Thoughts on Sit N' Go's (kinda long)

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DravenStone

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Dec 6, 2004, 3:26:42 PM12/6/04
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I've been playing socially for years, but fully admit to finally being
dragged into real action along with the rest of the TV crowd about a
year ago.

I've played a fair amount of 3/6 at the local Indian casino, and
typically do fine for someone that is still pretty green (read 6-8
hours of play and within 50 bucks of even either way). I've played 6
live NLHE tournaments at said casino and finished in the money (3rd)
once.

I've struggled online a lot playing 3/6 at party, I always play sound
tight poker, (and know to use that table image to steal a decent pot
here and there) for a few hours and get up a couple bucks, but instead
of walking away when I'm up I "tighten up" and just smooth call/fold my
way back down, then go on tilt and leave even (if I'm lucky) or down 50
bucks or so.

Between online and live since I started playing, I'm basically even (to
be honest I've kept track and I'm up ~150 bucks, but you know... that's
about even)

I've recently started playing the 10+1 and 20+2 sit and go's on
paradise (I uninstalled party after doubling my BR and then blowing it
all in less than three hours). I'm finding this one table tourney
structure to be much more to my liking. I've been in the money enough
that over about 25 games or so in the last week I'm just above even.
Sure, I'm not making money, but I'm learning a TON about how to play
this game.

Here are my general observations of the sit and go's so far:
Basic by the book tightish solid play in the early rounds is advisable.
The crazy all in on every hand guy will bust one or two players before
he busts himself most of the time, NEVER call crazy all in guy unless
you have the proverbial monster (better yet the nuts) in the early
rounds.
If crazy all in guy makes it past the early rounds, he might turn out
to be a decent player who was just "gambling" to get a big stack and
now suddenly knows how to use his chips. (This one I'm not sure about
as a general rule, but I have seen it a few times so far, could be a
result of the low entry fee games I'm playing).
Chip leaders are often very aggressive towards short stacks and no one
ever seems to "check it down" when a short stack is in, so you can
sometimes get yourself a nice pot if playing behind the chip leader who
has called a desperation all in during the middle rounds with less than
stellar cards.
CL's in the later rounds are either really solid, bullying the lesser
stacks or nervous and just want to finish in the money allowing you to
slowly siphon off chips if you have even semi-decent cards and make
smart bets if you're behind.
If you're middle stacked with 4 or 5 players remaining, chip management
is huge. Getting out of the way of the other middle stacks who try to
double through the chip leaders often will lead you to the money. As
many times as not, the CL will be busted out by a few losses to the
short/middle stacks followed by tilt O rama. Patience is the key to the
money here.
Short handed is by the book reasonably aggressive play and if you are
CL, blind stealing is pretty easy.
Heads up, often being patient will get you the win, I've found often
that the other player is happy to be second and will take silly
chances, presumably figuring that they are happy to be in the money and
will coin flip anytime.
Well those are just some general comments.
Personally, the things I've noticed I need to work on is staying tight
early. Sometimes I try to over bet way to early and end up getting
nailed.
In my 25 or so entries, I seem to either bust out 9th or 10th or finish
in the money. I've got a few 4th or 5th but very few.

I would love comments on a few things:
Do you more experienced players agree with my general observations of
the game?
Any other tips that are particular to sit and go single table tourneys
that is not obvious?
I've read a few archive posts about paradise not being the cats'
pajamas, but I've liked it more than party in terms of the players.
Seems I get more traditional responses to traditional moves. However,
I've only played online at Paradise for a week, and a few months on
Party. Are their other places I would be better of playing?

Anything else you want to say to a guy who is having fun playing and
hopes to build a BR big enough to get into some higher entry fees sit
and gos.

thanks,
-CT

DravenStone

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Dec 6, 2004, 3:27:03 PM12/6/04
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Nick0r

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Dec 6, 2004, 3:35:53 PM12/6/04
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Just like to say a few things, firstly, great post. Secondly, I agree
with you when you say that you get better responses from the players at
party, they seem to stick to the norms rather than playing wacky. You
may want to check out pokerstars, the standard of play is quite good
there too.

Regards,
Nick Kisberg
http://www.cardschat.com
Poker Forums

KidKanuck

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Dec 6, 2004, 3:37:18 PM12/6/04
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IMHO...I think you have the recipe for building a bankroll on the 10 and
20 sng's...frankly just the fact that you are putting that much thought
and analysis into your own game basically puts you in better stead than
about seven of the ten players sitting at the table who basically thing
they are Texas Dolly reincarnate. The little nuances with the sng's willl
come as you play more.

g'luck and just keep doin' what you're doin' just don't do it to me.

