To enter a tournament, players are usually required to pay a fee to enter. This fee consists of two components, namely the “buy-in” and the “entry fee”. The “buy-in” goes to the prize pool which the players compete for. The “entry fee” is taken as compensation for hosting the tournament. The fees are usually shown in the format of “buy in + entry fee”. For example, a cost of “20+2″ indicates that the buy-in is $20, and the entry fee is $2. The $20 goes to the prize pool, and the $2 goes to the host.
All tournaments are listed in the lobby of the poker room. Players can click on any of these tournaments and obtain the details, including the buy-in and the entry fee, how many people have already registered, who they are, and how much each winner can win when the tournament finishes.
There are free-to-join tournaments called “Freerolls”. A Freeroll can be a sit n’ go tournament or a multi-table tournament, but is usually a multi-table tournament. There is no buy in or entry fee. The host provides both the prize pool and the hosting cost.
Sit N’ Go Tournaments
Sit N’ Go are the simplest and quickest of all poker tournaments. As the name suggests, a tournament starts as soon as enough people have taken their seat, unlike the multi-table tournament which starts at a scheduled date and time. There are usually single table sit n’ gos and sometimes multi-table sit n’ gos. Each player is given an equal number of chips to start, and the tournament will run until one player wins all the chips. In a 9 or 10 player SNG, the top 3 usually get paid. In a 6 player SNG, the top 2 get paid.
A Multi-Table Tournament is a large-scale tournament that hundreds or even thousands of players can join. Each multi-table tournament is scheduled to start at a certain time and date. Players have to sign up for a tournament before it starts.
Players are assigned to different poker tables randomly when the tournament starts. As players get knocked out, the tables are consolidated until they reach the final table. The tournament continues until one player wins all the chips. Since a multi-table tournament can last for hours, there are intermission breaks in between. Prizes are given to a number of winners, depending on how many participate. The higher your rank is, the bigger piece of the price pool you win.
Satellite Tournaments are smaller tournaments that act as a stepping stone to larger tournaments. The prize is usually not money, but a “ticket” into another tournament. Since the entry fee is usually very low for satellites, it’s a good way to join more expensive multi-table tournaments with skill instead of with a larger amount of money.
Here’s an example of how a satellite would work: The buy in for the larger tournament is $100+$10. The buy in for the satellite is $10+$1. If there are 10 entrants (into the satellite), first place will get an entry to the larger tournament. If there are 20 entrants then 1st and 2nd place will receive entry to the larger tournament. If there are 23 entrants, 1st and 2nd place will get entries to the larger tournament and 3rd place will get a $30 prize.