The Advantage of Knockout Poker Tournaments

Posted by Adriana Teixeira, November 24, 2014

Well, as you all have noticed, I enjoy talking about low stacks because most of the players are so used to hearing about play at the high stacks and may forget that players have to start from somewhere. I believe that many of the high stakes players start at the low buy-ins.

I have been a SNG player ever since I started to play poker and even if I love MTTs (multi-table tournaments) as well, I believe that SNGs allow you to grow your bankroll (for example) and can provide you with less variance. As I said I like both of the games but today I´m going to speak about a specific kind of sit ‘n’ go tournament = the knockout type.

Knockout poker tournaments

In any sit ‘n’ go tournament with 9 or 10 players you’re going to have a payout structure with about 50% for first place, 30% for second place, and 20% for third. When you play a knockout (KO) poker tourney, you can profit even if you don’t finish in the top 3 places. This is because in this tourney, when you knock out a player you receive a percentage of the money automatically. There are two types of knockouts: normal and turbo. I prefer the turbos.

In a regular SNG, after the bubble the three remaining players are ITM (in the money). In knockout poker tournaments, on the other hand, you can get that payout as well but when you defeat a player and eliminate him from the action, you get a piece of the prize pool as well.

Getting paid for eliminating a player helps increase your profit. I can tell you that in my experience playing turbo KOs, I’ve gotten some 3% more ROI (return on investment) than playing the regular SNGS (not KOs). At the moment, my ROI in turbo $3.50 SNGs (for example) is 11% including that 3% that I said before in the regular level games. For a pretty good turbo-player in low buy-ins the expected ROI is about 11% to 15%.

The thing to consider is that players will play pretty badly since they want to kick you out and get your bounty. The important thing is that you need to improve your poker skills. I normally use HUD aka Holdem Manager on the tables and to study my game I´m using Sit and Go Wizard as well.

Of course everything depends on how many hours and tables you’re going to play at the same time, because with more tables your ROI could be a little less than the expected. But if you’re playing well and get first or second places often, it won’t affect the ROI very much in the final profit.

If you want to try a different type of SNG, I can assure you that turbo KOs are really fun and improve your skills. You can make money at them and have lots of fun.

Keep studying and good luck @ the tables! J


Adriana TeixeiraAdriana Teixeira has been playing poker since 2006. She has Portuguese citizenship but now lives in Brazil, where she was born. She became interested in poker after watching the film “Casino Royale” with her husband, who is also a poker player. She works as teacher and plays poker part time, particularly enjoying playing Omaha Hi/Lo. When she’s not playing poker, Adriana enjoys writing and reading.


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