Let Me Put It THIS Way !!! The Best Poker Player in the World could probably go to the World Series of Poker Tournament for 20 straight years... but wind up Never winning it. And that could very well be expected because of the LUCK involved in winning that event.
So that's the same way a good poker player in Las Vegas could be in 20 Free-Rolls but never win a one.
Let me JUST SAY THIS ... I Know I can make a lot more money by playing the Cash Games. If I had to spend 8 hours playing at a tournament free-roll & even had to come back the next day to collect anything, if any, I certainly would rather spend all that time in a Cash Game instead... even if I made a Hundred Dollars at the free-roll... think would have a better chance to make some/more MONEY doing what I know best !!!
I would say CASH GAMES is the way to go. If you are a weak player or only want to lose a certain amount try a tournament.
Joined: Thu Jul 21, 2011 10:58 am Posts: 29 Location: Herndon, Va
yea man it's all about the Cash Games. Less pressure, no time commitment, & you have a better chance walking away with money at the end of the session. You can spend over 6 hours playing in a Tournament & not win any money at all because you busted out 10th place & only top 5 finishers get paid. Where as, in Cash Games, you can spend whatever time you want, whether its less than 3 hours or over 6 hours & grind away, hopefully by winning small pots here & there, or stacking someone.
I have a similar background as you MrEgo and all I can say is don't play limit. If you have some sucess and understanding of NL tourney play as well NL cash then don't try to play limit. It's a completely different animal and if your anything like me you'll stink at it and it'll be a painful experience.
If you approach the NL cash games with the right mindset you should be able to squeak out a profit and limit the losses even if you hit bad variance. To do it right it requires limiting the drinking, some table selection and also I suggest a TAG style and not LAG to limit variance over a short trip.
Lastly if you like tourneys play a mix of that with cash, however go into tourneys with the expecation that you'll likely not cash over a short trip. I generally will play a well structured tourney in the $100-$150 range that starts at noon or 2PM. These will usually last until 4-6 hours and more if you get into the cash. To me it's entertainment like playing golf during the day. After eating dinner I'll spend the night time playing cash.
_________________ Yes my name is Ivan and I eat Tic Tacs, but no TBC I'm not an old fat Russian guy, well fat maybe.
Cash games are potentially more rewarding and more costly, due to their volitile nature, so be pre-pared for the swings...
Tournaments can ensure you keep control of any potential losses, while still enjoying the game and having chances to make money...
I prefer Tournaments because I like to control my potential win/loss and do get a lot of time and enjoyment from them, which is one of the reasons I play. However I am now starting to play more cash and when in Vegas last had a couple of $200 goes at $1-$2 with no intention of re-loading and won a bit !!
Oh and as a few others have said, these games are completely different.
I was thinking about this the other day. I don't know for certain but I tend to recall that a good ROI for a tourney player was around 20% for bigger tourneys. If this is correct (or even if it's not) it seems this is a very tough road for a live player. This means that playing a $500 tournament you can expect to win $100 on average. Lets say that you average playing 2.5 hours that's a pretty small hourly rate plus, if you bust out early you can't just sign up for the next $500 tourney as it's not spread that often. Also, if you bust out early you may have to wait several hours for another tourney worth your time to come up. Just seems to me that a serious (good) cash game player can earn much more per hour and you don't have to hop from card room to card room. Am I way off here?
I think that you are right on. Also, in a cash game you can come when you want and go when you want. You don't have to put in hours and leave with nothing. Finally, when you look at tournament payouts, almost all of the real profit is on the last few spots. In many tournaments, just getting to the point where you have tripled your buy-in usually requires to be well past simply in the money.
I know this is an old topic. I just came across and was thinking of adding my 2c.
To decide whether to play Cash or Tournament depends on a few factors: 1. Are you restricted by time? If yes, then playing cash is the best stratergy. Good tournaments can run from 5-8 hours. So, if you don't have that time to spare then there is no reason to commit for a tournament.
2. Is your preference smaller sessions or longer sessions? If you play your best in smaller session then cash might be the best option. Tourny can be a real grind.
3. Will you be sure to play optimally for a longer period? This is an extension of the questions above, if you can't play your best for longer period then Tournament is not suited for you.
4. Does earning a tourny buy-in makes you more comfortable playing them? This is always my preference. I usually arrive early and play cash and see if I can earn my buy-in. This way, even if you don't cash, there won't be any regrets as it is a freeroll.
I do understand that the amount of time you spend in a tournament is a lot compared to Cash. But, how many chances can we get to take down a 5-8K payout from a single event. If you need to come up with the same number in Cash it might take a long time.
Joined: Thu Oct 25, 2012 5:20 pm Posts: 118 Location: Kingston, England
I am very surprised no one has mentioned the extortionate rake that comes with most of these live tournaments. Alot of them take around 20%... "a good ROI" Limit and NL are so different.
Running bad in tournaments... who doesn't? Much higher variance than cash games long term, they have lots of easy competition but one bad hand, on suck out and your gone with no chance of being able to re coup losses through that individual. Also if you find a couple of super weak spots in a tournament odds are someone may have busted them before you got chance to do so and they don't have the option to rebuy straight away on the same table as yourself... see my point?
Easiest to cash? this will be the ones that have the best structure in relation to your perceived skill advantage with the highest percentage of softer players playing them. the higher number of pay outs in relation to entries will help also (if that makes sense). please remember that in cash games you can pick your seat / table limit ect... in a "soft" tournament your life could be made very difficult by "unluckily" having a couple of good aggressive players on your left which you can't run away from.
Im a cash man. I do play live and online tournaments everyday but cash is the way.
If you have never played limit before i would not advise playing it. I was waiting for a NL table at the Flamingo once and thought i would try a limit game as i had never seen one before in the UK (most people don't even know what limit is!).... its not even poker.
_________________ The views above where expressed by a regular poker player, not a super nit or an uber nerd! Follow me on Twitter @ArronFletcher https://twitter.com/ArronFletcher
Joined: Thu May 03, 2007 12:28 am Posts: 3691 Location: Drawing Dead and Getting There.
its not even poker.
Now that's really hilarious. So, apparently poker largely didn't exist until it sprang into being recently, and many of the poker rooms listed on this site don't have poker. It takes narcissism to a truly spectacular new level.
_________________ Life is six to five against. -Damon Runyon
I do better at tournaments then cash. Why? I am more relaxed then in cash games. I know I can only lose my buy in. No limit is more profitable for me than limit. Limit is like watching paint dry. You can not bluff people off of draws like in no limit. The drop kills you in limit. If you see eight people sitting around a limit table the house is winning because of the drop.