The next best thing is playing multi-table tournaments (MTTs) online. We offer the best selection of guaranteed prize tournaments, with different buy-ins and formats. There's a poker tournament for you, no matter what your style, or how big your bankroll. Whether you prefer Short-handed or Full Ring, Freezeout or Rebuy, Turbo or DeepStack, Regular or Knockout, at Iron Poker, you will always find the tournament that suits you.
|Schedules||Tournament Types||Payout Structures||Tournament Blind Structure|
|How to Prepare for a Live Tournament|
There’s no better place to experience the thrills and excitement of online poker tournament action than Iron Poker. As part of the iPoker Network, Iron Poker stages round-the-clock tournament action, including multi-table tournaments (MTTs) offering huge guaranteed prize pools; sit ‘n’ tournaments kicking off the minute all seats at the table are taken; satellite events awarding seats at the biggest land-based events around the world; and freerolls, where you don’t risk anything yet stand a chance to win a cash prize.
To get started: Download the Iron Poker software. Register your account. Go to the Lobby in the Iron Poker software and navigate to the poker tournaments listed under the Tournaments tab. Select the tournament you wish to join and register to play. See you at the tables!
When registering for an online poker tournament you will be required to pay the buy-in fee. For the biggest scheduled guaranteed prize tournaments the buy-in is generally higher. If these events are a bit too expensive for your bankroll, you can qualify for a seat at one of our ongoing, affordable satellites.
If you consider yourself a recreational poker player, feel free to play one of our low cost tournaments, or alternatively, take your seat at a sit ‘n’ go tourney. You can also join a three-player Twister SNG, where you could win not only the tournament but also a huge jackpot prize. Twister jackpot tourneys take place at all hours of the day and night, so sit down to this thrilling action right now.
For the fastest poker action of all, play one of Iron Poker’s Speed Poker tournaments. With each hand you will be facing a different set of opponents. Upon folding, you will be whisked away to another table. There is nothing faster in our tournament schedule than our Speed tourneys.
Ready to play? Download our free software. Register your account. Go to the Lobby in the Iron Poker software and navigate to the poker tournaments listed under the Tournaments tab. Select the tournament you wish to join and register to play. See you at the tables!
Online poker tournaments of various types are staged at Iron Poker, yet all have one thing in common. Players start out initially with the exact same number of chips and compete to eliminate all of their opponents and win the top prize. Some tournaments are small, constituting a single table tournament, but others can attract thousands of participants competing in a multi-table tournament (MTT). Some tournaments are freezeouts in which players are eliminated the moment they lose all their chips, while others offer re-buys and add-ons. In all cases, the tournament continues until there is only one player left – the overall tournament winner.
A guaranteed prize tournament is one in which there is a guaranteed prizepool, no matter how many players pay the buy-in to play. In tournaments which do not have a guaranteed prize, the winning players receive prizes based on their share of the total buy-in amount.
Satellite tournaments are qualifiers that award seats to bigger events. There are satellites awarding seats to huge guaranteed prize tournaments while other satellites award seats at major land-based tournaments around the world.
A sit ‘n’ go tournament (SNG) is one which begins play the moment players have taken all the seats at the table. Sit ‘n’ go tournaments can be either single table tournaments or multi-table tournaments.
Freeroll tournaments are tournaments where entries are free. Freerolls typically offer cash prizes and participating in them is a no-risk opportunity for new players.
Other tournament types offered at Iron Poker include Knockout tournaments; Deepstack poker tournaments; Bounty tournaments; Shootout tournaments; and Steps tournaments. A tournament staged between two players is considered a heads-up tournament.
Want to play a tournament right now? Download the Iron Poker software entirely for free. Register your account. Go to the Lobby in the Iron Poker software and navigate to the poker tournaments listed under the Tournaments tab. Select the tournament you wish to join and register to play. See you at the tables!
Joining an online poker tournament in the Iron Poker software is very easy to do. Search through the list of tournaments under the Tournament tab and choose one that suits your preferences and bankroll. You can register for upcoming tournaments and in some cases, make a late registration to a tournament already in play.
After you have successfully registered for a poker tournament, you will be ready to join the action. When the tournament starts, your table will open automatically. You will be seated randomly and ready for the first deal. Blinds increase at regular intervals as the tournament progresses from one level to the next. In many tournaments, there is a short break after one hour of play.
