Pitting Your Wits
Poker tournament play is where many players find one of the real joys of the game. For some of us this might be as simple as holing up with a few buddies for a weekend of beer, laughs and games to win a pot full of dimes. Some of us will play in tournaments online (where you can take it as seriously or make it as fun as you like!). And, some of us will do it for hard cash and to prove our skills in an organized real-world tournament.
So why is poker tournament play so well liked? It's quite simple, really: in a poker game you pit your wits against a few players for as many games as you like. It's fun but you might not be playing at full stretch all the time. A tournament just multiplies this to the nth degree! You might still be playing for fun but now you'll be playing to be the overall champion and prove you're the best!
Your ultimate aim with a poker tournament is to be the last player in it to win. So, you have to use your skills, cards and experience to be the one sitting at the table when everyone else has run out of chips. You'll then get that pot at the end of the rainbow! And, your average 'real' tournament pot will be a lot bigger than that of your Friday night game at home with the boys.....
Professionally organized tournaments can offer big money prizes simply because they involve so many players. If you want to play you have to pay a fee to join and you'll also have to buy tournament chips in most cases. This all goes towards making the pot at the end that much more desirable. And, these tournaments can also lead on to bigger and better things. If you win a satellite tournament, for example, your prize will be a place in another (potentially even more lucrative) poker tournament.
The average poker tournament will work to a 'last man standing' rule (although that should probably be last man sitting in this case!) like any other poker game. So, if you make it all the way through while others drop out around you you'll get either the whole pot or a share of it, depending on tournament rules. Tournament rules do vary - so, if you're thinking of joining one, check them out before you sign up. You might not quite be at World Series of Poker standard yet but their 2004 Tournament of Champions winner pocketed a very substantial $2 million - not to be sniffed at!
And, of course, one of the best places to play a poker tournament is right here, online. The rules, regulations and structures of online tournaments are much the same as real world ones but you don't have to leave home. An added bonus is that there is always a poker tournament going on online: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. To take a look at some of your online tournament options, check out our review sites and links to the best poker playing web sites. You might not win that $2 million pot here but you can still cash in big!