April 29, 2023 Featured Articles, Poker News, Poker Strategy John Bradley

Best Poker Strategy in Progressive Knockout Tournaments

Progressive Knockout tournaments (PKOs) have become a very popular format in the poker world offering the chance to win huge bounties. Poker coach John “WhatA298” Bradley explains the best poker strategy for PKO tournaments.

Best Poker Strategy in Progressive Knockout Tournaments

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In Progressive Knockout tournaments (PKOs), players not only compete for the traditional prize pool, but also earn bounties for eliminating opponents. As the tournament progresses, the bounties increase, making for an exciting dynamic that requires a unique strategy.

If you are looking to improve your PKO game, here are some tips to help you develop the best poker strategy for progressive knockout tournaments.

Play Aggressively and Target Bounties when you Cover your Opponents

In PKO tournaments, aggressive play is often rewarded. Unlike regular tournaments where survival is the primary goal, PKO tournaments require players to actively target opponents to collect bounties.

This means playing more hands, being willing to take calculated risks, and actively seeking out opportunities to eliminate opponents and collect bounties.

Look for players with smaller stacks or those who are playing overly tight and try to put pressure on them to accumulate chips and bounties.

Defend Your Bounty when you are Covered by your Opponents

As much as you want to collect bounties, it is important to protect your own bounty as well. Once you accumulate bounties, other players will target you to collect them.

Therefore, you should be prepared to defend your bounty by playing strong hands aggressively, and avoiding risky situations.

You will have much less fold equity and your opponents will be more willing to put all their chips in when they cover you. So, you should stay patient and only get your chips in with very good hands.

Adjust Your Ranges

In PKO tournaments, your hand selection and poker ranges should be adjusted compared to regular tournaments.

With the added bounty element, players tend to be more aggressive and willing to put their chips at risk. This means you should widen your hand selection and be more willing to play speculative hands that can potentially win big pots and bounties.

Hands like suited connectors, suited aces, and small pairs can have added value in PKO tournaments as they can help you win not only the pot but also the bounties.

Be Mindful of ICM Considerations

ICM (Independent Chip Model) is a mathematical model used to calculate the value of a player’s chip stack in relation to the prize pool.

In PKO tournaments, ICM considerations become even more important as you need to account for the value of the bounties in addition to the traditional prize pool.

As the tournament progresses, the bounties increase, and the ICM implications can become significant. Be mindful of the ICM considerations when making decisions about risking your chips and bounties, especially as you approach the bubble and final table.

Pay Attention to the size of the bounties

In PKO tournaments, not all bounties are created equal. Some opponents may have larger bounties on their heads compared to others.

This means that eliminating certain players will result in a bigger payday for you.

Keep an eye on the bounty values of your opponents and prioritize targeting opponents with larger bounties to maximize your potential earnings.

This may mean adjusting your play style and targeting specific opponents based on their bounty values and stack sizes.

Be Mindful of Bubble Play

As in regular tournaments, bubble play in PKO tournaments can be a crucial stage where players tighten up to secure a cash pay-out. However, in PKO tournaments, the bounties can significantly impact the bubble play dynamics.

Players may be more willing to take risks to collect bounties, especially if they have smaller stacks.

This means that bubble play in PKO tournaments can be more aggressive and volatile compared to regular tournaments.

Therefore, your ability to sneak into the pay-outs without playing a hand, will be increased.

Progressive Knockout Tournaments Strategy Conclusion

In a Progressive Knockout Tournament, players’ strategies should change compared to regular tournaments, due to the bounty dynamics.

To excel in this format, players should play aggressively when covering their opponents, tighten-up when covered, and adjust their ranges.

Players should also be mindful of ICM considerations, the opponent’s bounty value, and of how the bounties affect bubble play.

By following these strategies, players can improve their chances of making it through the tournament and potentially earning a larger pay.

Good luck on your poker journey and if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask them in the poker coaching section of the VIP-Grinders Discord Channel. 

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