General Tournament Rules

Tournaments

There are two types of tournament:

A Sit & Go is launched once the required number of players has registered. A Multi Table Tournament is launched at a specific starting time.

To join a tournament, players must pay the buy-in and an entry fee before a tournament starts. There is no rake for tournaments. Instead, players pay a small fee on top of the buy-in. Winnings are awarded to the top finishers in the tournament using a predetermined prize structure.

Players do not choose a seat at a table and then buy in. Instead they register in a tournament and wait to be assigned a seat. The players are seated at random around the table and each player is given a predetermined number of chips.

Most tournaments are freeze-out style where players cannot buy more chips during the tournament. Once a player loses all of their chips, they are out of the tournament.

Some tournaments offer re-buys and add-ons. A re-buy tournament allows a player to buy back in to the tournament during the re-buy period if they are eliminated. Add-on tournaments allow players to purchase additional chips during a designated add-on period.

A tournament finishes when one player has won all of the chips.

Play is the same as for Cash Games with the following exceptions:

  • Chips have no cash value. They are simply used to determine prizing in each tournament as outlined in the tournament lobby. When a player pays the buy-in and tournament fee, the player is allocated a specific number of chips to play with. A player cannot leave the tournament and exchange the remaining chips for cash. Each player must play all his/her chips to determine his/her rank in the tournament and claim the corresponding prize.
  • Players must always post blinds on their turn. They may not leave the table. If they are disconnected or stop playing, the blinds are posted automatically from their stacks, and the hands are automatically folded.
  • Every player must post a big blind followed by a small blind once around the table. In some situations (when either the player currently on the small blind or the big blind is knocked out) there may be a "dead dealer button". This means that the dealer button does not move to the next player, but instead stays where it is. This is because the big blind and the small blind must not miss any player at the table on its way around. Another consequence of this is that sometimes a small blind is not posted.
  • Once a player has lost all his/her chips he/she cannot buy any more and is automatically removed from the table, unless the tournament allows re-buys and add-ons.

Breaking tables

There are never more than the minimum number of tables required to seat all players. As the number of players reduces, the number of tables is also reduced. A table is removed as soon as the remaining players can all be seated around the remaining tables.

Example: When there are 41 players there are five tables, four with 8 players and one with 9. When a player is eliminated and there are 40 players remaining, one table is closed and the players are moved to the remaining four tables which are then full (10 players).

The table that is closed is the one with the least number of players seated. If more than one table has the smallest number of players, the table to be closed is randomly chosen from the two. Players from the closed table are randomly seated in the available seats at the remaining tables.

Hand for Hand Play Mode

In Hand for Hand play mode, all hands are dealt at the same time at all tables. This occurs whenever there is more than one table, and there is a significant change in prize money between two places. For example, in a standard tournament with a 10% payout and 350 players, the tournament changes to hand for hand play when there are 41 players, 31 players, 21 players and 11 players remaining. It stays hand for hand until one player has been knocked out in each situation.

Re-buys and Add-ons

A multi table tournament may allow re-buys and/or add-ons. A re-buy gives the players the opportunity to buy more chips if they have run out of chips. If a player chooses not to re-buy any chips, the player is eliminated from the tournament.

An add-on gives players the opportunity to buy additional chips no matter how many chips they have left.

Re-buy and add-on details can be found in the tournament lobby.

A multi table tournament may offer both re-buys and add-ons or only re-buys. It is clearly displayed which is allowed in the tournament lobby.

Timeouts and disconnections

If a player times out during a hand in a tournament, the hand is folded if a bet has been made, or checked if no-one has bet (regardless of whether the player is connected or disconnected).

Registration cancellation

If a player wishes to cancel his/her tournament registration, he/she is able to unregister at any time during the registration period. The player will then receive a full refund of his/her tournament buy-in and entry fee costs.

