When you get the itch to play a little poker, the first question you must ask yourself is what style of poker you want to play. It seems like these days the answer to that question will more likely than not be Texas Hold Em. This is by far the most popular and (in my opinion) the best variation in the poker family.
When it comes to playing tournaments, there are several questions to ask yourself while deciding where you would like to spend your time (and money) playing poker. The questions I always ask myself before trying out a new location are as follows.
How Much Is The Buy In ?: Know the cost of the tournament as well as what you are looking to spend
Before deciding on any tournament, you should find out how much the buy-ins are. After all, you don’t want to show up for a tournament with $10.00 in your pocket when the buy-in is $100.00. You also wouldn’t want to plan a night of poker and show up for a tournament hoping to play a bit of high stakes poker just to find out that the buy-in is only $5.00.
How Many People Are Playing In The Tournament?:
Before you decide to play in a tournament, find out haw many people show are expected to play. Doing this will do two things. First, you are not stuck at someones home with just two other people playing a so called tournament. Next, you can avoid the tournaments that have too many people for your liking. Many people like single table tournaments, while others like to have many tables battling to make the final table.
Make Sure The Host Knows How To increase The Blinds:
No one likes being stuck at a tournament for hours and having the blinds stay at 10 cents – 20 cents. Be sure that the host has a time frame in mind on how to raise the blinds.
Is it a poker tournament, or a party?:
There is nothing worse than showing up for a poker tournament and having everyone in attendance being to busy drinking and partying to even pay attention to the game. I have been to a few of these “poker tournaments” and let me tell you, they are no fun. Not when you went to play poker anyways. If people are partying, the hands will move slow, the blinds will move slow, and no one will be paying to much attention to the game. No fun.
Do they offer re-buys? If so, for how long?
Re buys are fun, but only if they are for a limited amount of time. No one wants to get stuck at a poker tournament where some one has hundreds and hundreds of dollars and just keeps buying in over and over again. It has to stop sometime.
Do they add an add on? If so, when?
I don’t mind a one time add on, but it should only be one time, I find that about an hour or so into the tournament is a great time to offer the add on.
How many places do they pay?
Some people like to play winner take all, and others like to pay many places. Find out about the hosts pay structure to be sure that their set up is something you like.
All of these questions are important to ask, but the real answers will only come after you actually play somewhere. I have gone to tournaments that I thought sounded great, only to get stuck with a group of people that wanted a smoke break every five minutes and that whined every time someone mentioned raising the blinds up a bit.This being said, I have also played poker tournaments where I thought for sure I would be bored out of my mind only to discover that everyone involved in the tournament was a great poker player and a good person.
Asking questions will get you information on an upcoming tournament, but you will have to go to the tournament to truly decide if it is enjoyable to you.