KK

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Nick0r

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Dec 6, 2004, 3:37:46 PM12/6/04
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Nick0r

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Dec 6, 2004, 3:37:33 PM12/6/04
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Nick0r

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Dec 6, 2004, 3:38:01 PM12/6/04
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Nick0r

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Dec 6, 2004, 3:38:44 PM12/6/04
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Nick0r

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Dec 6, 2004, 3:38:58 PM12/6/04
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Nick0r

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Dec 6, 2004, 3:40:06 PM12/6/04
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Nick0r

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Dec 6, 2004, 3:39:52 PM12/6/04
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PokerGeek

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Dec 6, 2004, 4:04:52 PM12/6/04
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> Any other tips that are particular to sit and go single table tourneys
> that is not obvious?

Russ G has a decent article on small buy-in SNG strategy on his website.

http://www.pokermafia.com/index.php?tid=free&artid=20&action=zoom

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CactusPoker.com

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Dec 6, 2004, 4:22:15 PM12/6/04
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> In my 25 or so entries, I seem to either bust out 9th or 10th or finish
> in the money. I've got a few 4th or 5th but very few.

This is how I turned $150 into $1900 at the $20 on down SnG's. I am now
trying to be more aggressive when I get into the money to have a better
shot at first. My theory being that the difference between 1st and 2nd
place money versus 2nd and 3rd make gambling more lucrative when we're
down to 3.

> Seems I get more traditional responses to traditional moves. However,
> I've only played online at Paradise for a week, and a few months on
> Party. Are their other places I would be better of playing?

I agree and I despise the blind structure at Party. However,
www.pokercharts.com shows me that Party is by far my most profitable site
so I put up with it. You just have to learn to deal with the jokers that
think A8 is worth going all in (or even worth playing) when an A hits the
flop. I'd suggest Ultimate and PokerStars as well, they both have good
blind structures so it's not a crapshoot after 40 hands.

Dean

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ecr72

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Dec 6, 2004, 5:30:53 PM12/6/04
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On Dec 6 2004 8:34 PM, DravenStone wrote:


> I've recently started playing the 10+1 and 20+2 sit and go's on
> paradise (I uninstalled party after doubling my BR and then blowing it
> all in less than three hours). I'm finding this one table tourney
> structure to be much more to my liking. I've been in the money enough
> that over about 25 games or so in the last week I'm just above even.
> Sure, I'm not making money, but I'm learning a TON about how to play
> this game.

That's a good start. Keep records (which it sounds like you do). It
sounds like you are on your way to making money but expect some swings
during your journey. I just switched to almost 100% SNG's and have done
quite well.

> Here are my general observations of the sit and go's so far:
> Basic by the book tightish solid play in the early rounds is advisable.
> The crazy all in on every hand guy will bust one or two players before
> he busts himself most of the time, NEVER call crazy all in guy unless
> you have the proverbial monster (better yet the nuts) in the early
> rounds.
> If crazy all in guy makes it past the early rounds, he might turn out
> to be a decent player who was just "gambling" to get a big stack and
> now suddenly knows how to use his chips. (This one I'm not sure about
> as a general rule, but I have seen it a few times so far, could be a
> result of the low entry fee games I'm playing).

Crazy All-In guy is a joke. Usually only seen at the lowest limits. $20
is usually a little to rich for those jerks. Once you know one is at your
table, fold everything except AK, AA or KK. All else is close enough to
coin flip in my opinion.

> Chip leaders are often very aggressive toward short stacks and no one


> ever seems to "check it down" when a short stack is in, so you can
> sometimes get yourself a nice pot if playing behind the chip leader who
> has called a desperation all in during the middle rounds with less than
> stellar cards.

I don't see this too much. CL's are pretty tight on Stars when someone
goes all-in in front of them. If we are talking the later rounds, then
yes the leader will often call.

> CL's in the later rounds are either really solid, bullying the lesser
> stacks or nervous and just want to finish in the money allowing you to
> slowly siphon off chips if you have even semi-decent cards and make
> smart bets if you're behind.

Very true. I've done both and when your aggression is respected it is a
great feeling. It really come down to knowing your opponent and what they
will tolerate. It is easy to determine who is waiting and hoping to make
the money as opposed to those who will gamble with the lesser ranked hands.

> If you're middle stacked with 4 or 5 players remaining, chip management
> is huge. Getting out of the way of the other middle stacks who try to
> double through the chip leaders often will lead you to the money. As
> many times as not, the CL will be busted out by a few losses to the
> short/middle stacks followed by tilt O rama. Patience is the key to the
> money here.

Sooooo True. PATIENCE. Not to the point of being blinded off waiting for
AK. I can not tell you the number of times I have come back from just
having a few hundred chips to making the money when there are 4 or 5 left.
Sometimes it is coin flip luck, but usually I don't panic and go in with
the best of it. I played alot this weekend and when I would bust out, I
think I always had the best hand when I put all my chips in the pot.

> Short handed is by the book reasonably aggressive play and if you are
> CL, blind stealing is pretty easy.
> Heads up, often being patient will get you the win, I've found often
> that the other player is happy to be second and will take silly
> chances, presumably figuring that they are happy to be in the money and
> will coin flip anytime.

