Cash game or tournament?

General Discussion by Cypress Hunter Posted

What's turning out to be my yearly trip to Vegas with the guys is coming up in October. Last year I sat in on my first two small tournaments at the mirage. I was fortunate enough to win the second one as I consider myself a recreational player. I've recently started playing in a local tournament league in Houston twice a month. I'm using this as practice for my trip. I really want to try and stick with poker versus BJ or craps this year. Bang for the money where should we play? We're staying at the MGM this year. Looking for tournaments in the $70-125 range.


  1. Aria is probably the best: $125 buy with 30 min rounds.

  2. Aria is a good value, but if you run deep, it will be a long tournament. Just be aware of that going in.

  3. @Goodshoe Great information!!! Thank you. I do consider myself a true recreational player. Meaning I’ve just joined a hold’em tournament league in Houston. We play the first and third Wednesday every month. I’ve played the last 4 tournaments; making the final table 3 out of 4 and finishing in the money once. Top 4 pays and we have 24-28 players. That being said I’ve never played in a cash game and am a bit apprehensive about jumping into “cash” games while in Vegas. Any advice on how the cash games operate? I’ve seen the $1/3 and $2/4 games. Does this mean the maximum bet would be $3 or $4 depending on the tables? Is it like hold’em where only the the big/small blinds put in or does everyone put in $1/2 to play?

  4. @Cypress Hunter No Limit Cash games work like a tournament with the blinds fixed at $1 (small blind)/ $2 (big blind) or $1(SB)/$3(BB) and don't increase. The big blind is the MINIMUM bet, not the maximum, and you bet up to your stack (all-in) just like a no limit tournament. Only the blinds put in money initially (you will probably see someone post a 'straddle' occasionally - think of it as a 3rd volunteer blind to make the pot bigger). There are no antes in low cash games.

    $2/$4 is usually a LIMIT game. It's a different form of holdem in which the bets are fixed at $2 preflop and on the flop, and goes up to $4 on the turn and river. It is not no limit as you can only bet in increments of $2/$4. Many places also have $3/6 and $4/8 limit. Same concept except the starting blinds are bigger.

    By the way LINQ has a 1-1 no limit game with a low buy-in that runs nights/weekends if you try cash games with minimal risk. It's not really the best game due to the small stacks (not gonna make $200 in one hand) but cheap way of getting used to cash games in a low stress game.

  5. @thamster I wanted to check back in and thank everyone for the great comments and advise. As a new person to the site you never know how some questions may be responded to. Everyone was helpful; THANK YOU!

  6. @Cypress Hunter Good luck and run good! By the way the Plaza downtown at Fremont Street has low low buy-in ($10-20) tournaments that they play on electronic tables if you want low stakes to goof around with your friends with.