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Poker tournaments are among the most exciting games in the online casino environment. Competition is stiff, with some tournaments offering prizes as high as $10 million. But before you begin entering online poker tournaments, it's important to look at the history of these popular tournaments, the range of gameplay options, tournament formats you're likely to encounter on the top sites, and how to get started.
Planet Poker opened the first real-money online poker room in 1998, allowing users to join tables and bet on individual poker games. As popularity soared, the site's supporting technology struggled to cope and began losing punters to new competitors. A steady year-on-year increase in the number of online players meant new poker sites had to raise the stakes, and soon online tournaments were introduced.
In 2002, the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP) launched, with nine events and total prizes exceeding $700,000. Since then, all of the big-name brands in online poker have set up tournaments of their own. With top poker brands all launching lucrative tournaments, players now have more sites to choose from than ever before.
All tournaments follow the same basic rules of poker, but there are many different variants. Depending on which the tournament is using, certain elements of the game will be slightly altered. Popular variations include:
As well as different poker variants, there are a number of tournament formats that make for very varied online poker experiences:
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