Cashout Tournaments

December 17, 2009 |

Today I am going to a little about a tournament that was just introduced on online poker. The tournament is called a ‘Cashout Tournament’ (hence the title). A cashout tournament is almost like playing the TV game show, ‘Deal or No Deal’. There are no briefcases, Howie Mandel isn’t the host, and sadly the models are no where to be found. It’s just a poker game with a twist attached to it. Let me explain exactly what a cashout tournament is, and discuss some behind the cashout.

A cashout tournament gives every player in the tournament a chance to make some extra cash throughout the tournament. Let’s say the tournament is a $10 buy-in. In this case, $5 would go toward the normal tournament prize pool, and $5 would go to the ‘cashout’ pool. The prize pool in this tournament is just like any other tournament. The prize pool will not fluctuate. The cashout pool on the other hand will be the pool that will fluctuate. The cashout pool is designed so that players can cash their chips in for money throughout the tournament. Players can cash a few of their chips in for some money, or they can cash their whole stack in for a larger percentage (though you will be out of the tournament). Depending on the buy-in, this will decide how much your chips are worth when you exchange them in for cash. The decision usually comes when you are deep in the tournament.

For instance, I was playing a $10 cashout tournament earlier today, and I was faced with a dilemma of my own. I made it to the money, and my chip stack at the time was worth $63 and some odd cents. If I were to bust the tournament at that moment I would only win $13 from the prize pool, and be out 50 dollars. Which sad to say, is exactly what happened. You are presented with a challenge within this tournament. Do you take your shot at winning the tournament, and part of the cashout money (I’ll get to that in a second), or simply cashout your chips? This is where some strategy comes into play. I feel to make this decision you should know how things are going at the table. If nothing is going your way then maybe it could be smart to cashout. I don’t see myself doing that because I am playing for the first place prize. It’s a tricky situation that only be answered at that moment. But what happens to the cashout pool if everyone doesn’t cash in their chips for money?

Not everyone in the tournament will cashout chips (I don’t know many people that do). The leftover cashout pool is divided amongst the players who reach the final table. How much money you get depends on how many chips you have when you enter the final table. If you are in first place then you will obviously get the biggest percentage of the cashout pool. It’s a decent payday for those who are fortunate enough to make the final table. And you always feel bad for the bubble boy of the final table, but that’s just the way the tournament goes.

If you find yourself in a cashout tournament, will you take the money? Or will you take your shot at the final table for the bigger payday? Cashout tournaments are defiantly unique, and provide a Hollywood like twist if a situations occurs. Good luck in these tournaments, and hopefully your decisions work out for the best.

Craig Fleck

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