Turbo Series deep dive: A close look at the series schedule

February 16, 2021inPoker

The 2021 Turbo Series starts on Sunday with 134 tournaments stretching in front of us, for which there are combined guarantees of more than $25 million. You’ll find most of the crucial details in our announcement post and you can also check out the schedule page. Results will be added there as and when.

Here’s a closer look at that schedule, including a run down of some of the lesser-seen tournament variants on offer this time around. With the emphasis on getting things done quickly, there’s sometimes more flexibility to play around with structures, etc. and there’s a rich array of games on offer.

A few highlights:

Time KO
If you’ve ever been heading out to a poker tournament and someone has asked, “What time will you be home?” you’ll know how frustrating it can be attempting to guess the length of an event. But with a Time KO tournament, that problem is a thing of the past. “Time” tournaments last a precise and pre-specified length of time — in the case of Turbo Series, it’s 12 five-minute levels. The total prize pool is split between remaining players when the klaxon sounds, determined by the size of stacks. There’s also a knockout element, where players earn bounties for knocking out opponents. And if you cling around to the end, you get your own bounty back. Events #15, #32, #49, #55, #86, #103 and #119 are Time KO events.

Win The Button
This is a popular variant that is now a fixture at EPT festivals, as well as a number of online tournaments. Its gimmick is simple: you win the pot, you also win the button for the next hand. As we all know, position is fairly crucial in poker and Win The Button tournaments add that extra incentive to sweeten a pot even more. Not only do you get the chips, you also get to act last on the next hand — and put that same person back in the big blind. Haha. Events #13 & #100 are Win The Button tournaments.

Players are given 50,000 chips at the start of play, but they’re in five stacks of 10,000 each. During the first 16 levels, you get the option of when you actually want to put them into play. There’s a delicate balance to be struck here. If you want, you can put them all in play right at the start, giving you a likely chip lead over your opponents. But when they’re gone, they’re gone. However, if you want to start with just 10,000 in play, you can be stacked four times and still be in the tournament, each time it happens just dipping into the well for another stack. All unredeemed stacks are put into play at the end of Level 16 whatever happens. Event #20 is a 5-Stack tournament. Event #106 is a 3-stack, which is similar but players have 30K chips, split into three 10K stacks. That one is a hyper-turbo.


Splash rebuy
Rebuy tournaments are always chaotic, with a ridiculous amount of action in the opening stages as players know they’re never truly out. Everyone takes just about every marginal spot, hoping to hit but safe in the knowledge that they can dip back into their pockets and rebuy if things go wrong. “Splash” rebuy tournaments are not especially different from any other rebuy events, with the exception that the levels increase at a turbo speed, but the rebuy period remains long. In Turbo Series, where there are three Splash tournaments, levels last five minutes but the rebuy period is open for 90 minutes. It means that you can rebuy all the way up to the end of Level 18. In Level 19, a 5,000 starting stack is one big blind. Events #54, #81 and #116 are Splash rebuy tournaments.

Freeze 7, Double Deuce and Big Spider
There are a handful of tournaments coming up in this Turbo Series with names that, between you and me, make them sound a bit more exciting than they really are. I’m looking at you, Freeze 7 (Events #51 & #113) and Double Deuce (Events #63 & #125), and especially you, Big Spider (Event #108). Although these tournament formats are new to a major series, they are often in the client through regular times, and these Turbo Series versions are Special Editions of the regular rotation. But what are they? Well, “Freeze 7” is a seven-handed PKO freezeout; Double Deuce is a $22 buy-in with $200K guaranteed (all the twos, you see), and as for Big Spider, that’s an 8-Max Hyper Turbo with up to eight re-entries permitted — one for every leg of a spider.

Even more about Turbo Series…


As always with a major PokerStars series, the Turbo Series is open to players of all bankrolls. The lowest buy-in is $11 and the highest is $5,200, but there are always satellites running to get you in on the cheap.

There are special $4 buy-in Spin & Gos available in the client, with a few $1,050 Main Event tickets up for grabs. And there is also a daily Turbo Series Fast Track qualification route, with buy-in steps costing $1, $11 and $109. Players can buy-in at any of the levels and progress towards a $1,050 Main Event ticket.

