Online Poker Tournaments Reach Massive
February 20, 2006 (written by Haunted
It wasnít too long ago when I considered a $100,000
guaranteed prize pool for an online poker tournament
massive. Just a couple of years back, the list of online
poker sites offering 6-figure prize pools was an
exclusive and exciting draw for players. Enter 2006 and
the ever-increasing popularity of online poker and a
society obsessed with excess. At least I donít see any
negatives with poker in excess. As of the writing of
this article, almost every major online poker room
offers a regular massive event and a couple offer
tournaments with guaranteed prizes over half a million
Poker Stars, now the second most popular online
poker network in terms of player traffic, offers a
weekly tournament that guarantees a $750,000 prize pool.
Are you kidding me?! For an online poker tournament?! In
fact, sites offering these tournaments usually exceed
the guarantee, making it close to a $1,000,000 event.
Some live major tournaments donít even reach that
status. Several thousand players are attracted to these
major events, almost amassing WSOP-like player fields.
While youíll have to work your way through huge fields,
the positive of these large numbers is that the buy-in
stays low. Both this and
Party Pokerís $500,000 guaranteed event have a
buy-in of just over $200.
While $200 may be more than some small-stakes amateurs
can stomach, fortunately online poker rooms are
constantly running satellites and supersatellites that
award an entry or entries into the weekly big dance.
Usually soliciting buy-ins between $1 and $15, these
small-stakes single and multi-table tournaments serve as
a cheaper path to mega-tournament glory. Even if you can
afford the direct buy-in, why not go the satellite route
and save yourself some cash if youíre good enough at
tournaments? While youíre there try a shot at some of
these ridiculously cheat WSOP satellites. You might have
to wade through 4 rounds, but can you imagine eventually
winning a seat at the Big One for a buck?
Even though the prize payout structure is becoming
increasingly thin and punishing for the top 3 finishers,
the winner of the biggest online tournaments take home
over $100,000 and sometimes close to $200,000. They are
becoming such a spectacle that Poker Stars is running
virtual replays on the final table action with many
players allowing their hole cards to be exposed. With
online poker continuing to expand, I donít expect that
weíll have to wait much to play in $1,000,000 weekly
events. Most sitesí big tourneys take place on Sunday
afternoons with satellites running throughout the week.
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