5 Tips To Help You Win the NAPT Las Vegas Mystery Bounty 5 Tips To Help You Win the NAPT Las Vegas Mystery Bounty
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The NAPT Las Vegas stop is currently in full swing, and while the $1650 NAPT Main Event, guaranteeing a staggering $1.5 million in prize money, undoubtedly takes the spotlight, there’s another exciting event in the lineup that deserves all the attention — the Mystery Bounty event.

Scheduled to run from November 11 to 12 at the luxurious Resorts World Las Vegas, the NAPT Mystery Bounty event features a buy-in of $1100 and boasts $250,000 in guaranteed prize money.

The tournament is poised to attract hundreds of participants, and it would come as no shock if the event nearly doubles its guaranteed prize pool.

NAPT 2023 Las Vegas Mystery Bounty: At a Glance

  • Runs from November 11 to 12
  • $1100 buy-in ($500 towards bounty pool)
  • 2-day event with two starting flights
  • Unlimited entries
  • All flights play to 15% of the field
  • Players reach “In the money” on Day 2
  • Bounties come into play on Day 2
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Mystery Bounty Tournaments have been making waves in the poker world, introducing a unique twist that adds an extra layer of excitement to the game.

In this format, each player has a bounty on their head, but the twist is that the value of these bounties remains unknown until a player is eliminated. This adds a new dimension to the game, and navigating these tournaments requires a unique strategy that differs from traditional poker tournaments.

In this article, we’ll break down the five key elements of a successful strategy for mystery bounty tournaments, with tips to prepare for and excel in the upcoming NAPT Mystery Bounty event.

Tip #1: Register Late in the Tournament

In most standard bounty tournaments, late registration is generally discouraged as it can put players at a disadvantage. However, in the case of Mystery Bounty tournaments, the rules take a different turn.

Mystery bounty tournaments typically have two distinct phases: the early stage and the final stage. The bounties only come into play in the second and final stage, when players have reached the “in the money” phase.

As a result, it is advisable to enter the tournament nearer to the start of the bounty phase. This approach offers players a greater opportunity to compete for bounties at a time when they are readily claimable.

Tip #2: Aim to Build Larger Stack Before Bounties Come Into Play

A player’s primary goal should not be merely to survive the initial stage — they should also look to enter the final stage with a substantial stack, ideally surpassing the tournament average, once the bounties come into play. This increases the chances of winning more bounties as their stack covers more players.

Consider the scenario where a player narrowly advances to the money stage with a modest chip stack. In such a situation, the player faces a challenging task when it comes to eliminating their opponents. Players with bigger stacks can leverage their superior chip stacks to apply pressure, putting them in disadvantageous positions.

Thus, to avoid such a situation, the aim should not be just to focus on advancing; the goal should be to reach the final stage with a substantial stack.

Tip #3: Check the Buy-in Structure

It is essential to assess the buy-in structure in any Mystery Bounty tournament. The portion of the buy-in allocated to the bounty pool directly impacts players’ strategy. Generally, the higher the percentage of the buy-in set aside for bounties, the more aggressive players’ gameplay should be.

For instance, consider the Mystery Bounty event at NAPT, with an $1100 buy-in, of which $500 contributes to the bounty pool. In such a scenario, adopting a looser playing style is advisable. This stands in contrast to tournaments where only 30% of the buy-in is allocated to bounties, as seen in the WSOP’s 30% structure. In such cases, a more cautious and calculated approach may be the better choice.

Tip #4: Be Watchful of the Bounties Claimed

Keep a close eye on the big bounties, as their presence or absence can impact the playing strategy. Each time the small bounties are claimed, the average bounty value rises. Similarly, if the big bounty has been claimed, the average value of the bounty goes way down.

If the significant bounties are still in play, players should focus on maximizing their bounty collection. However, if those big bounties are gone, they may revert to a more conventional tournament strategy.

However, players should stay cautious and not overvalue bounties.

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Last verified: June 2024
Great Welcome Bonus!
100% deposit bonus up to $600!
  • Play one hand & get $150 in bonus play funds
  • Top-quality mobile app
  • Best online MTT schedule
Please play responsibly. If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800 GAMBLER.

Tip #5: Balancing Aggression and Caution

Throughout a mystery bounty tournament, striking the right balance between aggression and caution is key to success. In the early stages, patience and selective aggression will serve well. In the bubble phase, players should be aggressive in accumulating chips but always be prepared to fold when facing aggression from opponents holding strong hands.

When playing after the bubble breaks, adopt a more aggressive approach, targeting short stacks and attempting to isolate them for easy bounty collection. However, players should avoid reckless all-ins and be mindful of the value of their stack.

Bonus Tip: EV Remains the Same No Matter When a Player Pulls the Mystery Bounty Envelope

Although it might be tempting to collect the bounty right after winning it, it is important to understand that the expected value (EV) remains constant. Whether players cash in their bounty immediately or wait for a few eliminations, their likelihood of securing the top prize does not increase.

For a comprehensive strategy, we suggest delving into Mystery Bounty Poker Strategy (The Poker Solved Series) by Dara O’Kearney in collaboration with Barry Carter.