This Broad Introduction To Online Poker Tournaments Considers
Your Motivations For Playing The Multi-Table Poker Game.
Given that poker players are among the most competitive people you’ll meet, it is hardly surprising that poker tournaments are so popular. Rather than the never ending ring games, where as long as you keep playing you can never lose only be behind, tournaments provide the player with a definite start, a definite finish and an ultimate victor.
These boundaries not only give players a new challenge requiring different skills, they also provide a sporting spectacle for onlookers. Because of this the poker boom has been fed through tournaments, either those geared for a TV studio like UK’s “Late Night Poker”, or bigger events offering large prize pools namely the “European Poker Tour” (EPT - see our guide to the Best EPT Satellites here) and the daddy of them all, the “World Series of Poker” (WSOP)
Why Play Poker Tournaments? Key Distinctions Between The Games
There are basically two types of tournament you can find, the one table format or the multi-table format. In one table tournaments, referred to as Single Table Tournaments (STTs) or just Sit & Go’s (SNGs), you are playing only against the players on your table until all but one remains. Typically these pay the top third of finishers.
In Multi-Table Tournaments (MTTs) there are a larger group of players but you are playing only against those on your table. As the game progresses and players get knocked out, tables merge and players move until only the Final Table remains. These MTTs typically pay somewhere around the top 10% of the field with the winner taking the biggest payout. The number of players can range from a handful of players spread over two tables to literally thousands.
So with such large fields, paying such a poor % of finishers, why even bother taking the time to play a MTT? Surely Cash games or SNGs are more profitable? Well yes, cash games are widely regarded as being the game of choice for those who want to make serious money playing poker, and SNGs are far quicker and pay a higher % of the field, but in order to win big in these formats you have to play big. You need a large bankroll to play for big money in cash games and SNGs, whereas you need a relatively small sum of money to play for far greater prizes. Every Sunday now on PokerStars, players pay in $215 and play a $1 million guaranteed prize fund tournament (see our dedicated Pokerstars Sunday Million article for more), where the winner takes a 6 figure sum. That type of win would be unheard of for the majority of cash game or SNG players over a period of years and would give a significant boost to a player’s bankroll.
Why Play Poker Tournaments? The Tournament Pros!
There are tournament pros out there, both live and online, and many have found fame and fortune through their tournament successes. Players who have done well exceptionally well in live tournaments, are better known to the public than their Cash game peers, and through online site such as PocketFives.com, far more successful online pros are now developing a celebrity shared only by the elite players in the Cash and SNG format.
But as a MTT specialist is widely accepted as having more swings than a Cash or SNG Tournament pro, proper tournament bankroll management is needed to maintain a level of success and income.
But why should a decent player, sensibly not seeking fame, making a steady income and not needing a cash injection to their roll, bother with MTTs. Well simply because they are fun. If you are a Cash or SNG grinder they make for an enjoyable break or if you concentrate on MTTs they are a less intense form of poker than the other two. And most would agree there is nothing, absolutely nothing in poker, which is more satisfying than taking down a MTT win.
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