Thursday, February 28, 2008

Micro Stack SNG Bubble Play - Part #2 - Some Numbers

Time to look at some of the numbers behind those unpleasant times when we end up with a micro-stack at the bubble of a SNG tournament.

In Part #1 (scroll down - was only a couple of days ago!) we looked at some of the general strategy concerns... noting Colin Moshman (author of the 2+2 SNG Strategy book) idea that we should aim to get in when there is a raiser as well as the blinds at stake...

This is a fine idea (numbers below), however it suffers from the fact that with 4 players at the bubble this could only happen if you were on the button and the player before you raised... possibly not too common!

So, let us look at the alternatives from a dollar equity perspective - here they are from my perspective at least, feel free to add to this list.

1) We try and get the money in against a raiser - hoping to be a 3/2 dog with 3/1 from the pot (aka Moshman's ideal situation)

2) We wait for a hand in the top 20%... taking our chance in the BB if required

3) We fold almost everything and hope that one of the medium stacks goes broke!

Not an ideal list, but hey - we are in a bad spot and are looking to make the money by any means possible...

So, here are some numbers for $ equity in the 'ideal' scenario where we are on the button and there is an aggressive big stack to our right.

Biggy: 8000
Us! 650
Small Blind 2350
Big Blind 3000

Blinds are 200 / 400 (no ante) and biggy pushes all-in with something in the top 85% of hands and you look down at '2-cards' - great, an easy call.

ICM-wise... using a $100 prize pool and rounded number - you risk $8.10c here, assuming the blinds fold winning will increase your equity to $18.50c.... meaning the break even point is just over 40% against the big-stack's hand range.

With the big stack (correctly) pushing a huge range - exploiting the fact that the medium stacks can not call - then you have the required % with almost any-2 cards...

Not only do you have a call based on the 'pure maths' of the situation, you have regained fold equity on the bubble against the 2 shortish stacks, and have the big stack to your right thrown into the equation too.

Having gone through this scenario it is shame to admit that it will not happen that often, I mean the big stack may be to your left, the hand that lost you most of your stack may happen when you are in a different position and so on... often we will be left with a decision to make based on more than just the mathematics...

The ideal situation may occour in the lower level SNGs where opponents have no idea about 'correct' bubble play.... now we have to some how factor the chance of someone busting into our thinking - the question is how?

Well, this post is long enough already. Will continue with the micro-stack bubble SNG Strategy theme very soon indeed.

GL at the tables, Mark

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