To work out a highly effective strategy for Progressive Knockout tournaments, you should select two key ICMIZER settings: PKO tournament and hand details and the bounties.

Suppose you want to analyze one or more hands from a PKO tournament that isn’t available in ICMIZER yet. Then your first step is to create a new PKO tournament in ICMIZER. Your second step is then to load a hand with the PKO bounties, assign ranges, and get push/fold charts for Hero.

After you create a PKO tournament, there will be boxes for entering each player’s bounty. You can fill these in manually, or save time and load a hand from the PKO tournament as text. That way, all the stack sizes and bounties will be populated for you automatically.

Let’s look at these two steps in more detail.

Step 1: Create a new PKO tournament in ICMIZER based on a real tournament

For accurate analysis, it’s crucial to set up the number of players, initial knockout bounty size, and the payouts for the first nine places. Another important detail is the ratio of the prize fund and the knockout bounty pool. For example, in most PokerStars tournaments, these are related as 1 to 1.

Let’s go through creating a Bounty Builder $22 tournament, as on the screenshot above.

We open the ‘Add new tournament structure’ dialog and select the ‘Progressive’ check-box. Then we set ‘Number of players’ to 895, ‘Knockout size’ to 10, and enter the payouts for places 1 through 9.

By entering these amounts, we’ve allocated $14,485.94 of the prize fund, even though the prize fund total is $17,900. Now we have two options for entering the remaining payouts:

  • Full entry for all in-the-money tournament places. If you go through with this, the calculations will certainly be accurate, but it will take a while. The only thing these additional payouts really influence is the prize fund total. The screenshot above shows that all payouts have been entered as they were in the real tournament, and the prize fund total is precisely $17,900. Now you can click Create and start analyzing the final table.
  • Simplified entry. The precise payout values for places 10 through 108 will only affect the prize fund total, or rather its non-bounty-related portion. Simplified entry is just faster without compromising overall accuracy. So, for place 10, enter an approximate amount such as $100. Then widen the place range, for example, from “10” to “10-43”, so that the prize fund total is very close to $17,900. (A small discrepancy of about $20 will not compromise overall accuracy.)As you can see on the screenshot above, we’ve created a range of $100 prizes, and the prize fund total is $17,885.94, which is very close to the real value of $17,900. Now we can click Create and start the analysis. The results we’ll get this way will be, for all intents and purposes, the same as if we had chosen to do ‘Full entry.’

As you can see on the screenshot above, we’ve created a range of $100 prizes, and the prize fund total is $17,885.94, which is very close to the real value of $17,900. Now we can click Create and start the analysis. The results we’ll get this way will be, for all intents and purposes, the same as if we had chosen to do ‘Full entry.’

Important! If you fail to go through with either of these two options and only enter the first 9 payouts, the prize fund total will be incorrect, and the analysis will produce inaccurate results.

After you finally click Create, the newly created PKO tournament will have this icon next to it:

Step 2: Load a hand and identify the best strategy in a PKO tournament

After you open a PKO tournament, a new column will appear for entering each player’s bounty amount (look for the scoped target symbol to the right of the Stack column):

You can enter the bounties manually, or you can simply load hands from PokerStars as text. They recently added bounty data to their hand exports, which makes setting up the analysis much easier.

When the tournament is down to 9 players or fewer, ICMIZER is able to utilize the power of the FGS model in combination with the TrueBounty model for analyzing PKO tournaments.

After you create a PKO tournament, analyze hands in exactly the same way as you do for regular tournaments. Just make sure you’ve entered the bounties for each player, and go ahead.

Hand analysis goes like this:

  1. Enter a hand, for example, by loading it as text (click ‘Paste hand history’).
  2. Assign opponent ranges, for example, by clicking ‘Calculate Nash equilibrium,’ or manually, or by combining both methods.
  3. Get results — click ‘Calculate’ to get the push/fold charts for Hero, or click ‘Charts’ to see how your decision depends on the ranges of one of your opponents.
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