Monday, January 01, 2007

Sit and Go Strategy Tips - Ego Players #1

Said a while back that I would look at SNG Strategy Tips for playing against 'ego' players. The kind of opponent who is not just playing for the $$$ but actively wants to appear smarter / more skilled and all-round superior to you!!

Once I started looking at this area it became apparent that it is a huge topic, here are a few of the sub-topics to cover over the coming weeks' Spite Calls (today!), Showing Cards, Showing Junk BB when given a walk, unsolicited 'Thank You' when winning a big pot, Table Coaches, chasing draws against the odds, and crying when better hands get outdrawn. There are a lot of these players around!!

Going to move over to the new Blogger version some time this week - hopefully this will allow the posts to be grouped for easier search.

So, Spite calls. They happen at or near the bubble in low level SNGs all the time, you have (correctly according to ICM) been shoving pretty much any 2 cards when folded to in the small blind and picking up a good number of pots that way.

Just the other day in this situation the following happened, I had an Ace-rag - more than good enough for the job with a bigger stack than the BB and blinds at 400/200 A25. I push my SB all in and the BB calls - with J8 off!!! The result is irrelevant, the point to make is that this was a simply horrible play... not just for me but why on earth would the BB choose to make a stand with such a junk hand??? The net result is to take my equity and his own equity in the prize pool and hand it straight to the players not in the hand!!

But looking under the surface we can see what happened, I was taking this guys blind each orbit for the last 4 or so. He was getting more and more frustrated and wanted to show me that he 'can not be pushed around' any longer. The question here is - Could I have spotted / predicted the spite call??? After all - you can not control the actions of the other players, becoming a winner is all about adjusting your own moves.

In hindsight I could have seen this coming and given the guy a walk or 2. He started the bubble as a big stack and was folding his SB and folding to any action, he did not understand how to use his big stack to pick up blinds in this situation and was equal smallest by the time he made his stand. His frustration, together with his ego caused him to make a horrible call - but in hindsight I should have observed these traits and given him a timely walk.

Spite calls can happen at any time, the thing to watch out for is whether by choice or due to the cards / siutation you have been shoving on one player in particular several times over. I would suggest giving these guys a walk, say once in 3 to make sure your keep their egos happy!

Winning in low level sit and go games is all about assigning correct calling ranges for your opponents at the bubble. This is just one more aspect of this, make sure you make notes when you see this happen and adjust your pushing range accordingly.

Comments / mails on this subject welcome!

Cheers, Mark


Ukgatsby said...

Happy New Year Mate
Hope 2007 is good to you.


Joeri said...

Hello Mark

Nice article ! Can you give us some tips on how to put people on certain calling ranges ? How can you be reasonably sure you've determined the right range ?

Allso, can you give some rules of thumb on how to adjust your push range when you take the calling range into account ? Do you push more or less when the other players call more, for example ?

regards, Joeri