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Multi Table Tournaments (MTT's)

Multi-table tournaments, otherwise known as MTT's, have become very popular in recent times. The constitute poker tournaments that have more than 9 or 10 players, .i.e. more than one table. They have huge appeal as players can win big sums of money for very modest buy ins. Good layers playing single table tournaments (STT) will certainly make the money more than in larger field events however fewer players ultimately means lesser rewards.

 

If you were to take a look at any lobby for a poker tournament (the lobby shows all the information like buy in, number of players, prize pools etc), you would see a few things.. Firstly you will see the buy in represented as something similar to $50+$5. This is fairly standard and means $50 goes into the prize pool and $5 goes to PokerStars as a fee for hosting the tournament. Taking a tournament that i am currently playing, it is in late registration, however there are currently 1738 registered players and a prize pool of just over $86,000. First place awards just shy of $14,000. The chance to turn $50 into $14,000 is all the appeal that many players need, and you can see why.

 

The prize structure of MTT's is a little different that a standard single table tournament which might pay out the top 3 places. In a MTT, the payout is usually somewhere between 10% and 20%, depending on the number of players. In fact, the more entrants, the more places are paid. Even still, with between 1 in 10 and one in 5 players making money, it's requires a lot of patience (a lot of folding) and the ability to play variable stack sizes well. Additionally, unlike a cash game in which you can rebuy when you bust, in a tournament (excusing rebuy tournaments), when you bust, your out.

 

Key Differences between Tournaments and Cash Games

 

Many players fail to make the necessary adjustments when moving from cash games into tournaments. The biggest difference was already covered above...when you bust your out. This is an important concept and whilst poker is poker, adopting a cash game strategy will surely end in an early exit. In cash games, players are looking for situations that offer +'ve EV. In a tournament, it's important to take into account the fact that you will likely want to avoid situations where you are only slightly +'ve, especially where it's costing you a sizeable amount of your stack. With only the top 10% or so paid, it's a marathon and you need to protect your stack. This means you have to be far more selective as you don't have the same luxury as a cash game in which you can bring more funds to the table.

 

Another big difference is that the rewards are far greater in the tournament arena and as in any game of poker, the greater the rewards, the more players there will be. Tournaments have considerably more players and so endurance is pivotal, especially if you are to make the final table - which is where the real rewards are!

 

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