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Poker News | PokerWorks Op-Ed

Poker Plus - Searching for the Big Score

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In the early days of poker, playing the game is exciting. No matter what limit you play, when you jump into this new online poker world it is fun just to be in the action. After years of grinding in small games trying to squeeze out a few dollars - playing poker can become tedious. Not only tedious, but the excitement factor usually wanes.

Lately I have been on a quest to regain the excitement of playing poker. My goal is to rekindle the old feelings, to feel my heart racing as I check raised, elated when I caught the perfect card to make my hand and holding my breath to see if I won the pot. What I have discovered is the small tournaments and cash games just don’t do it for me anymore.  Since I realize what the problem is, now the question is how do I get that old feeling back without playing in big cash games that my bankroll can’t support?

The answer for me is to play tournaments, specifically in the big guaranteed tournaments.

The beauty of playing tournaments online is the variety of choices available. Unlike live events, playing online involves logging in to your favorite poker site and jumping in. With a few clicks of your mouse, you can be in a seat ready to slay your opponents. Participating in live events requires much more effort and expense. Not only is there the buy-in to consider, but also travel, hotel and spending money expenses, all which can run thousands of dollars.

Finding a big event online is not only much easier but way cheaper too. Plus, whatever your life schedule is, you can find a tournament to fit your bankroll and time schedule. There is no shortage of guaranteed tournaments running every hour of every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.  When searching for those tournaments where the prize pools are big enough to make a huge difference in your bankroll and your life, players need to pay attention to the buy-ins. There are several that guarantee a prize pool of $10k, but the buy-ins can vary from $8 all the way up to $50. While it seems simple that the cheaper buy-in is the best deal, it may not be due to the amount of players who register. It stands to reason that the fewer players you have to beat, the better your odds. Therefore it may be smarter to pay the higher buy-in and increase your odds of winning by having fewer opponents.

There are great deals to be had, if you shop around. PokerStars has a great $200k guaranteed event every Sunday where the prize pool always ends up way higher than the guarantee. The downside is wading through over 20,000 players to reach the top spot. But if you do, the time and effort pays off in a big way to the tune of over $25,000 for first place. The tournament on February 15th attracted 30,000 players for a prize pool of $300k and paid $28,500 to the winner. The event also paid 4,270 places with the bottom finishers almost tripling their investment by winning $30. As you can see, this is a good shot at a big score for only an $11 investment. There are also daily tournaments worthy of a look, like the $30k guaranteed for an $11 buy-in. This tournament is good because the payouts are sizeable and the field is much smaller, sometimes around only 1,500 entrants.

Full Tilt Poker also has some nice big events, all taking place on Sundays. The Sunday Brawl has a guaranteed prize pool of $350k and a buy-in of  $240 + $16, the $750k guaranteed event costs $216 and the $200k Sunday Mulligan has a buy-in of $216. Of course there are a wide variety of satellite qualifiers to all these events where you could grab your seat for as little as $1.

For players not in the USA, Party Poker has one of the biggest monthly events online when, on the first Sunday of every month, they host the Monthly Million. Not only do they guarantee a whopping Million Dollar prize pool but qualifiers start at only $1 and take place every single day. And over at Titan Poker, there is a huge event coming up on March 8th, the $2,500.000 guaranteed tournament where seats can be won for just $1.20 in one of the many qualifiers.

Not only do these big guaranteed prize pool events give players a super opportunity to score really big, but with the kind of money there is to be won, it is almost impossible not to get pumped up mentally. And if you get in the money, the adrenalin really starts to pump when you realize you actually do have a shot at your big score. Even though some of the events have a big buy-in, remember all of the poker sites offer cheap qualifiers to their big tournaments. For those of us who have more time than money, these qualifiers are the perfect way to try to score big for a small investment of a dollar or two.

When you play online, the poker opportunities and choices are endless. Unlike the rest of us, poker takes no holidays or calls in sick. Poker is always there, ready when we are, holding a seat just for us. Poker is like an old friend, waiting patiently for us to come around and spend time with it, offering us a familiar comfort zone.  Grab some fun and visit your favorite old friend today – who knows, you just may hit that big score.

*Visit PokerHack’s Blog*

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