Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

Where Next After 1-Table Tournaments??

Originally wrote this article for syndication… and, well, thought it came out well enough to add a little more of my own opinion, tweak a little around the edges and repost here. Now, there comes a time when even the most hardened 1-table SNG fan is ready for a change of scene… 

The question is – what next after 1-table tournaments?

Before I get started on the list, not everyone wants to move – or indeed should. Your desire to move to a new format should come from your heart, not pressure from external sources such as forums and blogs about which is the coolest game. Well, I’m just sayin!  Here then are the main choices with a little bit on opinion on each one: 

#1 – 18 or 45 player SNGs  Adding a few more opponents can change your strategy a fair bit and give you new challenges such as playing at a full(ish) table when the blinds are getting high. The 45’s in particular can be very profitable – though they are now starting to attract a few more pro grinders. Key advantage here is that these games are quick.

#2 – 90 Player Knockout SNGs  A personal favorite (and subject a ‘special’ eBook when I get it finished in the next couple of weeks). Knockouts pay a small bounty for each player you eliminate from the tournament in addition to a standard prize pool. Full Tilt feature these games on the front page of their ‘tournaments’ tab, meaning you will see a constant stream of novice players. Find out more in my 90 Player Knockout SNG article. 

#3 – 180 Player SNGs  20 table games are now run at several different sites, though here I am really referring to the ones at Pokerstars. These games are the perfect transition between sit n goes and multi-table tournaments, with 18 players getting paid. A variety of buy-ins are available, as well as a choice of turbo / non-turbo games. 

#4 – Multi-Table Tournaments  Big money awaits online tournament pros who manage to move to the higher buy-in poker tournaments. You will need the right mentality in several different ways to succeed in these games. Firstly, you need to focus for long sessions day-in day-out, this means 14 hour days in order to get the volume of games required in. Secondly, you can play perfectly for 7 hours, only to suffer a horrible beat and crash out – you’ll need thick skin when this happens repeatedly in a short space of time. The rewards are ‘lumpy’ with dry spells being followed by a big score. For those with the discipline and temperament the multi-table tournaments can be a goldmine!  

#5 – Cash Games  If you built your bankroll playing 1-table tournaments then some adjustments in strategy are required for playing cash games. Primarily, you will need to up your hand-reading and post-flop skills, as those which were ‘good enough’ to help you profit from SNGs are unlikely to be good enough in cash games. With so many games running you have the potential to make an excellent income from cash.

Many of the biggest regular winners in online poker are not the online tournament pros you hear so much about, they are mid-stakes cash game grinders who are quietly accumulating small fortunes!  Some poker variations came next – this post is already getting long and I have decided to save these for another post! 

GL at the tables, Mark

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