Once a player loses all his chips, he is eliminated from the action, unless there are re-buy options available at that stage of the tournament. As fewer players remain, tables will close automatically and players will find themselves reseated at different ones. Play continues until there is only one table left – the final table.
Prize money is paid out automatically to players as they are eliminated from the action. Game play at the final table continues until only one player remains, and that player is the overall winner of the online poker tournament.
Disconnections between a player and the poker software do occur, affecting the player’s participation in online poker tournaments. Players registering to play tournaments at Iron Poker must accept this risk. Should a player lose his/her connection, the tournament will continue to play as usual. A disconnected player will be in “sit out/away from the table” mode yet will continue to be dealt cards in turn. The player’s blinds and antes will be posted automatically and if the player doesn’t log back into the software, he/she will be blinded out of the tournament.
In the case of a disconnection, a player should try to log back into the software as quickly as possible. If a player becomes disconnected during the play of a hand, he/she is given a certain amount of time to reconnect – usually about 30 seconds. If the player is not able to do so in time, the hand will be folded unless the player is “all in”.
At no time will Iron Poker assume responsibility for disconnected play regardless of cause. Players who experience frequent disconnections should turn to their Internet service provider.
Occasionally, online poker tournaments are interrupted for reasons beyond our control. As per our refund policy, refunds are made to players based on the stage of the tournament at which the tournament was interrupted. Read: Payout Policy for Interrupted Tournaments.
Ready to play? Start by downloading our poker software entirely for free. Register your account. Go to the Lobby in the Iron Poker software and navigate to the poker tournaments listed under the Tournaments tab. Select the tournament you wish to join and register to play. See you at the tables!
|Place Finished||9 - 12 Players||13 - 20 Players||21 - 30 Players||31 - 40 Players||41 - 50 Players||51 - 60 Players|
|Place Finished||61 - 80 Players||81 - 100 Players||101 - 120 Players||121 - 140 Players||141 - 180 Players||181 - 240 Players|
|10th - 12th||2.50%||2.40%||2.25%||1.80%||1.75%|
|13th - 15th||2.10%||2.15%||1.60%||1.50%|
|16th - 18th||2.05%||1.35%||1.25%|
|19th - 27th||1.15%||1.00%|
|Place Finished||241 - 300 Players||301 - 360 Players||361 - 420 Players||421 - 480 Players||481 - 540 Players||541 - 600 Players|
|10th - 12th||1.600%||1.500%||1.300%||1.200%||1.200%||1.150%|
|13th - 15th||1.350%||1.250%||1.100%||1.000%||1.000%||0.950%|
|16th - 18th||1.100%||1.000%||0.900%||0.800%||0.800%||0.750%|
|19th - 27th||0.850%||0.750%||0.700%||0.600%||0.600%||0.555%|
|28th - 36th||0.750%||0.650%||0.600%||0.550%||0.500%||0.450%|
|37th - 45th||0.600%||0.550%||0.500%||0.450%||0.400%|
|46th - 54th||0.500%||0.470%||0.400%||0.375%|
|55th - 63rd||0.440%||0.350%||0.350%|
|64th - 72nd||0.330%||0.320%|
|73rd - 81st||0.290%|
|Place Finished||601 - 660 Players||661 - 720 Players||721 - 780 Players||781 - 840 Players||841 - 920 Players||921 - 1000 Players|
|10th - 12th||1.10%||1.10%||1.08%||1.05%||1.00%||0.95%|
|13th - 15th||0.90%||0.90%||0.88%||0.85%||0.80%||0.75%|
|16th - 18th||0.70%||0.70%||0.68%||0.65%||0.60%||0.55%|
|19th - 27th||0.50%||0.50%||0.48%||0.46%||0.45%||0.44%|
|28th - 36th||0.45%||0.43%||0.42%||0.41%||0.40%||0.39%|
|37th - 45th||0.40%||0.38%||0.37%||0.36%||0.35%||0.34%|
|46th - 54th||0.35%||0.34%||0.33%||0.32%||0.31%||0.29%|
|55th - 63rd||0.32%||0.31%||0.30%||0.29%||0.28%||0.27%|
|64th - 72nd||0.30%||0.29%||0.28%||0.27%||0.26%||0.25%|
