What is A Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament?
When it comes to playing poker, there is a major difference between a Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament and some of the cash games that have become so popular both online and in Las Vegas casinos.
When talking about Texas Hold Em poker, these are the two most common types of poker games played and with many people preferring tournament play to cash game play.
But what are the major differences between the two types?
What makes tournament play so unique and exciting?
And what makes it, in many instances, a more popular way to get in the game?
There are many reasons, most of them having to do with value and excitement for your poker dollar.
Types Of Texas Hold Em Poker Tournaments
There are two different types of Texas Holdem tournaments that you will find, whether it’s in a live poker room or on the internet.
You might find a Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament where the starting time is predetermined and the starting field will consist of however many players register before the start of the event.
In addition to that type of tournament, you will also find tournaments that are known as “Sit N Go” tournaments.
These have a set number of players that must be registered before they get started.
For instance, a 54-person Sit N Go would start immediately when 54 players have paid their registration fee.
How Are Hold Em Tournaments Structured?
For most poker tournaments, a set structure will rule the play.
Every player will start out with an equal number of chips and this number will typically be somewhere in the range of 75-100 times the starting big blind.
That means that for a tournament that starts with blinds of 10/20, the starting stacks will be in the 1,500 to 2,000 range.
Poker tournament structure can differ wildly depending upon the venue.
In live poker tournaments, the blinds usually increase every 30 minutes and this happens incrementally at what are called “levels”. This is kept track of using a Texas Holdem Poker tournament timer or clock.
For example, the blinds may go from 10/20 to 20/40, followed by similar increases as the tournament progresses and advances in levels.
When playing in an online poker tournament, the blind limits will usually go much faster. The typical time for each level online is somewhere in the 15-minute range, since there are more hands being played in a given time frame on the internet.
Because all players start out with the same amount of poker chips, some will lose their chips and other will have more chips as the tournament progresses. However, due to these increasing blind levels players short on chips are placed under pressure and the field is slowly but surely narrowed down.
Ultimately only 9 players will remain making it to the final table until only one player remains. This player will possess all of the tournament chips at the end of the Texas Hold Em tournament and will be declared the winner.
It is worth noting that some tournaments have “better” structures than others.
Typically players will prefer a structure with longer level times and tournaments that slowly increase the blinds.
This allows players to be patient and it rewards better play.
“Deep Stack” tournaments are also a staple of the industry and in these poker tournaments, players will start with twice as many chips as a normal tournament.
The way these tournaments are run depends upon the poker room and it is usually at the discretion of the poker tournament director or in the case of online tournaments, the site’s tournament manager.
What Is The Tournament Bubble?
Texas Hold Em Poker Tournaments work in a much different way than your typical cash game. In a cash game, you put down money to buy a certain number of chips and you can leave at any point, cashing in those chips for the associated dollar amount.
In a tournament, you pay a fee to enter and that fee goes into the pot that is divided at the end. With that in mind, the only results that you can have are finishing in the money and finishing out of the money.
When you hear people refer to the “bubble” in a Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament, they are talking about the time in a tournament where there are slightly more players than the number of payout spots.
For instance, if a tournament has 100 entrants and 20 people will be paid, the bubble will happen when there are 25 or so players remaining.
At this time, players with small stacks will usually tighten up their play because they want to hang around long enough for other players to bust out, allowing them to at least win back their entry fee, if not more.
What Are Poker Tournament Payout Structures Like?
One of the most important questions a beginning tournament poker player has is to do with payout structure.
For most tournaments, just more than 10% of the players will be paid out.
This differs depending upon the tournament type, but the general rule is that somewhere between 10% and 20% will get a prize.
As a general rule, the person who wins the entire tournament will take home somewhere around half of the tournament pot, with payouts getting progressively smaller as you go down the list.
In addition, part of the entry fee that you pay to enter a poker tournament will go to the house, in order to pay for running the tournament.
How Is Tournament Strategy Different From Cash Game Strategy?
The increasing tournament blinds are the major reason why poker tournament strategy is so different from a cash game strategy where the blinds remain the same. There are even varying strategies throughout the tournament depending on the stage of the Hold Em poker tournament and the current blind levels. Here is a general strategy guideline:
In the early stages of the poker tournament, it is generally advisable to play a tight, cash game strategy as the blinds are small relative to the size of the stacks. This level of the tournament most closely resembles a cash game.
As the tournament progresses, the blinds increase, so some players are eliminated and others have their stack sizes reduced drastically. In the middle of the tournament, you want to bully the short stacks who are struggling to stay alive. If you have a big stack, you can get all in against a short stack and even if you lose, you are still in the tournament. If the short stack loses, they are eliminated.
At The Bubble
Once you get to the “bubble”, you are going to want to increase your aggression towards the other players at the table, especially the shorter stacks. At this stage, everyone tends to tighten up their play as they want to hang on in order to make it to the money. So while they are playing tight, you want to be loose and aggressive in order to take down uncontested pots from the scared players
In the late tournament stages and at the final table, the blinds become a huge factor in the game. The blinds can increase so much that they may be quite large when compared to the stack sizes. At this point, you have to gamble. You can’t sit back and wait for a big hand since you will blind yourself out of play, or by the time you get a big hand, your stack will be so small that even if you double it up, it will still be a small stack! Time is your enemy and you have to push all in with medium strength hands in order to steal some pots and keep your head above water.
Now that you understand the basics of a Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament it is time to take your shot at the big game. There are thousands of online poker tournaments going on at this very minute, whether it be freerolls, Sit N Go’s or big multi-table buy-in tournaments.
A Texas Hold Em Poker tournament timer or clock is a great way to keep your home poker tourneys running smoothly.
Learn how the Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament Blinds are increased incremental throughout the course of a poker tournament.
A Texas Hold Em Home Poker Tournament is a great way to enjoy a game of poker with your friends.
Choosing the best Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament Payout Structure for your home poker tourneys is very important.
It is very important to lay out the Texas Hold Em Poker Tournament Rules before you begin playing or hosting poker tournaments.
A Texas Hold Em poker tournament manager is a great addition to your home poker tournament, helping you stay focused on your game and not running the tournament.
By applying these 4 easy Texas Hold Em poker tournament tips, you will make it deeper in any Hold Em tournament.Share This With Others:
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