Definition of PKO (Progressive Knockout Tournament)

What is a "PKO" tournament? What is the definition of the term "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.

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The meaning of the term PKO explained.  What is progressive knockout tournament in the game of poker?

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:

1) You will win whatever amount is in the general prize pool for the first place finisher

2) You will win whatever bounties you earned over the course of the event

3) 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.


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