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Why Cash Games Are Great During a Major Live Poker Festival

1,513 Views on 6/10/21

Sometimes, in poker at least, it’s better not to follow the crowd and take a look at what’s going on elsewhere

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It’s World Series of Poker time again and for the next couple of months all eyes are going to be on the tournament tables in Las Vegas. So what about all the cash game action?

Whether you play poker online or live, things are going to be a little different for a while and cash games might just be the best place to be for a few reasons. Sometimes, in poker at least, it’s better not to follow the crowd and take a look at what’s going on elsewhere.

Seeking Out the Big Winners

It’s well-known that the cash game sharks travel to Las Vegas during the WSOP just hoping to get on a table with a player who just scored a nice win in a tournament.

The WSOP is full of recreational players who are there to soak up the atmosphere and to have a good time, winning is only a bonus and not expected. To that end, when some amateur does win big, very often they can be seen heading over the the cash game tables to try and eke out a little bit more.

Unfortunately, for many of these players, they don’t have any idea that the strategy is completely different from tournaments.

To the uninitiated, it looks like they can sit down in a cash game and make their buy-in last a long time by playing conservatively. They have no idea whatsoever how easily stacks can start flying over even a short space of time.

To sum up, cash game tables in Las Vegas can be extremely soft. Your job is to work out if the fish have arrived yet or it’s just sharks sat biding their time.

Waiting Around

Another difference from quieter times of the year is how often you will find recreational players at the venue waiting for their tournament to start. Naturally some of them will lack the patience to sit and relax quietly until the start time, preferring to jump into a cash game that is running nearby.

This is why it’s important to be already sitting down playing. If you prefer to stand back and look at who is playing you might miss your chance, allowing another reg to stack the rec before you have a chance to get seated.

Even if you have to sit playing other regs while you all wait for a mark to arrive it can very often be worth it.

Shop Around

Although the World Series of Poker is running right now, this advice really is applicable for any major festival. All live poker series have the same mix of strong and weak players who all follow the same patterns.

Something that is specific to events in Las Vegas is the choice of where to play. The tournament action might all be located at the Rio Convention Center but there will be poker rooms open up and down the Las Vegas Strip giving you plenty of choice to shop around to find the best action.

Finding the most suitable casino isn’t a straightforward task because everybody has their own opinion. You need to get out there and see for yourself by checking out as many poker rooms as you can. But don’t worry, because if you’re in Las Vegas there’s plenty of quality choices.


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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