Poker rooms and live tournament organizers strive to offer players maximum variety to attract bigger crowds.

Do you know what re-entry in poker is? You get a big clue from the word, “re-entry.” If you buy-in and then lose your stack, you’d usually be eliminated from the tournament. However, if you choose a re-entry tournament, you can pay to enter again.

In our guide, you will learn the advantages and disadvantages of this format and whether it is worth registering for such tournaments. We will make recommendations that may improve your understanding of MTTs.

Tournament lobby filter used for re-entry MTTs in PokerStars

Let's start with the general theory and review the types of tournaments available in poker rooms today:

  • Freezeout: The classic format where tournament poker began. You make a buy-in, receive chips, and the event ends for you when you lose them.
  • Late Registration: Most MTTs allow you to join within a certain time after the start, rather than requiring registration before the tournament begins.
  • Rebuys: These tournaments let you make additional purchases if you lose all or a significant portion of your stack. You keep your seat but receive extra chips for your initial buy-in. Rebuys are often used at the beginning of the event, allowing you to start with a double stack and put pressure on opponents.
  • Re-Entry: Beginners often wonder what this means. Re-entry in poker is the opportunity to re-enter a tournament after losing all your chips, by paying another buy-in. You don't keep your previous seat; the tournament director or RNG determines your new position. The number of re-entries is usually limited, making re-entry tournaments fairer than unlimited rebuy events.
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The poker community has no clear consensus on re-entry tournaments. Some argue it's less sporting, while others appreciate how re-entry reduces variance in major series' main events.

Rarely do players build a large stack on the first attempt and make a deep run. Re-entry increases the chances of success and grows the prize pool, as each re-entry adds another buy-in.

$5,300 re-entry tournament with $3 million guaranteed

The main drawback is that you restart with the initial chip amount, which equates to fewer big blinds as the tournament progresses. Pros typically budget for one or two re-entries in major events, so a $10 tournament could cost $20-$30. Consider this when managing your bankroll.

We recommend evaluating these factors when deciding whether to re-enter:

  • Current Blind Level: The fewer big blinds you get after re-entering, the lower your chances of spinning up the stack.
  • Average Stack Size: If opponents have significantly more chips than the starting stack, your odds of success diminish.
  • Blind Structure: In turbo or hyper-turbo events, re-entering with 50 big blinds makes sense, but not if they become 15-20 big blinds within a few minutes.
  • Tournament Format: In knockout or bounty events, much of the prize money is in bounties. Without winning bounties yourself, min-cashing may not even cover your initial buy-in, let alone re-entries.

No universal tournament strategy guarantees long-term profits. Innate talent helps, but success requires constant work and improvement.

When choosing to play MTTs, understand these key points:

  • Time: Aside from hyper-turbos, tournaments are lengthy. With 1,000+ players, expect 7-10 hours of focused play. Online events have 5-minute breaks each hour; live tournaments have 10 to 15-minute breaks every 1.5-2 hours.
  • Variance: No pro can promise they will cash or final table any given tournament. Huge variance means playing hundreds or thousands of events to reduce luck's role and emphasize skill.
  • Complexity: Tournaments have several stages requiring different strategies. You must learn to adjust based on opponents, stack sizes, and table dynamics.

No single site has the best tournament schedule. Pros use multi-tabling to play the most profitable MTTs across various platforms. GipsyTeam recommends these top poker rooms:

  • PokerStars: This site has a long history and lobby full of online tournaments. Several flagship series like SCOOP provide the biggest prize pools, but Sundays are also a great time to check the lineups.
  • GGPoker: The biggest online poker room as of early 2023. For recreational players, this means a wide selection of tournaments running continuously at different buy-in levels. GGPoker is also the only site offering the chance to win a WSOP title through their online bracelet events.
  • RedStar Poker: The sole skin on the iPoker network accepting Russian-speaking players. Features one of the best low-to-mid-stakes MTT schedules. Fields are smaller, which benefits beginners seeking to quickly gain experience at different tournament stages.

If you need help choosing where to play, contact GipsyTeam support for personalized recommendations based on your online hours, stakes, and bankroll.

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