It is well known in poker that tournament players get away with gambling more because the limited amount of time and options available to each player forces them to make plays that they wouldn’t make during a cash game.
The feast or famine nature of tournaments also means that only a small percentage of poker players actually make a living from tournaments only, turning instead to the steady source of income afforded to them by cash games.
This difference in styles between the two poker variants couldn’t be more succinctly demonstrated than while watching Daniel Negreanu consistently getting outmanoeuvred by the sharks of the poker cash game world on GSN’s High Stakes Poker.
No one would argue with Negreanu’s tournament credentials, with the Canadian Poker pro currently placed second on the all time money list with $12,427,047 in earnings and 4 WSOP to his name. However, his cash game has drawn a lot of criticism from the poker community, with even Tom Dwan on this week’s HSP saying “You could’ve won a decent sized pot there,” after Negreanu failed to get value from him during a particular hand.
However, Negreanu is fully aware of the deficiencies in his cash game and is currently determined to pull out all the stops to get it up to scratch. As Daniel explains:
“I’ve played over 60 hours online at PokerStars.com this month the most I’ve ever put in in a month, and the month isn’t quite over yet. I’ve been playing almost exclusively in the $100-$200 no limit hold’em 6max games against some of the top online poker players in the world. It’s been really tough making the adjustment, but I’m very pleased with my progress and my learning curve as I mentioned in my last blog.”
“I started off on fire, winning $200,000, but since then I’ve been on a losing streak and lost back about $180,000 of it. I’m still barely ahead, but these swings are pretty typical at these limits I guess. The interesting thing is that I think I’ve learned a lot more during the downswing than I did while I was running good and winning.”
Whereas many top cash games specialists make the transition to tournament play very easily, it is generally accepted it is a much harder proposition for a tournament specialist to do the reverse. However, few players have attained the level of poker know-how Daniel Negreanu clearly has, and so we wish him well as he continues to improve his already impressive poker skills and endeavours to add another feather to his already brimming hat.
-by M.Rhodes, onlinepoker.net