Poker tournaments can be single-table or multi-table tournaments. There is a fixed buy-in amount, starting blind, number of players and 1st place, 2nd place, and 3rd place pay-out which is decided in the beginning itself. Poker tournaments are quite different from the usual cash games. In a cash game, you have the option to stand up, cash in your chips and walk away from the game with the winnings after any hand. If your winnings exceed the amount you initially brought to the table, you are a winner. Whereas in a poker tournament, all players usually start with the same value of chips and one has to play until you run out of chips and get eliminated from the tournament. The prize money is awarded based on the longer you last, as in, the player who stays till the end of the tournament is categorized to be in the 1st place. The last player to be eliminated just at the end is 2nd and so on. No player is allowed to leave the game as long as there is at least 1 chip left in his stack. One cannot cash in his/ her chips midway during a poker tournament, because unlike in cash games, the chips themselves have no cash value in a tournament, and everything depends on the position you are in at the end of the tournament.
Poker tournaments are not really meant for the casual poker players who take this as recreation. Most poker players who take part in these tournaments are pros who make a living out of this. These tournaments are high stake-high risk games where the buy in amount is pretty high and so is the winning amount. The vast majority among the players in the tournament if not all are passionate, and filled with the addiction to be right. If you think about the significance of your results with respect to all the players in the tournament, you need to have the right attitude to handle the stressful environment in a poker tournament. Think about the kind of confidence and composure it takes to believe that you can beat the best poker players? The assessment you have to make about your own abilities in comparison to theirs and believe that you are better than the other pros sitting across you at the poker table. The amount of concentration and intense attention keeps draining you out throughout the tournament, but at the same time the magnitude of the play keeps you going with a constant rush of adrenaline in your body.
Always remember, Pros don’t win every tournament they enter, even the best poker players lose most of their games, just to win it big. You need to put in high volume and consistent good play to win at a poker tournament. Also, you cannot avoid luck in Poker. Luck does play a role but it is very short-lived, as you call it Beginner’s luck. Luck goes away with time; and in long term, you just have to play better than others to keep winning.