PokerStars.net Tournaments - Frequently Asked Questions*

General Questions

On desktop, select the ‘Tournaments’ tab from the main lobby and click on a tournament to see information about said tournament in the information box to the right. Under the ‘State’ column, look for a tournament which has a state of ‘Registering’. Double-click on a tournament in ‘Registering’ state or click on the ‘Tourney Lobby’ button and this opens the Tournament Lobby. Then click the ‘Register’ button, and log-in if you have not already done so. On mobile, look under the ‘Tourney’ tab, choose your search criteria and select ‘Show Games’. You may then register to a tournament by tapping on your chosen tournament, then on the ‘Register’ button.

At any point during play, participants can check the Tourney Lobby for information about the tournament's progress. The lobby will show the current limit level for the tournament, information about players' stack sizes, and the breakdown of the prize pool.

In the desktop client, each Tourney Lobby has a player search function. You can find other players by entering their Stars ID (nickname) into the search field provided, or by scrolling through the list of all players on the right-hand side of the lobby. Double-click on any player's Stars ID to open the player’s table.

Final tournament information, including total prize pool and finishing places, will remain in the Tourney Lobby for a while - usually a few hours after the tournament's conclusion.

Yes. You can observe any table during a tournament by double-clicking on that table in the Tourney Lobby's table list, or clicking the ‘Observe Table’ button. Players who are not participants may also observe any table of a tournament.

Late Registration allows players to buy-in to a tournament after it has started, for a limited time. If Late Registration is available, it will be until the first tournament break. However, registration will terminate if all tables allocated at the time of seating are full, or once the first player is eliminated.

Once you’ve registered for a tournament, just press ‘Unregister’ in the Tourney Lobby and your buy-in will be returned to you instantly, so long as the tournament has not begun. In most tournaments a player can unregister up to 10 minutes before the start of a tournament.

Tournament Types

A play money tournament uses your play money chips as a ‘buy-in’, with prizes awarded to those who finish ‘in the money’. These prizes amount to more play money chips, which will be credited to your Stars Account. A ‘freeroll’ tournament is free-to-enter and the top finishers are awarded real prizes, including dollars and tournament tickets.

In a multi-table tournament, players start with a fixed number of chips. As players are eliminated, tables are ‘broken’, meaning players are re-assigned to keep tables full and even with one another. Prizes are awarded to top finishers on the basis of number of tournament entries.

Satellites are smaller tournaments in which the prize is entry into a larger tournament. You can find satellites in the main lobby of the desktop client, under the ‘Tournaments’ and ‘Sit & Go’ tabs, by selecting ‘Satellite’ from the ‘Variant’ filter.

Tournament Rules

No. Players’ seats are assigned at random and changes are not permitted.

The tournament ends when one player accumulates all the chips in play. If the tournament is a satellite event, the tournament will end when all players have qualified for the target event (ie, if the tournament awards five seats, the tournament will end when there are five players left).

If two or more players are eliminated on the same hand, the player with more chips at the beginning of the hand is placed higher. If players started the hands with an identical amount of chips, both players tie for that rank, and any prizes due to those players will be equally distributed between them.

We use a ‘forward moving button’ rule in its tournaments. According to this rule, no player ever receives the button twice; at the completion of every hand, the button is moved clockwise to the small blind. When players are eliminated, there may be players who get a reprieve from one or both blinds. At the start of a tournament, the button will be positioned at Seat 1. When two players remain in the tournament, the button will post the small blind, and act first on the opening round.

Soft playing or chip dumping is grounds for disqualification from the tournament. Any unethical play may result in the termination of the offender's account.

Players and ‘railbirds’ (people observing a table) are expected to use the chat feature in a courteous manner. Players, whether in the hand or not, may not discuss the hands until the action is complete and are obligated to protect the other players in the tournament at all times. Discussing cards you have discarded or hand possibilities is not allowed. A penalty may be given for discussion of hands during the play.

At stages of the tournament where the play money prize jumps significantly with the next player eliminated, and when there is more than one table remaining, the tournament may be played ‘hand-for-hand’. This means that if one table finishes its hand before the other table(s), that table waits for the other table(s) to finish before the next hand is dealt.

Disconnects

No. By participating in a tournament, a player accepts the risk of internet disconnection, due to the problems with the connection between their computer and the servers, lag or freeze or some other problem in the player's computer. We do not accept any responsibility for a player disconnect except in the case of a server crash.

While each user is responsible for his or her own Internet connection, we make an effort to protect players who are disconnected during the final stages of a tournament (with a buy-in), by allowing you time to reconnect, known as disconnect extra time (DET).

For regular multi-table tournaments, the DET is available only at the final table. The DET is as follows:

  • First action: 240 seconds
  • Second action: 120 seconds
  • Third action: 60 seconds
  • Fourth (and subsequent) actions: No extra time added, but as the player is "sitting-in", he/she will get the regular time to act before being folded.

For one- and two-table Sit & Go tournaments, the DET is available when you are down to four players. The DET is as follows:

  • First action: 120 seconds
  • Second action: 60 seconds
  • Third (and subsequent) actions: No extra time added, but as the player is "sitting-in", he/she will get the regular time to act before being folded.

For heads-up tournaments, the DET is available throughout the tournament. The DET is as follows:

  • First action: 120 seconds
  • Second action: 60 seconds
  • Third (and subsequent) actions: No extra time added, but as the player is "sitting-in", he/she will get the regular time to act before being folded.

Note: The rules described above may vary between tournaments; therefore not all tournaments will necessarily behave exactly as described. DET may not be provided for each tournament; we reserve the right to change these rules without prior notification.

If a player times out during a hand, whether connected or disconnected, his or her hand will be folded.

The Time Bank allows players extra time to decide on a course of action during a tournament (when not disconnected), and will slowly deplete as it is used throughout the tournament.

Prizes and Deals

Prizes will be awarded as stated in the Tourney Lobby.

We do not enforce deals in Free Play tournaments. Deals may be requested in some promotional tournaments which award Real Money prizes.

If all remaining players in a tournament agree to split the prize play money according to an agreed formula of their choosing, we will accept this agreement and transfer the funds after notification by all parties to the agreement. Only players at the final table may deal for the play money, and no deal is allowed that does not include all remaining players.

It is the players' responsibility to determine total agreement. Chat records alone will not necessarily validate an agreement. We will not participate in the deal making process, but will execute the agreement if the previous conditions are met.

If you wish to make a deal, please email Support with the subject line: "Tournament # (insert tournament number) chop: URGENT" and support will come to the table to ensure a smoothly arranged deal.

If you have any questions about tournaments that are not covered above, contact Support.

* In case of disputes, management’s decision will be final.