EmpirePoker is doing this because they want to expand their tournaments. Party and Empire share the same site (e.g., when you play on Empire or Party, you are playing against people from both Party and Empire), but they have different tournaments. Historically Empire has had smaller tournaments than Party, so they're giving away lots of extra money in order to promote their tournaments.
Here are the opportunties:
1. A free entry into a $5000 freeroll when you enter either the $100+10 Saturday Night Fever weekly tournament or the $150+12 Sunday Gameday weekly tournament.
2. The $150+12 Sunday Night Gameday tournament is $25,000 guaranteed (for you non-tourney players, that means the prize pool will be at least $25,000). Last week I believe this tournament only had about 50 entrants. If even 100 enter this week, then EmpirePoker will have to add $10,000 to the prize pool to make the guaranteed $25,000. That's a deal.
3. The Wednesday Night $50+5 weekly tournament is now $10,000 guaranteed. I think about 50 entered this tournament last week too. If, for example, 100 enter the tournament this week, EmpirePoker will have to put in $5,000 to add up to the guaranteed $10,000 prize pool.
These are all great deals. If you're a tourney player, now is the time to take advantage of the promotions. These are all positive expected value opportunities. There's also a $200+15 tournament which sends 1 person for every 60 entries to the 2004 World Series of Poker.
Also, if you play poker online at Party or Empire, you're foolish if you don't get some of your rake back. I get 20% of my rake back. I had never realized how much that was until I signed up. That's over $400 already this month. If you're interested in getting some of your rake back, then email me: firstname.lastname@example.org