Here's my longwinded response:
My bankroll for cash games runs about $100-200 for $1/2 casino games with another $100 behind in case. Since moving to Wisconsin I have rarely lost more than 20 bucks in a cash game, and the two times I played them at Ho-Chunk I walked away with $200 and $700 (after accounting for the initial buy-in). My wife cashed both times as well. As Igor said, the tables up there are pretty soft. The home cash games I play are .25/.50 (most buy in for $20-50), and sometimes we play .10/.25 if people are broke (buy-ins range from $10-30). These blind levels are for NLHE cash games
, where the blind levels (e.g., $1/2) stay the same throughout the game. Therefore, there is no escalation in blinds as there are in tournaments.
Since last August (when we started banking most of our profits), we have grown a decent sized bankroll for the low limits we play. We hope to play in some of the $345 buy-in WSOP tournaments at the circuit events in Iowa. If we each played 2 of these events right now, we would have enough to cover the buy-ins. Trying for the first time in our lives to manage our bankrolls better, we decided to wait until next year. Our goal is to have enough to cover these entries and maintain a working bankroll by February of 2010.http://www.worldseriesofpoker.com/tourn ... roupID=509 Tournaments
are a different ball of wax. In most tournaments unless you have a decent stack, you will be forced to play marginal hands and bluff at inopportune times, or else the escalating blind raises will eat you up. Luck is much more important and naked aggression in order to accumulate chips is the name of the game. Unlike cash games, you buy in for a set amount of money (your entry fee) and receive chips that are not related in dollar value to your buy-in. For example, in my games we play with 2-5K starting stacks. The blinds start at $10/20 or $25/50 and typically escalate by a factor of 2 after predetermined periods of time elapse (most tourneys use 30 or 60 minute blind levels). The tourneys we run are usually $10-30 buy-ins often with unlimited re-buys and add-ons through the first two hours (to juice the prize pool). The prize pools get up to $200-500 and the top finishers share this pool based on order of finish. I have played $50-100 buy-in tourneys at casinos as well. Typically, these tourneys last several hours (some several days like the Main Event at the WSOP). If I run a freeze-out tourney (no re-buys or add-ons) it can last 4+ hours, with re-buys they usually last 5+, depending on number of players.
Finishing in the money is my goal in these games when I play them online or live. Because of the variance involved, most of us (poker players) have less success overall playing tournaments vs. cash games. Therefore, I prefer cash games, because I know if I play well, and win at least one or two big hands, I will walk away with a profit. That said, most people who play NLHE prefer tournament style because that is what they are used to (and see on TV). Also, they only pay one small entry fee and could win a large prize by "gambling." Losing $10-20 to have a good time isn't such a big deal, therefore you can play very loose and aggressive and if you lose, whatever. In a cash game you play real money dollar for dollar. At a $1/2 cash game you could easily lose several hundred in a couple of hours, so you tend to play more solid.
Anyone who is interested, I know about a low stakes cash game this weekend.