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Five Reasons You Should Choose Cash Games Over Tournaments

2,667 Views on 17/9/19

It is important to make the right choice at the beginning of your poker career

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The argument over whether you should choose to play cash games or tournaments is almost as old as the game itself. The reasons for choosing either generally comes down to your personal circumstances as well as personality, so it is important to make the right choice at the beginning of your poker career.

Here are five reasons why you might want to stick to cash games over tournaments.

#1 - Complete Freedom to Choose Your Playing Times

If you harbour any ambition to be a successful tournament player, you must accept the long hours stuck in game with severely limited time to take a break. Online you are usually left with five minutes per hour to get up for a bathroom break. Cash games, on the other hand, allow you the freedom to get up whenever you feel like it.

The sessions can be as long or short as you are in the mood for. This is crucial for playing your best poker at all times.

#2 - Less Variance

Tournament poker has much more variance than cash games. Even after playing several thousand events over a year, with a confirmed healthy win rate, it is far from certain that you will make a profit. Cash games are much less extreme with online players being able to play well into six-figures over a single month.

This number of hands is usually enough to guarantee you a profit if you are a confirmed winning player.

#3 - More Interesting and Sophisticated Play

Deep stacked cash games are as sophisticated as poker ever gets. Learning how to wield a large stack without losing too much of it unnecessarily is a difficult task. For this reason cash game play is viewed as more interesting than what tournament play has to offer. That’s not to say MTT players are not as good - it doesn’t work like that - there’s just a lot more to consider when you have a deep stack. A lot of tournament play is learning what hand ranges you can push and call with pre flop.

The mechanics are a lot simpler.

#4 - Table Selection

With cash games you are able to choose which tables you want to play on. Obviously with tournaments this is not going to happen. This wrinkle gives savvy players the chance to practice game selection to put themselves into the most profitable situations during their game time.

Why play on tough tables or against randoms in a tournament when you can seek out opponents who you know you have the measure of.

#5 - More Practical Site Selection

To play enough volume as a tournament player you are going to face a limited choice of where you can play. Also, if you want to play in big events with thousands of players and a huge first place prize then the choice is even less. With cash games, if you want to seek out the softest tables around then the less well-known sites are going to provide all you need. Okay, the software might sometimes not be as great as the bigger sites, but you can’t have everything. In fact, the worse the software, the less likelihood of reg-infested games.

Our top tip is to find new sites focussing on the Asian market where you will find weaker opponents who are behing the current skill level of Europeans and Americans. HighStakes offer micro stakes all the way up to the nosebleeds; often showcasing €500/€1000 blind games.


Mark Patrickson

Mark Patrickson is a professional cash game player grinding stakes up to 100nl 6 Max NL Hold'em13 years experience of poker, across MTT SnG and cash, FL PL NL.Currently living in South East Asia and trying to make it back to mid-stakes befo ... Read More

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