Originally Posted by deff
1 other question i have , what is the mentality when playing tourneys?(only free ones for now, learned the hard way) .
Tournaments can be divided into two main categories: MTTs (multi-table tournaments) and STTs (single table tournaments), the main difference being, as the names imply, that in an MTT you compete against multiple tables of players, whereas in an STT, you only compete against the one table you're seated at (usually consisting of 9, 10, or 6 players). Between these, of course, there are many sub-categories, where an MTT field can range from moderately large to absolutely humongous (see: FTP's WSOP
Main Event Freeroll).
I point out this distinction because I think it's an important one; while I don't play MTTs very often, my bankroll was essentially built on the back of STTs. To succeed at MTTs, you need (besides poker skills, which is a given) a large bankroll, a great tolerance for variance, a lot of time, and good stamina. MTT pay-outs tend to be top-heavy, so you should aim to finish as close to the top as you can. Min-cashing, while better than not cashing at all, usually doesn't seem worth the time you spent playing that tourney. However, simply in virtue of the size of the field, your odds
of making significant cash are stacked against you in any one tourney. You may not see much of a return on your investment until that one big payday (which may or may not ever come). Unless he/she happens to run hot early on (which can be a negative thing in itself, if it leads to an overestimation of his/her skills), this can be discouraging to a new player trying to build a starting bankroll.
STTs are a different ballgame. They're easier to cash in and see "immediate results" from than MTTs. I personally found them easier to get the hang of than cash games--at the low limits, play is very "learnable" and mechanical (albeit, I did spend most of my play money days playing STTs)--and see them as, unlike cash games, coming with a built-in stop loss mechanism (no matter how tilted you are and many chips you spew, you can't lose anything beyond your original buy-in). They served me as a slow-but-sure bankroll building tool.
I'm not suggesting you avoid MTTs entirely, or focus on STTs over cash games. Many would say that if you ultimately want to succeed at cash games, there's no need to bother with tournaments because they hone distinct skill sets (I don't dispute that). I think you're best off exploring every format and variant of poker yourself, and deciding from there what you like best.