MTTs - What Are Multi Table Tournaments

Before the days of online poker, tournaments were always second fiddle to cash games. Cash games offered continuous turnover in the form of rake, and there was far more money to be made from multiple cash tables in casinos than by hosting tournaments.

However, the online poker boom changed all this. Fuelled by televised tournaments, and boosted by the huge prizes on offer in them, multi table tournaments took off, and now more players partake in this form of poker than any other.

MTT's have a fixed entry price, which goes to the prize pool, and usually a 10% rake fee to the site. They begin at a set time, and poker sites have a schedule of MTTs set, so that you know when a certain game is on a particular day. In general there are more games with a larger buy-in during the evenings, with the very biggest games on most sites played on Sundays.

Multiple tables are used for tournaments, with players being moved around as people are eliminated, and tables being closed. The number of tables is always kept to the minimum possible for the amount of players remaining, and the players are always spread as fairly as possible over the remaining tables, with the number on each table never varying by more than one.

Players - Many MTTs are capped, but at a very high number of entrants, around 2500-5000, although there are plenty with even higher numbers of players. Numbers vary from site to site, but a certain game often has a similar number of players each day, so you can get an idea of probable entrants. Smaller sites generally have between 10 and 500 people in their MTTs, but the bigger sites and networks can have upwards of 2000 people regularly playing their games. The maximum number of players per table is usually 9 or 10, but short handed games with 8 or 6 are available widely, with a few heads up tournaments also around.

Variants - Although NL hold'em is by far the game of choice, most poker variants and betting structures are available on many sites. Horse tournaments are offered on some sites, and almost exclusively are fixed limit.