Chris Moorman has the antidote to ACR’s $5m guaranteed Venom PKO

Adam Hampton
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Posted on: January 18, 2024 8:21 am EST

Today marks the start of ACR’s Venom PKO, the multi-day progressive knockout tourney with $5 million guaranteed. Every running of this tournament to date has exceeded its guarantee, so we’re expecting that prize pool to grow and grow.

You can play any of the starting flights right up to January 28, so don’t worry if today’s calendar is already full; you’ll have more chances to get in on the action.

Each time you eliminate a player in a progressive knockout tournament (PKO) like this you’ll receive part of their bounty in cash, but you’ll also increase your own bounty. This can lead to some interesting dynamics which some players may not be used to.

PokerOrg spoke to ACR ambassador and online poker ‘end boss’ Chris Moorman – fresh from last month’s final table finish at the WPT World Championship – for some tips on how to take the sting out of the Venom.


Chris Moorman’s five tips for ACR’s Venom PKO

#1 Understand what makes PKOs more fun…and potentially more profitable

“For me, PKOs are much more interesting in the early stages than regular tournaments, because you can win bounties which mean you can be freerolling or in profit early on in the tournament.

“As far as profitability goes, there is much more room for people to make errors by either calling off way too wide with mediocre hands, or not gambling enough for the bounties. So it’s important to have a good grasp on how much equity you need in a spot to call an all-in.”

#2 Practice PKOs at lower stakes

“I think the best way for people to get better at PKOs is just to play a decent amount of them.

“For less experienced players I would recommend playing PKOs at lower stakes so that they don’t feel as emotionally invested in the tournament as they might if the buy-in was weighted towards the higher end of their average buy-in level.

“As a result they’ll be able to play more freely without huge concerns for their tournament life.”

#3 Build a stack early on

“In multi-day online tournaments I think it’s important to try and build a stack, because you want to be able to withstand losing a big race or all-in at a certain point deep-ish in the tournament.

“It’s also important to cash, though! When you’re close to the money, because you are so far from the big money those extra chips you might make by making a loose jam approaching the bubble aren’t worth that much.”

#4 Find good value satellites to win your seat for less

“There are tons of Venom Fever satellites that often overlay and are always good value. I think the Venom is one of the easiest big buy-in tournaments online to get in for cheap, due to the sheer number of good value satellites that run for it.

“If you satellite in and are playing much higher than you are used to, it’s important to try and play your normal game. If you start to become afraid you are basically dead money and only hurting yourself.”

#5 Don’t register too late

“If you aren’t used to playing PKOs, the most important thing I would say is to not buy-in after the first few levels.

“If you get knocked out, wait for another day to play your next bullet. When you late reg you are losing value because most of the field covers you and a significant number of players have already been knocked out.”

Chris Moorman poses with his winnings at the 2014 LA Poker Classic
Moorman, pictured at the 2014 LA Poker Classic, is an established winner both online and on the felt

Four bites at the cherry

While the action starts today, you still have ample choices of when to play over the next 10 days.

For the 8th running of this flagship tournament ACR is giving players four starting flights to choose from, all kicking off at 1:05pm ET:

  • Day 1A, January 18
  • Day 1B, January 21
  • Day 1C, January 25
  • Day 1D, January 28

Note that you can play multiple Day 1s to make it through to Day 2, but once you have secured passage to day 2 you will not be able to play more Day 1s. There are no options to play another starting flight to try and build a bigger stack, or to combine multiple Day 1 stacks.

A full range of satellites are running up to and beyond the start of Day 1D, giving you plenty of chances to qualify for less than the $2,650 buy-in.

Good luck!

Images courtesy of the WPT