Progressive knockout tournaments (PKOs) represent an interesting niche within the large MTT group. To play them well, you first need to have a very solid general understanding of MTTs, then you need to understand the bounty format at large, and finally adjust your play for the fact that bounties aren’t static but they change as the event progresses.
Because of all these moving parts, bounty builders aren’t the simplest format to master. At the same time, they provide excellent opportunities for those who take the time and effort to master them as there is a lot of money to be won in PKOs.
The Bounty Beast course by Raise Your Edge represents one of the first courses to particularly address progressive knockouts. Presented by “Bencb789”, the head coach at RYE, and “w3c.RaY”, an excellent player and a theoretical physicist with a passion for stats and numbers, the Bounty Beast course provides all the answers you need if you want to achieve success in this particular format.
The course was initially launched in 2018 but given the fact things change to rather quickly in the poker world, it has been since updated with new content. Inside, you’ll find many sections that contain fresh videos alongside “legacy” lessons addressing the same topics.
You should probably take time to go through all of them if you really want to take full advantage of 9+ hours of the materials found inside. That said, newer videos present fresh approaches to various subjects, which have been proven to work better than the ones discussed in legacy lessons. This doesn’t mean that the legacy content is bad, though. It just goes to show that the learning process never ends in poker, even if you’re very good at what you do.
Table Of Contents
A Note On Raise Your Edge's Poker Training
There are over 103 poker training sites live on the internet right now (yes, I counted them all) and so there is a huge selection to choose from. Out of all of these training sites, I ranked Raise Your Edge as my #1 poker training resource in 2020, so I am a huge fan of their content, including the Bounty Beast course.
If you would like more information on the best training sites on the market today, make sure you check out that page here.
Bounty Beast at a Glance
As mentioned, the RYE Bounty Beast course contains more than nine hours of video lessons addressing various important topics that will be discussed in more detail later in this review. In addition to these lessons, you’ll also find useful sheets, HUDs, and instructional videos to help you with the tools such as Holdem Resources Calculator (HRC) and ICMIZER.
Knowing how to use these tools is essential to anyone looking to master PKOs and this knowledge is essential to properly review your own hands and analyze different situations away from the tables.
What’s very important to understand about the Bounty Beast course is that this isn’t a general MTT course. Even creators themselves will warn you about it in the introduction video. Materials contained inside aren’t meant for someone who doesn’t already have a solid grasp of poker theory.
If you were to buy this course without a good understanding of fundamental concepts such as hand ranges, equities, and such, you’d have very little use of it and would have hard time keeping up. It is designed specifically to improve your play in PKOs and starts with the idea that you’re already a somewhat solid tournament player.
The final note from Bencb789 and w3c.RaY is to stay open-minded. There are many theories and ideas about PKOs and not all of them are correct. To make most out of the knowledge provided inside, you should be able to give up on some of these ideas and correct your views. This shouldn’t be too hard to do given the fact even the creators themselves were more than happy to revise some of their lessons and offer new strategies, admitting some of their suggestions weren’t optimal (thus some videos were turned into “legacy”).
The second video in the Introduction section is well worth watching before you move on to the actual meat and potatoes of the Bounty Beast course. The video contains guidelines on how to take full advantage of the course and also provides information about updates that have been introduced since the course first came out.
This video will also give you a quick overview of what you’ll find along the way. It provides a quick breakdown of things discussed in the course, such as:
- Achieving the right mindset, i.e. accepting that you have to put in a lot of work to be good in PKOs, which includes making numerous adjustments your opening and 3-betting ranges.
- Dealing with bounties, i.e. learning to quickly figure out how much the bounty is worth in real-time. You’ll learn about different approaches that exist and which ones work best.
- Other important considerations. How big of an impact do bounties have on a final table of an MTT? How to properly think about bounties and how things start to change when you get onto the final table?
Finally, you’ll get a set of tips and tricks on how to go through the lessons in the most efficient way. There is a lot of content to consume and a lot of it is pretty hardcore math stuff and formulae. You should take your time, make notes, and let things really sink in before moving on.
Bounty Beast Course Structure
The course is split into several main sections, which are further broken down into smaller groups. As mentioned, this isn’t a general MTT course so you will find very little of the general stuff in there. The bulk of the content is focused on progressive knockouts and adjustments needed to thrive in this particular format.
The first set of lessons focuses on mathematical aspects of MTTs and PKOs. In these lessons, you’ll find the information about how to correctly value bounties in these tournaments and how things change as an event progresses. Due to the nature of PKOs, the bounty pool decreases as more players bust out, which calls for strategy adjustments.
Using programs such as HRC, ICMIZER, and KOculator, the course provides various examples of situations where adjustments need to be made. In this section, you’ll also find a great number of formulae that describe the math behind these adjustments.
