The selection of available tournaments at Black Chip Poker is nothing short of exceptional, providing players that prefer tourney action over cash games a huge variety of practically every game imaginable.
That includes Multi-Table Tournaments, On Demands, Re-buys, Re-Entries, Freerolls, Knock Outs, Turbos, 6-Max, Freezeouts, 8-Max, Heads-Up, Megastacks, Satellites, Sit & Gos and the ultra-exciting turbo-charged Jackpot Poker where the prize pool can be as high as 2,500 times the buy-in. Also, Black Chip has all the stake levels covered, from micro to high roller.
In addition, a diverse selection of game types is available that include Texas Hold’em, Stud, Omaha, and Hi-Lo options of the latter two. You can find tournaments of all kinds running non-stop every day, with late registration available for most of the Multi-Table Tournaments.
As Black Chip Poker is a skin on the Winning Poker Network, the player pool consists of players from other skins on the network such as Americas Cardroom and True Poker. The benefits of that are large player fields and huge guarantees in many tournaments.
On the other hand, if lengthy tournaments aren’t your cup of tea and you prefer events or action that concludes much more quickly, the Sit & Go tables or Jackpot Poker would be your optimal choices. It’s all a matter of player preference, and whatever your particular preference may be with regard to tournament play, you will likely find it at Black Chip.
Made famous by the likes of Daniel Negreanu, Phill Hellmuth, and Doyle Brunson via the World Series of Poker and other poker tours around the world, Multi-Table Tournaments often capture the attention of even those with only a passing knowledge of poker.
The idea of entering a tournament by paying a buy-in and competing for prize money that gets bigger according to your place of finish in the event is an exciting proposition for most. The whole dream of winning a lot of money by risking a comparative little amount is alive and well when it comes to tournament poker.
And thankfully, Black Chip Poker offers the largest guaranteed prize pools for players located within the US. That’s a huge reason why players flock to Black Chip and other sites on the Winning Poker Network. WPN averages more than 4,000 players on its tournament tables at any one time.
Multi-Table Tournaments start at a specific time that’s clearly listed in the Black Chip lobby under “Tourney.” Many events offer late registration during a fixed time period.
The entry fee is listed under “Buy-In” and normally includes a 10% rake that is collected by Black Chip for hosting the event. For instance, an entry fee listed as $10 + $1 means that $10 goes toward the prize pool and $1 to Black Chip Poker, and $11 will be deducted from your balance upon entering. The 10% is a standard rate at both live poker rooms and online poker sites throughout the industry.
After paying the buy-in and when the starting time arrives, players are randomly assigned to various tables, given their starting chip stacks, and play commences. As players are eliminated, tables are broken down and players are randomly shifted to new tables to maintain a proper balance at each poker table.
Players are vying for the prize pool consisting of the accumulated buy-ins, less the 10% rake for the house. Unlike casino games such as blackjack, roulette, and craps, poker players are competing against each other and not against the house.
The top finishers, usually around 15%-20% of the entire tournament field, will share the prize pool, with the winner grabbing the lion’s share. The other players who landed in the money will win prizes of gradually lesser amounts than the winner, according to their places of finish.
Sit & Go Tournaments
While Multi-Table Tournaments have a specific start time, Sit & Gos begin only when the table is filled with the fixed number of players needed to start the game. Black Chip Poker allows between 2 and 12 players at their Sit & Go tables, but most of the games are set at either 2, 6 or 9 players.
Sit & Gos are perfect for players who enjoy tournament action, but neither have the time nor want to battle through the throngs of players typically found in Multi-Table Tournaments. Sit & Gos generally take less than an hour to complete, and are much quicker than that if you prefer heads-up action under a winner take all format.
The 9-man Sit & Gos pay the top three places, while 6-man action will see the top two finishers win the prize money. That’s 33% of the field that earns a payday, unlike MTTs where you typically must finish in the top 15%-20% to call yourself a winner.
If you happen to find yourself slogging through multi-table action and often just missing an in the money finish, you may want to give Sit & Gos a try due to the higher payout percentage. Or conversely, if you’re crushing Sit & Go action, perhaps a transition to MTTs might be in order since the prize pools are generally much larger.
