THE WEEKLY SHUFFLE, 2007-09-02, by OzoneIn a previous Weekly Shuffle, we reviewed the sit-'n'-go offerings of four online poker rooms. This week, we are going to review four more.
A sit-'n'-go is a type of tournament that does not have a scheduled start time. Instead, they have a maximum number of entrants. After enough players register to meet the quota of maximum entrants, the tournament begins.
Almost all online poker rooms offer sit-'n'-go tournaments. Some are better than others. Here is a comparison of the sit-'n'-go offerings from four popular poker rooms:
SNGs Offered: Single-Table (5, 8, and 10 Player) $0.10-$815, Multi-Table (Two and Three Tables) $0.10-$33, Heads-Up $1.20-$815
Gnuf's sit-'n'-go tournaments are easy to navigate thanks to a fully functional search filter. Since such a wide range of sit-'n'-go buy-ins are available at this site, the buy-in filter comes in handy. Sit-'n'-gos can also be filtered by type (single table, heads-up, etc), and variant.
All of the tournaments with a buy-in of $10 and less are very popular at this site. Some $20 buy-in tournaments are played, but above that, the pickings become pretty slim. For micro-stakes players, Gnuf is a haven. The $0.09+$0.01 tournaments are insanely popular. Since the minimum deposit at Gnuf is just $20, these tournaments see a ton of action.
The structure in Gnuf's standard tournaments is pretty average (but that's not a bad thing). For small stakes, the most popular tournaments are played with turbo blind structures.
The most interesting part of Gnuf's sit-'n'-gos are their "Rounders" tournaments. Broken down into five tiers, these tournaments give small bankrolled players a chance to work their way up to a four-figure payday. The bottom tier has a $5+$.50 buy-in. Rather than cash, the prize in this tournament is an entry into a $25+$2.50 level two tournament. Only at the top level, a $550+$55 buy-in, are cash prizes awarded. What makes these tournaments so great is that, unlike Party Poker's "Steps" tournaments, the entry fees are very low.
SNGs Offered: Single-Table (5 and 10 Player) $1.20-$525, Multi-Table (Two, Three, and Five Tables) $2.20-$108, Heads-Up $1.20-$525
Red Kings is on the OnGame network, which is one of the largest online poker networks. Large networks are inherently conducive to great sit-'n'-gos. More players on a network lead to shorter wait times for sit-'n'-gos to launch.
Unlike most sites, even the priciest sit-'n'-gos offered at Red Kings are reasonably popular. This might be because a "deepstack" structure is offered for the tournaments with a buy-in of $200+$15 and higher. Of course, most of the smaller buy-in tournaments are played with a turbo blind structure. They even have "Mad Tilt All-In" tournaments where players start with 60 chips and blinds of 10-20 and 3 minute levels. These tournaments are even offered with fields of 50 players where only the top 3 finishers are paid. One would be hard pressed to find a bigger crapshoot tournament on the internet.
Overall, Red Kings has above average sit-'n'-go offerings that should meet the desires of most players.
SNGs Offered: Single-Table (5 and 10 Player) $3.15-$10,500, Multi-Table (Two Tables) $2-$10, Heads-Up $3.15-$10,250
Several years ago, Paradise Poker was the largest online poker room. Their player base in relation to other rooms progressively got smaller until a recent merge onto Boss Media's International Poker Network. That merge restored Paradise Poker to its previous reputation of having solid sit-'n'-go tournaments.
Mid- to high-stakes players should like Paradise Poker's sit-'n'-gos. The $20, $30, $50, and even $100 buy-in tournaments generally fill up quickly. Since a lot of the players at this site are converted from the mothership of Sportingbet, the competition is softened by casual sports bettors and casino players.
Five-handed tournaments are very popular at Paradise Poker. Up to $215, they run fairly regularly. However, five-handed tournaments are offered at buy-ins all the way up to $10,000+$500! One shouldn't expect to see this tournament running very often.
SNGs Offered: Single-Table (6, and 10 Player) $1.10-$215, Heads-Up $1.05-$210
PKR is a brand-new 3-D poker room, the first of its kind. The sit-'n'-gos at this site are very simple, but sometimes simple can be good. A few years ago, most poker rooms offered sit-'n'-gos similar to PKR's. Since then, the tournaments have evolved into a complicated mess at many sites. PKR offers nothing other than six and ten player single table tournaments (the six-player tournaments are significantly more popular) as well as heads-up tournaments.
Since this is a new poker room, be prepared to wait for the tournaments to fill at levels above $10. It should be reiterated that the point of PKR is to play real-money poker with video-game graphics. The hands-per-hour rate at this site is very slow. For this reason, I would advice serious sit-'n'-go players to find another site. For anyone looking to relax and have some fun, PKR offers some great sit-'n'-gos.
The Weekly Shuffle is our Sunday column with our observations and commentary on the poker world. Have an idea for an article? Leave a suggestion on the feedback page.
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