Thursday, October 12, 2006

Online Poker Tournament Field Sizes

With the advance of online poker, players are no longer relegated to choosing the only tournament available to them at their local card room. The excitement of tournament poker has been a driving force behind the new found interest in the game, as can be seen by the growth in tournament options and availability at all the top online poker rooms. While brick and mortar card rooms have traditionally been limited to 10 player sit & go's or small multi-table tournaments, the now unrestricted web software has brought together literally thousands of players to participate in the same events.

Which size of tournament field will be the most profitable for your style of play can sometimes be difficult to discover without a lot of varied tournament experience. The different field sizes can be placed into four general categories, and each have unique features that can help the consideration of which tournaments are best to join.

The smallest size of a tournament you can expect to encounter is a 6 to 10 player single table sit & go. Sit & go's are designed to start immediately when enough players sign-up, and their pay-out structure reward those that can earn a first place victory more often than average opponents. These tournaments accentuate player reading skills since each participant will be playing in many pots against the same opponents throughout the course of the tourney.
Tournaments that have between 11 and 100 players are usually of the multi-table format, scheduled for a specific time. Online tournaments of this size are usually finished in less than three hours, perfect for those players that lack the endurance or focus to be able to play for too long.

In bigger sized tournaments, between 101 and 300 competing players, having an advanced knowledge of hand values, game theory and tournament strategies is an important part of winning. In field sizes this big, poker hand situations are often encountered against unknown players that arrived from other tables, making it impossible to use our player reading skills.
Any tournament with over 300 players is often a marathon of poker that will take many hours or even days to complete! Endurance is an extremely redeeming quality at the poker table in tournaments this big because players start to make bad betting decisions when tired. Players able to play their 'A' game over long periods will have a decided advantage in these larger tournaments.

An honest evaluation of our poker abilities will help each player discover which tournaments are likely to be our most successful.There are many other factors also to be considered, but consistently choosing the correct size of tournaments for our personal style will have a remarkable influence on our results.

About the Author

Shawn has been playing online poker since it's inception in 1999, all of his poker articles can be found at WinnersTable.com.

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