In tournaments, as in any other form of poker, good players make money from less good players

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Field size The first question to ask is whether you want to play against dozens, hundreds, or thousands of competitors. In tournaments, as in any other form of poker, good players make money from less good players. And just as a good player would have a higher expectation sitting at a table with two fish than at a table with one fish, he can expect his Return on Investment (ROI) in a tournament to grow along with the size of the field.

If large field tournaments offer the highest expected return, why play anything else? Lower variance is the biggest reason. A strong online tournament player could easily have a six-figure annual expectation playing only on Sundays, when all of the major poker sites have their largest weekly tournaments. However, he could also very easily lose six figures in any given year pursuing this strategy. Such is the nature of variance in these huge tournaments. That may be part of the excitement for the amateur or the ring game professional, but the tournament professional will need to supplement these very profitable long shots with more consistent winnings.

Time is another factor. It may be less of a concern for a professional, but an amateur who enjoys the occasional tournament, or even a ring game professional accustomed to short sessions, may not have the time or energy to play his best for the hours or days it can take to final table a large tournament.



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