What Should I Be Playing?

After feeling pretty pleased with the results of my experimental single table tournament earlier, I wasn’t sure whether to go play a fixed limit cash game, the format that I used to make all my money on, or further no limit tournaments.  It’s hard to turn down the money on offer on a Friday night in favour of playing tournaments with the main goal being improvement rather than financial gain.

I decided to play some cash games but it didn’t start off too well at all.  I found myself playing differently than I would usually, incorporating tactics that are just not right for those games.  I took a bit of a hit and felt quite annoyed with myself.  But the new me knows how to deal with that.  So I had a short break and pondered the situation over another coffee.  In that time I reset my thinking and decided to focus on the job in hand.  It wasn’t too long before I made back the lost money with a small bit on top.

By that time there weren’t as many soft tables and to be honest, I wasn’t really feeling it.  So I opened up the tournament tab in PokerStars to see what was available.  The ‘Hot $4.40’ was still taking late registrations.  It had already been running nearly 2 hours and registration was about to close.  I knew that buying in would start me off with just 12 big blinds but I thought I’d take a shot at getting lucky.  A few hands in I was dealt a pair of tens with 2 limpers in, so I shoved all in, won the hand and suddenly had just short of the average stack.

I made sure that I was following the rules I’ve made for myself and the guidelines that I have so far uncovered in the Nick Wealthall training program.  I’ve just busted out with about 140 or so players left.  Total entrants 6730, I entered with about half of those remaining.  I felt like I played well although from the point of about 400 players left I was clinging on a bit and didn’t have too much room to manoeuvre.  I just couldn’t get back to the average stack.

Looking at the tournament from a learning point of view, I’m fairly pleased even though I could perhaps have done better, but looking at it from a financial view I only made a rather measly $14, for about 3 hours work.  That’s not exactly the big time is it?

I’ve had the question that this poses rolling around in my head for a long time.  Should I be bothering with large tournaments?  The fields are so big that final table payouts are a very good haul, but a finish like I had just isn’t worth the time if you look at it purely financially, especially when you consider all the times I’ll bust out before the cash.  I could be making more playing other games.

I think I might give some more sit and go’s a chance.  I had some success in the $4.50 180 player tournaments a few months back, finishing 1st, 2nd, 4th twice and a couple with minimum cashes, over the course of about 15 entries.  The thing is that you’re looking at about 4 and a half hours to complete it, which is fine when you finish in the top 5, but lower than that and there’s not a great hourly rate.

I think I need to give some serious thought to the tournaments that I play in.  I also want to start thinking about no limit cash games, especially now I’ve started to get my aggression up.

Before that though, it’s definitely time for bed.

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