Sunday, May 25, 2008

'Kill Phil' Poker Strategy - Suitable For Online SNGs? (Part #1)

Promised a couple of weeks ago I'd have a look at the strategy outlined in the book 'Kill Phil' and see if this is really suitable for online SNGs... My initial thoughts on this book were that the organization is poor, with a strategy outlined then 100's of exceptions building on other exceptions in the rest of the text. On the plus side the writing style is great and there are some excellent 'nuggets' in there which will help players at many different levels think about poker clearly.

Here I will outline the poker strategy that Rodman and Nelson put forward for SNGs and 1-table satellites... not in too much detail (you can always buy the book... only $20 or so!).

The next posts will divide a typical lower level SNG into 'early + mid' and 'bubble + ITM' and see what good and bad plays derive from the strategy.

Well, we can start with something that may seem suprising... the SNG Strategy outlined in Kill Phil is exactly the same strategy as they recommend for final tables of Multi-table tournaments... so, what exactly is this strategy:

- The basis of all play in Kill Phil is your CSI and CPR numbers (Chip Status Index and Cost Per Round not Crime Scene Investigation and Cardio-Pulmonary Resusitation (!)).
- These figures give you a stack size of 'Huge', 'big' 'Small' etc
- The hands are then organised into 10 handy 'groups' starting with AA, KK and going down to 2-gapper suited connectors
- Based on your stack size / position at the table / Action ahead and hand group you either raise all-in, bet 1/6th of your stack or fold (with occasional exceptions and exceptions to the exceptions as mentioned already).

So, the final table strategy...

1) Follow the 'Kill Phil Basic' until you are down to 6 players.
2) 4-6 players left: Lots more open shoving, quite a lot more re-raising - particularly with big / medium stacks.
3) 3-handed: Try and make a deal! (ok this is for the MTTs!), open shove groups 1 to 10, re-raise groups 1-8... move in every hand with small stack.
4) Heads-up: Move in every hand!

Well, seems crazy enough that it actually might work... I think the 4-6 players area will be the key - looks like I'll need to go back through the book and write down which hands in which position with which CSI and then try it out - maybe at a few different poker sites.

Anyway, in the process of setting up our office at the moment - desks / chairs / cabinets all put together yesterday (yep, suffering from 'Ikea Fingers') today we go and get monitors and other electronics... hope to have some photos by mid-week!

GL at the tables, Mark


Gallopin Gael said...


I can attest to the fact that a Kill Phil style works (or at least it did pre-Frist).

When I first got Kill Phil I tried it in a handfull of SnG's (100 regulars and 100 turbos) and had good results. Obviously moving all in early with just premium cards is not the most EV situation, but it does keep the player out of trouble early.

If I was going to teach a person that had never played a STT (and knew nothing about ICM) I would have them get a copy of the Kill Phil Online Helper and play a few hundred SnG's to get their feet wet.

UK Poker PLayer said...
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Mark said...

Hey, thats great feedback... only tried one so far with no success... this was weird though in that there were still 9 players left at 75 / 150 (for a Stars $16 turbo that seems unusual!).

Def agree that keeping new players out of trouble early is a positive though.

Cheers, Mark

Mark said...

UK Poker Player - please do not bother spamming my blog again... nobody will take a business seriously with transparent spam as your marketing method.

Thanks, Mark