Adding Player Bounties and KO Bonuses

If you're looking for a way to add a little something extra to your tournaments, you may want to consider adding bonuses for knocking out players (aka, bounties). Many professional tournaments do variations of this, including the World Poker Tour's Shooting Star tournaments (where player's get an instant $5,000 for knocking out one of the pre-selected poker pros). Since your own games probably don't have any big name pros or celebrities, the best bet is to probably just give a bonus for all players you knock out.

So how should the KO bonuses work? Well, the easiest way would be to just have everybody throw in an extra few bucks on top of the regular buy in so that the extra cash goes towards knockouts. In the league I'm in, we are probably going to make the knockout bonus 10% of the buy-in. So if your buy-in is $20, each player should throw in an extra $2. Each time a player is knocked out, the person who knocked them out will get $2. Obviously you can adjust the amount of the bonuses depending on what you think is best for your league.

Now, if you're doing the math, you'll realize that if you have 10 people adding money for knockouts, and only 9 people get knocked out, you'll have a little extra money left over. The easy thing to do is just to give that extra money to the winner, since they avoided being knocked out. Of course, you can be more creative and make it so that whoever knocks out the most people gets the extra bonus, or perhaps make the league leader or last season's champion worth double if you knock them out.

So what if your league or tournament uses re-buys? I personally wouldn't use knockout bonuses for re-buy games, mostly because it complicates things a bit and knockouts don't quite mean as much in a re-buy tournament. However, you can still use knockout bonuses and bounties, but you'll have to adjust things a little. You can either have a person keep putting in extra money for their re-buys to pay for another knockout or perhaps people only get paid once a person is knocked out and doesn't buy back in.


  1. Barry Said:

    We have been playing multi table home tournaments, usually with about 16 people. The last one we had, we used a bounty. We just play a small buy in of $20 and the last one was $25 with 20 going to the main pot and a $5 bounty on every player. It went pretty well, but I need to work on the blind schedule, because it took to long.

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