I have made my living since 2002 as a cash game grinder. There is no shame in admitting your limitations and these days I am multi-tabling NL100 and NL50 full ring.
I like the slow pace of play and the fact that hand reading is much easier within this sort of environment. I have a lot of tournament experience but it has been rare that I have taken down a tournament at any level.
My question is in regards to how difficult it is for a cash game grinder to play an optimal tournament style? I think that the large field events like at the WSOP and in online events are very difficult to win. They favour the players that get massively lucky.
Having the Right Style
It has been my belief now for some time that to win any event either live or online with more than a thousand players in it involves having a more attacking and gambling style.
The luckiest of the players that take the most risks will be the ones that end up with the big stacks. But here’s the crunch, there will always be a fair percentage of players in all tournaments that play that way naturally.
I have heard it said many times from top tournament pro’s that they often had better results when they had less knowledge.
That is striking because in cash games then more knowledge usually helps the player. This is clear evidence of the fact that some players by accident or design simply have a style of play that is optimum for playing poker tournaments.
The Correct Blend
They have the correct blend of savvy and gamble and when they get lucky then their stacks become very big. This is why you often see players reach the latter stages of WSOP events who are frowned upon by many of the poker cognoscenti as being mediocre players.
It is difficult for a cash game grinder to suddenly switch gears mentally. I play NL100 and the thought of losing fifteen buy-ins in a £1500 event in the blink of an eye is going to affect my tournament game. So the question that you need to be asking yourself is this…. “Do I have a strong tournament style”?