Poker

The one time it’s profitable to late register a PKO


Last year he told us never to late register Bounty MTTs, today Dara O’Kearney brings up one exception to the rule.

Dara O Kearney
Dara O’Kearney 

Last year I wrote a piece for PokerStrategy.com (and the argument is also in my most recent book) that late registering or re-entering a PKO is never profitable.

The simple reason is that every time a player is eliminated from a PKO at least 25% of their buy-in is removed from the prize pool. Every elimination is like a small extra rake for the players who turn up after that elimination, because they cannot win that money. It’s not too costly at the start of a tournament but if you late register or re-enter just before the end of late registration it is literally burning money.

There is one time, however, when late registering or re-entering a PKO can be profitable. And that is when there is an added value promotion attached to it.

Added value mitigates the rake increase

Dara O Kearney
It’s usually costly not to show up on time in PKOs

Let’s say you are playing a €100 PKO with 300 runners and 20 players have been eliminated removing €500 in bounties from the prize pool. That money is gone and you cannot compete for it. If you split that €500 between the 300 runners it is €1.60 each, so roughly if you re-enter or late register now, it is like an extra €1.60 of rake.

However, if €1,750 has been added to the prize pool, let’s say in the form of tournament tickets for the winners or special guest bounties, then you are still better off to the tune of €1,250. Every player sees an equity boost of €5.83 at the start of this tournament and if you register after 20 players are eliminated it is still something like €4.23 (€5.83 minus the €1.60 you lose by registering later). Again, these are rough numbers to illustrate the point, don’t treat them as gospel.

You can get a similar affect if a PKO looks like it is going to overlay. Let’s say that tourney has a €30,000 guarantee, 200 players have entered and 50 have been eliminated with a few minutes to go before late registration ends. Those 50 eliminations have removed €1,250 from the prize pool which roughly costs a late registration €6.25 (€1,250/200 players). However, it looks like €10,000 is going to be paid in overlay, which is worth €50 per player. Late registering or re-entering is a €43.75 equity boost.

A big guarantee and guest bounties

Dara O Kearney
Look out for a PKO worth re-entering at Unibet this month

There are other promotion types that might make it worth late registering, for example at Unibet in our PKO Winter Series we had a bounty leaderboard for the most scalps over the series. If you were doing well in that leaderboard then it likely would have been worth your while re-entering to try and bag as many bounties as possible.

All of which leads me to a PKO tournament you may want to re-enter or late register. We are hosting a two day €100 PKO at Unibet Poker on April 25 to celebrate 100 episodes of The Chip Race. It has a €30,000 guarantee, so it could easily overlay and has a lot of extra value. 10 former guests of the show will have a €100 bounty and myself, David Lappin and Ian Simpson all have €250 bounties on our head. Anyone who cashes wins a copy of PKO Poker Strategy too.

That is at least €1,750 in added value and a potential overlay too. Certainly worth re-entering, but it should be said, it is still the most profitable thing to show up on time.

If you want more insight like this, Dara has a regular newsletter where he gives free tips like this all the time. 

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