This isn’t the most exciting content out there but it is very important. To understand why PKOs are different from regular MTTs, it is essential to understand how two separate prize pools work together. The only way to do this is by using somewhat complex calculations.
As an added benefit, you’ll also learn about pros and cons of these different software solutions. All three programs have their use in terms of figuring out PKO adjustments but they also have certain limitations. Understanding what these are will help you determine what program to use in different spots for your own studying.
This section also covers two very important topics that are essential to any MTT player, not just to someone playing PKOs: ICM and money bubbles.
Although the course is designed in a way that it doesn’t spend too much time on things that you should already know, the topic of ICM is explained very well. Even if you’re new to this concept, you’ll be able to understand it fully just from watching these videos.
The first couple of lessons address the influence of ICM and the bubble factor in general. In every tournament, ICM plays an important role in the decision making processes as it influences hand ranges quite significantly. Only after going through the fundamentals, the course moves on to the specifics of ICM in PKOs.
Using several examples and going back to the things discussed in earlier videos, the course focuses on ICM adjustments that come into play in PKOs. It teaches you how to correctly add bounties to the ICMIZER to get correct results and come up with appropriate ranges.
Differences in Bounty Tournaments
After dealing with the math, the second part of the course focuses on differences between regular and bounty tournaments. By going through some interesting scenarios, you’ll learn about how things change, especially as the tournament progresses and you reach the final table.
One topic that’s discussed at length is the situation where only bounties are left to play for. This isn’t too uncommon as players might deal for the regular prize pool and then continue to play only for bounties. This takes away the ICM pressure so it may not be in your best interest if you’re up against weaker players who could otherwise play too tight.
Another important topic discussed in this section touches upon some of the common leaks and mistakes in PKOs. Players who aren’t experienced with progressive bounties often tend to have certain misconceptions about these tournaments, leading them to make errors such as playing too tight early on and loosening up on the final table.
There is a seemingly reasonable explanation for these mistakes as bounties get bigger on the final table. However, the total bounty pool is actually smaller and your chips have their own value derived from the regular prize pool. So, you’ll learn a lot about why these misconceptions can have a very bad effect on your bottom line and how to get out of that mind frame.
Like the title of this section suggests, this is where the Raise Your Edge Bounty Beast course moves away from pure theory and addresses some practical hands and scenarios. If you’ve kept up with the theory this far, these hands represent an excellent opportunity to get things to really sink in.
Some of the topics particularly addressed in these lessons are preflop all-ins, adapting your 3-bet ranges, and open jamming.
All three of these areas require certain adjustments in PKOs. Using the same ranges you would in regular MTTs will usually be a mistake. You need to account for the fact players will be widening their calling ranges as they’re going after bounties, there will be more pots going multiway, and certain hands that may be good 3-betting or jamming candidates in a regular MTT may not play well in PKOs at all.
The final set of lessons of the Bounty Builder course addresses play in multiway pots, more precisely multiway scenarios involving all-ins. It probably comes as no surprise that these scenarios require certain adjustments as players have much more incentive to get involved in all-in pots in PKOs. Unlike regular MTTs, knocking out a player comes with an additional cash prize, which is something you need to account for in your decisions.
Tool Usage & Bonus
As mentioned in the introduction, the course also offers a number of resources to help you with your future studying. In this section, you’ll find several lessons explaining how to best use tools such as HRC, how to spot and fix any leaks you might have, and more.
You’ll also get a ready-made RYE HUD that you can download and import with no additional effort, which will be useful for all tournaments, not just PKOs. There is also a lengthy PDF file that contains all the PKO math stuff explained in the videos. Since this is probably the most complex part of the entire course, having a readable version you can refer to as well is quite useful.
Final Verdict: Is RYE Bounty Beast Worth Buying?
There isn’t too much content out there addressing progressive knockout tournaments specifically. The Bounty Beast course is one of the rare resources that target this specific niche and does a very good job at it.
That said, you need to keep in mind that this can be quite an intensive course at times.
There is a lot of math and theory involved and if you want to make most out of it, you’ll need to invest time and effort to understand the formulae and really come to terms with them. This isn’t a general MTT course and its real value is hidden exactly in these sometimes complicated explanations of differences you need to understand and adopt.
The Bounty Beast course retails at $997 but you can get $200 off using coupon code HOWTOKO at checkout – $797 for a course which has this much novel content is a very good deal.
If you are into PKOs as it is or see this format as something you really want to try, then this is definitely an excellent course for you and the money spent will be well worth it. But don’t go into it thinking you’ll find a lot of general MTT strategy inside, because you won’t. if you’re struggling with basic concepts such as opening and 3-betting ranges, you’re better off starting with a more general tournament course.
Once you have your fundamentals sorted out and are ready to conquer PKOs, though, go for it. You won’t regret it.