Explanation of Bounty
In regular MTT’s (multi-table-tournaments), it’s the players that reach the prize-pool who get a payout. This doesn’t change in bounty tournaments, aside from the fact that additional prizes are awarded for one of the following:
1. Eliminating a specific player, or group of players, from the tournament.
2. Knocking out other players in general. (More commonly referred to as “knockout” tournaments”).
It’s hence possible for a player to completely miss the prize-pool, and yet still profit from the tournament as a result of eliminating certain players.
In history, a bounty was a reward placed on the head of a criminal. Those capturing or killing the criminal could return (perhaps to the sheriff’s office) to collect their bounty.
Example of Bounty used in a sentence -> The bounties in knockout tournaments mean that we can still profit even if we don’t make it to the prizepool.
How to Use Bounty as Part of Your Poker Strategy
If we assume for a moment that a certain tournament stack-off carries a break-even expectation (in terms of ICM), then that same stack-off against an opponent who carries a bounty will be clearly profitable.
Taking that line one step further, there are scenarios which will carry a negative expectation according to a raw ICM calculation, that will be profitable if our opponent carries a bounty.
In other words, it’s correct to go out of way to play against opponents who carry a bounty. How wide we should go will naturally depend on the size of the bounty associated with that opponent. A proper ICM calculation should attempt to factor in the value of the bounty when making decisions.