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Why Are Poker Tournaments More Fun?

The two most popular formats of poker are cash games and tournaments. They may appear the same on the surface (they use chips, there is a flop-turn-river, and players are vying to win)…but functionally the games are quite different. If you are new to poker, or a cash game player wondering why tournaments are so alluring, these are the 5 reasons why poker tournaments are more fun (and maybe even more profitable for you!)

The Tournament Rush

There is a huge adrenaline rush that comes with building a big chip stack, making a deep run and riding the waves of tournament poker. It is one of the most profound feelings you can experience in the game of poker, which is why I think every poker player owes it to themselves to have a least one deep tournament run in their lifetime.

Glory & Cash

Winning a poker tournament is one of the greatest triumphs you will experience in poker, even if it’s only a 10 person sit n go. The closest feeling for cash game players, is that of ‘breaking a game’ and being the only player at the table with chips, because everyone else either lost to you or quit. It is very empowering to feel that you bested ALL of your competition.

Find Your Own Limits

Success in tournament poker requires long playing sessions, which will take you to your limits and show you what you’re capable of. While it’s not something you’d want to do everyday, occasionally visiting your edge, can teach you a lot about yourself, and show you how you react under pressure. Getting comfortable with this, will give you a huge edge on other competitors who are experiencing this for the first time. Tournament poker allows you to experience playing under high pressure without having to increase your investment (because the nature of a tournament is that the stakes go up as the game progresses, but your risk is fixed from the start of the event)

Love The Shove

Tournament poker involves a lot of short stack play, which means a lot of all-in pots, which means a lot of luck and uncertainty. I don’t know about you, but I find that there’s a pretty big rush with being all-in and it’s a feeling that can be hard to find elsewhere. Given the nature of tournaments you will play more all-in pots than in cash games, and the significance of each coin-flip confrontation is also much more slot gacor

A Variety In Formats

Most of the tournament is played in a 9 handed or 10 handed setting, but the most critical juncture of tournaments happens on the final table bubble (when play is shorthanded) and the majority of the prize money is divided up on the final table (when play is also shorthanded). To win a tournament, you not only need to be a strong player in 9/10 handed format…but also shorthanded AND heads up to finally ship the event.

It’s easy to see that the late game is very different from the early game…and thus the game that got people to the late stages of a tournament, is not going to be a game that is capable of closing it out. And thus, in tournament poker, you not only get to play high stakes against weaker competition (on average than you would in cash games), but if you’re lucky enough to reach the part of the tournament where all the money’s awarded, you get to play high stakes in a format that most of your competition has little-to-no experience playing, they will also be experiencing high levels of fatigue, high levels of anxiety and nervousness (because the money is so significant) and thus be prone to making major mistakes …and you and I both know, that opponents’ mistakes are where the money is made in Poker IDNPLAY!

Now that you know why I love playing tournament poker, and why you can make great money playing tournament poker when everything clicks into place, let’s look at how to choose the right tournament for you, based on your personal goals and needs. Because along with the great glory that comes with the thrill of victory, there is also a great disappointment and frustration that can come from choosing the wrong format, having unrealistic expectations, or not really seeing the big picture.

If you want to jump-start your success in poker tournaments, pick up the official Gripsed MTT Bundle. This bundle includes all the hands charts you’ll need for tournament play…the tournament ebook…and a complete video series to give you the skills you need. Tournaments are fun…but they are even more fun when you start making a lot of money from them!

5 Ideas Making More Time for Poker

Let’s face it, most of us don’t have as much time for poker as we’d like. And while those who count themselves among the time-challenged may forever be green with envy over the hours true grinders put in, there are ways to carve out more time for poker.

Time Audit

Idea: Track daily activities to find time management leaks

Coach James “SplitSuit” Sweeney is fond of reminding students that becoming better at the skills that make you a great poker player also means becoming better at the skills that give you a happy, fulfilling life.

The time audit is one of life’s great tricks to provide perspective on life while you’re busy living it. It’s a bit of a grind and takes some dedication and hard work, but the end results aren’t limited to more room for poker — you’ll be able to better organize your whole day-to-day.

The idea is to track absolutely everything you do for at least 1 week… one month if you want a real accurate picture of how you’re spending your time. The results will astonish you and probably change the way you think about many of the things you do (and don’t do) in life.

One easy way to set this up is to keep a spreadsheet where each row is a 15-minute increment, or even just a run-of-the-mill calendar app. Set alarms throughout the day for every few hours, and pause for a few minutes to jot down what you spent your previous few hours on. You can also use software like Rescue Time to automate much of the tracking, and give detailed analytics on where you’re spending your time.

As you get better at auditing your time, you’ll see obvious patterns where you get distracted or can tend to procrastinate. You’ll see simple changes you can make to streamline routines and buy time all over the place. You’ll see activities you can chunk together to save time. And you’ll be able to value your time more appropriately, now that you know exactly how you’re spending it. Which, hopefully, is more frequently at the poker table.

Incremental Approach

Idea: Increase table time slowly, in small increments over time

When starting a new habit, it’s best to take tiny steps. Want to do 50 pushups a day? Start with 1. Even if you CAN do 50, starting with 1, then increasing to 2, and so on will ensure you build a solid habit of doing something first. It’s more about consistency than quantity or quality when you’re first starting out.

