time involved, there aren’t many things you can do at home that could pay you thousands of dollars for eight hours. This is why online tournaments are so popular and continue to grow, both in participants and in prize pools. Check out your favorite poker site and see what their tournament schedule looks like. You may just find your tournament pot-of-gold and you won’t have to fly over the rainbow to do it.

Grab a Chair…See ya there!

*The perfect place to start is at PokerWorks is our Freerolls.*

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