|73rd - 81st||0.28%||0.27%||0.26%||0.25%||0.24%||0.23%|
|82nd - 90th||0.26%||0.25%||0.24%||0.23%||0.22%||0.22%|
|91st - 99th||0.23%||0.22%||0.22%||0.21%||0.21%|
|100th - 108th||0.21%||0.21%||0.20%||0.20%|
|109th - 117th||0.20%||0.19%||0.19%|
|118th - 126th||0.18%||0.18%|
|127th - 135th||0.17%|
|Place Finished||1001 - 1080 Players||1081 - 1180 Players||1181 - 1280 Players||1281 - 1380 Players||1381 - 1480 Players||1481+ Players|
|10th - 12th||0.950%||0.890%||0.880%||0.860%||0.850%||0.840%|
|13th - 15th||0.750%||0.690%||0.680%||0.670%||0.660%||0.650%|
|16th - 18th||0.550%||0.490%||0.480%||0.480%||0.480%||0.460%|
|19th - 27th||0.420%||0.420%||0.400%||0.400%||0.400%||0.410%|
|28th - 36th||0.370%||0.370%||0.350%||0.350%||0.350%||0.350%|
|37th - 45th||0.320%||0.320%||0.310%||0.300%||0.300%||0.290%|
|46th - 54th||0.290%||0.290%||0.280%||0.270%||0.270%||0.260%|
|55th - 63rd||0.270%||0.270%||0.260%||0.250%||0.250%||0.240%|
|64th - 72nd||0.250%||0.250%||0.240%||0.230%||0.230%||0.220%|
|73rd - 81st||0.230%||0.230%||0.230%||0.220%||0.220%||0.200%|
|82nd - 90th||0.220%||0.220%||0.220%||0.210%||0.210%||0.190%|
|91st - 99th||0.210%||0.210%||0.210%||0.200%||0.200%||0.180%|
|100th - 108th||0.200%||0.200%||0.200%||0.190%||0.190%||0.170%|
|109th - 117th||0.190%||0.190%||0.190%||0.180%||0.180%||0.160%|
|118th - 126th||0.180%||0.180%||0.180%||0.170%||0.170%||0.150%|
|127th - 135th||0.170%||0.170%||0.170%||0.160%||0.160%||0.140%|
|136th - 144th||0.160%||0.160%||0.160%||0.150%||0.150%||0.140%|
|145th - 153rd||0.150%||0.150%||0.145%||0.140%||0.130%|
|154th - 162nd||0.140%||0.140%||0.140%||0.130%|
|163rd - 171st||0.135%||0.130%||0.120%|
|172nd - 180th||0.130%||0.120%|
|181st - 198th||0.120%|
* Payout structures for specific tournaments may vary - be sure to check the terms and conditions for the tournament before your registration.
By Ivan Potocki
Poker tournaments are not much different from any other tournament format out there. The eventual winner reaps the biggest rewards and everybody else will be rewarded according to their finishing position. Simply speaking, your goal in a poker tournament is twofold:
* Reaching the money
Finishing in the money is an important milestone in poker tournaments, especially when speaking about tournaments with a big number of players. Usually, some 10-15% of the players in a tournament will finish in the money.
After making the money, your sole goal should be winning. Although there is something to be said about moving up the pay ladder, as finishing in 100th position pays more than finishing in 200th position, these pay jumps are usually not significant enough to influence your play.
Generally speaking, poker tournaments can be divided into three main stages:
Each of these stages will require certain modifications to your approach to the game, primarily due to the blinds structure in a tournament. Unlike cash games, blinds in tournaments increase at certain time intervals which dictate the tempo of play.
During the early stages, your best approach is tight and aggressive. This means only playing strong hands and possibly trying to set traps with your small pocket pairs when the price is not too high. You will have anything between 50-200 big blinds in your stack, depending on the structure, and it may seem like you have chips to spare. However, playing too loose will quickly get you into trouble and that seemingly big stack will soon be decimated. Stick to strong hands and when you flop big bet for value. There is no reason to be tricky at this stage, as there will usually be plenty of players willing to surrender their chips with less than premium hands.
As a tournament progresses, you will be entering the middle stages. Depending on how the things unfolded earlier in the tournament, your stack size will vary and your play during this stage will depend in part on the size of your stack.