This really depends on the blinds. If they are up there already, then I
find players taking more chances as expected. I play alot of Turbo's on
Stars which increase the blinds every 5 minutes. Many don't like this and
compare it to Party's 10 hands per round format, but I find them beatable
on a regular basis. Once heads up, the blinds are usually 200/400 so you
need to pick your spots carefully.

> Well those are just some general comments.
> Personally, the things I've noticed I need to work on is staying tight
> early. Sometimes I try to over bet way to early and end up getting
> nailed.
> In my 25 or so entries, I seem to either bust out 9th or 10th or finish
> in the money. I've got a few 4th or 5th but very few.

Opps. This is where I have a problem. You really need to move those
numbers up to where you finish in the top five 90% of the time IMO before
even considering moving up. At these levels, going out in 9th or 10th
should require a fairly bad beat. It sounds like you may be risking to
much early even though you mention 'by the book tightish play' in the
early rounds. My gut says you are a little risky in the early rounds and
if you get in the lead, you then tighten up. It could also be bad luck
since we are talking about only 25 sng's. I don't have my records here,
but I bet my last 30 sng's have one or two finishes in 7th - 9th (Stars
only has 9 players). I went on a string of losses on Friday but was
consistently going out 4th or 5th.

> I would love comments on a few things:
> Do you more experienced players agree with my general observations of
> the game?

I'm not that experienced, but think you have done a great job.

> Any other tips that are particular to sit and go single table tourneys
> that is not obvious?

Pay attention. There seems to always be someone folding everything except
the monsters. Pick on them when possible. The maniacs and risk takers
will be obvious, it's the ones off to the sides to be worried about.

Strike up a conversation if others are chatty. Maybe I'm fooling myself,
but I feel the more chatty I am, the more respect my raises or re-raises
seem to become. Maybe because I'm not just an anonymous player... who
knows. This can also work in the reverse. I was short stacked and went
all-in with a small pair against QQ. I hit my set and this player that
was quiet the whole game typed in This is BS' or something similar. I
responded with 'Not really.' I don't think it was out of context but I
knew it would put them on tilt. Well it did. That player continued on
and on and a few hands later called my AK or AQ all-in with two crap
cards. Table talk is a factor in my opinion.

> I've read a few archive posts about paradise not being the cats'
> pajamas, but I've liked it more than party in terms of the players.
> Seems I get more traditional responses to traditional moves. However,
> I've only played online at Paradise for a week, and a few months on
> Party. Are their other places I would be better of playing?

Try Stars. I'd stay away from the Turbos at first because those blinds
get up there quickly and you need to adjust your starting hand requirement
to accommodate. It is hard to go back and forth. I played my first MTT
in a long time this weekend and the 'slow' blind increases took a while to
adjust to. My mind is somewhat poisoned with the Turbo structure.


>
> Anything else you want to say to a guy who is having fun playing and
> hopes to build a BR big enough to get into some higher entry fees sit
> and gos.
>

God damn it. Keep having fun. If it stops being fun, get the hell out.

Watch out for the swings and anticipate what a bad one would do to your BR
before moving up. I stuck to $25 Turbos all weekend (except for one
$20/$2 MTT) and went through a fairly big swing down before winning two in
a row which brought me above my starting point. If that downswing was at
the $55 level, it would have been enough for me to have to go down to the
$25 or $15 level. Being forced down a level or two is tough because it
will take longer to get back. I started playing sng's exclusively with
about $440 in my account and have it up to $1050 in about two weeks. I've
played two $55 ones and placed 2nd and 3rd in them but I feel the bankroll
needs to be quite a bit more before going up there full time. My goal
going in was $100 per week at the lower $6 & $15 level but the bad beats
and Crazy All-In guys were pissing me off. A small winning streak put me
at $25 and I'm comfortable there. If you are having fun, don't be too
anxious to move up. Get the percentage of finishes in the top five up
before thinking about a move. Something is broke when you are finishing
mostly top three or bottom two.

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Lost in Reno

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Dec 6, 2004, 5:35:18 PM12/6/04
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Good article! I think the reason I'm always on the bubble is because I
slowly bleed off 100=200 chips limping with medium pairs and painted
connectors hopng for a big flop.
I saw the light one day. I had three tables going on party, two were
limit and the third a SNG. With most of my attention on the limit tables I
was in fold,fold,fold mode at the SNG.
I got down to the final five with about 500 chips, and went on a huge
roll and won the SNG. When I looked back I realized that I had folded the
first 43 hands of the SNG.
The first hand I played ironically was KK. My biggest problem is having
a medium stack 1500-2000 and being to aggressive with 4-5 left. Invariably
I always get caught with my hand in the cookie jar.

On Dec 6 2004 3:26 PM, DravenStone wrote:

bob

TurfNSport

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Dec 6, 2004, 6:42:34 PM12/6/04
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Draven made some interesting points and I am about the same player. I play
SNG's $10, $20, or $30, mostly at Party. Play tight early and aggressive late
and I have fared pretty well considering I have only been playing for 3 months.

