May 11,2007 00:00
Q: What's the easiest or best way to get onto the circuit?
El Centro, Calif.
The best way is a little tougher. The tournament circuit, in these days of big fields and huge buy-ins, is, for many, a race: hit a big payday before you go broke, or go broke before you hit a big payday. The only way to make sure you can be around when it's your turn is to improve your cash-game skills to a level that your cash-game funds your tournament buy-ins. Simple.
Q: I tend to do well in sit-n-gos and even three-table tournaments, but I struggle when the field gets bigger. Perhaps I have ADD, but I can't really concentrate for that long. What advice do you have?
A: Try shorthanded turbo tournaments. Or a hobby that doesn't bore you too much.
Q: What are the essential qualities you need to be a tournament player rather than a cash-game player?
A: You need character, because to be a tournament player you have to accept that there's going to be lots of disappointments for every great day out. You can't let them make your life a misery.
Be a gambler, because if you don't do it willingly, you won't win.
Have a strong desire to win, because if you don't want it more than the other guy, he'll probably beat you.
Q: How do you deal with a player who is being really aggressive, and, you suspect, getting equally lucky?
Can't Beat Luck
A: It depends. If he's not really interfering with your business, wish him well. If he is, and you don't think he's going to blow out, fight fire with fire. You might get knocked out, but at least it's fun.
Padraig Parkinson is known among his fellow pros as a very dangerous player with or without cards - or even sleep. Aggressive and clever, Parkinson has won more than $1.3 million in tournament play. Highlights include a third-place finish in the 1999 World Series of Poker Main Event, which netted him nearly $500,000, and a third place in a $1,500 no-limit hold'em event.© Copley News Service