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davidtrump

Playing format

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The most common playing format for poker tournaments is the "freezeout" format. All players still playing in a tournament constitute a dynamic pool. Whenever a player loses all his chips and gets eliminated, his table shrinks. To combat the constant shrinking of tables and avoid having tables play with varying numbers of players, players are moved between tables, with unnecessary tables getting closed as the tournament progresses. In the end, all remaining players are seated on just one table, known as the "final table". Most sit and go tournaments are freezeouts.

In some tournaments, known as “rebuy tournaments”, players have the ability to re-buy into the game in case they lost all their chips and avoid elimination for a specific period of time (usually ranging from one to two hours). After this so-called “rebuy period”, the play resumes as in a standard freezeout tournament and eliminated players do not have the option of returning to the game any more. Rebuy tournaments often allow players to rebuy even if they have not lost all their chips, in which case the rebuy amount is simply added to their stack. A player is not allowed to rebuy in-game if he has too many chips (usually the amount of the starting stack or half of it). At the end of the rebuy period remaining players are typically given the option to purchase an “add-on”, an additional amount of chips, which is usually similar to the starting stack.

Another playing format is the "shootout" tournament. A shootout tournament divides play in rounds. In a standard shootout tournament, 2-10 players sit on each table and the table roster remains the same until everyone but one player is eliminated. The table winners progress to the final table where the tournament winner is determined. In a shootout tournament players are usually awarded places in tiers based on how many rounds they lasted and in which place they were eliminated. Shootouts can include multiple rounds (triple, quadruple or quintuple shootout) or feature several players from each table progressing (usually up to three). Shootouts are also a common format for large heads-up multi-table tournaments, although these may feature double or triple elimination instead of the standard single knockout method.

A recent innovation is the "mix-max" or "mixed max" tournament, in which the table sizes vary during the course of the event. A typical example is the mix-max event held at the 2012 World Series of Poker, in which the first day of play was nine-handed, the second day six-handed, and the rest of the tournament heads-up. This effectively made it a hybrid freezeout–shootout tournament, with freezeout play at larger tables and shootout play in the heads-up phase.

poker tournament 2.jpg

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