Would I be better trying to grind out a small profit at the SNG's or perhaps
smaller ring games? Which table would have the weaker players?

Limit and pot limit game bore me to death however!

Any thoughts?

MikeD

Lost in Reno

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Dec 6, 2004, 6:50:01 PM12/6/04
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Decided to try it out in a cheap $10 Party SNG. Fourth hand I get AKo in
BB. UTG limps for $15. Next player raises to $75. Everyone folds around to
guy near the button and he calls. I move all in and both call... Flopp
comes AAxxx and I overcome QQ and AT.
Later a player is knocked out by limping with aa when flop was 38x and
the BB breaks someones heart.
Had AT in BB and a flop of TTx came up. I went all in and probably over
played the hand as everyone bailed.
Two hands later I get KK and bet 450 with no callers and take down the
limpers and blinds.
Down to four and I'm just two hundred chips behind top two, then get
AQs and crush fourth place guy. Pick up a straight and I'm in lead.
I'm heads up with a 2/1 advantage. Goes on forever. Roles are reversed
at one point but your hero makes an amazing comeback. Again up 2/1 I
finally crush opponent with QT

Other than the hands mentioned I called one 50 chip bet drawing for an
inside straight. Made on bad call when I went all in with ATd heads up and
lost to AQ.

Not scientific but I like the results! Whoo Hoo

bob

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ecr72

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Dec 7, 2004, 2:42:08 AM12/7/04
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On Dec 6 2004 9:12 PM, PokerGeek wrote:

> > Any other tips that are particular to sit and go single table tourneys
> > that is not obvious?
>
> Russ G has a decent article on small buy-in SNG strategy on his website.
>
> http://www.pokermafia.com/index.php?tid=free&artid=20&action=zoom

Actually, this article sucks. I read it and it threw my game off enough
to go on a mini losing streak tonight. I took his advice and played super
tight, folding everything early except one QQ which I went all in and got
called down by AA. I know it happens, but that's $60 I will never see
again. I would normally call the 4X BB raise and go from there. The turn
had an A and I was done. I would have bailed with chips to spare on the
turn bet knowing that a pre-flop raiser often has Ax. Mother******. I
could go through other beats where I put way too many chips in (all-in)
when I was up against a bigger pair or AK. DO NOT TAKE HIS ADVICE. It
may help a very novice player, but it has so many holes in it you will
lose in the long run.

Once I got back to a 3rd place finish in a $25+$2 and it seemed like my
old style of play was intact, I played one more $55+$5 and finished 2nd.
Still ended the night down about $100. WTF was I doing following the
advice of a bastard like Russ G anyway?

PokerGeek

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Dec 7, 2004, 4:24:25 AM12/7/04
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On Dec 7 2004 1:42 AM, ecr72 wrote:

> Actually, this article sucks. I read it and it threw my game off enough
> to go on a mini losing streak tonight. I took his advice and played
> super
> tight, folding everything early except one QQ which I went all in and
> got
> called down by AA. I know it happens, but that's $60 I will never see
> again.

I didn't say change your whole style, I just said it was a decent article
:)

I don't know what site you were playing, but I think his recommendations
are best applied to Party because you start with only 800 in chips. Also,
I wouldn't follow his go all-in early advice at buy-ins over $30. I don't
find enough people calling with small pairs and weak aces like I do at the
lower levels to make it profitable.

DravenStone

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Dec 7, 2004, 10:05:19 AM12/7/04
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Thanks for all the great comments guys, I'm glad there was some
interest in this topic. I presume there are a lot of newer players like
myself trolling around Usenet (and anywhere else they kind find good
info).

Here is how my evening went last night... I'll follow up with some
other posts to respond to a few comments from others too in just a bit
(I love having Usenet access from work, thanks google!)

Still playing on Paradise btw, since that's where my BR is ;)

First Table: 10+1 busted out 10th with way to aggressive play with
middle pair in middle position on the 3rd hand!. Limped in with pocket
8's called the buttons raise to 60 and flopped another 8. Bet 100,
reraise from the button making it 200 to go. Call... Turn, check/check
(we're heads up) river check/all in/call
3 eight's loose and I'm gone 5 minutes in.

Notice I never told you what else fell? I still don't know what he hit,
I'll get a hand history maybe tonight. But the moral of the story is I
was playing fast and loose way too early and NOT dialed into the game.
I shook it off since I had just got home from work, was chatting with
my boy about his homework (3rd grade honors math is a lot like poker
sometimes;) but again learned a valuable lesson. I HAVE to follow my
own advice and stay away from those calls early, particularly if I'm
not paying close attention to the game!

