Friday 2/21/14 time 8:05 PM - PokerHelena
Couple of weeks ago I was invited to join a private cash game. I knew that the players would be much more experienced than I was, so I was a bit hesitant before going. But as the saying goes - if you want to become better you have to play with those that are better. So all I had to decide was what would be the price of my learning this time.
The buy-in was 50€, which I considered to be quite a good price to pay for a good learning experience (and tons of fun!). The beginning didn't go well at all. The game was definitely much more aggressive than in a casual bar poker game. I froze, made few rookie mistakes and slowly started losing my chips.
I tend to take every game very sersiouly. I'm definitely not one of those players who go to table and then bluff big time until I'm rich or broke. But I did realize I should loosen it up a little bit.
After an hour or so, however, I started to get into the game more. I guess on one hand I relaxed a bit and on the other hand learned more about how the other guys were playing. First big bluffs were revealed, first painful losses were made. So bit by bit I started winning my money back.
Confidence obviously plays a big part in poker. I was way too careful at the beginning, but it's better than playing in an unconfident manner and losing it all. Eventually I finished the game with 85€ on the plus side, which makes it my biggest win in a cash game so far. I think I was 2nd or 3rd in terms of winnings, which was not bad at all. Not quite a millionaire yet, but it's a start :)
Monday 2/17/14 time 8:19 PM - PokerHelena
When I started playing poker I played only tournaments at first. There were few simple reasons for that:
1. As a beginner you know what you will get into. You pay the certain sum of money and it will be the maximum you will lose in the worst case.
2. It has a starting and ending time. While this might not seem as a good thing, as it lacks the flexibility that cash games have, I saw it as a positive thing. With cash games you can easily forget yourself playing, until you get tired or distracted and lose in the end (I'm so positive, right?).
Even worse, when I tried cash games for the first times I just lost everything very fast. So you can understand why I was a bit hesitant to proceed with that. I was wondering what I did wrong, so googled "tournaments vs cash games" to understand the differences better.
Now I'm wondering if I hit some kind of ideological discussion, as I found some pretty heated discussions. So here's the summary of the passionate debate.
- In tournaments you can win more money
- Live tournaments are more exciting
- Tournament players are more skillful, as you have to deal with increasing blinds
Cash games players:
- Tournament players play tournaments only not to lose too much money
- Cash games have more flexibility - come and go whenever you want
- Cash game players are more skillful players, as you have to deal with changing players and manage chips (that you can buy more at any time, hence lose potentially more money)
Now I play both and I've seen the benefits of both. I have stopped losing in online cash games (yippiii!) and can see that it's easiest to play when you don't have several hours of time. Also the chances to win in a tournament are smaller than in a cash game. You make one bad move in a tournament and this might be the end of the game for you.
At the same time I love the feeling in tournaments that you can actually win the game. Perhaps I'm sometimes overly competitive, but winning cash AND winning the game is so much cooler than just winning cash.
Also I would love to play in some big tournaments to get the overwhelming excitment that many people talk about. While poker is a game of money, I have to admit that great atmosphere take the game to the next level.