Monday, July 25, 2005

by Lou on July 25, 2005

A recent post to the Internet newsgroup was discussing tournament poker versus cash games, and the person positing was making the point that tournament poker is not the way to make lots of money over one’s lifetime. He stated:

If tournaments were such a lucrative way to make money for touring professionals, theywouldn’t need backing for one. Corporate sponsorship wouldn’t be needed. Have you ever heard of cash players asking for money to be added to the pot? Why do tournament players need money added to their pot?

I chimed in with the points below:

1. Why Is Corporate Sponsorship Needed? While it may not be needed, it’s certainly more desirable to play for someone else’s prize pool than one you’ve contributed yourself. This is what makes professional golf, tennis, rodeo, and other analagous events so good for the compeititor. Their own money is not at risk; the sponsor’s is.

2. Why are Tournament Players So Often Broke? Two reasons come to mind, and it seems impossible to separate out how much each factor is present in any given player’s own personal equation. For starters, many players are broke because the variance in tournaments is so much greater than it is in cash games. You can play tournament poker very well for a long time and not have anything to show for your entry fee.

Addtionally, many tournament players have other leaks too. Whether it’s sports betting, drugs, craps, or some combination of these and other money mismanagement problems, these proplems conspire to leech money away from a player’s tournament winnings.

Just for the record, many cash game players probably have the same problems too, but you can’t see it as readily because their wins and losses are not public knowledge like their tournament wins.

What are your thoughs on this topic:
1. If you’re going to make a living playing poker, is tournament poker the way to go or are cash games a better avenue to pursue?
2. Do most poker players have leaks that bleed money away from their poker game?
3. What’s your opinion about the possibilities of sponsored tournaments within the next five years: Do you think it will become a reality?
4. If poker tournaments were sponsored the way the PGA tour is and most or all of the prize pool was sponsor funded, would you seriously consider becoming a full-time, tourning poker tournament player?
5. If you can’t see your way clear to doing this on a full-time basis, would you give tournament poker a try on a part-time basis, perhaps by playing only in local tournaments that would not require much, if any, travel or time away from your day job?

Send me your answers……….

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