Cancellation or Failure

If the tournament is cancelled by PlayNow.com, the buy-in and entry fee costs will be automatically refunded or at a failure manually refunded within 48 hours. PlayNow.com reserves the right to cancel tournaments at its sole discretion.

Tournament Status

A tournament can be in several states and information about this is shown in the lists of tournaments in the client.

Register The tournament is open for registration.
Waiting Registration to the tournament has not yet opened.
Running The tournament has started.
Finished The tournament has finished.
Cancelled The tournament has been cancelled by PlayNow.com.

Refund Policy

Tournament Cancellation and Refund Policy

This general policy applies to all tournaments, subject to the application of specific tournament refund rules that may be accessed from the TOURNAMENT INFO section in the Poker Lobby.

Multi-table tournaments may be cancelled or interrupted for a variety of reasons. Here is how PlayNow.com will refund players? buy-in and tournament entry fees if play is not able to resume after an interruption:

  1. The tournament has not begun: In this case, buy-in and entry fees are refunded to all registered players.
  2. Fewer than 20% of players have been eliminated: buy-in and entry fees are refunded to all registered players.
  3. Twenty percent or more of players have been eliminated, but prizes have not begun to be paid out:
    • a) 50% of the prize pool is divided equally among remaining active players; then
    • b) 50% of the purse is paid pro-rated to the number of chips these active players possess
  4. The prize pool has begun to be paid out:
    • a) all remaining active players receive the amount that would have been won by the next player to be eliminated; then
    • b) 50% of the remaining prize pool is divided equally among remaining active players; then
    • c) 50% is paid pro-rated to the number of chips these active players possess.

For example:

A tournament pays ten winners using the following formula:

1st place: 30% of the prize pool
2nd place: 20% of the prize pool
3rd place: 15% of the prize pool
4th to 10th place share 35% of the prize pool, but in our example, these players have already been paid.

A tournament with a $10,000 prize pool is interrupted and cancelled when only three players remain in the game.

Players who finished in 4th to 10th place have already been paid.

The remaining prize pool, $6500, is to be shared among the top three players.

Each one then receives 15% (the 3rd place prize) of the total prize pool:
$1,500 X 3 players = $4500 (of $6500)

Next, 50% of the remaining prize pool is divided equally among remaining active players:
$2000 remains, X 50% = $1000 ½ 3 = $333.33 each

The other 50% ($1,000) is then distributed in accordance with the proportion of chips held by each player.

For example, there are 100 chips on the table:

Player 1 has fifty chips, 50% of $1000 = $500
Player 2 has forty chips, 40% of $1000 = $400
Player 3 has ten chips, 10% of $1000 = $100

NOTES:

In Rebuy/Add-on tournaments, buy-in and Rebuy/Add-on fees are refunded if the tournament is interrupted before the end of the Rebuy/Add-on period, regardless of the number of eliminated players (less than 20% or 20% and more).

In Headhunter tournaments, players keep their bonuses (bounty) and refunds are made according to one of the above four methods.

Sit & Go Tournament Refund Policy

  1. Sit & Go Tournaments will normally be refunded with-in 24 hours of System Downtime Resolution.
  2. If a Heads-Up Sit & Go Tournament is cancelled, both Players receive their buy-in and entry fee back, irrespective of how many chips either player holds.
  3. If a Sit & Go Tournament is cancelled, the tournament is classified as Void, and all players receive their buy-in and entry fee back.
  4. If a Sit & Go Tournament has a buy-in greater than $10 and has 30 players or more, then the tournament will be refunded as per MTT refund policy.

Satellite Tournaments

When a satellite tournament is cancelled or interrupted, the refund policy described above applies. However, because a satellite tournament is used to win a seat at another tournament, other tournaments may be offered. This decision depends on the number of seats offered and the buy-in and entry fee amount for the other tournament, as well as the number of active players remaining when the tournament was interrupted.

Sit & Go Tournaments

To enter the Sit & Go screen, click the 'Sit & Go' tab in the lobby.

