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Poker sites with best tournaments 2022

Author: Vargoso Published: 06.09.22

If you were zapping on your TV and saw a mountain of money and two guys playing poker, you were most likely watching the definition of a tournament. Such events gather thousands of players fighting for the trophy and a massive prize. This article will decrypt all online poker tournament grids so you can play only the best ones.

Poker sites with best tournaments 2022

Best online poker sites for playing tournaments MTT

We should start by thinking: what should a site offer to be considered "the best one" in poker tournaments? Let's check it out:

  1. The grid should be well-designed and include different formats, democratic buy-ins, good structures, and events starting in different timezones
  2. Low rake: you should be aware of the rake (most known as fees in the MTTs world) to avoid overpaying for a service
  3. Rakeback: inline with the last point, a good rakeback deal will boost your EV every month
  4. The software must be stable and not overload your PC because tournaments tend to last many hours
  5. The tournament cancellation policy should be fair and clear to everyone

With this in mind, let's check out our list:

GGPoker

GGPoker logo
GGPoker
GG Network
Good for beginners Network's best skin High stakes action
Welcome offer $600
Rakeback up to 60%

Natural8 logo
Natural8
GG Network
50%+ rakeback Bitcoins accepted Good for beginners
Deposit bonus $1,000
Rakeback up to 60%

GGNetwork (GGPoker and Natural8) has the biggest tournament grid on the market (not shocking because they are the world's largest network). You'll find MTTs 24/7 in NLH, Omaha, Short Deck, and local variants like Flip & Go.

Pros Cons
Partnered with WSOP, Triton, APT, and other recognized brands Charge an extra 0.5% admin fee in important events
In-app Staking platform Overlays are not common
Many formats (Hold'em, Omaha, Flip & Go, Short Deck) No SnG (many players practice this format before jumping into MTTs)
Millions of dollars are guaranteed every month  
Buy-ins for everyone, from $0.25 to $25,000  
In PKO events, the fee is charged only in the regular part (the bounty part is rake free)  

PokerKing (Winning Poker Network)

PokerKing logo
PokerKing
Winning Poker Network
50%+ rakeback Network's best skin
Deposit bonus $2,000
Rakeback up to 70%

WPN is the biggest and most trustable US-facing poker network. It holds regular millionaire events and festivals with hundreds of tournaments. The regular grid at PokerKing suits any player, from low stakes to high rollers.

Pros Cons
Overlays happen from time to time The grid may suit only players living in America. Europeans must change their schedule to play the best events
In-app staking platform Many consider WPN to be a "reg-infested" field
Many tournament series In PKO events fee is charged for the total buy-in (including the bounty part)
Tournaments in exotic formats like Stud Hi/Lo The software is a bit unstable

888Poker

888 Poker logo
888 Poker
Independent
High stakes action Good for beginners No Deposit bonus
Welcome offer до $1000
Rakeback 5%

888Poker is a network designed to please amateur players, which means good news for those looking for a friendly field to play. Their tournament grid and MTT promotions guarantee small to mid amounts of money with excellent structures.

Pros Cons
Satellites to live events The guarantees are not as massive as in other networks (the weekly event adds less than $50,000)
Beginners-friendly field VIP program designed for amateurs (no direct rakeback)
  In PKO events fee is charged for the total buy-in (including the bounty part)

Guts Poker (iPoker Network)

Guts Poker logo
Guts Poker
iPoker Network
High stakes action Fast cashouts
Deposit bonus €1,000
Rakeback 30%

iPoker Network has been operating for enough time to be considered a trusted site on the market. Their tournament grid won't please a heavy grinder, but it will be enough to add some side events to your main schedule.

Pros Cons
Popular network backed by a trusted company The guarantees are not as massive as in other networks
Fast-growing poker site European-biased schedule
HUD-friendly software  

BetOnline (Chico Poker Network)

BetOnline logo
BetOnline
Chico Poker Network
High stakes action
Deposit bonus 1000$
Rakeback VIP

The US-friendly Chico Network isn't famous for its tournament grid, but after checking the lobby, we conclude all players from low to mid-high stakes (up to $525) will find enough action to play every day. It remains a soft field due to the presence of sports betting fans.

