Most great poker players are able to go back and forth between cash games and tournaments without much difficulty. But the majority of tourney players aren’t great, which means they struggle when making the switch to ring games. And there are a host of reasons why certain grinders struggle to make money in cash play. That said, here are a few things poker tournament players need to realize when making the transition.
Pressure from Blinds
Unless you’re playing cash games with a severely-limited bankroll – which we definitely preach against – the blinds aren’t going to provide any pressure. They stay the same throughout play and don’t increase like in tournaments. But in tourneys, blinds increase in levels, which forces you to make aggressive moves to accumulate chips and stay alive. In short, you don’t have to play with as much urgency in cash play.
When you get into the middle and late stages of poker tournaments, having 100 big blinds is a gift and will give you a huge advantage. But in cash games, nearly everybody is going to be playing with 100 big blinds since players can reload whenever they want to. Much like the blinds, you aren’t pressured by stack sizes, which generally makes a tighter approach necessary.
One thing players really need to be aware of when they play poker cash games is that there’s no limit to losses. Unlike a tourney, where the most you can lose is a buy-in, cash games see no cap on the amount of money that can be lost. This being said, you need to constantly review sessions and study poker strategy to improve. Also, make sure that you’re studying strategy appropriate to the states you play.