Net Loss for Day: -11

Get a beer, wait for my wife to come home before I play second table.
Got the mind set now.
Second Table: 20+2
Did not catch a card for the first 20 hands, nothing worth playing at
all. This is a part of my game I've really had to work on. But I stayed
patient and waited for a move. Defended my blinds a few times, but for
minimal chips on obscure draws 3/7o and junk like that.
In the mean time crazy all in guy is busted out on his 4th all in call
in a row with 8/4o, I smiled.
Another player hits big and knocks out two stacks with one fell swoop,
I recognize myself at the last table in the guy who goes down with 2
pair when clearly BOTH Of the other players should have been put on a
flush. Pot committed with week stuff early is just a HUGE mistake.
So before I've played anything past the flop, I'm down to about 940
chips from my blinds play (paradise gives you 1000 in NL SNG's) there
are three players out.
Finally I catch a few cards, win a few decent hands, double up when I
catch QQ on the button, limp in, get the Q rag rag flop and slow play
him to the river. (that felt good, my trapping is getting better).
I ended up in third, because I took shots with stuff like QJ suited
when we got to three handed, but I had maybe 2000 in chips against much
bigger stacks and I was pleased with my play.

Pays $40 for third so...
Net Gain for Day is now: $7.00

Dinner with the family.

Table 3: 10+1
I'm fed, I've got beer number 2 in front of me, the boy is going to
bed, no distractions and I want to play some good cards.
Second hand, yes the SECOND hand. I'm in early position (second to act)
and I get the pocket Aces. Come in for 3x BB, get raised to 120 by the
4th to act, and he is reraised by the cut off to 400. I can't believe
this, I'm calling a 400 chip raise before the flop on the SECOND HAND
after just telling myself all through dinner about that tight play
early. But hey, it's pocket aces, I'm not laying it down. I call and
behind me it's on. ALL IN is the reraise, called by the cut off... Over
to me... UGH! I'm gonna bust out 10th AGAIN! Call.
15 seconds later my A's held and I had over 3K in chips and we were
playing 8 handed. I never looked back. My table image was cemented from
that moment forward, and I was picking stuff off left and right in the
middle rounds and won the table easily after letting the fight for
second and third go on its own during a cold spell of cards.
Pays $50 for first so...
Net Gain for Day is now: $46.00
It's about 9:30 and I should do some stuff around the house, but I'm
really "curious" to see if I can keep playing well. I struggle a lot
with switching pace really quickly from late tourney to early tourney
playing styles and I want to see if I can do it, so I sit for one last
table...
Table 4: 10+1
This table sucked. I mean, I did it. I played fairly well with LOUSY
cards, and finished just out of the money, but the players at this
table were just horrible to be around. There was not one crazy all in
guy, but THREE! One hits over and over, the other two bust out. I
pulled off a couple of good reraises when remaining crazy all in guy
was overly aggressive, but ultimately lost because I took his play
personally. This is the guy they talk about in books, you can take
advantage of him most of the time, but you really have to pick your
spots. I lost in 4th. Oh well, I learned that I can get through the
early rounds playing tight after coming off a win, which I have not
done well in the past.
An $11 hit to the totals and so the day was a $35.00 profit.
Sure, it took me ~four hours to make what I make in one hour at work,
but at least I was having fun and learning. This is NOT my job, but
success is measured in dollars in this game, so that how I measure
myself.
Ted Knight: How do you measure yourself against other golfers?
Chevy Chase: By Height

-CT/DS

DravenStone

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Dec 7, 2004, 10:25:21 AM12/7/04
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I agree, those limit games are BORING as can be, but I'll tell you what
I accidently entered a limit sit n go the other night, and it was
amazingly good practice for playing the cards and playing the cards
only in the early rounds. You just CAN'T make a move when you raise can
only be 20 bucks! Plus, when you make that stupid call that gets you
killed in a NL game, it only costs you 60 chips!

-ct/ds

DravenStone

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Dec 7, 2004, 10:34:46 AM12/7/04
to

KidKanuck wrote:
> IMHO...I think you have the recipe for building a bankroll on the 10
and
> 20 sng's...frankly just the fact that you are putting that much
thought
> and analysis into your own game basically puts you in better stead
than
> about seven of the ten players sitting at the table who basically
thing
> they are Texas Dolly reincarnate.

I sure hope you're right. I read a lot of books, and I've read just
about anything I can find online that seems worthwhile. But in the end,
I think it's just practice and being aware of the things that you're
doing wrong (and right!)
But I won't lie, I love the idea of building a real bankroll at the low
buy ins and then maybe taking a shot or two at the bigger limit tables.

>The little nuances with the sng's willl
> come as you play more.
>
> g'luck and just keep doin' what you're doin' just don't do it to me.
>

LOL, you got it.

