Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Poker Stars SNGs - What Value Does Missing The Small Blind Have??

Back from Amsterdam and being completely computer-free 4 days, really good to get away, not to mention making the most of the fantastic city that Amsterdam is!!

Thinking about a few poker-related things while away, not least about personal motivations for playing the game... for me this is a more complex area than it might seem at first glance - will do a separate post on the subject some time soon.

Was thinking about Stars SNGs - in particular the blind structure that means that if the Small Blind is knocked out when you are in the Big Blind then you miss your Small Blind next hand, the UTG player takes the SB and the next player the BB.

My thought is this, there must be some real value attached to missing the SB once the blinds are big enough (say 200/400)... however if we look at a SB vs BB all-in and call situation at the bubble this would be very negligable indeed... once we are in the money not having to post the SB goes down in value.

Taking this further then with a medium stack and 5 handed is where to look - here there is a possibility that missing the SB could turn a marginal fold into a call... I say possibility as this is really only a hypothesis at the moment - so let us have a look at an example... the stacks here are before posting the 400/200 blinds (ignoring the ante and with $100 prize pool to simplify)

UTG - 3500 -$24.41
CO - 2500 - $19.17
Button - 3500 - $24.41
SB - 2000 - $16
BB - 2000 - $16

So, it gets folded to the SB who pushes, you know that he is an experienced SNG player and his range here is the good old fashioned 'any-2 cards' what then, according to ICM, would you need to call??

It would be pretty wide, 55% if you require a 0.5% edge... thats any pair, any ace or king, most queens and suited connectors / 1 gappers down to 97s.

Now this calculation is only a snapshot of the 'now' (as are all ICM calculations) - we are looking at the win resulting in a 4000 chip stack, however since we miss the SB we do not have to give up those 200 more chips next hand - to illustrate I'll redo the calculation with a 2200 starting stack.... we now get to add another 2% of hands! Our range can include 87s, Q3o amd J3s.

At the end of the day this is a marginal situation - but then again giving up equity by calling just that little bit too tight over 100's of SNGs will eventually eat into anyones profits.

Not sure exactly what the blind structures are for the other top poker sites - will have a look some time... in the meantime it is hopefully something to think about though.

GL at the tables,



Rob1606 said...

Nice to see you like Amsterdam so much :-) (I am Dutch)
About your post, you do not mention that UTG also profits from knocking out the SB, because he will miss being the BB. But of course as UTG you are in a much less favorable position and it is rather unlikely that you could knock out exactly the SB from all the players that are still at the table.

Mark said...

Fair point there Rob, guess that you have less control from UTG as to whether you end up in a hand vs either of the blinds or someone else...

Love the Netherlands - worked over there on various projects around 2000/2001. My family also lived in Maastricht for a year so I saw the south too... great country!

Cheers, Mark