From this screen, players can register to play or click to watch a tournament (if one is in progress) as well as see all the important aspects of a tournament in real time.

TID

Shows the Tournament ID of the tournament played at the specific table.

It is possible to filter tournament types by clicking one of the five buttons labelled All, Full Table, Short Handed, Heads Up, Satellites, or Private.

All: All tables.
Full table: Tables with 10 seats.
Short handed: Tables with 5 seats.
Heads up: Tables with 2 players.
Satellites: Tournaments that are qualifiers for other tournaments.
Private: Private tournaments.

Tournament The name of the tournament.
Type Shows if the tournament has a fixed limit, no limit, or a pot limit. See Limits section for further information.
Buy-in Shows the buy in + the entry fee for the selected tournament.
Status Shows tournament status.
Players Shows the number of players registered for a tournament / the maximum number of players.

Click the column headings to change the sorting order in the different columns. It is possible to use two columns as sorting keys by first clicking one column and then another (the most important column should be clicked last). Example: To sort the columns in a Texas Hold'em table list by first the type of game and then the stakes, first click the STAKES column, then the TYPE column. The sorting order for each tournament and table list is preserved until it is changed.

Join the Game

If the game state is Register, the players may join the game by clicking the Register button. A pop-up box asks the player to pay the buy in and entrance fees.

View Tournament Information

Select a tournament by clicking a tournament row. Some information about the tournament is displayed in the pane to the right of the tournament list. For more information, click the Tournament Info button. General tournament information is presented to the left in the screen and more specific information can be found under the two tabs Table Info and Tournament Info. The information differs slightly depending on the status of the tournament.

Table Info

Information for each table in the tournament is shown together with a complete list of all players participating in the tournament.

Select a table and click Go To Table. This opens a live view of the selected table.

Select a player and click Player Info to show information about the player.

Tournament Info

Shows tournament specific information such as blind level schedule and distribution of the prize pot as well as start and stop levels of hand for hand play mode.

Click the Back button to return to the Tournament screen.

Unregister

During the registration period the player may unregister from the tournament by clicking the Unregister button on the tournament information screen.

The player will get a notification that he/she is un-registered from the tournament and that the buy in and registration fee are refunded to his/her account.

Watch the game

If the tournament is running, players may watch the game by clicking the Go to Table button.

Multi-Table Tournaments

Players are allowed to register for tournaments during a predetermined period prior to the start of the tournament. Registration continues until the registration period ends or the maximum number of players for the tournament is reached. In order to register, players normally pay an entry fee, however some tournaments may be free to enter (freerolls).

Auto Re-buy

If a tournament allows re-buys and/or add-ons, you can have automatic re-buys and add-ons at tournament table. On the table, there are two check boxes, Auto Re-buy and Auto Add-on, that you can select to have automatic re-buys and add-ons.

Deal Formula

Multi-Table Tournaments on PlayNow.com have Tournament Deal functionality that allows players to agree to a prize payout prior to the tournament ending. This payout is based on a formula and ALL players must agree in order for the deal to take place. If ALL players do not agree to the deal proposed by the system, play will continue.

The Tournament Deal functionality is based upon the following: once prize positions have been reached, if players decide amongst themselves that they wish to split or ?chop? the prize between those left in the tournament, they will receive their allotted amounts in the following way (each remaining player will have this formula applied to them individually):

  • A prize equal to the next payout not yet distributed on the prize structure PLUS
  • An equal share of half of the remaining prize pool PLUS
  • Share of the remaining 50% of the prize pool based on their chipstacks (the percentage of chips they held compared to the total amount of chips in play)

EXAMPLE:

