Sunday, July 01, 2007

Some SNG Strategy Questions... and Beherovka

Lets get the Beherovka out of the way first... my new favourite drink and will remain so for at least a week. Had a trip to Slovakia this weekend and tasted their national tipple for the first time - it is incredible! Spicey yellow stuff with a big kick and subsequent 'judder' to put other spirits to shame... drink in neat shots, down in one - and often!!

Right, the questions below came from a reader and were follow ups to my SNG eBook 'A Comedy of Errors' (still available after all these months at the top left of the blog!). As with all poker questions there is a large element of 'it depends' here... as with all PG Poker replies I will endevour to provide food for thought rather than prescribe solutions!

1. % of time to c-bet early tourny with medium holdings on a "good but not great board". At this point our reads are limited. Say 1010 with a K85 (2suited flop). OOP vs. IP? or a missed AK on a dry vs wet board?

Personal thought is that cbet % depends on a large number of factors - number of opponents and flop texture being top of the list, against a single opponent with a dry flop I would need a good reason not to continuation bet... with a draw heavy board then the delayed continuation bet can be an option with 2 or more opponents. I have written a few posts and articles on this subject:

- This one looks at continuation betting vs opponents who love ace-rag -

- This one was for SNG Planet in '5-tips' format -

- This looked at bet sizing in the middle stages, cbetting can often committ you to the pot here which creates extra issues....

2. mid short stacked on bubble (4 or 5). We are healty, but by no means assured ITM. Do you prefer a tighter game vs. blind stealing from late pos. vs. tighter game mixing in a resteal and a few blind chops. I know it depends on table dynamic, but this is general thoughts. I am working on the later while I was in the 2nd slot.

The factors to consider here are stack sizes, opponent tendancies and blind levels. Can really be summed up by asking yourself the question "Where are my chips coming from?". On one hand you need to steal enough blinds / pots to keep ahead - on the other side you mist be aware of the large and small stacks and not become pot committed with a marginal hand. At the lower limits in particular resteals should be used with caution, you'll be called!! However spotting a regular who understands bubble dynamics can unearth some good spots. Would also recommend an ICM calculator - there are many shove opportunities here, especially from late position or small blind.

3. Calling rangeson the bubble. Is this simple as ICM? I mean is it really just laying all but a few hands down. Is tighter rightier when it comes to calling on bubble (I mean super tight AK, AQ, 99) lay these down if you will bust/cripple against all but maniacs?

The trick with ICM is knowing when not to use it!! Push and Call ranges on the bubble are dependant on what your opponents ranges are... many articles in this blig on playing vs different calling ranges with different stack sizes. Be careful with AQ and AK here, can be great hands to shove but sometimes not the best calling hands... recommend 2 articles for more on this - both over at SNG Planet, the first one is an intro to ICM and the second is an excellent article by Albatross77 on situations where ICM is not the best guideline. Links below - final thought is that an ICM calculator will very quickly pay for itself (SNG Power Tools / SNG Wizard etc), learn the math first then work on finding spots to ignore this.

Intro to ICM for SNGs -

Outside the box by Albartross77 -

Happy to do some more Q&As - all readers invited to drop me a comment with any questions!

GL at the tables, Mark

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