Thursday, May 12, 2005

Why I don't play tournaments

When I tell people that I wrote a poker book, they often ask if I've ever been on TV. Or, if they watch poker on TV regularly, they ask why they haven't seen me on TV. The fact is, I rarely play tournaments.

Actually, I like tournaments alot. They are fun, interesting, filled with intellectual exercises, and there is a ton of positive expectancy in them these days. Tournaments are bringing in a ton of new players to the Hold'em. So why don't I play in them? Because I simply don't have the energy or the stamina to play 15 hours at the poker table and only taking breaks on their schedule. In order to make it to the final table, one would have to play a good 12 to 16 hours and maybe more, especially in the big fields these days.. If the tournament starts at noon, it may not end until 3am. Although I'm not old by a longshot, I simply don't have the energy to play for that length of period on a regular basis. If I do play that long, I need to take many breaks - on my own time, not on the tournaments schedule.

Once in a while, I do get the urge to play in a tournament, and I am tempted. However, understand that tournament strategy is often different from side game strategy. Since I know I haven't thought about it much nor read any of the good tournament books, I know I wouldn't be playing with nearly as much edge as I should be. Knowing that is usually enough for me to decide not to play, my edge is bigger in the ring games. If I do play tournaments, I should be playing in them all the time, instead of just once in a blue moon.

I'm not saying that players should stick to only tournaments or stick to only ring games. All I'm saying is that I know myself, and my decision not to play in tournaments is right for me. I'm not advocating that anyone make the same decision as me.

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