Amazing to most poker players but some poker players do not like No Limit Holdem and would rather play any other poker game than No Limit Holdem. Why? Short term there seems to be so much luck involved but one of the real issues is that no matter how far pre flop your opponent is behind they are never that far behind. Pre flop they always still have a chance. Even on the flop the worst is normally around 95% behind, so they will have to win that hand 1 in 20 times.
The ultimate No Limit Holdem pre flop hand is pocket aces yet it is never more than 8 to 1 favourite pre flop. In a sporting event if the best player or team in the world takes on the worst then you do not expect a loss rate of 1 in 8 or 1 in 100 or even 1 in a 1000. But in No Limit Holdem the favourite pre flop is only that, a favourite and not a near certainty to win.
No Limit Holdem also seems to reward players when they get it totally wrong, as shown in a hand seen on the featured table at the 2011 WSOP Main Event. Shaun Deeb and Maximilian Heinzelmann got involved in a pre flop raising war, 3 bet then 4 bet then a bit of thinking and a 5 bet all ins by Max Heinzelmann when it appeared to be obvious to those watching that Shaun Deeb had something very strong. Shaun Deeb is a poker pro and this is the WSOP Main Event so you do not expect him to be playing silly buggers.
Max Heinzelmann re raises Shaun Deeb all ins and got instacalled by Shaun Deeb with pocket aces. Max Heinzelmann has Ace 6! But Max Heinzelmann flops a pair of 6′s to give him a chance, on the turn he gets a chance to split the pot with a straight draw and on the river hits the 2 outer to get trip 6′s and wins the pot!
But it is not that simple as one hand in the 2011 WSOP Main Event and this shows one of the problems with tournaments or taking one hand at a time. Max Heinzelmann and Shaun Deeb have played a lot online against each other. Shaun Deeb had his betting amounts worked out for perfect stimulus response and does trigger the response of getting Max Heinzelmann to think he was weak and to go all ins.
Max Heinzelmann doubles up and Shaun Deeb is left with only 20k in chips and his WSOP Main Event dream in tatters. You knew that within a few hands when he did make his move he was never going to survive and he did not.
Although the WSOP Main Event attracts the best poker players in the world there are a lot of players not as skillful as them. Some have qualified through freerolls or winning non poker competitions, a lot of others are recreational poker players who just want a shot at the biggest poker tournament of the year. A lot of poker player pros say that the WSOP Main Event is now a real Donkament due to all these players.
One of the issues with No Limit Holdem tournaments is that every time you are all ins you have a chance of being all out. Phil Hellmuth lives by the rule of never trying to be all in. He would rather fold a hand than go all ins as any all ins means you are increasing your chances of being knocked out of the tournament. Because no matter how far ahead you are pre flop or even during the hand, unless you have a lock on the hand, you could still lose. The problem is that with a tournament of this size it is virtually impossible that you will not have to re raise all ins or even call all ins sometimes.
You have to sometimes gamble and risk all to gain everything. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. And that is the joy of No Limit Holdem tournaments for a lot of people. The fact that you can be outplayed or have a real cooler of a hand pre flop and yet you still have a chance to win the hand.