What is the Poker Overlay?

When an organizer creates a poker tournament, he doesn't always get all the money he needs to cover the prizes he is going to offer. This is where the Overlay comes into play.

We can define Overlay as the part that the organizer contributes to cover the part of the prizes that has not been covered by the fee paid by the players who are going to play.

In order to attract the attention of players, online poker rooms usually create important tournaments, which come with important prizes. But sometimes they do not sign up the number of players needed to cover the cost of the prize to be offered. This is when the organizer has to bring in his own money to be able to offer the prizes he has offered.

How does the Overlay work in poker?

Overlay is the word that is used all over the world to inform the part that had to be paid by the organizer to complete the prize that will be given to the winners.

To give you an idea, a tournament with a participation fee of 50 euros and a prize of 50,000 euros. In that case, you will need 1000 players to complete the prize. If 500 players sign up, then the Overlay should be 25000 euros.

Concretely we can say that the Overlay is the difference between the prize offered and the amount collected, when the amount collected is lower.

Are there many tournaments with Overlay?

There are not always tournaments with Overlay. In many occasions the poker rooms usually calculate how much they are going to receive and with that information they usually create adapted prizes. But this is not always the case.

Sometimes the rooms themselves fall short and are forced to make the Overlay to offer players the prize they have promised. While other times they are aware that the Overlay will be mandatory because the players will not cover the fee. In this case, the main goal is to get the attention of potential players to make the tournament more famous. They know that attracting attention is important because they will attract many players and in the medium and long term the investment will be amortized.

Calculating whether a tournament has Overlay or not is really easy. The mathematical calculation is really simple. We only have to divide the value of the prize that is guaranteed by the number of players. If the result is higher than the value of the entry fee, that is, buy-in, it means that it has Overlay. If it is lower, then it will not have an overlay because it will not be necessary.

Depending on the strategy, the room that organizes the tournament may seek to attract attention with very succulent prizes or just make money, for which it seeks to cover and exceed the guaranteed prize. What is clear is that overlay tournaments are a great option to grow your bankroll.

Some players specialize in overlay poker tournaments

Because there are so many different options, there are many players who are specializing in overlay poker tournaments. Many of them do it to increase their bankroll.

Knowing whether to opt for overlay tournaments or not is not always easy. It is essential to take into account the strategies you want to follow to get good results.

But what is clear is that, if you want to specialize in Overlay tournaments, you must learn some lessons. If you take into account the following tips, it will be a little easier for you to find them and take advantage of them.

  • Look for late registration: many players look for tournaments that offer the option to register after the deadline. Some poker rooms offer several hours after the deadline. At that time the player can know and calculate the Overlay. However, as it usually happens, the number of players who register after the registration date is high. That makes that sometimes the Overlay disappears because the quota of the players registered at the last minute makes the prize fund complete by itself.
  • Beware of re-buys: you always have to be careful with re-buys of re-entries and add-ons. Sometimes we may have the feeling that we are opting for an overlay tournament, but with re-buys it really isn't. For that reason, we can't be sure. For that reason, we cannot be sure that a tournament is totally Overlay until the total period of registrations is over. If we do not do so, we may be making mistakes in our calculations.
  • Discretion: if you really want to be a good online poker player who opts for Overlay tournaments, you must learn to be discreet. Not only should you get the information for yourself, it is also vital to keep a calendar with the different tournaments to sign up for the ones that really interest you. Nowadays there are many to choose from. For that reason, it is essential to make a list of options. This way you will be able to keep the tournaments that really interest you.
  • Be careful with Progressive KO tournaments: in this kind of tournaments it is not easy to calculate if the tournament has an Overlay, because the extra prizes are added to the eliminated players. This complicates things a lot and makes the calculations really complicated. But the important thing is to have a good strategy to have more chances of winning. In this case it is better to have a good experience than to learn whether or not you have an overlay. As we have seen, in this type of tournaments there are always predictable players, hence they are easy to read.

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