Wager 2 Win - Online Casino Beginners Guide
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Poker Tournament Basics

It doesn't take a whole lot of brainstorming to realize that - as far as live poker is concerned - the real money is in the tournaments. High profile events like the WSOP Big Dance (Main Event) do not only attract world-wide attention, they attract thousands upon thousands of players too. Such landmark events put aside though, it's still tournaments that provide live players with the best EV out there.

In online poker, the differences between tournament EV and cash-game expectation are even more obvious. While in a cash-game you pay rake on every single hand that you play, in a tournament you get away with a one time fee, which will not change regardless of how many hands you play in the tourney itself. That means you save a whole bunch of money on the rake alone.

In a poker tournament, winning - though very rewarding, is not a must. One can make money just by finishing in one of the money positions. In a cash-game, if you do not win hands, do not steal blinds and do not stay focused 100% of the time, you'll end up losing or breaking even.

As far as the buy-in/return ratio goes, one has to choose between STTs (Single table tournaments) and MTTs (Multi table tournaments). STTs offer players better odds for winning, but a smaller return in case they do make it to the money. MTTs are tougher to beat than STTs (one has to survive hundreds, possibly thousands of players, while there are only about 7 other opponents to beat in a STT to get to the money). The decision is eventually made based on bankroll management considerations and one's skill level.

Since the goals are so different in cash games and tournaments at online casinos or poker rooms, the strategies involved have to be different too. Being a good cash-game player doesn't mean you'll be that good a tourney player too.

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