Why Play Tournaments?

MattRyder

MattRyder

Tech that Works
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Total posts
8,012
Awards
14
I usually play cash games preferring Zoom cash tables at Stars.

Yesterday for a change I decided to play a tournament. It was a $2.20 buy-in that eventually had 1156 players registered (no rebuy, no re-entry, no add-on) with a total prize pool of $2,265. I played tight and got to 13th place after 6 1/2 hours. I won $14.16 which minus my $2.20 buy-in netted me $12. That's less than $2/hr.

And I was lucky enough to win most of the hands that I entered, other than the last one of course. No bad beats for a change. That's very unusual.

My question - what's the point? That's probably less than minimum wage in China.

So, other than the personal challenge, why do people play online tournaments (other than CC freerolls)? How many of the 249,550 CC members actually make more money at it than they would flipping burgers at McDonalds?
 
bablo

bablo

Rock Star
Joined
Jul 29, 2018
Total posts
109
In tournaments, the most tasty prizes at the final table are what all tournament players want.:fight:
 
I

ice mary

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 16, 2018
Total posts
25
Winning in cash is a small but constant income.
And to win the tournament is how to win the lottery.
 
FastOne

FastOne

Legend
Loyaler
Joined
Jul 27, 2011
Total posts
3,722
Awards
2
In tournaments, the most tasty prizes at the final table are what all tournament players want.:fight:
Exactly, what was the prize money for say, 3rd place in that tournament?

And also, some people prefer tournaments over cash table, feel more comfortable, and better suited for them. Same goes for SnGs, turbo tournaments, turbo SnGs... same goes for regular cash tables, zoom (or speed or any other name depending on the room).
 
J

james bright

Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 9, 2015
Total posts
95
I usually play cash games preferring Zoom cash tables at Stars.

Yesterday for a change I decided to play a tournament. It was a $2.20 buy-in that eventually had 1156 players registered (no rebuy, no re-entry, no add-on) with a total prize pool of $2,265. I played tight and got to 13th place after 6 1/2 hours. I won $14.16 which minus my $2.20 buy-in netted me $12. That's less than $2/hr.

And I was lucky enough to win most of the hands that I entered, other than the last one of course. No bad beats for a change. That's very unusual.

My question - what's the point? That's probably less than minimum wage in China.

So, other than the personal challenge, why do people play online tournaments (other than CC freerolls)? How many of the 249,550 CC members actually make more money at it than they would flipping burgers at McDonalds?
YOU have to play to win in all only way to come out with a decent amount of cash when the bubble is near im pushing alot and stealing cause people are just trying to make it too the money i play to win it all you should too!!!!!
 
MattRyder

MattRyder

Tech that Works
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Total posts
8,012
Awards
14
YOU have to play to win in all only way to come out with a decent amount of cash when the bubble is near im pushing alot and stealing cause people are just trying to make it too the money i play to win it all you should too!!!!!
How's that working for you James? You're right in that the only real money seems to be in the top three places. Is shoving and stealing near the bubble getting you there in the big tournaments? I'd like to follow you. Let me know your screen name and what big tournaments you're playing in.
 
HK_47

HK_47

Rock Star
Joined
May 31, 2018
Total posts
160
Tournaments are usually softer IMO, the game theory on it is a bit more sound, the bad players inflate the prize pool quite a lot and its generally fun for people who don't shy away from the attrition part of the game. The only real negative thing is most days you will probably lose money playing a bunch of tournaments but you don't need to go on a deep run very often to make up for it and winning a tournament can turn around your week/month.
 
6

63burner

Visionary
Joined
Dec 11, 2015
Total posts
863
Awards
2
When De-programming from a bad run of cards at cash/heads up poker, a tourney is a welcome break; it's not all riding on each and every hand. At least You know what you will lose.
 
1

1AMBOWLINGNINJA

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 6, 2018
Total posts
54
I love tourneys. My best tourney win was back in like 2009? I think that is when it was. I did a $2.75 buy in tourney no rebuys and came in 1st with over 3,000 people in it at pokerstars. I won a little over $1,200 for that tourney and it took a little over 8 hours to play.

Tourneys can be a lot of fun and you can get a lot of hands in for a very minimal cost. You might even be able to win something out of it too. They have the Main Event in the wsop that if you win that you are a millionaire. Actually if you make the final table you would be a millionaire.
 
Vodnik2017

Vodnik2017

Rock Star
Joined
Nov 19, 2017
Total posts
207
The game cache is an everyday job in the pursuit of a gradual accumulation of money.
Tournaments are a kind of attempt to disrupt the jackpot at one point. The higher the rate, the larger the jackpot.
 
pancho_1954

pancho_1954

Rock Star
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Total posts
265
Awards
4
the point of the tournaments are the good prizes, if the tournament guarantees good prizes it is worth the risk, you also have to leave the comfort zone, help to learn from other players, I also think that a person who plays cash, tournament, sng, they are more complete players
 
Debi

Debi

Forum Admin
Administrator
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Total posts
70,612
Awards
20
I usually play cash games preferring Zoom cash tables at Stars.

