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What do you think has a higher hourly, Tournaments/SNG's or Cash games?

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  1. #1

    Default What do you think has a higher hourly, Tournaments/SNG's or Cash games?

    Hi cash game here. I'm naturally biased towards cash games, in fact I'm so biased towards cash games that I got about $300+ in poker points I've accumulated from thousands of hours of cash games that I'm avert to using because I kinda disdain tournament structures, even though I think I could pick it up relatively easily with a penchant for playing in deep stacked cash games, shorter stacks and bigger blinds makes the thought process a bit easier. However I am bad at tournaments atm.

    My friend who is a professional cash game player, he makes regular withdrawals from Bovada to finance day-day life maintains that he doesn't really use his poker points either because he thinks his hourly from cash games is much higher than if he were to use those poker points for SNG's and Tournaments. In essence, to him, it's like taking a paycut.

    I think the variance might be higher in tournaments as well, a few times I busted out on the bubble getting sucked out on even though I had a marginally better hand when the money went in. I've never been particularly lucky when it comes to tournaments I think.

    It also kinda bugs me you know you play a tournament for like 3-4 hours and stop short of final table and only win a measly $25-$90 or even nothing at all.

    What do the tournament players on here think? And what would it take for a deep stack cash game player like me to learn tournaments and start a tourney bankroll off my unused poker points?
    Last edited by JimmyS1985; 05-15-2016 at 05:18 AM.
  2. #2
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    I think it depends on your own preferences. Many people struggle to keep focus for hours at a time, or just don't have the time to commit so long to a poker session.

    And yeah you have to be happy to win $25 for four hours of grinding. It's obviously difficult to make an hourly rate if that's the kind of prize you're usually picking up, and variance is indeed higher in tournaments. The reason for this is you have to dodge a lot more bullets to win a prize... the upshot is that when you do, the prize tends to be much bigger.

    Tournament play requires a much deeper level of stamina, patience and discipline. You can play perfectly for three hours, run AK into AA, then make a mistake next hand feeling tilted, and suddenly you went from a 250bb beast who was running over the table to a 20bb shortstack feeling depressed at the size of your stack. You have to be able to take this on the chin, because it happens. Likewise, you can scrape along seemingly folding 95% of our hands, just winning enough to keep up with the blinds, and then step up a gear after bubble to go deep. In fact I think my deepest runs have come from games where I've scraped into the cash.

    Cash games, on the other hand, provides flexibility and less variance, which means a more stable hourly rate that suits your daily routine more.

    You should ask yourself if you think you have the skills to play long games of tournament poker. Are you patient? That's the most important factor imo. If so, if you're more patient than your villains, more disciplined, then you'll stand a good chance of making more money in the long run.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    I think it depends on your own preferences. Many people struggle to keep focus for hours at a time, or just don't have the time to commit so long to a poker session.

    And yeah you have to be happy to win $25 for four hours of grinding. It's obviously difficult to make an hourly rate if that's the kind of prize you're usually picking up, and variance is indeed higher in tournaments. The reason for this is you have to dodge a lot more bullets to win a prize... the upshot is that when you do, the prize tends to be much bigger.

    Tournament play requires a much deeper level of stamina, patience and discipline. You can play perfectly for three hours, run AK into AA, then make a mistake next hand feeling tilted, and suddenly you went from a 250bb beast who was running over the table to a 20bb shortstack feeling depressed at the size of your stack. You have to be able to take this on the chin, because it happens. Likewise, you can scrape along seemingly folding 95% of our hands, just winning enough to keep up with the blinds, and then step up a gear after bubble to go deep. In fact I think my deepest runs have come from games where I've scraped into the cash.

    Cash games, on the other hand, provides flexibility and less variance, which means a more stable hourly rate that suits your daily routine more.

    You should ask yourself if you think you have the skills to play long games of tournament poker. Are you patient? That's the most important factor imo. If so, if you're more patient than your villains, more disciplined, then you'll stand a good chance of making more money in the long run.

    Do you think $300 to buy $5.50 and $10+1 tournament tickets is enough to start a tourney bankroll? Bear in mind it's all poker points that's the equivalent of $ that is sidelined and not being used anyways? Or would I need closer to 100 buy ins for the stakes of the tourney I want to play? I'd probably rather play the $10,000 $10+!1 GTD's than the $1,000 or $2,000 $5+$.50 tourneys.

    I agree with you that patience and discipline is something that's required for going deep into tourneys that is not required for cash game.s
  4. #4
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    The unfortunate answer to your original question is, as ever, that it depends.

