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The Three Stages of a Tournament

Similar to a cash game, satellite, and sit-and-go

by Ed Miller |  Published: Oct 30, 2009


Cash games tend to be relatively static. The blinds don’t change. The stack sizes can vary, but they tend to vary from fairly deep to really deep. And, after any hand, you can get up from the table and cash in your chips for dollars. So, each chip is always worth to you at least the face value of the chip. In tournaments, these things — blinds sizes, antes, stack sizes, and chip values — are all variable, and mastering the changes in strategy due to these changing variables is the key tournament skill. This brings us to this question from a reader: “According to your book, Getting Started in Hold’em, the early phase of a tournament is regarded as similar to cash games, and the bubble and prize phases are regarded as similar to sit-and-gos (SNGs). Therefore, although my primary focus is on multitable tournaments, working on my cash ...

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