Double Bubble Tournaments Coming To PCA

Earlier this week, PokerStars announced that at the upcoming 2015 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, there is set to be a new tournament format introduced for a couple of events. This new format is called “Double Bubble” and has been developed to effectively have two bubble periods in the event and ensure that half of the field walks away with some money from the vent.


In standard tournaments, usually only the top 10-20% of the field will make the money paying places but PokerStars feel it could be better for the game if a larger percentage of the field were able to at least get their money back rather giving a larger slice to the winners.

Over at PokerStarsBlog, Lee Jones the Head of Communications over at PokerStars said in a blog post:

“As time has progressed, most of us in the business have come to believe that paying out more of the field is better. That is, increasing the number of players who get something back is preferable to putting an extra bonus on top of the already staggering size of the prizes at the top.”

How it will work is that the exactly half of the field will get their buy-ins back once the other half has been eliminated. This could be done extremely easily and could even involve players literally having their buy-ins dropped into their laps as soon as they are eliminated.

So, once that bubble has passed and each of the players now have a free roll at some extra money, the players then have to try and pass a second bubble which is where the additional money comes into play.

“The money that’s left is distributed in an 8% payout structure (not too terribly different than how regular tournaments used to get paid out in the old days). So there are really two bubbles: at 50% of the field and 8% of the field.”

Whilst some players may be turned away due to the money being sliced from the higher finishing places, the tournament has been designed to encourage larger fields with players now having a 50% of getting their original buy-in back.

“Obviously, these tournaments aren’t going to return massive prizes at the top – if you want to go for the big brass ring, sign up for one of our regular tournaments. But if you want some good fun with nominally a 50% chance of getting your money back, and the chance to still win some nice prizes deep in, maybe Double Bubbles are just the thing for you.”

We certainly think that the events will be a great success at the PCA next year. The format has obviously been very well thought out and will be extremely attractive to the relatively new players on the live tournament scene that would like more of a chance at seeing some money.