Typically, poker tournaments don’t really need fancy names.
And it’s unlikely that the name itself will attract more players, unless it includes a big fat GTD.
But here it is — a list of some relatively common poker tournament name ideas.
These could be used for professional tournaments as well as friendly home games.
Poker tournament name ideas
- Monster Stack. Just in case the term deep stack isn’t clear enough. Some players love to play tournaments where they get tons of chips at the start, and to be fair it does affect strategy.
- Monday Tournament. Or whatever day of the week it will be. This is nice and simple, and it’s easy for the players to remember. It’s great to know you can play a certain tournament every seven days.
- Big Monday. Same thing, but hopefully the word big will make it sound like it’s a big… deal, no pun intended.
- The Battle. A famous quote by Doyle Brunson says that poker is war, and that people simply pretend it’s a game. So why not name your tournament the Thursday Battle, or the Poker Battle?
- X’s Poker Night. More suitable for home games. Just use your first name or nickname. Not too sophisticated, and easy to remember (and hopefully easy to spell too).
- Ultimate/Super. You can add an extra dose of epicness by using words like these. Ultimate, super, extra, ultra, mega, and so on. Just don’t combine them — it’d sound ridiculous.
- The Nuts. Who doesn’t like to river the absolute stone cold nuts and scoop the pot?
- Poker Time. Another very uninteresting tournament name. Again, this would be more suitable for friendly games, although I do believe I’ve seen an actual tournament named this way.
- Poker King. You may have never been crowned poker king so far, but tonight you’ll get another chance. Easy to remember and kind of catchy.
- The Club/Diamond. Besides being the actual name of two of the poker suits, both club and diamond sound great. You could even use the name of a single card e.g. king of diamonds.
- Under the Gun. For those who don’t know, this refers to the player who’s first to act. It conveys a sense of pressure and excitement, and it could definitely be used for a tournament name.
Poker tournament types
- Guaranteed. This is what all players want to see in the tournament flier or ad. It means there will be a guaranteed prize pool of X, even if the room doesn’t break even. Sometimes you’ll see a guaranteed first prize as well.
- Freezeout. This refers to a poker tournament where you’re out once you lose all your chips. Simple as that.
- Rebuy. Conversely, if the tournament offers rebuys (single or unlimited), if you get stacked you can… rebuy, and get another starting stack. Provided you’re still at the early stage of the tournament.
- Deep stack. Any tournament where you get a massive starting stack, specifically in relation to the blinds or antes.
- Win the button. An interesting type of tournament where whoever wins a hand is awarded the dealer button as well. So players tend to play more aggressively.
- Bounty. The bounty is a special chip that is awarded to aplayer who knocks out another player. For example, if player A stacks player B, player A gets the bounty. Usually a cash chip.
- High roller. A poker tournament with a large buy-in (or large compared to all other tournaments of the same series/event).
- Six/eight max. Poker tables can accommodate nine to ten players, but some tournaments will be eight-handed or even six-handed. Of course, this affects how people play as well.
- Heads-up. Competitions with only two players per table. Rare. There used to be a National Heads-Up Poker Championship every year, but it ended in 2013.
- Add-on. This is when you have the option to buy extra chips in addition to your starting stack. Typically, it makes sense to buy the add-on as it gives you an advantage over someone who doesn’t.
- Turbo. As the name suggests, a tournament structure that is fast. This means the blinds will go up every five to ten minute. Hyper-turbo tournaments are the extreme version.
- Satellite. This doesn’t refer to the actual structure or features of the tournament but rather to the prize for winning. If you survive a satellite tournament, you’ll win a tournament seat that would otherwise cost you more money.
Common poker hand names
- Pocket Rockets. Pocket aces. The best possible starting hand.
- Jiggities/Hooks. Pocket jacks.
- Doyle Brunson. A ten and a deuce.
- Snowmen. Pocket eights. Cute!
- Ducks. Pocket deuces, which look like two ducks.
- Whip. A seven and a deuce offsuit — Worst Hand in Poker.