Friday, April 27, 2012

Looking Back At SNGs 6 Years Ago!

A nostalgic post today, only without the detailed research into what appeared when, which would only serve to give me a headache. I first started playing Sit n Goes a long time ago… 2005 to be exact. I started blogging in 2006 and have been playing the damn things ever since while running the biggest website dedicated to this form of poker – SNG Planet (well, bigger tournaments + satellites too, but you get the idea).

When I first started out there were 1-table sit n goes, or steps. I am pretty sure that was that… you could choose 6 or 9 handed than the Stars $16s were the place to be… simply staying snug and profiting from the disaster which was most peoples bubble play. There was an ICM calc available, called SNG Power Tools, though this was a niche thing…. It was 1 or 2 people understanding prize pool equity and the rest not – rather than 4 people knowing ICM to 1 decimal place and 3 knowing it to 2 decimal places, I psycho working exploiting the fact that you know he knows it to 2 decimal places… and 1 fish who keeps complaining that everyone is playing ‘Bingo’ with their 6 BBs.

I digress!

The 180s appeared, and 2 table games came along… there was a gap while the 5 and 10 table games became popular… and heads-up was mostly in cash format if I remember it correctly.

Today we are spoiled for choices, and even though the standard of play is different now I really did want to use this post to emphasize how good things are out there (especially outside of the US) for SNG fans these days.

You have double-or-nothing + Fifty50 games

Knockout bounties…

Extra fast games to cut out all that difficult post-flop play

Different sizes of games which are popular enough that you can multi-table them

Novelty SNGs like the Jackpot games at iPoker and the Helkat (timed) ones at Party

You can play PLO, PLO8, 8-game, Stud and many other games without too much waiting

Satellite qualifier SNGs have not been around for ever either

… 180s now go off every 2 minutes, or even faster at peak times.

Online poker has grown so massive in the 6 or so years since I played my first hands that it really is unrecognizable from what it was back then… now, the big question is what will the SNGs (or online poker in general) look like in 6 years from now??

Gl at the tables, Mark

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Adding A New Room To My Network - Betfair

Adding a new room to my network at the moment… wanted to do a post about it here, since this is not something I do very often. You will see why below when I explain all the different work which needs to go into getting this ready. First though, a word about the only new inclusion of 2012 to date – why I like Betfair and chose to include them.

This site are part of the OnGame Network, while I have already been promoting Red Kings on this network (who I believe are still a great site!) there were some issues with this brand not being well known… it is hard enough to promote poker sites without the extra barrier of educating people on a particular brand.

Betfair are known as a betting platform – one where people can back or lay bets between each other, cutting out the bookies profit (though of course Betfair take a small percent for their service). Since this is well known, it is much easier to point out to people how much of the OnGame Network’s traffic crosses over from betting to poker – and so has no strategy knowledge (well, some people do of course, the majority not though).

I genuinely feel that online poker has become too Pokerstars-centric – in 2012 it almost feels like people have given up searching for the fishiest poker sites… and are just content to play against every grinder and his dog all day long in the same old- and some new – Pokerstars games.

Anyway, I have ranted about Pokerstars enough on my SNG Planet Blog…. Back to Betfair

The games are noticeably softer there. I challenge all readers to have a look and to come back and tell me this is not the case… the tournaments are just daft, if Stars has reached the point of ‘Light 5-betting’ then Betfair is back in the realm of solid TAG-should-win-it play. The cash games were pretty damn juicy too!

I don’t often include banners here at Plan3t Gong – here is one for curious readers to click this time though!

Getting Betfair Into My Network – An Idea Of The Work Involved

To start off with I have to play, and I mean properly play, not just a few hands here and there. The reason is that people can tell if you are writing a generic review or a review based on your own views. If you check out the kind of reviews on generic affiliate sites all over the web you will see exactly what I mean ‘Cash games are very good at XYZ Poker, with tournaments running every…. Blah blah’ lots of meaningless dry bullsh1t which is no use to anyone at all.

After playing I start with the 2 key reviews, the main one for SNG Planet and the SNG specific one… we are talking 2500 words here including all the relevant details and my humble opinion. We then need to think about getting them translated into Russian, Hungarian, Romanian and German (I have let French and Polish go for the time being)… and to link these reviews into the main pages and comparison articles.

We then have the supporting network which are smaller sites based around various sub-niches of poker (I now include this blog in the list). Each needs a review and / or an article highlighting this new site – my plan is that we send people from these sites to the main reviews.

Next the Bonus Club network needs to get updated… main review, updates to the comparison pages and links from all the main pages… in several different languages.

I am not even ¼ of the way through yet. Happy to be doing this though, this is for money of course, but also in the wider sense that I should be highlighting the best sites for readers of all of my websites. I just do not feel that ‘Pokerstars are fan-bloody-tastic’ is going to cut it in 2012, people are ready for a change and – with my continued campaign – hopefully becoming more aware that there are bigger profits and more fun to be had at different poker sites!

Oh, forgot the fish-o-meter, that will need updating too… direct to the php script… sigh!

GL at the tables, Mark