Aug 11
by Don

The one thing I know about playing poker in a Vegas card room is that it is not as easy as your home game, but not as hard either.  The key is to choosing the right game for you.

More often than not Lori and I primarily play tournaments while in Vegas.  We do this for a number of reasons:

1.   Protects your bank role- Your cash outlay at any one point is the cost of the tournament.  This is great for money management.

2.   Tournament play extends your play- What I mean by that is by the size of the tournament you can probably play 5-6 hours pretty regularly (assuming you are average to above average player).

3.   Tremendous upside- Your potentially winnings far out pace the actual cost to enter the tournament.  For example, a small $50.00 NL Tournament with 60-70 players can net you $1600 to $1800 if you win it all.  Not to mention simply cashing can be rewarding.

4.   Everyone starts at the same place- Someone can’t just sit down and buy in for 5x the amount in tournament play.  This levels the playing field a bit.

5.   Prevents you from spending even more money- If you are having a bad blackjack run.  A nice tournament can save you money because you are not playing the house, you are playing other people.  There is no house edge in tournament play.

Cash games have some advantages too:

1.   No long term time commitments- You can come and go as you please fitting in a 2 hour session is not a big deal.

2.   Table Selection- You can size up your competition before ever posting a blind.  This could be very profitable if done right.

3.   One or two hands makes the session- Get tricky with a set or flop a flush and you just doubled up in real money, and that’s nice.

4.   Choose your limits- There are all sorts of games running at all times at all levels.  You are not forced to play only at a $5/$10 table if that is not your game.  Again, great money management.

Of course there are differences in how you play a tournament game vs. a cash game (which we will talk about later) but generally speaking tournament play provides a great value for your bankroll over all.  And with just about every casino in Vegas having a card room, there is a tournament starting at all times so finding one is never hard.

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2 Responses

  1. 44 Says:

    Tournaments are more fun — more exciting — more of a rush for sure — and I look forward to playing them. But cash games in my opinion are more profitable. Although they are slower and less exciting, you can hang back and pick your spots and make some really big money on the right hands. There is no pressure to push too hard like there is in a tournament. Instead, you can push when the odds are in your favor.

    If I were too play poker for a living, cash games is where I’d make my money. But as a very occasional player, when I do play, I like to play a tournament simply for the thrill of it.

  2. Don Says:

    I totally agree. Especially @ $1-$2 no-limit tables. There is a lot of value in a lot of pots for only a small investment. You hit your hand and there are more fireworks then at the Bird’s Nest!

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