There are many different formats of online poker from sit & gos to limit cash, but the one form which amateurs should consider playing is multi-table tournaments.
MTTs are the most popular format in the poker world with hundreds of thousands of players taking part in online tournaments on dozens of sites every week. Popular sites like William Hill, Winner Poker and Pokerstars have tournaments running every hour. In this post I will cover the many pros (and some cons) to playing tournaments online, and why it should be the only format of poker that amateurs should play.
Why you should forget about cash poker
Most amateur players play online for the pure entertainment value of the game. For that reason most online players are recreational players and do not deposit large amounts online. In order to maximize the amount of time and enjoyment you can have online you should rule out playing cash game poker.
In cash games each bet you make is investing a part of your bankroll. This makes it tough to stretch out your small investment and maximize the amount of time you can play on your favorite site.
If you invest in low buy-in tournaments, you can have hundreds of hours of entertainment from a small $50 or $100 investment.
The other major disadvantage of playing cash games is that most cash tables have 2 or more “regulars”. Regulars are professional or semi-professional players who are sharks and prey on weak recreational players. The bottomline – stay away from cash tables.
A small investment can bring a massive return
The biggest advantage of tournament poker is that it’s the only way to turn a small investment into a massive score. There is no better feeling in poker then winning a tournament which cost you a couple dollars for a score in the thousands of dollars.
The attractive aspect of tournaments for the “big score” draws hundreds and sometimes thousands of amateur players. Because most tournaments are full of weak players, this helps your chances of making final tables and winning that big score.
Wide variety of formats
There are many different types of poker tournaments online from turbo speed to re-buys. Most sites offer a few types of tournaments with the turbo and re-buy formats being the most popular. Other popular formats include heads-up tournaments, hyper speed tournaments, winner takes all and of course 6-max.
Amateur players should stick to the regular format or the turbo format if there is a time constraint. The slower the blind levels, the more play and entertainment you will have.
Take part in tournament series
Every now and then poker sites run tournament series. Some of the most popular are WCOOP and the Micro-millions on Pokerstars. During these series the sites run impressive tournaments regularly with leaderboards and other promotions. Make sure you check out the promotions pages of your favorite sites to know when one of these tournament series is scheduled to start. Read all the details so you are not missing out on a valuable promotion or deposit bonus.
Playing MTTs can be a lot of fun but like every other poker format there are some cons. The biggest con with playing only tournament poker is that most tournaments take a few hours to complete. Some amateurs don’t want to have to invest 5 hours in a game. They want an hour of fun and then quit when they have had enough. This is not possible with large tournaments unless you sit out or force your elimination from the tournament which is just silly.
Another major con is that because some tournaments have thousands of players, you need a lot of luck to get to the final table and to make that big score. Even professional tournament players need a lot of luck to win tournaments simply because of the way that poker works. In a tournament you will be all-in multiple times and in order to win the tournament you will need to win the vast majority of these all-ins, especially the key ones.
Recreational poker players are looking to maximize the enjoyment they can have while playing online. I hope that some of the tips in this post will help you consider playing multi-table tournaments if you are a recreational player. If you are a recreational player and having your doubts about playing multi-table tournaments then let us know in the comments section below.