|Tournament Type:||Multi-Table Tournament|
|Interesting Fact:||Voluntarily drop out of the tournament at any time, and get a cashout prize.|
Cashout tournaments are a unique format that was invented by Full Tilt Poker. They work by splitting the tournament buy-in into two parts: one that is put into the standard tournament prize pool, and one that is put into a cashout pool. During the tournament, players have the option to cash out their chips at any time before the tournament is over.
Each cashout tournament allocates 50% of the prize pool for tournament payouts using Full Tilt Poker’s standard structure. The other 50% is made accessible to players who want to see an immediate cash prize for some or all of their chips. At any time during the tournament, a player can give up his or her chips in increments of 10% of the starting stack. Each 10% piece is worth exactly 5% of the tournament’s original buy-in, or to look at it a different way, it’s worth 10% of the amount that each player contributed to the cashout pool.
Cashout tournaments offer the opportunity for players to leave the tournament early without having to fully sacrifice the value of their chipstack. Full cashouts work just the same way as partial cashouts, where the player leaving the tournament is awarded a slice of the cashout pool pie that is proportional to their chipstack. If a player chooses to cashout completely after the money has been reached, they will also be awarded the part of the standard prize pool they have earned by finishing in a certain position.
Because the cashout format has proven to be so popular since it was introduced in late 2009, Full Tilt Poker now holds several such tournaments every day. The cashout format has also been featured in 1 or 2 events of the Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS), which is held several times per year. Most of these tournaments are No-Limit Hold'em, but the flexible format can be applied to any poker game, and Pot Limit Omaha cashout tournaments run occasionally.
In cash games, players are usually not allowed to reduce the size of their effective stack by pocketing some of the cash. That’s called ratholing, and nobody likes a ratholer. But in Full Tilt Poker Cashout Tournaments, it’s a shrewd option.
If you and one or more other players at your table are playing with deep stacks, you can make adjustments based on who is outplaying whom. Since the role of postflop skill becomes more pronounced as stacks are deeper, deliberately reducing the size of your chipstack is a good way to keep yourself from getting exploited by strong players. It’s also useful in curbing the advantage of the players on your left. If you’re unlucky enough to have a big stack using the power of position against you, cashing out some of your chips will level the playing field.
Cashout tournaments allow you to tailor the risk/reward factors of any given contest to suit your own preferences. If the tournament buy-in is out of your normal price range, you can just cash in some of your chips before the first hand is even dealt. You’ll get a shot at the standard half of the prize pool while risking much less than the overall buy-in. Conversely, players who want to risk it all can skip cashing out. They risk getting back nothing if they get stacked, but a tournament win would be worth not just 1st place money from the standard prize pool, but also a piece of the cashout pool proportional to the final stack.
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