Pros Cons
US-friendly network (American amateurs at the tables) No rakeback from the poker room
Non-HUD compatible by default US-biased schedule

What is a poker tournament?

online poker tournament

A poker tournament (MTT or Mutltitable tournamnent) is, like any other contest, a competition between several people to declare a winner, who will get the biggest portion of the prize pool. All players pay the same entry (buy-in), get the same amount of chips (although there are some variations, like the possibility of making rebuys, add-ons, etc.), and start playing simultaneously.

The tournament features a growing blind structure, meaning that every predefined period (from some minute to 1-2 hours), the small and big blind will raise. Without this, tournaments won't exist as we know them.

Types of MTT

As we have mentioned above, tournaments can be played in different formats; to navigate among them, you need to know all the details:

By entry rules:

  • Freezout: players can enter only once with a certain amount of chips. Having lost them, he leaves the tournament
  • Rebuy: usually, during the late registration period, players can buy more chips if the stack is below the initial one or completely lost. At the end of the rebuy period, players can also make an addon
  • Re-entry: without add-ons and rebuys are only possible after lossing the entire stack.

Some unique tournaments allow players to make several parallel entries into one MTT and play at several tables simultaneously while the buying period is ongoing. After that, all stacks are combined.

By the blind structure:

  • Hyper turbo: with blinds growing up to 3 minutes
  • Turbo: with blinds growing up to 5 minutes
  • Regular: with longer levels
  • Flips: with one level of blinds, larger than any stack; hence all players go all-in every hand. Such tournaments are usually held to draw extra bonuses.

Poker tournaments with guaranteed prize pool

MTTs have become so popular mainly because they allow fighting for a share of a massive prize pool. To warm up players' interest, the rooms announce in advance the amount of the tournament's prize pool, which is called a "guarantee." Usually, such a number is added to the tournament name.

As a rule, the declared prize pool is covered by the buy-in amount, excluding the rake, and usually, the guarantees match the room's popularity.

In rare cases (usually within some series), some MTTs don't reach the number of entries required to cover the guarantee. This event is called overlay, the difference between the guaranteed prize pool and the collected prize pool. For players, these tournaments are a source of additional value.

Bounty tournaments

In such MTTs, part of the prize pool goes to payouts for the "heads" of knocked-out players. In regular tournaments of this format, the buy-in is divided into two equal parts, one of which goes to the standard prize pool, and the other is immediately received in full by the player who made the "knockout."

The most popular format is progressive knockout (PKO). The bounty is divided into two more parts: one is paid for the KO immediately to the account, and the other is added to his own bounty. As a result, the further the player has advanced in the chip count, the greater the prize for knocking him out can be.

The newest version of this format has recently switched online from live poker. They are called "Mystery Bounty." Each event consists of two phases, and bounties are paid out only in the last one. All of them have different sizes (from 0.5 BI to a thousand BI) and are randomly assigned to players in the final stage after each knockout.

Multi-day tournaments

Online poker sites often hold flagship tournaments for several days to attract players with even bigger guarantees. Each such event consists of several flights (Day 1). Each ends after a specific time or when a predetermined number of players remain at the tables. All of them, with their stacks, qualify for Day 2 and usually secure themselves a minimum payout.

Satellites

Not all players can directly pay the buy-in into expensive events. Hence, qualifying events are created for them with a lower fee, with tickets for the target events added to the prize pool.

Satellites can be direct or divided by steps. The latter are intermediate tournaments, and the prizes are tickets to the next step. Sometimes the first step is a freeroll, giving the chance to qualify for a massive tournament for free.

There are also satellites for live tournaments, including not only the buy-in of the target event but also transportation costs and accommodation.

Of course, poker sites always strive to develop their tournament grid; hence it's common to find exciting new formats. Before playing these, you should carefully study its description and the icons used in the lobby.

Difference between tournament and cash games

Many players say an MTT pro won't perform the same at cash games. Although there are many examples of the opposite, we can highlight several differences between the two formats:

  • The blinds in cash games are fixed
  • You can rebuy (that is, get more chips) any time you want
  • Tournaments are played until a winner is declared, while you can join and leave a cash game at any time
  • You pay only one fee to play an MTT. Ring Games are charged with rake every hand

Another significant difference lies in the stages of an MTT:

Stages of a poker tournament

A poker tournament is like a book, as it features different stages. The first ones are called Early Stage and Middle Stage, and it's the phase in which players have the most chips compared to the blind structure, and they don't know each other. The MTT is just starting.

