Tournaments vs. Cash Play

It seems as if most feel that cash play poker is much harder to master and enjoy than tournament play is. While tournaments attract all levels of players cash play has more of a professional audience. It is not only the money issues that make tournaments more attractive to the large crowds. The way the strategy must be played out differs between these two kinds and this also affects who will eventually end up playing in what format. Since poker is mainly about having a good time a player should focus on where he enjoys himself the most and not where the big bucks are.

More Gaming

It cannot be denied that tournaments will give more gaming time for the same amount that would give much less in a cash game. This attribute makes tournaments more interesting to the majority of players. In a tournament there is only the buy-in to worry about and then each player will have many hands to play. Every player will get the same amount of chips to play for so each chip doesn't come at face value as in a cash game. More gaming time has many advantages not only for the beginner. Anyone that wants to improve their skills can see the advantage of playing more and in a safer environment. This is the nature of the tournament that stands as a complete opposite to the structure of the cash games.

Money Matters

In a cash game a beginner is bound to lose more money than what they would in a tournament. A tournament has a set maximum loss which is easier to deal with for most players. The winner of a tournament makes better business than the winner of a cash game. After a buy-in of $100 the winner could walk away with several thousands of dollars which is not very likely to take place in a cash game. A cash game won't even make half of this amount for the same investment in a day. However, a tournament requires a larger bankroll than a cash game and this is one of its downsides. A professional poker player can make better profit faster from cash play than what would be the case if he entered a tournament. He wouldn't win the same amount for the same buy-in but he'd stand a better chance to keep a very good bankroll by sticking to many cash games with good results.

Quality of Players

It is known that tournaments attract more weak players but the tables usually come mixed with both pros and new players. In cash games the players around a table are mostly of the same level. When a player gets sharper he will move up to a higher limit cash game and meet a similar crowd. The beauty of satellites in which one can win players seats to the big events, is that new talents get a chance to come forward. Every year sees new poker tournament finalist that previously just played for fun online. Since a beginner player gets a chance to be seated next to a poker star through competitions online he also gets a chance to beat him and make it to the top. This makes for very interesting gaming and this is also why many of the big events are televised for people to enjoy the excitement from the comfort of their homes.

Fast Results

Cash play has the advantage of playing out faster than a tournament. A big tournament could continue for days while a cash game can be over within the hour. In a cash game it is not mandatory to use all the chips so a player can choose to cash them out when he likes to. In the cash game however it can take some time for a real good pot to build up. The tournament already has the goal set and even though the road there is longer and demands a different kind of patience, a professional player might still prefer it.

Sticking to one or the other

There are a few poker stars that are good in both cash games and tournaments but the majority of players stick to one or the other. The most important is to play where it is the most fun. Winning money is great but concentrating only on the prize money is not a good way to play poker. The best is to try both cash play and tournaments. A player will soon see where it works out the best.

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