This is a discussion on Micro stakes or small money tourneys within the online poker forums, in the Learning Poker section; Should I play micro stake cash games or small money tournaments when using my first bankroll? Is it just a preference or should I use
If you can multi-table and game select the cash games at the lower limits is a safer way to build a bankroll (or increase your bankroll). But once you come up to somewhere between 25-100NL online I would probably recommend MTTs since the cash at what levels are very tough, if you don't have almost expert knowledge yourself.
If you truly want to learn poker and become a good player, I recommend starting with cash games. It is the most pure form of poker, and once you know how to play cash games well, you have a solid foundation for moving into tournaments.
However if you simply enjoy tournaments much more, there is nothing to wrong with just forgetting cash games and going in that direction. You will probably not master the early phase of tournaments very well, but to some extend that can be solved by playing tight or even by showing up late.
For the tournament route I recommend starting with SnGs to get experience with final table and short handed play before moving into large field MTTs. For me the 45-180 man SnGs on PokerStars are an absolutely perfect place to start.
It is preference based or rather at which you are better. I can say though from personal experience that the big deal here is also your bankroll management skills.
In cash games you can be served a though beat, lose some money and get tilted (not saying you get but I do heh) and then re-buy in to get that money back quick. And then lose more money. In cash games you can burn money in minutes like there is no tomorrow. Its just some numbers on the screen, its easy to lose perspective.
Tourneys are a bit different. Its harder to burn a bankroll irresponsibly there (not saying you would tend to, but I do lol). It is a bigger grind not doubt with less immediate satisfaction, but if you are better at them or like the setting better then the right choice.
Tournaments have great variance , need a larger bankroll , need some more skills imo and then play them . But with cash games or sngs you have more control on your bankroll , you choose the games you're gonna play according to skills and bankroll .