Progressive Knockout

Progressive Knockout tournaments

What does the term PKO Tournament mean in the world of poker? What is meant by a progressive knockout tournament? In poker, a progressive knockout tournament is a bounty tournament in which players collect half of a bounty if they knock a player out, while the other half of the bounty is added to their own head.

In a typical PKO event, half of your buy-in will go to the prize pool, while the other half will go towards each player's initial bounty.

So, if a tournament costs 109€ to enter, 50€ will go to the general prize pool, while 50€ will go to each player's initial bounty. (the remaining $9 is the fee to play the tournament)

So, let's say that you knock a player out of a tournament. Prior to the hand taking place, their bounty was sitting at $200.

In a progressive knockout tournament, you would keep 100€ of the 200€ bounty, while the other 100€ would go towards your own bounty that is on your head. So, for each bounty that you earn, you become more enticing to other players, as the bounty on your own head will grow with each knockout. If you knock out a bunch of players, other players at the table will want to play hands against you, as they want to collect the growing bounty that is on your head.

Once you earn a bounty, that amount can't be taken away from you in a traditional PKO event.

This changes the way that these tournaments are played, as players will play MUCH looser in hands against people with large bounties on their heads, as they want the chance to knock them out of the tournament. For instance, let's say that you enter a 109€ PKO tournament. A player that has a 1,500€ bounty decides to push all-in pre-flop. You have them covered and look down at pocket Threes.

If this situation came up in a typical tournament, you would likely fold your hand. Since this is a PKO event, however, you would be foolish not to call, as you would collect a bounty of $750 if you won the hand. It is absolutely EV+ to call in this situation.

If you end up winning a PKO tournament, you will collect money from three different places:
• You will win whatever amount is in the general prize pool for the first place finisher
• You will win whatever bounties you earned over the course of the event
• You will keep the full amount of the bounty that is on your head

So, while the first place prize might only be 700€, you might also earn an additional 1,100€ in bounties from other players, plus the bounty that is on your own head.

Most Progressive Knockout tournaments work as follows:
• 50% of the buy-in goes to the prize pool.
• 50% of the buy-in funds each player's initial bounty.
• Anytime you eliminate a player, you pocket half of their bounty value, with the other half added to your own bounty value.