A lot of times, the poker-starved player, when given the opportunity to binge on poker, burns themselves out. Don’t be the weekend warrior who camps out in the casino for a week on a lark and blows the bankroll. Just stay an extra hour or two. The slower and steadier you build up your allotted poker time, the easier it will be to make more poker a part of your routine.

Streamline Sessions

Idea: Bookend poker sessions with consistent routines

Some players have leaks when it comes to the process they go through just to get to the table, but for most players it’s the leaks that happen afterwards that monopolize the most time… particularly after a winning session.

Less time spent in a routine getting to the table (for most of us, a long meal or some other indulgence) equals more time at the table, period. And for sure, allowing a winning session to be celebrated all night (or a losing session to be mourned through insomnia) is a sure-fire way to rob yourself of time on the felt.

If you want to maximize your poker time, do yourself a favor and streamline the routines that take you to the table and away from it.

Game Selection

Idea: Find games that play to the strengths of your schedule

We all know the poker room is at its juciest on Friday and Saturday nights. But sometimes Monday is the only night you can play poker. There are ways to make it work, but you might have to cast your net beyond the casino and into the home game scene to find a nice edge. Or, if you’re feeling particularly tech-savvy and brave, you could take your game online, where action’s available 24/7 (with a few exceptions, mostly in the US).

If you’re not getting enough of your poker fix, think outside the game you’ve currently selected and see if there are other opportunities to mix it up during your more avaialable moments.

Game Improvement

Idea: Getting better gives you many edges in staying at the table longer

How does improving your game give you more time for Daftar Poker IDNPLAY? By giving you more of an edge. And an edge can slice and dice time like a katana.

If you have an edge over your opponents, you can justify spending more time at the table, period. If finances are your only justification, it’s easy to make the case for staying at a table where the action is good and your edge is significant.

Getting better means winning more, and winning more tends to somewhat silence the critics and skeptics in your life who might question the value in sitting at a table playing cards for most of the day.

There’s no doubt improving your game improves the quality of your experience. But above all, it gives you extra lives, better odds, a greater likelihood you’ll still be standing (or sitting) when the dust settles and the chips fall. The better you are, the more likely you’ll be back the next day with a fresh stack and a positive attitude, and that’s what it takes to hang in there. Everyone has room for improvement, and making you better to make you more time to play is what we’re all about.

Bluffing with Relative Position

A few weeks ago I played an interesting hand in the $5-10NL $1500 cap game at the Commerce Casino. It was late on a Friday night and the game was generally loose and good, and I had just moved to the table. The villain in this hand was in the big blind, but was totally unknown to me. During my first orbit at the table I decided to raise from UTG with 5 ♥ 6 ♥, albeit a pretty light open to $35. Much to my dismay the hijack, button and big blind all called usually forcing me to make a hand in order to win the pot.

I got one of the best flops for my hand, K♥ 3♠ 4♣, giving me an open ended straight draw plus a backdoor flush draw. Unexpectedly the unknown villain in the big blind led out at the pot for $60. Because I had raised from UTG my range was pretty strong and I was a bit torn between raising to put pressure on the big blind or just calling. The problem was that the two players in position were decent and aware and I thought that they could put me in a tough spot if they realized that my flop raise was a bit unbalanced. I did not think that the blind was super strong, as players do not usually lead out with sets on such a dry board, but I decided to just call. Both the players behind me folded and we saw a 4♠ turn headsup.

At this point I expect the big blind to check a lot with his kings, as I showed a lot of strength calling next to act on the flop. With two players behind me usually I am forced to fold pairs between 4s and queens leaving me with big kings, sets AA etc. If the big blind lead out on the flop with a hand like KT or KJ he is behind a lot when I call. But, my opponent continued to lead, this time for $130. It is also important to note that with the 4 pairing the combinations of flopped sets goes down from six combinations to four now, and most player might check the turn with a full house or quads. So I still thought that the big blind was sort of blindly betting with a king. Given the pot odds I was getting ($130 for $390) plus the hidden implied odds of hitting my straight, I concluded that this was a clear-cut call. Against a king I had eight outs out of forty-four unseen cards. That meant that I had 8/44 chance of hitting or 1/5.5. I would need to win at least 4.5 times his turn bet from the total pot to make the call profitable, or in this case $595. Facing the bet the pot was already $390, so I would only need to make an extra $205 to reach this goal. After my turn call this only represents 40% of the pot on the river, which is why I decided to continue on.

Unfortunately for me, the river rolled off an off suit ten, leaving me with just six high. Now my opponent checked. Normally at this level, I am not in the business of trying to move players off of top pair, but I thought that this spot was just too good. You see, once I raised preflop from UTG, AND called the flop and turn bets my range was very strong. Usually I have a hand that is at least KTs and I thought that if I bet large it would be extremely difficult for the big blind to call with just a king. If I had held KQ or better and got to this river I would have had a clear value bet as I would not expect the big blind to check KT, which now runs into top two pair. So I used all of this information and decided to fire large, $550, almost the entire size of the pot. However, my opponent took about three seconds with his decision and called with K8os.

The funny thing here, is, especially with the rainbow board, the only draw that I have that has missed is 56s specifically or four combinations. I have six combos of AA, 6 combos of AK, and six combos of KQ in my range. Occasionally I might also have one combo of a full house or quads that I may have played this way. My “range advantage” given my opponents line and this board run out was too favorable for me to not bluff here at the end especially with no showdown value. When I got called by Agen Poker IDNPLAY, I temporarily felt a bit sheepish, but realized that my bet was highly profitable.
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