When PokerStars’ first launched its lottery-style Sit’n’Go format, known as Spin N Go tournaments, the rest of the online poker industry laughed. When players began winning million dollar hands, the industry raised its eyebrows. Now, with the lottery tournament format harvesting countless players, PKR Poker, like so many other major operators before it, is following in the footsteps of its biggest rival.
PKR Poker has been around since 2007, delivering a fantastic software platform with stellar 3D graphic appeal (for those who choose to invoke the highest quality, system-intensive imagery). Over the years, the site has been most popular among recreational players. Thus the introduction of lottery SNGs is a huge plus for the casual poker-playing community.
While PokerStars Spin n Go tables are immensely popular, the online poker giant is known for accommodating many of the world’s top pros. Not all recreational players want to compete among such an intense field of competition. As such, the ability to play lottery SNGs at a poker site that’s geared more towards casual gamers was surely at the forefront of programmers’ minds when PKR chose to develop the new poker tournament format.
Like PokerStars and every other operator who’s integrated analogous lottery sit’n’gos since, PKR’s Jackpot SNGs are designed for lightning-fast action at the tables. They carry a hyper-turbo format in which three players compete for the prize with 500 starting chips each.
The prize, randomly generated upon entry, can range anywhere from 2x to 1000x the buy-in. The majority of the time, of course, the prize pool will be 2x the buy-in. Unlike PokerStars, though, the highest possible prize is nowhere near $1,000,000 for 1st place.
PKR has set its Jackpot Sit’n’Go buy-ins at $0.30, $1.50, $6 and $12. Thus the highest possible prize pool is $12,000 ($12 x 1000).
The majority of the lottery-style SNGs will pay as “winner takes all” events. Any tournament with a payout below 100x the buy-in will deliver the full prize pool to the 1st place finisher. In all Jackpot SNGs where the prize reaches 100x the buy-in or more will divvy up the payout so that all players get a slice of the pie. 1st place receives the vast majority at 81.66%. The 2nd place finisher receives 10%, while 3rd place collects 8.33%.
The rake taken on the poker site’s lottery SNGs is above average compared to competing operators. At the lower end stakes of $0.30 and $1.50, the implied rake is 7.15%. For the higher stakes of $6 and $12, the rake is slightly lower, implied at 6.2%.
Implied rake isn’t the same as predetermined rake. Instead, it’s an average of buy-ins from registered players participating in an infinite number of poker games, compared to the size and frequency of the prizes paid out.
As for the probabilities of hitting a major prize in PKR’s Jackpot SNGs, the odds of hitting a 2x buy-in jackpot is very high—as is to be expected. The actual odds of competing for a 2x buy-in prize are 15,487 out of every 20,000 tournaments played, or 77.435%. In contrast, the odds of competing for the highest possible prize of 1,000x buy-in are just 1 in 20,000, or 0.005%.