-CT/DS

> KK

DravenStone

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Dec 7, 2004, 10:47:52 AM12/7/04
to
> Actually, this article sucks. I read it and it threw my game off
enough
> to go on a mini losing streak tonight. I took his advice and played
super
> tight, folding everything early except one QQ which I went all in and
got
> called down by AA. I know it happens, but that's $60 I will never
see
> again. I would normally call the 4X BB raise and go from there. The
turn
> had an A and I was done. I would have bailed with chips to spare on
the
> turn bet knowing that a pre-flop raiser often has Ax. Mother******.
I
> could go through other beats where I put way too many chips in
(all-in)
> when I was up against a bigger pair or AK. DO NOT TAKE HIS ADVICE.
It
> may help a very novice player, but it has so many holes in it you
will
> lose in the long run.


Yikes, now I don't know if I should read it or not! (pokermafia is not
a work safe site and I was playing last night, not reading). However,
the advice you describe is not unlike my thoughts on the game, however
I certainly wouldn't want anyone to base their style of play on my
post! Hell, calling me a novice would be generous so maybe I should
read it after all.

One thing I have noticed when talking and reading about poker is that
there is no "rule" of how to play the game. While anyone from myself to
Phil Ivey can give you general ideas of what works for us and what
doesn't only you can play each hand as it unfolds, following a "system"
(regardless of how Super it may be) is probably not going to be the
best play EVERY hand, don't you think?

-CT/DS

DravenStone

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Dec 7, 2004, 10:50:42 AM12/7/04
to
Thanks nick. Either you or I are misreading something though.
It's my opinion that I get better "traditional" play at Paradise than I
do at Party. Last nights table four might have changed those odds a bit
though.

I'm probably going to check out some of the other sites too, after I
have some extra cash to maybe have two bank rolls building. One downer
of Paradise is I have to cash out via a check, so it's not easy to move
my funds around quickly to play another site...

-ct/ds

mo_charles

unread,
Dec 7, 2004, 11:02:56 AM12/7/04
to
> One thing I have noticed when talking and reading about poker is that
> there is no "rule" of how to play the game. While anyone from myself to
> Phil Ivey can give you general ideas of what works for us and what
> doesn't only you can play each hand as it unfolds, following a "system"
> (regardless of how Super it may be) is probably not going to be the
> best play EVERY hand, don't you think?
>
> -CT/DS

following a system won't make you a great player, but it will definitely
make you
money on a site like party --- the best, no-brain way to neutralize the
monsters
and run over the rocks. the system is simple :: play raises with premium
hands
only, steal blinds with reasonable hands, and play most hands in a
heads-up pot.
this'll make you money long run against the poor play on party.

mo_charles

_______________________________________________________________________ 
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DravenStone

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Dec 7, 2004, 11:21:38 AM12/7/04
to

CactusPoker.com wrote:
> > In my 25 or so entries, I seem to either bust out 9th or 10th or
finish
> > in the money. I've got a few 4th or 5th but very few.
>
> This is how I turned $150 into $1900 at the $20 on down SnG's. I am
now
> trying to be more aggressive when I get into the money to have a
better
> shot at first. My theory being that the difference between 1st and
2nd
> place money versus 2nd and 3rd make gambling more lucrative when
we're
> down to 3.

I can see that, and I tried a bit last night to double through when I
thought I had a "Shot" to get from low stack to middle. It didn't work
and I busted out, but I think the theory is sound. It's odd when you're
playing the low stakes games like I am, but there is still a big
difference between the 20+2 and the 10+1 game in terms of payout. If I
can get a couple more good finishes on the 10+1 tables, I would feel
pretty good about trying to stick with the 20+2 tables more often.
Seems I would get a better return on my investment of both time and
money. I just have to get better about the early rounds first.
Certainly goin gfrom 150 to 1900 sounds just right to me, even if I
have to do it 35 bucks at a time ;)

>
> > Seems I get more traditional responses to traditional moves.
However,
> > I've only played online at Paradise for a week, and a few months on
> > Party. Are their other places I would be better of playing?
>
> I agree and I despise the blind structure at Party. However,
> www.pokercharts.com shows me that Party is by far my most profitable
site
> so I put up with it. You just have to learn to deal with the jokers
that
> think A8 is worth going all in (or even worth playing) when an A hits
the
> flop. I'd suggest Ultimate and PokerStars as well, they both have
good
> blind structures so it's not a crapshoot after 40 hands.
>

Thanks for those suggestions Dean. Sooner or later I will definately
branch out to some other sites (particularly if I have the kind of
success you did!).
Maybe I'll see you on the tables. I hear you on Party, I just don't
seem to like it as well. Maybe it's because I was way too new to the
game when I was playing there or something and I only played the ring
games not the sit n go's... I could be back one day ;)

-ct/ds

DravenStone

unread,
Dec 7, 2004, 11:45:26 AM12/7/04
to
ecr, what a great post. I'm gonna snip some of it since between the two
of us it gets pretty verbose ;)

> Keep records (which it sounds like you do). It
> sounds like you are on your way to making money but expect some
swings
> during your journey. I just switched to almost 100% SNG's and have
done
> quite well.
>

Yup, recording keeping away, I'm about at the 200 dollar profit margin
since I started playing "for real" that counts both my live action and
my internet games. If it wasn't for a 400 payday when I came in 3rd out
of ~110 in a 27 buy in live NLHE tournament, well you can do that
math...