The bubble is a particular stage, and it's the moment right before all players secure a minimum payment. The "bubble player" is the last one leaving the tournament without a profit.

After the bubble pops, the Late Stage (In The Money) begins the last phase of the tournament and, of course, the most important one. The pressure for at least recovering the buy-in no longer exists, and the road to the final table has just started. Short stacks will launch their attack, and each player develops its strategy pretty differently, all looking for the biggest prize.

Although the same poker is played in cash games and tournaments, both formats are very different, and you will need to train appropriately before switching among them.

Basic tips and strategy

We're not running a masterclass here, but we'll list some essential tips:

  • ICM (Independent Chip Model): You'll often hear this term, especially during the bubble. You'll need to master this concept that calculates your overall equity converting chips into money.
  • Bankroll management: Have you seen those players sharing amazing prizes from tournaments? Don't get fooled by that; many MTT grinders lose at the end of the year, even after cashing in massive events. Variance is crazy in tournaments, so you must clearly define and stick to a bankroll strategy.
  • Study your opponents: "If you don't know who the fish is, it's you." When you seat at a tournament table, you'll need to study your opponents (with HUD, notes, or any legal tool) and act accordingly. Be aware of the pros, exploit the amateurs, and take advantage of your position and chip stack.
  • Training: Many say that the best players expend more time studying than playing. Training yourself in new theories and checking your hand histories is crucial to crush the tables.

How to win a big poker tournament?

Espen Uhlen Jorstad WSOP 2022 Winner

There's no magic trick to win a big tournament. Only hard work, training, proper bankroll management, and an always-evolving strategy will result in big rewards. However, be aware that you'll need to survive several coin flips in events with thousands of players.

Although the game is the same, big MTTs have some differences that you must be aware of:

  1. You'll need much more time, even several days, to play it until the final stages
  2. You'll find any kind of players: pros, those who qualified via satellites, amateurs, etc.
  3. A bigger field can result in a bigger variance

Don't get frustrated if you don't get the first place; focus on your long-term results and improving your game.

The most famous online poker tournaments

the biggest poker tournament The Venom

Online poker has been around for over two decades. Hence some traditions were created during this time. The biggest poker sites have created popular brands and famous poker tournaments, usually with millions of dollars added to the prize pool:

  • The Venom: Winning Poker Network
  • Sunday Million: PokerStars
  • $1 for $1 million: WPT Global
  • MILLIONS Online: partypoker

Satellites have also become famous tournaments because they have created many legends of players that have turned cents into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Summary

Playing poker tournaments is an art. Although many may think luck is a predominant factor, when you see the results of the best players, you understand that only the best ones manage to win MTTs consistently.

You'll need to constantly work on your strategy and never stop learning. This, combined with an appropriate poker site selection (much easier with the narrowed field we prepared above), you'll be ready to become the next champion.

FAQ

✅ What poker site has the best tournaments?

Usually, the best tournament is associated with the biggest site. Hence, you'll find the most exciting ones during massive series across the top networks: GGPoker, Winning Poker Network, and 888Poker.

✅ At which online poker site do poker pros play?

Poker pros can be divided into two groups:

  1. Those looking for the most massive fields. They will join only the TOP3 networks in terms of traffic.
  2. Those looking for the softest fields. They will investigate further and play tournaments across smaller but amateur-packed sites.

✅ Is WSOP Online legal?

Yes! WSOP partnered with GGPoker, and since then, the world's largest network has hosted online bracelet events for RoW players. Before that, WSOP.com held only tournaments for US-based players.

✅ Can you win real money at a poker tournament?

Yes! You can even win real money without investing anything by playing freerolls. 

✅ Is playing online poker tournaments profitable?

In the long term, yes. However, you need to develop a winning strategy and overcome many difficulties along the way. Don't get distracted by players sharing massive winnings in a single event. Recall that cashing in an MTT is not easy.

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