Published on 2007-03-22 21:44:49

This is an oft-debated subject on boards such as Pocket Fives and 2+2. If you are a reasonably skilled poker player and are looking to make the most amount of money during the hours that you have to play, should you focus on multi-table tournaments or cash games?

There are arguments for both. The argument for multi-table tournaments is that, all it takes is one big score and your next 3-4 months is made in terms of income. The argument for cash games is that the earnings are quite a bit more stable, and you won't have dramatic fluctuations in your income. Sure, you will have upswings and downswings in cash games, but if you are logging 10,000+ hands per month, you will have a very good idea of where you stand after those 10,000+ plus hands.

The arguments against multi-table tournaments? There is way too much luck involved. Let's say that you are on the bubble of a big Sunday tournament, and are clearly better than 90% of the players left in the tournament. You are dealt AA and open push, and are called by someone with a similar stack to you who holds AK. The flop comes K K Q and you are out of the tournament, receiving no help on the turn and river. You have just played probably 5 hours and received absolutely nothing, and were knocked out by pure luck. This is the argument against MTT tournaments.

The arguments against cash games? Most people who argue against cash games would say that they are boring, and the true fun of multi-table tournaments is when people's stacks start getting low and they need to start open-pushing.

I think you will find that really successful players (most of them anyways) started out with multi-table tournaments, and then evolved to become cash game players. I am thinking about the likes of ActionJeff, Ozzy87, amongst others. I think that they would say that the luck factor in cash games is much lower, and the fact that they are great players really shines through in cash games. It is much easier to put someone to the test in cash games than in multi-table tournaments, and good play gets rewarded much more in cash games.

I would say that if you want steady income, then cash games is the way to go. If you need that excitement and are drawn in by the allure of that big score, then multi table tournaments are probably for you. Either way, best of luck at the tables!


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