>
> Crazy All-In guy is a joke. Usually only seen at the lowest limits.
$20
> is usually a little to rich for those jerks. Once you know one is at
your
> table, fold everything except AK, AA or KK. All else is close enough
to
> coin flip in my opinion.


Agreed, though I am playing primarily the 10+1, so I'm seeing them more
than I want. If I can build up a little more and get a tad more
confident in my play, so that the swings don't freak me out when I
loose a few, I can probably stick with the 20+2 table and avoid some
more of that.


> > Chip leaders are often very aggressive toward short stacks and no
one
> > ever seems to "check it down" when a short stack is in, so you can
> > sometimes get yourself a nice pot if playing behind the chip leader
who
> > has called a desperation all in during the middle rounds with less
than
> > stellar cards.
>
> I don't see this too much. CL's are pretty tight on Stars when
someone
> goes all-in in front of them. If we are talking the later rounds,
then
> yes the leader will often call.
>

Hmmm, that's an interesting observation. I'll start paying a little
more attention to this. What you describe seems like smarter play, so
it would follow that a CL would act as such. I wonder if my opinion
will change as I get more experience. Perhaps I'm projecting my (poor)
play onto others in this case. I wouldn't be surprised were that to be
true.

> > CL's in the later rounds are either really solid, bullying the
lesser
> > stacks or nervous and just want to finish in the money allowing you
to
> > slowly siphon off chips if you have even semi-decent cards and make
> > smart bets if you're behind.
>
> Very true. I've done both and when your aggression is respected it
is a
> great feeling. It really come down to knowing your opponent and what
they
> will tolerate. It is easy to determine who is waiting and hoping to
make
> the money as opposed to those who will gamble with the lesser ranked
hands.
>

Right on, the observation part of the game being huge here. I'm still
working on this and admit that I've made the wrong call a few times,
but I think I *mostly* am getting the correct read on players. Hell
from time to time people get better hands than you.


> Sooooo True. PATIENCE. Not to the point of being blinded off
waiting for
> AK. I can not tell you the number of times I have come back from
just
> having a few hundred chips to making the money when there are 4 or 5
left.
> Sometimes it is coin flip luck, but usually I don't panic and go in
with
> the best of it. I played alot this weekend and when I would bust
out, I
> think I always had the best hand when I put all my chips in the pot.

>

Yup, clearly we agree here. Sometimes you are forced to take a shot,
and when you are, just do so in the best spot you can. I see a LOT of
players take a big blow to their stack and then go all in on the very
next hand with junk even though they are several hands away from having
to pay the blinds. I never understood that.

> > Short handed is by the book reasonably aggressive play and if you
are
> > CL, blind stealing is pretty easy.
> > Heads up, often being patient will get you the win, I've found
often
> > that the other player is happy to be second and will take silly
> > chances, presumably figuring that they are happy to be in the money
and
> > will coin flip anytime.
>
> This really depends on the blinds. If they are up there already,
then I
> find players taking more chances as expected. I play alot of Turbo's
on
> Stars which increase the blinds every 5 minutes. Many don't like
this and
> compare it to Party's 10 hands per round format, but I find them
beatable
> on a regular basis. Once heads up, the blinds are usually 200/400 so
you
> need to pick your spots carefully.
>

Interesting, I was heads up last night with 500/1000 and then 1000/1500
blinds! I wish it had been 200/400.
With those levels, the game didn't last long and I really did wait him
out, but I had a HUGE chip advantage when we got heads up ~7K vs. ~2K.

I waited until I had something decent to check his call of my blind and
took him all in easily with trips... But yeah, my stack was such that
it was easy.


>
> Opps. This is where I have a problem. You really need to move those
> numbers up to where you finish in the top five 90% of the time IMO
before
> even considering moving up. At these levels, going out in 9th or
10th
> should require a fairly bad beat. It sounds like you may be risking
to
> much early even though you mention 'by the book tightish play' in the
> early rounds. My gut says you are a little risky in the early rounds
and
> if you get in the lead, you then tighten up. It could also be bad
luck
> since we are talking about only 25 sng's.


Nope, you are correct it's poor play early too often. I can tell myself
over and over not to get sucked in but I somehow manage to trap myself,
usually by checking the BB and getting something that LOOKS good, but
is so obviously outkicked or just plain beaten. You know those K/8s
that pair the K, and has a potential flush draw that never comes, but
you've called the 300 on hopes it will and well... before you know it
you're out or so short stacked with a LOUSY table image that your
toast. That's my weekness right now. I'm actively working on it.


I don't have my records here,
> but I bet my last 30 sng's have one or two finishes in 7th - 9th
(Stars
> only has 9 players). I went on a string of losses on Friday but was
> consistently going out 4th or 5th.
>

I'll take your advice and hang out on the 10 and maybe 20 dollar tables
until I get both a lot more experience and a lot more wins.

