Poker, the good and the bad

Both Helaine and I have been playing on Obviously, our inability to win consistently means it must be fixed. It couldn’t have anything to do with skill… could it?

Mostly, we stay in low stakes tournaments. Pokerstars runs a bunch of tournaments. Maybe too many!

With all the tournaments, you often have to wait for a table to fill up. So, you’ll see 3 of 9 seats filled here and 2 of 9 there or 4 of 18 somewhere else. If there were less choices, there would be more filled tables at any given time.

Tonight, Helaine made 3rd place in a single table, fixed limit Hold’em tournament. Entry fee, $5.50. Payoff for 3rd, $9.00.

We can retire!

After walking Ivy the dog, I tried my luck at a 2 table, no limit Hold’em tournament. Entry fee, $11.00

PokerStars Tournament #259015, No Limit Hold’em

Buy-In: $10.00/$1.00

18 players

Total Prize Pool: $180.00

Tournament started – 2003/08/22 – 00:33:24 (EST)

Dear ctwxman,

You finished the tournament in 1st place.

A $72.00 award has been credited to your Real Money account.


Thank you for participating.

We’re still down $42 since we started around a week and a half ago. Quite honestly, it’s exciting, cheap entertainment. But, it would be more fun if we were currently winning.

One thought on “Poker, the good and the bad”

  1. I used to play in single table “sit n go” tournaments but now pretty much avoid them in favor of larger multi-table tournaments.

    Here’s why: to make a single table tournament profitable, you need to consistently place in the top 3 finishers, and usually make it to 1st place more often than 1 in N times where N is the number of seats in the tournament.

    With most single table tourneys, especially with limit tournaments (vs. no-limit) I think that the blinds increase at such an outrageous rate that even the best players have a tough time overcoming the steep blind structure. You end up having to rely on luck heavily, which means that your expectation is unlikely to be above making 1st place 1/N times.

    And then, when you are very lucky, get a great run of cards and do come first, you’re rewarded by a relatively small payout (3-6x the entry). That, combined with usually a 10% entry fee, makes it a tough proposition even if you’re a good player.

    I’ve moved now to large (100-300 person) tournaments, which take longer, but when you do get that good run of cards (and play quality), you get a much greater reward. The structure is also such that you can wait for better spots and not feel obliged to play as many marginal hands. You need to be able to bear longer streaks of no payouts, but when you make the money it should make up for it if you’re better than the pack.

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