Tournaments versus Cash Games? Which is best for you?

Tense game
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Poker Tournaments versus Poker Cash Games.

This question usually brings up some interesting answers. Some of this boils down to personal likes and dislikes. For me it comes down to costs versus benefits. I prefer cash games because I can control my destiny and profitability. I don’t have to take unnecessary risks with my stack.

As a Limit Holdem player, I don’t usually risk my entire buy-in at one time during the course of play. I might loose it in one session, but overall the risks of playing in a cash game are not as great as the risk of playing in a tournament.

I might buy-in at a $1/2 limit holdem game for S20.00. Playing tight and aggressive, I might be able to earn about $6 to $10 per hour playing at that level.  If I take the same buy-in at a tournament, I might play for up to four or six hours, come in fourth place and get no hourly rate at all. In a cash game, the blinds and antes remain the same for the entire time you play. At a tournament, the blinds and antes escalate at prescribed times during the tourney. If you do not have enough chips by the middle of the tourney, it is going to be an uphill battle just to get paid off. For me, perhaps the best reason to play primarily cash games is that I usually do not do well in tournaments.

Having said all that, I have really enjoyed playing the tourneys with the Twitter group known as the “Twitter Poker Tour“.  The stakes were reasonable with a buy-in of $5.50 and I have profited by coming in first in one out of the three tourneys that I have been involved in so far.  I am currently in second place overall and hope to regain my lead with a good finish this Thursday night at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

What has your experience been? What are your choices? Do you play well in both cash games and tourneys or are you better at tourneys? Is a cash game your specialty?

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