This is usually a stage of the tournament when the payments are getting near and this is another detail that will dictate your strategy. Many players in lower buy-in tournaments will be looking to cash and it will often lead to playing way too tight. While cashing is important, as stated above, it should never cloud your judgment in the pursuit of the other, more important goal of winning the whole thing.
In the event you've entered the middle stage with a healthy stack (40+ big blinds), you will have ample opportunity to attack players with lower chip counts and they will often be reluctant to stand up to you without fairly strong hands. Use the power of position to your advantage and don't be afraid to open more marginal hands from the button or the cutoff. One important thing in this phase is to be very aware of the stack sizes. Be careful not to attack very short stacks with weak hands because you will often get in the situations where you are priced in to call with hands that will usually not do very good against the re-shoving range.
Similarly, try and stay away from the big stacks who will often put you on a tough decision. It is usually a good idea to tangle with similarly sized stacks and make your life simpler. If you happen to have a big stack, then it is a different game all together as people in general will be very careful when entering pots with you as, in their eyes, you will have chips to spare and they will be reluctant to bluff you or put you to a test.
Of course, every now and then, you will enter the middle stage as a short stack. Even the best players make mistakes and sometimes you will get unlucky even if you are playing your best game. The only thing not to do when this happens is going into a passive mode and trying to wait it out. Remember the old chip and a chair saying? Don't let the desperation creep up in your game. As long as you have chips in front of you, you have a chance and you should put those chips to good use before getting blinded out.
As the bubble bursts and players get in the money, the end stage of the tournament begins. With about 10% of the players remaining in the field, your sight should be set on making the final table. If you are short stacked, it is now time to take some calculated risks. Open up your game from the late position and don't be afraid to put your chips to work. Your strongest weapon during this stage with a short stack is a little thing called fold equity. If you have between 10 and 15 big blinds, you are still a serious enough threat to make it hard for your opponents to call you light. If you are in the late position, hands like suited aces, middle suited connectors and two picture cards are legit shoving hands. Remember, it is better to go out swinging than to just melt away.
Although there is too much to poker tournament strategy to fit in a single article, these general guidelines should give you a solid foundation on which to build. With patience and experience you will make enough final tables and, eventually, victories to make up for your efforts.
Ready to play? Download our free poker software. Register your account. Go to the Lobby in the Iron Poker software and navigate to the poker tournaments listed under the Tournaments tab. Select the tournament you wish to join and register to play. See you at the tables!
Ivan Potocki is a veteran Iron Poker player who was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and spent part of his childhood under war conditions. He studied English language and literature and discovered Texas Hold’em while in college. After working different jobs he turned to poker full time and this serves as his main source of income. You can follow him on Twitter: @ivanpotocki
By Jack Stanton
We all play online poker to win, but sometimes winning a satellite into another online poker tournament is a bit bittersweet.
The good news is that you've won a tournament – or at least one of a few seats – and we all know that finishing first on the virtual felt is getting tougher and tougher. But you don't yet have much to show for your hard work. After winning a satellite, you've still got an entire tournament to go.
Winning an online satellite into a live poker tournament, on the other hand, is a different story altogether. It involves a complete change of scenery. For one thing, you actually have to leave the house. Secondly, if the tournament isn’t taking place at a casino near your home, you’ll have to prepare to travel.
So, if you’ve managed to qualify for your first big live poker tournament, then congratulations! But how do you now begin to prepare for the brick and mortar? Here are some tips.
Take time to celebrate!
The mere fact that you were playing in the satellite means that winning entry into the live event was your goal; it might even have taken you a few shots to achieve it. So don’t forget to celebrate your accomplishment!
Knowing that you’ll soon be playing your first big live poker tournament is both extremely exciting and a little bit nerve-wracking. For online amateurs used to playing in relative comfort and solitude, going to play a live poker tournament full of professionals away from your comfort zone can be a daunting endeavour.
Worry about the playing part closer to the event. Make sure you celebrate your win and let it all sink in.
Business or pleasure?
On a poker trip, business and pleasure needn’t be mutually exclusive. Of course, the main reason for the trip is business – i.e. to try and make some money at the poker tables – but unless you’ve won a package in the satellite (tournament entry, hotel and spending money) then you’ll have shelled out some of your own cash on travel and accommodation. That means you’re entitled to treat this as a vacation too.