    In this case, it depends on the quality of players you face vs. your own skills.

    At cash games, the fact that the opponents come and go means that a very profitable situation can turn into a neutral to terrible situation due to one whale leaving the table and a shark sitting down.

    At SNG's and MTT's, your own fatigue and stamina come into play in a way that can dramatically change how well you play. You can't get up from a bad table, either; you may be the fish at a table and know it, but you're stuck there anyway.

    Of course, your ability to play short stack poker vs. your ability to play deep stack poker is much more important in SNG and MTT play. There is never a reason to be on a short stack in a ring game.

    ***
    I'm not sure it's worth thinking about BRM when you're spending free points and promo tickets.

    Your friend's point about reducing his earnings by spending those freebies is interesting. Ask him about the notion that by NOT using those freebies, he's throwing away part of his winnings. It's not a cut and dry answer to me which method is best. On the one hand, reduced income per hour is not cool. On the other hand, the potential of reward for 0 risk is always nice (assuming you don't value the loss of those free points and tickets).

    At any rate, you can't beat the price for a beginner who wants to try out SNGs and MTTs. Those tickets are already earned and you may as well spend them instead of actual money while you're learning the new skill set required to play these formats.
  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by MadMojoMonkey View Post
    The unfortunate answer to your original question is, as ever, that it depends.

    In this case, it depends on the quality of players you face vs. your own skills.

    At cash games, the fact that the opponents come and go means that a very profitable situation can turn into a neutral to terrible situation due to one whale leaving the table and a shark sitting down.

    At SNG's and MTT's, your own fatigue and stamina come into play in a way that can dramatically change how well you play. You can't get up from a bad table, either; you may be the fish at a table and know it, but you're stuck there anyway.

    Of course, your ability to play short stack poker vs. your ability to play deep stack poker is much more important in SNG and MTT play. There is never a reason to be on a short stack in a ring game.

    ***
    I'm not sure it's worth thinking about BRM when you're spending free points and promo tickets.

    Your friend's point about reducing his earnings by spending those freebies is interesting. Ask him about the notion that by NOT using those freebies, he's throwing away part of his winnings. It's not a cut and dry answer to me which method is best. On the one hand, reduced income per hour is not cool. On the other hand, the potential of reward for 0 risk is always nice (assuming you don't value the loss of those free points and tickets).

    At any rate, you can't beat the price for a beginner who wants to try out SNGs and MTTs. Those tickets are already earned and you may as well spend them instead of actual money while you're learning the new skill set required to play these formats.
    Yea I told him that using his poker points on -EV casino games was, well -EV. But hey funny story here, we're all gamblers here afterall, my friend was burning through his poker points on -EV casino games, wanted to play a slot machine at $5 a pull to have a little fun but most importantly burn through his poker points. Instead, due to an oversight, he got $5 a line adding up to $125 a pull. We didn't realize this til maybe his 2nd pull. Thing is, is he hit a minijackpot of free spins right when we realized it. He pulled in $2933 or so on a -EV internet slot machine and initially I thought it wasn't real money or something to see my friend win $2933 right before our eyes.
  6. #6
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    I spend money on video games. Not all entertainment needs to be +EV.
  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyS1985 View Post
    Yea I told him that using his poker points on -EV casino games was, well -EV. But hey funny story here, we're all gamblers here afterall, my friend was burning through his poker points on -EV casino games, wanted to play a slot machine at $5 a pull to have a little fun but most importantly burn through his poker points. Instead, due to an oversight, he got $5 a line adding up to $125 a pull. We didn't realize this til maybe his 2nd pull. Thing is, is he hit a minijackpot of free spins right when we realized it. He pulled in $2933 or so on a -EV internet slot machine and initially I thought it wasn't real money or something to see my friend win $2933 right before our eyes.
    You say -EV but if you can convert points to cash at a somewhat decent % in a very short amount of time then that's probably a much better idea .
  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by ImSavy View Post
    You say -EV but if you can convert points to cash at a somewhat decent % in a very short amount of time then that's probably a much better idea .
    It's a silly habit of mine. I call all non-poker Casino games "-EV Casino Games". I think it helps me stay away from them perhaps since I don't like losing money on -EV plays.

    Technically Blackjack at a brick and mortar casino is potentially +EV, but I think for the vast majority of Casino people it's still a -EV game and would get u kicked out of the casino for good if you were any good at counting cards.
    Last edited by JimmyS1985; 05-15-2016 at 12:36 PM.
  9. #9
    MadMojoMonkey's Avatar
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    I tend to think of casino games in the same way, but Savy has a point.

