The old debate of cash games vs tournaments is never ending amongst serious players. But whether you are as cash game player or tournament player, there is no disputing that tournaments win the popularity contest though. There are several reasons for this, which we will explore in this article.
Cheaper way to learn
Poker tournaments are the best way to learn poker, short of playing freerolls. When you enter a tournament, you know you can win a lot for risking little. If you sit in a cash game, you can get eaten alive and lose lots of buyins. Moreover, you are playing with real cash. This is not true for tournaments where you know the maximum you can lose is the registration fee. It could also be argued that tournament poker reduces the professional’s edge on opponents. With shallower stacks and increasing blind levels, all in before the flop is far more common – and this gives new, recreational players the chance to win.
Most gamblers have an ego. It’s not just about the money, the idea of defeating hundreds or thousands of players is an ego boost like no other. The prestige of binking a tournament win is very sweet. It’s even more fun when it’s completed without doing a deal with your opponents.
This is not a bash at cash game players but tournament poker is far more exciting. It’s a dynamic environment and always changing. From the stack sizes to the blinds, even your opponents. It’s constantly changing and it makes poker more fun. In contrast, cash games tend to be more monotonous. You’re sitting at the same table for hours, with the same opponents. It definitely requires more skill but is it more fun?
When Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP in 2003, he shone a light on the WSOP that has remained ever since. The World Series of Poker is now played by all walks of life. Celebrities like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck even grace the table. It is watched all over the world every year. In all its drama, colourful commentary and prizes – and guess what, its tournament poker. This is what the average TV viewer is seeing. They see themselves as the next potential star winning millions.
Poker tournaments are running all the time
Online poker offers tournaments any day, any time. Login at 2am and you can play. Oh you work nights? No problem – you can play at 3pm. All the major sites are offering round the house tournaments. This means you can be playing online poker tournaments on Christmas day or Monday morning. This kind of availability is awesome as it means nobody has an excuse not to play poker tournaments.