Poker Words - A Poker Blog

Mostly a recount of my poker exploits along with a bunch of random other stuff just for fun.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

New SNG Strategy

So, apparently the new key to winning Sit and Goes is to ignore them until there are only five people left. What? Oh right, some context might help.

First off, sorry I haven’t posted for a week, the basketball tournament has occupied my free time that is usually devoted to poker related exploits. Secondly, I apologize if this post is significantly less polished than others (if that’s possible), but I have to get to the local drinking establishment before the Illini game, so I won’t be doing much proofreading. Now where was I?

Last week, I decided that I was almost ready to move up to $20 SNG’s from the $10 I have been crushing lately. I felt like I just needed to add a little more to my bankroll to be able to absorb a prolonged losing streak at that level and then I should be fine. I figured a week; maybe two at the $10 level would be more than sufficient.

I then went on to lose six straight. I also had the brilliant idea that a great time to practice my ring game skills was while watching the NCAA tournament. So that didn’t help the old bankroll either. In hindsight, I should probably learn how to win in ring games before trying to throw in additional simultaneous tasks.

I logged onto Party Poker last night, and saw my friend John just sat down at a $10 SNG. I tried to join him, but just the table filled just before I could jump in. So I fired up a few of my own, and pulled up his table to watch. He then noticed that I was online and started IMing me to join a 6-max table with him.

I can play two tables at once pretty effectively, but I’ve noticed a significant drop in my ROI once I add in a third table, so I told him I’d join up once I busted out of one of the SNG’s. That didn’t take long. Between playing two tables, and watching him on two tables, and IMing, my focus wasn’t quite as good as it should have been, and I made some not so great plays.

So I sat down at a $25 6 max. I generally don’t prefer NL ring games because I’m afraid of losing my whole stack on one bad read/stupid move/bad beat, but it was with friends, so what the hell? I sat down for a while. He ended up more than doubling up and I was about even when our table broke up.

We then decided to try to get into a SNG together. Either the way Party sets up new SNG’s makes it tough to coordinate with someone, or we’re retarded, or both, but either way, we had some issues. I ended up grabbing the last seat in one, thinking he had already joined, and he ended up missing out. After a few more tries we gave up and went back to a ring game.

Surprisingly, I made it through another ring game without losing a ton. I had one bad hand where my AKs hit a K on the flop and A on the river but someone else had flopped trips. Other than that, I did pretty well. Every once in a while I would check the SNG, but I didn’t really pay much attention to it. I was paying more attention to the ring game and my IM chat than the tournament. By the time we left the ring game to call it a night the SNG was down to five people. I have absolutely no idea how that happened. I don’t remember playing any hands and certainly don’t remember any else playing any hands that knocked them out.

I was short stacked, but not too bad. A couple pre-flop raises got me enough chips to be comfortable, and before I knew it I was in the money.

Given the fact that I have been on a losing streak, and before that I had been finishing in second or third way more often than first, I was determined to win this one. I actually scaled back the short handed aggression that has been getting me into trouble lately, and let the remaining two players back into second best hands. I still raised way more often than they did, but I didn’t bluff raise nearly as much, and that seemed to be the key. Anyway, I ended up winning the Sit N Go, so the moral of the story is if you ignore your SNG for at least the first half of the tournament, everything should be fine and you should at finish in the money at the very least.

On a somewhat related side note, my friend Noah has a theory that he could start up a $5 SNG on PokerRoom, and walk away, and still finish in third, or even second, but he’s too much of a pansy to try it. If anyone tries it, let me know how it turns out. I don’t think you have enough starting chips on Party, but it might just work on PokerRoom.

Go Illini.


At 10:14 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I remember one time on Poker Room I was certain I wasn't going to cash, I hadn't won a single hand, I had called a bunch of times or raised and gotten called, and the flops were garbage and someone raised huge, so I kept folding. It was really frustrating. With 5 people to go I had like 450 chips and should have already pushed all-in but I was being a pansy / didn't know better at the time. Then suddenly two of the dudes who have way more chips than me got involved in a hand with chip leader, who took them both out in the same hand and I pushed all-in a few hands later and lost. I didn't even win a single hand or really do ANYTHING to deserve finishing in the money yet somehow I still did, haha. That's why some people who are decent at poker are still lousy at SnGs because they have no idea how to play situational poker. They may be very good ring game players but this ain't a ring game! I've folded really good hands before because a few people were already all-in, I had plenty of chips, and I would rather sit back and watch them eliminate each other on that hand than "gamble it up" to see if my A-K suited his anything.

One particular comment you made was just great, really reminds me of what happens to me frequently. I can also only play two tables at once well. I've played four before but I didn't even think it was fun. Two big tournaments, two SnGs and I was just going wild. I couldn't focus, I did cash in both SnGs miraculously but I felt stressed and it was no fun for me at all. I think I could do 3 SnGs but they need to be staggered, not just start up all 3 within 5 minutes, because then if I actually do well in them all I'm suddenly going to have to make tough raises and tough folds on all three tables at once. That's no good. It's better to have one in the early stage, one in the middle, and one in the late stage, because the early one you barely have to pay attention to at all. What you said is so funny because I've had times where I'm so focused on one SnG that I'm barely even aware the other is going on, I just glance over enough to fold almost every hand. Suddenly I look over and there are like 2 less players and I think "WTF? Where did they go?" I sometimes jokingly write, "What happened?" just to let the players know I'm not even paying attention to the table. I used to take notes on everyone and pay attention to how they play but at the limits I play I couldn't care less how they play to be honest. I'll do my studying when it's down to 4 or 5, but for the most part I play my game and it works against the majority of these players. If I lose a few percent ROI from not paying close enough attention, oh well. haha

At 9:24 AM, Blogger best-sng-strategy-tips said...

I sat down at a online table last night. It has been a year since I have started playing sng poker online. I don't really like playing in person anymore simply because its much nicer to sit back in my lazy boy at home on the laptop. I have a hard time walking away from poker when I am losing, or winning. It also doesn't matter if I am there in person playing, or online. I still have a problem with knowing when a good time is to stop.


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