Sit & Gos are a good breeding ground to learn some of the nuances and strategies required to be successful at tournament poker. Sit & Go games are very popular at Black Chip and WPN at virtually every stake level so no need to worry about finding a game, even at off peak hours.
Just click on the “Sit & Go” tab in the lobby and choose the stake level that fits your budget or bankroll. Pay the entry fee and wait for the table to fill, and when it does, the game will begin. Buy-ins are the same as multi-table events where the rake is usually 10% of the entry fee.
While we mentioned buy-ins in both of the previous sections and talked about how Black Chip offers tournaments with huge guarantees, it goes without saying that the higher the buy-ins, the more money available to be won in the prize pool. So how do you get a shot at the bigger tournaments that offer mega prize money if your budget doesn’t allow you to enter? That’s where Satellite Tournaments come in handy.
A Satellite Tournament is an event that allows players with smaller bankrolls to qualify for a bigger tournament for a fraction of the cost of that bigger tournament’s buy-in. By finishing in the top positions of the Satellite Tournament, you win a ticket to the larger event, which is most often an online tournament, but can sometimes be a land-based event.
The most famous example of success via a Satellite Tournament is Chris Moneymaker, who entered a $39 online satellite and won a ticket to the WSOP $10,000 buy-in Main Event in 2003. Moneymaker won the Main Event for $2.5 million, giving satellites a wonderful reputation in the process!
Black Chip has also made “step satellites” available to their players in which you progress up the ladder to the larger, target event by placing as one of the top finishers of the step tournaments. The buy-ins of each step are higher than that of the previous step and players can generally enter any step of their choosing by paying the entry fee of that particular step.
There are tabs for both “Satellite” and “Steps” in the poker client lobby. It’s really an awesome way to take a chance or two at entering a huge event and winning big money by risking only small amounts of cash. Satellite Tournaments are perfect for players on a limited budget, but who have champagne tastes.
New players at Black Chip should take advantage of the New Depositor Freerolls available, as these tournaments are prime for padding your bankroll. The $250 New Depositors Freerolls run every Saturday, and while the prize pool isn’t the largest, it’s free money for those who can place among the top finishers.
The Freerolls serve another purpose for new players, which is to give you experience and get you acclimated to playing against large fields in multi-table action. There is perhaps nothing more exhilarating in poker than to navigate your way through your opponents and make the final table – and perhaps win the whole event!
There are lots of Freerolls on the schedule at Black Chip other than the ones designated for New Depositors. Simply click on “Tourney” in the lobby and then click on “Freeroll” to check when tournaments are running and which Freerolls you may be eligible to play.
One of the newest types of tournaments offered at Black Chip is Jackpot Poker. It’s custom-made for players who like quick, fast-paced action that ends in a matter of minutes and also can deliver prize pools of “jackpot” proportions.
Jackpot Poker is a hyper turbo Sit & Go that consists of 3 players who begin with a smallish stack of 500 in chips and levels that rise every 3 minutes. The game starts once 3 players have entered and its played under a winner take all format, unless the random prize up for grabs is among the three highest tiers available, then all three players will enjoy various percentages of the big prize money.
Four different buy-in amounts are offered at $2, $10, $25, and $40. The prize pool will be drawn randomly and can be between 2 and 2,500 times the buy-in. In other words, a $40 buy-in could find you sitting at a table and playing for $100,000!
Jackpot Poker is fun to play, the rake taken is only 6%, and there is always a chance of winning big bucks! However, the game has its drawbacks, the biggest of which is that 3 players are playing for only two buy-ins most of the time. In other words, 3 players each put up the $2 entry fee and over 70% of the time they will be playing for only $4.
The biggest jackpot prizes will hit only 1 in every 100,000 games for each stake level. Those are not very good odds that you will ever be seated at one of the huge jackpot tables. However, there are other big prize amounts in between the biggest and smallest prize pools that are drawn randomly.
For instance, more than 21% of the time the 3 players who entered for $2 will be playing for an $8 prize, and the prize will be $12 for 7.5% of the time. Other prize pool amounts of $16, $40, $200 and $400 will hit much less frequently percentage-wise up until the 1 in 100,000 times for the big jackpot of $5,000 at the $2 buy-in level.
