If you have been following our blog, then you may have read about it here before. Earlier this year, Natural8 introduced a new tournament series – the Mystery Bounty – into its usual permanent line-ups. 

With a word like “bounty” in its name, you are probably wondering if it’s similar to the famous Bounty Hunter tournaments. If that’s the case, you are almost correct. In a way, they can be quite similar. However, Mystery Bounty has different mechanics and requires different strategies.

Weekly $210 Mystery Bounty Tournament every Saturday

What is Mystery Bounty?

You may have played in Bounty Hunter tournaments before, so it’s likely that you know how bounties work. However, if you have never played in one before, here’s a simple explanation of how it works: 

In a Bounty tournament, the prize money is split – half goes to the overall prize pool and half is allocated as bounty. Each time you eliminate another player, you’ll get their bounty and be awarded an instant cash prize!

In a way, you can actually guess how much you can get from the players. 

However, with Mystery Bounty tournaments, it will be hard to guess how much you will be getting each time you knock someone out. The reason is in the name of the tournament itself – “Mystery”. Each bounty amount remains a mystery until you receive it. But that’s not the exciting part. What makes it exciting, and popular, is that the bounty can be huge! 

For example, in Natural8’s weekly $210 Mystery Bounty tournament, there will be up to $500,000 to be collected in bounties, with the potential to win a single biggest bounty worth up to $100,000. In fact, if you are lucky enough, your first KO in the Final Stage might win you an immediate $100,000!

Stages in Mystery Bounty 

There are two stages in a Mystery Bounty tournament: The Initial Stage and the Final Stage.

Initial Stage

The Initial Stage of a Mystery Bounty tournament is just like any other tournament. However, at this stage, there will be no bounty payout. You must survive till Blind Level 18 in order to move to the Final Stage.   

Final Stage

This is where the true fun begins! With the opening ceremony of the Mystery Bounty, all players will be shown the total Mystery Bounty amount and breakdown for each of the bounties.

You’ll receive a bounty for each player you knock out; you just won’t know how much!

Tips to Play Mystery Bounty 

Here are some tips that can help you survive and be the biggest bounty winner. 

Register early 

This is extremely important, especially when it comes to a multi-stage tournament like Mystery Bounty. You should look to build up your chip stack from as early on as possible. Steal as many blinds as you can during this stage. Reason being that the bigger your chip stack is, the more pressure you can exert on your opponents in the next stage. 

To build your stack, you can also join multiple Initial Stages. All qualifying stacks will be combined and carried forward to Day 2, hence giving you a bigger advantage.

Make sure that you always remember your goal: Survive! Don’t be afraid to fold if things seem odd. You want to be the aggressor who lasts till the Final Stage, not the one who gets kicked out in the Initial Stage.    

Start Playing Aggressively 

The pressure starts the moment you enter the Final Stage. As the Mystery Bounty payouts will begin at this stage, everyone will be playing quite aggressively right from the start. Remember, the bounty amounts are given at random. The first person who knocks out another player may be the biggest bounty winner. 

This is where your big stack comes into protection. The bigger your stacks are, the less of a target you will be. After all, everyone will be eager to kick out those with small stacks, the easy target. 

Adjust Your Strategies 

The strategies for Mystery Bounty differ from a normal tournament. In a normal tournament, players with big stacks may choose to tighten up in order to rank higher. When you are deep in the money where the pay jumps are big enough to change the value of chips significantly, you will want to play carefully. However, with Mystery Bounty, it’s not so much about surviving or getting those tiny pay jumps. It’s all about getting more bounties. After all, with Mystery Bounty, until the big bounties are all gone, the average bounty is probably bigger than the next pay jump. 

Short-Stacked 

If you are the short stack, it’s not the end of the world. While the chances of you getting a bounty may be low here, you can still turn things around. Remember, every time you put your chips in, you will get called, perhaps even by multiple players. Use this to your advantage. 

Play smart here. Whenever you get a strong hand, attempt to convince your opponent to reraise and isolate you. The fewer players fighting for the pot, the better. In this case, you want to be in a heads-up pot. 

If you win the pot, you’ll have a chance to continue playing and run up a stack that can start claiming bounties again. 

Conclusion

This new bounty tournament format was held for the first time on a large scale in live poker earlier in 2021 and proved to be a massive success. Since then, it has made its way to the online poker scene, such as during the 2022 WSOP Spring Circuit and more.

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