Wednesday, April 18, 2007

SNG Strategy - Is There a Place for the Stop-And-Go??

The phrase 'stop-and-go' was coined by Greg Raymer (aka Fossilman) some years ago to describe a play associated with MTTs. The idea being that instead of reraising someone OOP you flat call their raise with the initention of betting any flop (well ok most flops). This bet is often all-in.

The idea behind this is that you can get the pre-flop raiser to fold hands which they would have called a reraise with pre-flop. It avoids 'racing' with a strong but not premium hand and gives you extra ways to win the pot... here is an example.

You have 6000 chips after posting the the BB - the blinds are 600/300 with a 50 chip Ante. It is folded to the player in the CO who makes it 2000 to go and has a big 25000 chip stack. Folded to you in BB and you look down at pocket 8's. They range you assign to the CO is 55+ A10o+ KQo+. What to do??

Here reraising all in is an option - there are 3000 chips in the pot after the CO's raise - you then make the pot 9000 in total and it is 4000 more for the big stack to call... he is getting over 2/1 on a call that can not bust him and should make the call with any legitimate raising hand.

The stop-n-go could be an option here. Flat calling the raise with the intention to push those last 4000 chips on almost any flop... the advantages of this are that you could now get the CO to lay down many of the hands he would have called with before the flop - some of which would have had you dominated and others which would have been a coin-flip.

Missed Ax hands and KQ would probably fold. Pairs - especially those under the highest flop card might well fold too... the stop-n-go has given you more ways to win a pot that you would have contested anyway...

I should note that a pre-requisite for this play is that you are first to act after the flop... if you act second and someone bets ahead of you then -poof - all your plans go up in smoke!

Soooo - my question is whether there is a place for this in SNG play?? Not such an easy one to answer!!

If we were to transpose the above scenario to a SNG bubble then the default play would usually be to fold pre flop (of course this would heavily depend on the raisers range and the stack sizes of all the players in relation to the blinds). The key though to the scenario outlined is that you have 10BBs... what about a situation where you only have 5 and a meduim / small stack puts in a small raise??

Here you have a case for a stop and go against a passive player especially... he may think is AJo is good before the flop but would not be happy to call a bet after the flop if it missed - similarly if he were holding 99 in the same situation and the flop came K 10 2.

My personal feeling is that people are in general too likely to call in a lower limit SNG to make this move effective - but in exactly the right circumstances there may well be a place for the Stop and Go!!

GL at the Tables,


1 comment:

MrTynKyn said...

HI Mark
I stopped using stop and go in stt.
Most of people know it and call with A high. Nevertheless , it works fine in -15$ stts.
Always a pleasure read your blog