  • 200 players are in a 20$ buy-in tournament, which has $4,000 in the Prize pool. In Total, 30 players are paid in this tournament, however only 20 players remain as of right now.
  • These 20 players decide that they wish to split the remaining Prize pool amongst themselves; since positions 30 through 21 have already been paid out ($50.00 each), there is only $3,500.00 left to split amongst the 20 players.
  • 20th place is worth $70.00, so all 20 players receive the 20th place payout, totalling $1,400.00, leaving $2,100.00 in the Prize pool.
  • Half of the Prize pool is distributed equally between the players; ($52.50 each) leaving $1,050.00 in the Prize pool.
  • The last amount ($1,050.00) is then distributed according to players chipstacks at the time of the Deal.
  • If the Player who is chip leader has 35% of the total chips in play, he would receive then 35% of the remaining prize money ($367.50), with each remaining player receiving their share according to their chipstack.

This distribution method ensures that all of the prize money is distributed to the players who've made the Tournament Deal. In this example, first place with 35% of the chips in the tournament would receive the following amount: $70.00 + $52.50 + $367.50 = $490.00

Here is an example distribution of the prizes for all players that were eligible to receive a cashout:

Positions 30 to 21 already paid out 10x $50.00 - $500.00
Next bottom prize payout (20th place) 20x $70.00 - $1,400.00
Split of half remaining prize pool 20x $52.50 - $1,050.00
Chipstack % of remaining half of prize pool 100% of Chips totalling - $1,050.00
Total Prizepool paid out: $4,000.00

Enter a Tournament

To enter the Multi Table Tournament screen, click the MULTI-TABLE TOURNAMENT tab.

From the Multi Table Tournament screen, players can register to play or click to watch a tournament (if one is in progress), as well as see all the important aspects of a tournament in real time.

TID

The TID column shows the Tournament ID. It is possible to filter tournament types by clicking one of the five filter buttons labelled All, Regular, Satellites, Heads Up, Special, Free roll, or Private.

All: All tables.
Regular: Tournaments with no special requirements to enter.
Special: Tournaments where e.g. special conditions for registration apply.
Heads Up: Tournament which is organized into multiple rounds with two players per table in each round.
Freeroll: Tournaments with no buy in or entry fee.
Satellites: Tournaments that are qualifiers for other tournaments.
Private: Private tournaments.

Start time (GMT) Shows the start time for each tournament.
Tournament The name of the tournament.
Type Shows if the tournament has a fixed limit, no limit, or a pot limit. See Limits section for further information.
Buy-in Shows the buy in cost + the entry fee for the selected tournament.
Status Shows tournament status.
Players Shows how many players are registered for an upcoming tournament or the number of starting competitors in an ongoing tournament.

Click the column headings to change the sorting order in the different columns. It is possible to use two columns as sorting keys by first clicking one column and then another (the most important column should be clicked last). Example: To sort the columns in a Texas Hold'em table list by first the type of game and then the stakes, first click the STAKES column, then the TYPE column. The sorting order for each tournament and table list is preserved until it is changed.

Join the Game

If the game state is Register, a player can join the game by clicking the Register button on the tournament registration screen. A pop-up box asks the player to pay the buy in and entrance fee.

By clicking OK, the player receives a notification that he/she is registered for the tournament.

Late Registration

Late Registration allows players to continue to register for the tournament after the tournament has started. The following time conditions apply to Late Registration on PlayNow.com:

  • Freezeouts, unless all tables are full, 60 minutes.
  • Turbo tournaments, dependant on 3 or 5 min blind structure, 15/30 minutes.
  • Re-buy tournaments 50 minutes.

Re-Buys

Some tournaments offer re-buys. If a player selects not to be offered a re-buy during the remainder of a game, that selection can be reversed by clicking the Rebuy chips selection box in the game action display.

Satellite Tournaments

When a satellite tournament is cancelled or interrupted, the refund policy described above applies. However, because a satellite tournament is used to win a seat at another tournament, other tournaments may be offered. This decision depends on the number of seats offered and the buy-in and entry fee amount for the other tournament, as well as the number of active players remaining when the tournament was interrupted.

