Since Seldiora chose Con, 'Con' refers to the person who appears as 'Pro'.
This is about 'superior display' not simply of the game itself.
Something Con has avoided entirely is to discuss the display elements of the game and how it is to view each. On top of this, Con has left completely vague what 'superior' entails and the only factor that seems to be explored is how difficult the average player is to play against.
Poker tournaments are the main event that occurs in the World Series of Poker annual mass event, with millions viewing, yet it's the tournaments that both attract people to play it and keep spectators hooked to their seats, because while there is luck involved (just as much as in a cash game in a physical card sense) the psychology and aspects that make poker so different to most other gambling games (as you're against other players, not the house itself) are at the pinnacle in a high stakes tournament.
Today, the legacy Benny Binion left the poker community ranks as the oldest, largest, most prestigious, and most media-hyped gaming competition in the world, and no doubt it holds the promise of an even brighter future. But equally important, The World Series of Poker has touched thousands of lives over the years, affording talented players the opportunity to follow their dreams, reach for the stars, and perhaps one day achieve greatness in their chosen endeavor.
If worse players turn up to tournament format, then where do the best players turn up to?
The answer is the same format. Poker isn't like some competitive environments where you always want to refine your craft against the best opponents out there, instead you will rake in far more winnings by heading to the formats of poker which attract the most fish. This doesn't even begin to mean that tournament format/s is/are worse than ring-game format. Instead, the ring games simply let fish run away from you once they begin to lose hope and of course automatically make the game format more prone to have stronger players left behind after a few losses.
The reason that luck can short-term influence tournaments more than cash games is because stronger players will just keep constantly folding while having bad hands in cash games, especially if against aggressive amateurs/beginners. Conversely, in tournaments the better players are forced to optimally play hands that they'd rarely bother playing with in the ring-game format due to the fact that there are theoretically infinite hands without any big blind increase whatsoever. The reason it's 'theoretically' infinite is because in actuality you are not at the table forever and there's also no guarantee that others will remain at it even if you are. Tournaments forcing players to play looser as they progress isn't proof that it's an inferior display of poker ability and most certainly not that it's a worse example of game theory. Instead, it means the opponents are all forced to play under extreme pressure and this can break the psychological resistance of some weaker-minded but otherwise strong players in ways that the perpetually deep-stacked mentality of cash games never can or will. If stronger players are forced to play looser, what do you think amateurs who are so excited about having gotten that far in the tournament start to do? They play even looser and weaker than the sharks do, or alternatively play timid and tight when it's no longer optimal to do so. Either way, they make more errors when the game progresses to a stage where loosening up is mandatory. It's not like the pros suddenly are 'equally bad' to the newer or more casual players. Instead, they are very tactically loosening up due to their stack getting shallower and it becoming better to bet more vs what the hands are.
Con mentions that it can come down to everyone going allin on the flop but this is not stupid or against game theory, in fact this element of strategy happens a lot in cash games too but the difference is that in a cash game you can keep buying back in after your flop goes wrong (until you're bankrupt).
The real question here is whether or not you think the display is superior, as well as how exactly things are strategically expressed.
Tournaments don't have 'infinity' like cash games do. It is actually curious why Con said that cash games have big blind increase... They never do. The idea is that it's a tournament where you go onto infinity at the same level, no progress, no changing elements, everything is rigid. This is why it's possible to play so many cash games at once online, but not the same for tournaments (meaning possible for your brain to handle).
With cash games, you remain very rigid overall, altering at very specifics ways to players who repeatedly have certain frequencies and habits, with a HUD to help you can play 10 tables at ones (or more) and essentially roboticise your mentality in the poker table to the point where you are not thinking laterally at all about the situations, since it's almost a waste of time to. This is just ruining what game theory is and the human element of poker.
In tournaments however, there is so much more to comprehend and players who play in the robotic way (as happens in cash games) get thwarted not because there's more luck, but because there's more chaotic elements and this is not quite the same thing. If you think about it, the actual chips you have in a tournament are worth less, the longer that the tournament goes on, in terms of how much they are vs the big blinds (that increase at a set rate). This adds not only another layer of mathematics (independent chip model
) but also a beautiful fact of life and poker; you can't simply cower away from competent opponents and solely prey on the weak ones, instead you are forced to make the competent players make mistakes and capitalise on what the shallow-stack does to the game and to people's psychology as well.
This enables short-term flukes, sure. However, where real poker strategy and game theory is applied is over many tournaments. Players like Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu don't sit and complain about the luck of tournaments (okay, Hellmuth complains even in cash games), the fact of the matter is that if you want to make it in poker and truly be regarded as an MVP, you need to enter a tournement where you're pitted against the greats, not selectively show up to a cash game and walk away when the skilled players are around.