First off, see if anyone else you know is also going to the event. If you live in Canada, for example, you might know some players who regularly play on the Canadian poker tournament circuit, so hit them up and find out their plans. If you have friends at the event with you, it means you can go out for dinner with good company in the evenings after play for the day is over.
If you don’t know anyone else playing the event, don’t worry. Remember that what you’re doing is pretty damn cool so don’t feel self-conscious about flying solo. A good book and some podcasts will certainly help, and you might even make some new friends at the felt.
Think positive, but back-up plans don’t hurt
Some players believe that even the smallest amount of pessimism will have a negative effect on their play, so they don’t even contemplate the possibility that they won’t win the tournament. However, when you’re travelling to play live, having backup plans in case things don’t go so smoothly is not a bad idea.
As it’s a poker trip, why not check the rest of the tournament schedule? See what other events are running alongside the tournament you’ve satellited into, and then if you bust you can hop into another game. You might even want to sell a piece of your package to other players or friends and family, and here’s how you can do it:
1. Take the amount of the buy-in to the tournament you’ve won a seat for (let’s say it’s $1,000 – for example)
2. Look at the side events and add the buy-ins to potential tournaments you’d like to play should you bust out of the main one and add the amounts together($300 and $100, for example - so $1,400 total)
3. Decide how much you’d need to sell to cover the buy-ins for the other tournaments. So if the package has $1,400 in buy-ins for three tournaments, you might want to sell 30% ($420)
This means you get to play other tournaments essentially for free, without forking out all of your own cash. You’ll also get your friends involved and invested in your trip, and you get to share the wealth with the people who invested in you should you cash or even win the tournament.
You might also want to make some backup plans away from the cardrooms – but that depends on the tournament location. There are lots of big poker tournaments in Canada throughout the year, including WSOP Circuit events in Montreal and Vancouver, and WPT Montreal to name a few; these great cities have plenty to offer visitors.
Study, but don’t stress
There are many different ways you could try to prepare for a live poker tournament. Studying and working on your game could mean just continuing to do what you’ve been doing – it was enough for you to win the satellite, after all. But if the live event you’re going to play offers a potentially life-changing score, you might want to consider increasing your efforts to get better and develop a strategy.
There’s certainly no shame in seeking out some poker coaching. Even players at the top of their game get help from players they respect. For example, consider Russell Thomas’s preparation for the 2012 World Series of Poker Main Event November Nine. He hired Jason Somerville – a talented high-stakes pro who has become a live-streaming legend for poker on Twitch – to coach him in the lead up to the final table. Somerville documented it in his ‘The Final Table’ video series.
The old adage of ‘watch and learn’ is a double-edged sword in poker, especially for beginner to intermediate players. As simply a fan of the game, watching the hours and hours of poker that have been broadcast in the past and now live in the vaults of YouTube is great entertainment, and can certainly help you to grasp aspects of the live game that you might not know without experience (string betting, table etiquette etc.). But remember that most of the poker action you see on TV will have been edited down to only show the exciting hands. If you think you should be raising with the 7-8-suited from early position because you saw Daniel Negreanu do it once and win, remember that the dynamic at the table might have called for that (i.e. Negreanu might have been capitalising on a tight image).
In reality, live poker can be less exciting, particularly in the first few levels of a deep-stacked tournament. Watching live streams of tournament poker will no doubt give you a better understanding of the minutiae.
What else could you do to prepare? Well, some excellent poker books have been released recently. Check out tournament genius Chris Moorman’s Moorman’s Book of Poker for some in-depth analysis of tournament play. Although it focuses on online hands, there are some principles and new, creative lines that you could apply to your live game too.
The important thing for beginner to intermediate poker players to remember when you’re going to play your first big live poker tournament is not to put too much pressure on yourself. Tournaments involve a lot of variance, and any player on the circuit will tell you it requires a bit of run-good to win. Just play your game to the best of your ability, have a great time, and let the chips fall where they may.
Ready to play? Download the Iron Poker software entirely for free. Register your account. Go to the Lobby in the Iron Poker software and navigate to the poker tournaments listed under the Tournaments tab. Select the tournament you wish to join and register to play. See you at the tables!
Jack Stanton is a journalist, poker player and NBA fanatic living in the south of England.