Cash Games vs. Tournaments – Part 1 – Article by Bryan Huang

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    • #25127

      This article was posted at and written by Team PokerStars Pro – Bryan Huang

      You may be a cash game regular at your weekly home game or grinding it out daily at Pokerstars Macau and often wondered what the key differences are compared to tournaments. I will be highlighting the key differences you should look out for in this article.
      The biggest difference is that your chips in a tournament is finite. Unlike in a cash game where you can reload till your bank account goes empty, you only get a set amount of chips to work with and when you lose them all you are out of the tournament. As a result, the way chips are used in tournaments varies from a cash game. In a cash game you should often take get your chips in on any spots which you feel are slightly ahead or as we say “+EV” (positive expected value) because even if you lose in the short run, you will turn a profit in the long run.
      However in a tournament you should often fold in marginal spots even though you may feel you are slightly ahead because you could save those chips for a situation where you would have a bigger edge.
      Another difference would be the blinds in tournaments which increase to force the action which ensures that your tournament will not take a month to finish. The key point to take note of with blind increases is your ability to manoeuvre a stack of various sizes. You would find yourself with a deep stack similar to cash games (e.g. 150 Big blinds) and before you know it be only left with a medium or short stack of 30 or 10 big blinds. As your stack sizes change, your strategy has to change too.
      The importance of stealing blinds in a tournament is far greater then in a cash game. In a tournament, as a result of rising blind levels, the successful steal of the blinds & antes can equate to a large increase in your overall stack size. However in a cash game, the purpose of stealing blinds will be to play for a bigger pot, to take the initiative, or for your overall game play image.
      A successful stealing of the blinds in a cash game will only increase your stack by a small percentage and the likelihood of people folding to your raises is far less. In a tournament you will often be forced to steal – and not raise purely for value – to ensure your stack stay healthy. Position will now play a far greater role in your success rate of stealing.
      In the next article I will touch on the importance of fold equity and the importance of bubble play and cashing deep in tournaments because that is where your profit will show.

    • #25128
      jack brown

      Sound interesting!
      Now thinking to try this..

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