Primarily focusing on getting the most bounty-money per hour, what would be the best time to register a progressive knockout tournament? The way I see it, there are a couple options.

Registering from the beginning will allow you to build a stack, resulting in you covering people for a chance of getting a bounty. However, in a deepstacked game people rarely bust and this method takes the most amount of time, so I don't think this is a good strategy.

Registering when the ante kicks in will have the advantage that stacks have fluctuated, resulting in you automatically covering a good part of the field. You will not be very shortstacked and therefore there is still time to build a stack and bust people simultaneously.

Max late reg is the last option. At this point the average stack will be a lot bigger than yours. Chances of you covering people are not very high. You will need to build a stack first before you can put yourself in a position to win some bounties, but you will often bust before you even get a chance. Therefore I don't think this strategy is good either.

In conclusion, I think that registering when the ante kicks in is the best strategy, but I am not sure if this is correct. Am I missing something? Please share your thoughts.


4 Answers 4


Depends on your style and how comfortable you are at playing at different stack sizes.

If you like playing deeper start earlier, if you're comfortable playing a 10-25BB effective stack you should be okay to join later.

If you think about it, it's probably more optimal to try and get an earlier double up as you will have an advantage (more room to manoeuvre) against looser players, shoving when they get to around 10BB.


This is a scenario where it's very hard to calculate with accuracy what's the best strategy, so I have to give my best guess. I was a professional poker player with over US$100k of profit, so I know a few cents about poker concepts. I also had the same question and that's why I'm here, also looking at other people's views.

The best strategy in my mind is to register as early as you can. If you are a winning player the best phase to get chips is in the beginning. You are very deep and you can easily make 30bb/100 hands, where as in late stages you are going to get about 5bb/100. So for extra hand you play you are expected to gain some chips.

Your strategy of starting when the ante kicks are wrong imo because the short stacks are frequently the less active and when you go all-in you probably will do against someone that are big stack and playing more aggressively. By the time stacks are low you will probably will be one of them. If you register early you will have a much higher chance to double up (and about 50% of time you get a bounty unless you are very passive) and cover a lot of people late game.

With that in mind, I still think the gain for registering early is too marginal, and often I late register.


I think this is not really a question, that really has an answer, because if you have an edge, which presumably you do, you always want to play as early as possible.

The only way I see, that this question makes any sense, is that you would otherwise be spending your time in a more profitable way, in which case you want to enter when the "estimated value per expected time playing in the tourney" outweighs your other income.

This intersection is obviously ridiculously hard to calculate, because you need to know your edge over the field at any given time, estimate the variance of your play style at any given time and then build some sort of normal distribution that changes over time.

In short, from mathematical point of view, this is really hard to answer. Regarding the "progressive KO" aspect, this kinda just polarizes, what you are trying to do anyway: get a big stack. So if anything, increasing variance, to be out or have a big stack might be good, and also helps to increase the EV per Expected time spent.

  • Thanks for your input. The optimum time already refers to most amount of money per hour.
    – Raymond
    Commented Apr 4, 2017 at 19:01

I want to play from the first cards in the air. Since the odds players seem to rule the forum, each additional hand you play mitigates potential mistakes over the course of play, assuming you pay attention to the math, which is what tournament play is all about. Negating the card players and applying psychology of poker players you definitely want all the table time and pregame observational information you can get, so, hang out in the snack bar, lobby, and restrooms playing KGB for conversational tidbits at the final table.

  • You missed my point. ROI will be highest when playing every second, assuming the player is a good player, correct. However, these small pots in the beginning don't mean as much. And therefore it might not be optimal (most $/h) for the player to play them.
    – Raymond
    Commented Sep 9, 2017 at 18:51
  • You don't seem to accept the answer to your question.
    – user5467
    Commented Sep 9, 2017 at 20:44
  • I don't accept an answer because I haven't gotten a worthy one so far.
    – Raymond
    Commented Sep 9, 2017 at 21:18
  • "Ideal time to enter [a tournament]" is subjective to the inidividuals' values system. You have gotten NOTHING but "worthy answers" on this entire thread.
    – user5467
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 14:26
  • I said optimal, not ideal. Question is partly subjective, but not entirely. None of the answers are what I am looking for currently.
    – Raymond
    Commented Sep 20, 2017 at 14:39

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