The price-points for the various Turbo Series tournaments will be familiar to everyone who has played on the site before:

$11 (15 events)
$22 (25 events)
$55 (28 events)
$109 (28 events)
$215 (18 events)
$530 (12 events)
$1,050 (6 events)
$5,200 (2 events)

Incidentally, if you want to play every event, it’s $32,237.


There are two Main Events this year with buy-ins of $55 and $1,050 and those two events have the biggest guarantees of the series, $2 million and $1 million, respectively. They take place on Sunday, March 7, which is the final day of the series, but there’s also a sneaky seven-figure guarantee event the week before.

The $1,050 8-Max PKO, on Sunday, February 28, also offers $1 million in the prize pool before a card is dealt. Unsurprisingly, the other two huge guarantees are attached to the two biggest buy-in tournaments, where there’s $750K guaranteed for a couple of $5K buy-ins.

$2 million: Event #127 – $1,050 NLHE, Main Event High
$1 million: Event #128 – $55 NLHE, Main Event Low
Both Sunday, March 7, 2.30pm ET

$1 millon: Event #64 – $1,050 NLHE, 8-Max, PKO
Sunday, February 28, 1pm ET

$750,000: Event #3 – $5,200 NLHE, 8-Max
Sunday, February 21, 1pm ET

$750,000: Event #126 – $5,200 NLHE, 8-Max, PKO
Sunday, March 7, 1pm ET


Of the 134 tournaments offered, 119 are no limit Texas hold’em. That means that there are 15 other events in different variants, as follows:

Pot limit Omaha (PLO)
Feb 21 – Event #5 – $109 PLO, 6-Max, $250K Gtd
Feb 23 – Event #19 – $55 PLO, 6-Max, $50K Gtd
Feb 26 – Event #48 – $109 PLO, 6-Max, $30K Gtd
Mar 3 – Event #90 – $530 PLO, 6-Max, $100K Gtd
Mar 7 – Event #124 – $215 PLO, 6-Max, $100K Gtd

No Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
Event #61 – $109 NLO8, 8-Max, $60K Gtd
Event #81 – $11 NLO8, 6-Max, Splash Rebuy, $30K Gtd
Event #110 – $215 NLO8, 6-Max, PKO, $75K Gtd

(Limit 2-7 Triple Draw, Limit Hold’em, Limit Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Limit Seven Card Stud, Limit Stud Hi/Lo, No Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha)
Event #28 – $530 8-Game, 6-Max, $50K Gtd
Event #118 – $55 8-Game, 6-Max, $50K Gtd

5-Card PLO
Feb 22 – Event #14 – $215 5-Card PLO, 6-Max, $60K Gtd

Fixed Limit Omaha Hi/Lo
Event #36 – $109 FLO8, 8-Max, $35K Gtd

(Hold’em, Omaha Hi/Lo, Razz, Seven-card Stud, Seven card stud high-low)
Event #56 – $109 HORSE, 8-Max, $40K Gtd

Pot limit Omaha Hi/Lo
Event #76 – $109 PLO8, 6-Max, $75K Gtd

Fixed limit hold’em
Event #98 = $109 FLHE, 6-Max, $30K Gtd


Last year’s Turbo Series featured some very familiar winners, including Laszlo “omaha4rollz” Bujitas, “Joris “BillLewinsky” Ruijs, Rupert “ElRupert” Elder, and Gianluca “Tankanza” Speranza (who all won on the same day), Thomas “WushuTM” Muehloecker and Chris Brammer and Denis “aDrENalin710” Strebkov.

Previous Main Event winners include Robin “robinho” Ylitalo and Dinesh “NastyMinder” Alt.


Back in 2018, we quizzed our stable of Team Pros on some advice for approaching Turbo Series. It’s still solid.

And we also talked to a handful for our “Turbo Talks” series. Click through a read a brief chat with all these luminaries:

Lex Veldhuis | Celina Lin | Jake Cody | Maria Konnikova | Jaime Staples |
Chris Moneymaker | Liv Boeree


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