What Are the Pros and Cons of Multi-Way and Heads-Up Poker Tournaments?
Live poker, a virtual game, more like a sport than anything else. One’s “online,” the other “actual.” There used to be a time in the far distant past when the contrast between online poker players and “live” poker players wasn’t so stark. In fact, many pro players often belonged to one category and basically ignored the other.
Today, things are very different. First of all, players are much harder to beat when they are playing online. If you can manage to get past someone at all, it is highly unlikely you can defeat them when they are playing online. Therefore, the average “live” poker player has to work much harder than they used to in order to win the money they bet on the cards in the casino.
There are other differences as well. While players in a “real” game are in constant physical movement with the goal of winning money, poker players in a live poker room are relatively static. They may check their cards from time to time, but that’s really all they do. When it comes to actually playing a hand, online players generally use a little less energy than “live” players do, perhaps because they are in a completely controlled environment and don’t have to worry about being scrutinized by any other players.
The second big difference is that in live games, the action goes on for much longer. You might see a few people get onto the action for a short period, such as a hand per hour. But, those players typically only play against those players in their pool. The same thing goes for the pot. In live games, the pot size increases slowly and steadily as the night goes on, while in an online casino it is filled quickly. Thus, the competition for the money in the pot is much more even.
The final main difference concerns the flop. In a live game, the flop is usually a fairly random event. It is a part of the game for everyone, so the possibility of a specific hand showing up is unlikely. However, in an online casino on the flop is a specific internal rule related to the type of casino you are playing at. Thus, one possible outcome of your hand may be related to the next, so the overall chance of winning is lower.
Further, in live tournaments, the action goes on for longer periods of time. At one hour, for instance, there are forty-five hands played in an hour’s worth of play. That’s over two hundred hands per hour! On the other hand, in a live tournament someone is bound to beat everyone else at the end. Again, since the action goes on for longer periods of time, the chances of someone beating everyone else are slim.
So what are the pros and cons of multi-way and heads-up pots in poker? The pros are that they offer a great deal of variety, both in terms of hands dealt but also in terms of how much money can be won. Since the pots are larger than the number of players, the biggest pots win more often. Also, the pots are smaller, so the big pots win more often too. Also, since live players are required to ante up (paying a small start-up fee) in multi-way tournaments, the playing structure is often more “free” than in live games, meaning that beginners can get involved without paying large fees.
On the flip side, the pro side has a number of obvious advantages. For instance, due to the nature of betting, it allows many players to have an advantage when they’re holding a strong hand. Also, many players will play poker with a goal in mind: to build up a large bankroll, either to win the tournament immediately or to make some back-up cash for tournament entries or other prizes. Some players will even play with a specific end game goal in mind: to not make it to the money at the end of the night, but rather “tie” or “come out” with at least as much money as the pot today. Either way, the ability to play poker with large pots and to bluff often make live poker tournaments great entertainment.