Jackpot Poker has its fans as well as its critics. If you don’t have much time and you want action, then it may be the game for you. Also, if your style of play is best among fewer players, then it may be worth your while. But it’s not really a game for the hardcore grinders who prefer to have a bit more control or stability in knowing the prize money being played for.
Knock Out Tournaments
Knock Out or “Bounty” tournaments are fast becoming wildly popular throughout the entire online poker industry. Black Chip offers quite a selection of KO and Super KO tournaments to meet the growing demand.
Each player has a “bounty” on his or her head that is a portion of the buy-in. Knock that player out of the tournament and you collect the cash! In essence, you can win money without finishing in the money in bounty tournaments.
However, if you’re sending players to the rail and accumulating bounties, you’re also adding to your own chip stack in the process. So the odds are that you’re advancing deeper in the event.
Bounty tournaments are a great deal of fun and it’s easy to see why their popularity is growing. What could be better than knocking players out and winning their bounty money while doing so?
Keep in mind that the prize pool for players who finish in the money will be less in KO tournaments since a portion (usually half) of each buy-in is set aside for the bounties. This may dissuade some players from liking such events. However, the players who find Knock Out Tournaments distasteful will typically be pro players who would rather see a bigger prize pool that’s weighted more heavily to the top finishers.
How many times have you been knocked out of a tournament on a bad beat and wish that you could get back in the game to exact revenge on your opponents? Alas, Re-Entry Tournaments allow you that opportunity as long as the late registration period remains open.
Re-Entry Tournaments also boost the prize pools as eliminated players get to shoot another bullet or two in hopes of making a deep run. It can turn a bad day at the tournament tables into a good one for those who can excel and run deep on a second or third try.
There are some who criticize the fairness of re-entry events, claiming that it gives an advantage to the more skilled players who can take some early shots at building a huge chip stack, knowing that if their attempts fail they can always re-enter. But it all depends on how you look at it. Players who re-enter may be tilting as well, making poor decisions in hopes of getting their buy-ins back – and then some.
Another way of increasing prize pools is via Re-Buy Tournaments, which sound almost the same but are entirely different than re-entries. Re-Buy Tournaments generally allow players to buy more chips when their stack is totally gone, or when the stack is less than when the event began.
Re-buys are typically permitted for a certain allotted time, such as the first hour of the event. When that time ends, it is most often followed by an Add-On period during which players may buy even more chips.
A re-buy will normally be the same buy-in and offer the same chip size of the initial entry fee and chip stack. The add-ons will vary, with chip stacks sometimes more, sometimes less, and sometimes the same as the starting stack.
Poker is a game of decisions and players must weigh the advantages and disadvantages of whether or not to re-buy or add-on for more chips. While a tournament can be won with just a few chips by winning pots and chipping up, there is also plenty to be said for grabbing a big stack via re-buys and add-ons in order to perhaps give you more options when it comes to strategy during game play.
On Demand Tournaments
A sort of hybrid that combines the elements of Multi-Table Tournaments with Sit & Gos is the On Demand Tournaments offered at Black Chip Poker. The tournaments don’t have a specified start time but will begin instead when the minimum number of players have entered.
Once the virtual cards are in the air, the On Demand Tournament will play like a multi-table event in that players may register during the late period, as well as re-enter if they so choose. The prize pool will rise as the latecomers and multiple bullet shooters take aim at emerging victorious.
On Demand Tournaments have a big, red letter “D” next to the tournament name for easy identification. You can’t miss it, nor should you miss trying On Demand Tournaments as you may find them to your liking.
Final Table Experience
If you’ve ever made the final table of a poker tournament, then you know how thrilling it is to be gunning for first place prize money and the title. It’s an awesome experience that every poker player dreams of and shoots for, being the last survivors of what are typically large fields of players and entries.
If you haven’t yet made a final table, Black Chip Poker wants you to live it by offering a special Final Table Experience. The game consists of 9 players who buy-in and are each given huge stacks of 1,000,000 in chips, with the top three players winning the prize money.
It’s very good practice to play with a monstrous stack as if you’re seated at a final table. Those who strive to improve at poker and make the correct decisions will get to the final table eventually, but it certainly bodes well for the future if you try the Final Table Experience and learn how to play in that environment before you actually get there!