I didn't notice them until recently. They seem pretty cool. They are structured like normal 9-man single table tournaments with 10 minute blind levels and 1500 starting chips.
Buy-ins match their non knockout counterparts but their is an added 25% fee that counts as your bounty. Whenever a player knocks you out of the tournament, they get your bounty. Whenever you knock someone else out you get theirs.
The Knockout SnGs are available in no-limit holdem (NLHE), Omaha and Omaha Hi/Lo.
They start at $1 and go all the way up to $200.
The Knockout SnGs show up in the lobby with a grey crosshair icon on the left as pictured below.
If you don't see any Knockout SnGs in the lobby make sure you have the Knockout option checked in the Sit & Go Filter as well as 8/9 players like so:
I love the concept. Even if you bust out you still have a chance of recouping some of your buy-in if you manage to knockout some other players. If you knockout 5 players but then get knocked out on the bubble (it happens) you're almost at even.
I played one of the $6.75 Knockout SnGs to see what they were like and I really enjoyed it. Might just be that the first one went really well. I finished 1st and knocked out 5 players along the way for a total score of $28.75. Actually it should be $30 because I should get my own $1.25 bounty back right? That's 1/3rd more than I would have won in a normal 9-man STT.
The bounty should effect strategy and game play as people are trying to claim each other's bounties.
I'm not sure everyone understand the concept. At one point one of the very short stacks open shoved all-in. I was the big stack but there were a couple of other decent sized stacks behind the short stack. I looked down at my hole cards and they were utter garbage but I had the chips to spare and wanted the extra $1.25 so I called. I was really surprised that I was the only that did so. I lucked out and pocketed another $1.25.
Some interesting situations might come up. If you have the nuts and you're against an opponent that seems willing to call all your bets but he just barely has you covered, are you going to take all but his last few chips so that someone can easily knock him out and claim his bounty next hand or are you going to leave him with enough that he has some fold equity?
Obviously, winning the game is where the big money is but it kind of sucks to cripple someone's stack and see another player get their bounty.
I'm going to keep my eye on these games and see if it's worth putting a lot of volume in them. Whenever a new game comes out it's usually pretty soft because recreational players like to try new things and not everyone adapts properly at first. Plus I just think it's fun to knock someone out and take their money :)
The only downside is that there aren't many games going compared to regular 9-man SnGs. There's only one registering right now as I type this.
If you want to give these games a try visit PokerStars to download their game software.