Years ago (YEARS ago), I did double-duty with the site that gave birth to this one. One thing I did was organize a few online tournament series for our customers. They were low-stakes or free tourneys, designed to get our site’s little community together and give out some prizes. Once in a while, I would play in them myself and offer up a bounty to the player who knocked me out. I was nervous about because I was a fairly tight player and wasn’t sure if I was ready to be a target. But as it turned out, it was a blast. People were excited when they ended up at my table. They chatted me up, talked a little friendly trash, and inevitably someone went home with my bounty. Oh how I wish I lived in a different jurisdiction right now, as both PokerStars and partypoker are currently running two week-long bounty tournament series. I’m sure I’d lose horribly, but I would have fun in the process.
Over at PokerStars, it’s called the Bounty Builder Series. It began Super Bowl Sunday and will go through February 16th.
In a standard bounty event, every player has a price on their head and if you eliminate someone, you get their bounty. The Bounty Builder Series is a little different, though, in that it uses the Progressive Knockout (PKO) structure. In PKO, you only get half of a player’s bounty when you knock them out. The other half is actually added to your own bounty. Thus, as players rack up the eliminations, they become a much more attractive target and will likely feel the pressure as people come gunning for them.
The Bounty Builder Series has 180 tournaments, structured like a lot of their tournament series, with 60 events comprised of three tiers of buy-ins. All told, PokerStars is guaranteeing $25 million in prize pools during the two weeks.
It is a very similar situation over at partypoker, where there are 230 tournaments with $10 million guarantees for the KO Series.
And though partypoker is also utilizing the Progressive Knockout structure, it has one distinct advantage over PokerStars: the bounty portion of the buy-in is not raked. Let’s illustrate with a $109 tournament.
At PokerStars, $50 goes to the regular tournament prize pool and $50 goes to each person’s bounty. $9 is the house fee.
In partypoker’s KO Series, $50 goes to the prize pool and $54 goes to the bounty, with just $5 taken as the house fee. Thus, on a percentage basis players at partypoker are getting a much better deal than the players at PokerStars.
Both sites have special jackpot Sit-and-Go’s setup to award seats in their respective tournament series. At PokerStars, they are $4 Spin & Go’s that have $530 Main Event tickets as the top prize. At partypoker, they are $5 SPINS tournaments with a $2,100 KO Series ticket as the top prize. Both also award other, lower-end tickets.