Yesterday for a change I decided to play a tournament. It was a $2.20 buy-in that eventually had 1156 players registered (no rebuy, no re-entry, no add-on) with a total prize pool of $2,265. I played tight and got to 13th place after 6 1/2 hours. I won $14.16 which minus my $2.20 buy-in netted me $12. That's less than $2/hr.

And I was lucky enough to win most of the hands that I entered, other than the last one of course. No bad beats for a change. That's very unusual.

My question - what's the point? That's probably less than minimum wage in China.

So, other than the personal challenge, why do people play online tournaments (other than CC freerolls)? How many of the 249,550 CC members actually make more money at it than they would flipping burgers at McDonalds?

We don't just play one tournament like you did. :p

Successful tournament players who play for a living play a lot of tournies and get cashes way bigger than yours.

You could have played cash games for the same length of time and had the same result.
 
Luvepoker

Luvepoker

Lost in the twilight zone
Community Guide
Joined
Feb 21, 2018
Total posts
3,595
Awards
21
US
I actually prefer tournament poker over cash games. At one time of my life I was very active in sports and played to be the best for the thrill of it. I was just very competitive. Tournament poker allows me to continue to play for the thrill of winning the event and satisfies my competitive spirit. While I can understand why is maybe more profitable to play cash and not to play for $2.00 an hour, I just don't get the same exciting thrill playing cash. Its just an personal preference.
 
P

patfreed

Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 15, 2018
Total posts
35
Because there is a ton of value 8n most tournaments. Play higher buy ins and try KO tourneys.
 
MattRyder

MattRyder

Tech that Works
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Total posts
8,012
Awards
14
We don't just play one tournament like you did. :p

Successful tournament players who play for a living play a lot of tournies and get cashes way bigger than yours.

You could have played cash games for the same length of time and had the same result.
Interesting comparison. Definitely not my experience.

You obviously have greater tournament experience that I do Debi. I've watched some pros play online tournaments (Stars identifies them as such) and it usually comes down to a short stack pre-flop shove with an unlikely Ax that (from what I've seen) they usually lose. Granted I haven't watched a lot of them. Maybe they win more than they lose over say a thousand tournaments.

Obviously they've got to be making money at it though. I just don't see how when making it to the top 1% only nets you 6 times your buy-in and takes 6 1/2 hours.

I played before satellites for$215 super sunday at pokerstar...turning 1.10 to 22. then 22 to $215. then I was busted at around 600 placed. cashed $350+. I played that game after my 12hrs work. The tournament already running 7 hours. and 2 hours more I have to go to work again. Thats terrible... So tired and exhausted...
This is fun? Mind, in the end you did make a nice return on your $1.10 investment. ** not accounting for how much time you spent playing both sats **

However, if you'd bought in for full price that would have netted you $135/7hrs? = $19 per hour barring any bad beats.

Because there is a ton of value 8n most tournaments. Play higher buy ins and try KO tourneys.
Satting in is a slightly more profitable way to play tournaments. I satted in to the Sunday Storm for $1.10 and after 3 1/2 hours I took away $12.85. That's a net of $11.75 or $3.35 per hour.

But at full price I would have netted $12.85 - $5.5 (1/2 price day) = $7.35/3.5 hrs = $2.10 per hour.

To be honest if you won an entry and you can unregister for the target tournament then you will be able to use those T$ (tournament money) for playing whatever you want!!!
I've done this a lot! The .33 sats to the Sunday Storm are pretty easy to win and a real money maker when you unregister before the tournament. But then that's a cash player mentality.

I love tourneys. My best tourney win was back in like 2009? I think that is when it was. I did a $2.75 buy in tourney no rebuys and came in 1st with over 3,000 people in it at Pokerstars. I won a little over $1,200 for that tourney and it took a little over 8 hours to play.

Tourneys can be a lot of fun and you can get a lot of hands in for a very minimal cost. You might even be able to win something out of it too. They have the Main Event in the WSOP that if you win that you are a millionaire. Actually if you make the final table you would be a millionaire.
That's the gold at the end of the rainbow I guess. Every once in a (long) while, win big. Makes it all worthwhile.
 
Last edited:
Debi

Debi

Forum Admin
Administrator
Joined
Oct 13, 2006
Total posts
70,612
Awards
20
Interesting comparison. Definitely not my experience.

You obviously have greater tournament experience that I do Debi. I've watched some pros play online tournaments (Stars identifies them as such) and it usually comes down to a short stack pre-flop shove with an unlikely Ax that (from what I've seen) they usually lose. Granted I haven't watched a lot of them. Maybe they win more than they lose over say a thousand tournaments.

