Poker Tournament Guide
The two major types of poker tournaments are live tournaments and online tournaments. This page will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of both.
Playing poker tournaments at live venues has become extremely popular in recent times. Many land based casinos now have a dedicated poker room area where players can play cash games and tournaments. Tournaments allow a player to "buyin" to the tournament where every play starts with the same chip stack. When one player has all the chips they are declared the winner and generally receive 50% of the total prize pool.
The biggest prize pools in the world are found in the major live poker tournaments and poker championships. The World Series of Poker is the premiere live poker tournament event, and the WSOP Main Event offers the largest poker tournaments prize pool you will find anywhere.
Winning live events gives poker players plenty of kudos, but it is rarely the most cost effective way to play poker. Most modern professional poker players are very selective about the live tournaments they play, choosing the right events based on sizable prize pools and the chance of media exposure that can be leveraged for places in exclusive televised tournaments or cash games.
Below we have listed the most popular and lucrative live venue poker tournaments:
Online Poker Tournaments
Online poker tournaments still can't top the biggest live tournaments in terms of prize pools, but they beat out live tournaments in every other respect. You can play in online poker tournaments in a much larger range of buy-ins than live tournaments and do it all from the comfort of your own home. There are even frequently online poker tournaments with multi-million dollar prize pools these days, which you would normally be required to travel to a large city to play in if they were live tournaments.
The biggest online poker tournaments are found at PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, the two most highly populated poker rooms online. They each hold massive tournaments each Sunday that are often worth millions, and they both have major online poker tournament series. The major online poker tournament series at PokerStars is the World Championship of Online Poker (WCOOP), while the major online poker tournament series at Full Tilt Poker is the Full Tilt Online Poker Series (FTOPS). Many other online poker rooms also offer big online poker tournaments, but not as big as those found in these two series.
What makes online poker tournaments especially attractive for new poker players is the fact that you can find tourneys with buy-ins of $1 or less. This is helpful when you are just starting out, as the holes in your game will be less costly. Online poker tournaments also allow you to take on harder competition in smaller increments and to get thousands of hands played in far less time than this would take in live poker tournaments. We really cannot recommend online poker tournaments enough for poker beginners.