    If you're "spending" something which has 0 value to you otherwise, and you win something of value even some of the time, then it's technically a +EV game. Value is relative.
  10. #10
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimmyS1985 View Post
    Do you think $300 to buy $5.50 and $10+1 tournament tickets is enough to start a tourney bankroll? Bear in mind it's all poker points that's the equivalent of $ that is sidelined and not being used anyways? Or would I need closer to 100 buy ins for the stakes of the tourney I want to play? I'd probably rather play the $10,000 $10+!1 GTD's than the $1,000 or $2,000 $5+$.50 tourneys.

    I agree with you that patience and discipline is something that's required for going deep into tourneys that is not required for cash game.s
    I would be playing $2 and $3 games, with maybe a weekly $10 sunday game with such a bankroll. Generally, I'd be thinking 100 buyins, but that's kinda tight, so I think you're good up to $5 if you're a competent tournament player, but I recommend you keep the $10 games to one a week until you have $750+.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  11. #11
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    I'd treat poker points like money. If I have $300 in tournament tickets or other rakeback returns, I'd treat that the same as a $300 cash bankroll. Well, maybe I'd be a little more slack because I can't cash it out so it must be spent on poker. But I'm not going crazy with it unless I'm leaving the site.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    I'd treat poker points like money. If I have $300 in tournament tickets or other rakeback returns, I'd treat that the same as a $300 cash bankroll. Well, maybe I'd be a little more slack because I can't cash it out so it must be spent on poker. But I'm not going crazy with it unless I'm leaving the site.
    If this is about what I said then poker is all about that hourly.
  13. #13
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImSavy View Post
    If this is about what I said then poker is all about that hourly.
    I was refrring to this from Jimmy's reply to me...

    Bear in mind it's all poker points...
    It doesn't make much difference to me if it's poker points or money, that's my point. It makes maybe a little difference in that I don't care if I lose it so much because it has to be spent on poker at that site.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  14. #14
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ImSavy View Post
    You say -EV but if you can convert points to cash at a somewhat decent % in a very short amount of time then that's probably a much better idea .
    If you're playing cash games, then converting to cash is probably better. But for tournaments, often the tickets are better value. I think stars is, though I don't play there anymore so I can't be sure (edit - I'm wrong!)
    Last edited by OngBonga; 05-15-2016 at 06:27 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  15. #15
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    I just had a look and stars have brought its tournament ticket value and cash value into line.

    I guess the key is to have a look at which is best value at your particular site.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    If you're playing cash games, then converting to cash is probably better. But for tournaments, often the tickets are better value. I'm sure stars is, though I don't play there anymore so I can't be sure.
    hourly

    Not to mention literally every person in the world overestimates their tournament edge, cash game players especially. Then we factor in things like reducing variance (eliminating if swapping for cash) and it's usually not that great an idea to go for tournament tickets but this is all besides the point.
  17. #17
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    Ok so your point is to favour cash games over tournaments, right? I've won more playing tournaments than I have playing cash games, I couldn't tell you which has a better hourly rate for me but I'd be surprised if it were cash. I think it depends on your own skills. I'm cool sitting on my arse for eight hours smoking weed listening to tunes playing poker, so I have an advantage over those who overestimate their stamina.

    I would hope jimmy is honest with his own personal assessment of whether he's cut out for MTT games. Noone here can help him with that.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  18. #18
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    Not to mention literally every person in the world overestimates their tournament edge, cash game players especially.
    I don't doubt this is true. I consider myself a tournament player who just happens to mostly play cash games out of convenience. I think my game is better suited to tournaments, because I don't get bored easily.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by OngBonga View Post
    Ok so your point is to favour cash games over tournaments, right? I've won more playing tournaments than I have playing cash games, I couldn't tell you which has a better hourly rate for me but I'd be surprised if it were cash. I think it depends on your own skills. I'm cool sitting on my arse for eight hours smoking weed listening to tunes playing poker, so I have an advantage over those who overestimate their stamina.
    Not my point at all. We are talking about people who are cash game players. You prefer tournaments so this question never even arises for you because free T$ are almost as good as real $.
  20. #20
    OngBonga's Avatar
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    I don't know if jimmy is a cash game player or an MTT player. Just because he plays cash games, that alone doesn't mean he's better off playing cash games. That's for him to decide, not you or I.
    Quote Originally Posted by wufwugy View Post
    ongies gonna ong
  21. #21
    cash game would determine the hourly rate much faster than sng and tournaments so, if you need immediate result I think cash game is good. tournament and sng you can't put even rough estimation until 5k games or more IMO

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