Obviously they've got to be making money at it though. I just don't see how when making it to the top 1% only nets you 6 times your buy-in and takes 6 1/2 hours.

Granted there is a lot of variance in tournaments - but that is why you have to look at your results long term versus short term.

When I played online I would have a huge cash ($5kish) once in a while - and those compensated for all of the tiny wins in between. Yep - the big wins were a huge investment of time - and I loved every minute of them.

Cash games bore me silly - can never stay at a table long enough to see if I could win long term in those. :p
 
MattRyder

MattRyder

Tech that Works
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Total posts
8,012
Awards
14
Granted there is a lot of variance in tournaments - but that is why you have to look at your results long term versus short term.

When I played online I would have a huge cash ($5kish) once in a while - and those compensated for all of the tiny wins in between. Yep - the big wins were a huge investment of time - and I loved every minute of them.

Cash games bore me silly - can never stay at a table long enough to see if I could win long term in those. :p
That's why I multi-table at the lower stakes. For the really big stakes I would limit myself to one or more likely two tables simply because so much depends on knowing the idiosyncrasies of each individual player. If you prefer cash (which I do) there's a much greater likelihood of more frequent big wins, definitely enough (IMHO) to compensate for any boredom that you might experience.

But I'll continue giving tourneys a try. I just seem to run into a lot of bad luck when I play aggressively, and hours of sitting around when I play tight but carefully. Just lost one using the aggressive approach w/ JJ vs AK and A9. The odds were well in my favor, but the luck wasn't. When that happens at a cash table I just sigh (sometimes I skip the sigh), auto-reload and I'm off to the next hand instantly. In a tournament that might happen after investing hours of thoughtful play.
 
Last edited:
MattRyder

MattRyder

Tech that Works
Joined
Sep 12, 2013
Total posts
8,012
Awards
14
Granted there is a lot of variance in tournaments - but that is why you have to look at your results long term versus short term.

When I played online I would have a huge cash ($5kish) once in a while - and those compensated for all of the tiny wins in between. Yep - the big wins were a huge investment of time - and I loved every minute of them.

Cash games bore me silly - can never stay at a table long enough to see if I could win long term in those. :p
BTW Debi. I know you play a fair bit and have done so for years. Just curious - have you calculated how much you net per hour overall (live, online, cash & tourneys) and would you care to share?
 
Kingpoetmusic

Kingpoetmusic

Rock Star
Joined
Feb 5, 2018
Total posts
247
Tournament poker is low risk high reward. Versus Cash games which are high risk low reward. And also in tournaments everyone has random seats. In Cash games people could be working together at the table.

I prefer MTT because they are a safe bet and it is hard to cheat in MTT.

I like both but I prefer tournaments when you have a bankroll built up. I always seem to lose my bankroll in Cash games when it is built up. I just don't trust the cash games too much.
 
pepsilv

pepsilv

Visionary
Joined
Jul 20, 2013
Total posts
606
I prefer tournaments if you are lucky enough and play right you can make nice $$$, like me just now finished first in the CC freeroll and made $20 profit it takes risk but that's poker. You have to be willing to die to win like the pros say. Good luck and best wishes to you at the tables!
 
radartodd69

radartodd69

Rock Star
Joined
Dec 8, 2012
Total posts
417
You get good practice by playing tournaments. That may come in handy someday when you take your chances at a bigger buy in tournament. If you love poker, any win is a good win. Next time you may make it to the final table and a time after that you might win the whole thing.
 
BnaD

BnaD

Rock Star
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Total posts
206
It's such a complicated question. Why does someone prefer a banana over an apple? Everyone has their own taste. Some people like it for the competition. There is a winner. A podium of final table players. Some people like playing for 4-6 hours on $2 chasing the top prize of 200 BIs. I feel much more gratified when I bink a tourney over winning a massive pot in a cash game. I personally enjoy playing both. Poker isn't my job tough.
 
BlackMember

BlackMember

Legend
Joined
Oct 16, 2014
Total posts
1,140
Awards
1
Winning the tournament will bring much more money than you can win on the cash tables.
 
bablovod

bablovod

stupid parody of the game
Loyaler
Joined
May 31, 2017
Total posts
3,268
Awards
13
the biggest disadvantage when playing a tournament is of course the time. if the goal is reached, it justifies all the effort, and if not, it's in a bad mood and curse the world. spending 2-3 hours and getting nothing in return is the most unpleasant experience in any event. I try to play turbo tournaments and with a small field, time limit tournaments for me is the only kind I'm willing to spend my savings on. and of course spin and go.
 
well_cap1302

well_cap1302

Rock Star
Joined
Jul 4, 2015
Total posts
102
In any tournament the good prize is only in the final table, 1º-5º are the best prizes
 
Top