Wednesday, January 31, 2007

SNG Strategy - Tight Tables + Varience + A reload!

Back into the pokering swing of things after my break... managed 4th in a PLO tourney on Stars as a welcome back to the tables.

Going to have a look at the scenario outlined by Joel via e-mail - what to do when your SNG table goes into super-tight mode.

Of course the answer to everything in poker is 'It Depends' (!), but what does it depend on in such a situation? For me the #1 factor would be the blind levels, if these are a tiny proportion of your stack (and thus not worth the risk of stealing) then the correct response would be to remain tight, play position and avoid the easily dominated hands outlined in 'A comedy of Errors'.

Reads on the other players are important here too... if the table has gone tight it is usually only a matter of time before one or more opponents figure this out and start raising to steal the blinds or take the pot from limpers. Where these opponents are seated in relation to you will become important - if you get a premium hand it may be better to try and limp-reraise if they act after you, or resteal with a good but not great hand if they act before you.

Once the blinds start to go up (average stack <10bbs>have to push any 2 when folded to in the SB against all but the most mainac oppponents - you need to put opponents on push ranges and know your calling ranges as a response.

There is only 1 way to get to know these ranges accurately - running Hand Histories through an ICM Calculator such as SNG Power Tools (recommended) or SNG Wizz (latest and greatest ICM calc - link here The SitNGo Wizard). Each will cost $80ish - but if they help win a single game you would have bubbled at the $20+ level it is paid for already!!

Another question via e-mail concerned downswings - in this example a loss of 20 buy-ins over 90 games in one day. The question was whether this is normal varience or a problem?? Firstly going to link to an old 2+2 post on this subject by a genltleman called Ireguy - he looked in depth at ROIs / Varience etc... link below *should* open this in a new window (technology is not my strong point!!)...

Ireguys 10000 SNGs of Data

From this, and from personal experience 20 buy-ins is certainly possible. To be honest I do not let things go so far - 10 buy-ins is annoying enough for me to take a break. This can be a complete break from poker, but more usually means switching to cash (often Pot Limit Omaha) or changing sites for a few days and playing in some MTTs....

The bad-run in question was on Poker Stars which leads to another point - table selection. It is getting increasingly difficult (especially during the week) to find a table which does not have 3 or 4 winning multi-tablers on it... this is very bad for your ROI and as a consequence your standard deviation (the lower your ROI the bigger chance of a run of games out of the money). There are a couple of solutions here - firstly use Sharkscope and identify those winners, and avoid them. Secondly find a new site to switch to when it is not possible to find a table not full of winners. A combination of those 2 might be even better... I did a small series of posts looking for alternatives to Stars, links below and a couple more to follow in the coming days / weeks.

Good luck to the reader in question in getting back on track - was pleased to hear that decent bankroll management was being practiced!!

Finally, Absolute Poker have announced a reload bonus (20% up to $200), check them out by clicking on the link below....

Online poker

Cheers, Mark

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