Sit & Go Tournament Refund Policy

  1. Sit & Go Tournaments will normally be refunded with-in 24 hours of System Downtime Resolution.
  2. If a Heads-Up Sit & Go Tournament is cancelled, both Players receive their buy-in and entry fee back, irrespective of how many chips either player holds.
  3. If a Sit & Go Tournament is cancelled, the tournament is classified as Void, and all players receive their buy-in and entry fee back.
  4. If a Sit & Go Tournament has a buy-in greater than $10 and has 30 players or more, then the tournament will be refunded as per MTT refund policy.

Table Info

Information for each table in the tournament is shown together with a complete list of all players participating in the tournament.

Select a table and click Go To Table. This opens a live view of the selected table.

Select a player and click Player Info to show information about the player.

Tournament Info

Shows tournament specific information such as blind level schedule and distribution of the prize pot as well as start and stop levels of hand for hand play mode.

Click the Back button to return to the Tournament screen.

Tournament Cancellation and Refund Policy

This general policy applies to all tournaments, subject to the application of specific tournament refund rules that may be accessed from the TOURNAMENT INFO section in the Poker Lobby.

Multi-table tournaments may be cancelled or interrupted for a variety of reasons. Here is how PlayNow.com will refund players' buy-in and tournament entry fees if play is not able to resume after an interruption:

  1. The tournament has not begun: In this case, buy-in and entry fees are refunded to all registered players.
  2. Fewer than 20% of players have been eliminated: buy-in and entry fees are refunded to all registered players.
  3. Twenty percent or more of players have been eliminated, but prizes have not begun to be paid out:
    • a) 50% of the prize pool is divided equally among remaining active players; then
    • b) 50% of the prize pool is divided equally among remaining active players; then
  4. The prize pool has begun to be paid out:
    • a) all remaining active players receive the amount that would have been won by the next player to be eliminated; then
    • b) 50% of the remaining prize pool is divided equally among remaining active players; then
    • c) 50% is paid pro-rated to the number of chips these active players possess.

For example:

A tournament pays ten winners using the following formula:

1st place: 30% of the prize pool
2nd place: 20% of the prize pool
3rd place: 15% of the prize pool
4th to 10th place share 35% of the prize pool, but in our example, these players have already been paid.

A tournament with a $10,000 prize pool is interrupted and cancelled when only three players remain in the game.

Players who finished in 4th to 10th place have already been paid.

The remaining prize pool, $6500, is to be shared among the top three players.

Each one then receives 15% (the 3rd place prize) of the total prize pool:

$1,500 X 3 players = $4500 (of $6500)

Next, 50% of the remaining prize pool is divided equally among remaining active players:

$2000 remains, X 50% = $1000 ½ 3 = $333.33 each

The other 50% ($1,000) is then distributed in accordance with the proportion of chips held by each player.

For example, there are 100 chips on the table:

Player 1 has fifty chips, 50% of $1000 = $500
Player 2 has forty chips, 40% of $1000 = $400
Player 3 has ten chips, 10% of $1000 = $100

NOTES:

In Rebuy/Add-on tournaments, buy-in and Rebuy/Add-on fees are refunded if the tournament is interrupted before the end of the Rebuy/Add-on period, regardless of the number of eliminated players (less than 20% or 20% and more).

In Headhunter tournaments, players keep their bonuses (bounty) and refunds are made according to one of the above four methods.

Unregister

During the registration period the player may unregister from the tournament by clicking the Unregister button on the tournament information screen.

The player will get a notification that he/she is un-registered from the tournament and that the buy in and registration fee are refunded to his/her account.

View Tournament Information

Select a tournament by clicking a tournament row. Some information about the tournament is displayed in the pane to the right of the tournament list. For more information, click the Tournament Info button. General tournament information is presented to the left in the screen and more specific information can be found under the two tabs Table Info and Tournament Info. The information differs slightly depending on the status of the tournament.