Bounty Tournament Strategy

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About Bounty Tournaments:

Bounty tournaments have become really popular in online poker.  Both Full Tilt Poker and UB have introduced them into their daily schedule, and events such as the $215 Sunday Brawl have proved extremely successful.  I think loose-agressive players can make much more in these games then regular freezeouts because they reward agressive players who are prepared to build stacks quickly.

Bounty tournaments are identical to multi-table tournaments except each player has a bounty on his head given to the player who knocks him out.  This is makes up 10- 50% of the buy-in.

The addition of bounties means your playing style needs to adapt. 

The tournament equity decisions are completely different when you have an effective stack or face a multi-way pot full of short stacks.  The rewards of calling a player and knocking him out neutralizes a lot of the risks.  It changes the positional and marginal hand ranges too, putting more emphasis on your opponent’s stack size.

Two common playing styles or methods can be used in bounty games.

Strategy 1: Play like a regular MTT, aim for a money finish and naturally collect bounties along the way.

Strategy 2: Focus your play on maximizing bounties.  This requires looser calls with marginal positional hands e.g. calling a 3bet with QKs from LP. 

Bounty Tournament Strategy

Tip 1: The “fun” element of these games tends to attract more recreational players which means they normally have worse/looser players than normal. Also remember that in most bounty MTTs you only need to knock out 3 players to break even.

Tip 2: The fold equity from moving all-in and bluffing is much weaker when there is a bounty on your head.  Be careful not to value shove as frequently as you would in regular tournament pre-flop.  When short-stacked or against a deep stack opponent who has you well covered rememberthat  the risk of calling your jammed hand may be counter-weighed by the rewards, even if your opponent knows he’s behind.

Tip 3: Cooperation play doesn’t happen in bounties.  In a normal MTT towards to bubble when a small-stack is all-in, the two (or more) players in the pot may check down to reduce the cost of the hand.  Howeve when a player all-in has a bounty on his head the other opponents will continue raising the pot hoping to isloate the small stack and increase their chances of winning the bounty.

Tip 4: It’s extremely important to keep your stack above average because opponents are far less likely to call your shove when you have them stacked (he won’t win your bounty even if he wins the heads up).  When you drop below 15BBs however or have a stack smaller than most you end up becoming prey.

Tip 5: Remember reaching the payoff zone should still be a priority as 50% of everyone’s buy-in contributes to this.  The question you ask yourself whenever you call an all-in is, are the risks worth the rewards?  Sometimes loose players will call all-ins because they want the bounty – not because they’re using optimal play or weighing up the risk/reward.

Tip 6: Implied Odds.  Change your style of play to encourage small stacks on the blinds to shove all-in.  Any player with a stack below 15 BBs falls into this category.  Check-raising small stacks on the turn or river will often force them to move all-in by becoming pot-committed.  Thus the idea of “trapping” becomes extremely important in bounty games, I recommend slow-playing whenever you hit the flop hard against small-average stacks, and don’t forget to slowplay your sets and two-pair in early position.

Best Site for Knockout-Bounty Tournaments: – Best Knockout Bounty Tournments.

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