> > I would love comments on a few things:
> > Do you more experienced players agree with my general observations
of
> > the game?
>
> I'm not that experienced, but think you have done a great job.
>

LOL, well thanks.

> > Any other tips that are particular to sit and go single table
tourneys
> > that is not obvious?
>
> Pay attention. There seems to always be someone folding everything
except
> the monsters. Pick on them when possible. The maniacs and risk
takers
> will be obvious, it's the ones off to the sides to be worried about.
>

Hmmm, that's a good point. I do work on my assesment of other players
constantly. That's a pretty tough sciene, particularly online but using
the "notes" feature has been helpful. I think this is one of the
biggest areas where it's all about experience and I just have to trust
that it will come in time.

> Strike up a conversation if others are chatty. Maybe I'm fooling
myself,
> but I feel the more chatty I am, the more respect my raises or
re-raises
> seem to become. Maybe because I'm not just an anonymous player...
who
> knows. This can also work in the reverse. I was short stacked and
went
> all-in with a small pair against QQ. I hit my set and this player
that
> was quiet the whole game typed in This is BS' or something similar.
I
> responded with 'Not really.' I don't think it was out of context but
I
> knew it would put them on tilt. Well it did. That player continued
on
> and on and a few hands later called my AK or AQ all-in with two crap
> cards. Table talk is a factor in my opinion.
>

That's a really interesting point, I generally don't do much chatting
save for the occasional NH (particularly after someone knocks out crazy
all in guy). I've definately been the victim of chat that annoyed me
and made me want to beat a particular player, and that's a bad thing,
so your thought is a good one.

> > Anything else you want to say to a guy who is having fun playing
and
> > hopes to build a BR big enough to get into some higher entry fees
sit
> > and gos.
> >
>
> God damn it. Keep having fun. If it stops being fun, get the hell
out.
>

Right On! I can't see that happening, but you know I'm still new enough
that I think winning 100 bucks in a 20+2 is awesome! (My poor wife is
getting tired of hearing my poker war stories I think...)


Yup, the two major points you make here: Be prepared for the swings and
get that percentage up are definately key.
I'm still playing basically on a shoe string budget, and I don't
honestly know what I would do if I busted out which is without question
an option. That's why I mostly stick the 10's even though I prefer the
20's... I'll hang tough as long as I can and when a consistent winner
at 10, make a more permenant move to 20.

Thanks for you excellent responses to my lengthy post, it was really
helpful.
-ct/ds

ecr72

unread,
Dec 7, 2004, 12:17:14 PM12/7/04
to
On Dec 7 2004 9:32 AM, PokerGeek wrote:

> On Dec 7 2004 1:42 AM, ecr72 wrote:
>
> > Actually, this article sucks. I read it and it threw my game off enough
> > to go on a mini losing streak tonight. I took his advice and played
> > super
> > tight, folding everything early except one QQ which I went all in and
> > got
> > called down by AA. I know it happens, but that's $60 I will never see
> > again.
>
> I didn't say change your whole style, I just said it was a decent article
> :)
>
> I don't know what site you were playing, but I think his recommendations
> are best applied to Party because you start with only 800 in chips. Also,
> I wouldn't follow his go all-in early advice at buy-ins over $30. I don't
> find enough people calling with small pairs and weak aces like I do at the
> lower levels to make it profitable.

You are right. Problem 1, I was playing at Stars. Problem 2, I was
playing above my normal buy-in. Problem 3, I ran into AA and it fucking
happens at least once in every SNG to someone. Well, it seems like it
happens that often. I much rather be on the end of the guy with AA.

I didn't play exactly like he suggested, but when I had a good pair in
middle to late position or in the blinds with one raiser and the rest
folding, I kept thinking about how pushing all-in should make them lay
down their hand. Nope, I seemed to get called down every time. Oh well.
I felt the advice was very juvenile, I guess I'm not a strong enough
player to not let it influence me.

Played one more $25+$2 after my last response and won it. Played super
tight until I needed to and won heads up with AK vs a flush draw 8T going
all in after the flop. I didn't pair up and the turn and river missed
him... thank god since he was a favorite after the flop.

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ecr72

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Dec 7, 2004, 12:44:13 PM12/7/04
to
On Dec 7 2004 4:53 PM, DravenStone wrote:

You are way ahead of most low limit SNG players. I did notice one thing
in your post...

>
> Nope, you are correct it's poor play early too often. I can tell myself
> over and over not to get sucked in but I somehow manage to trap myself,
> usually by checking the BB and getting something that LOOKS good, but
> is so obviously outkicked or just plain beaten. You know those K/8s
> that pair the K, and has a potential flush draw that never comes, but
> you've called the 300 on hopes it will and well... before you know it
> you're out or so short stacked with a LOUSY table image that your
> toast. That's my weekness right now. I'm actively working on it.
>

No, No, No. That K8s is great when you have a flush draw and someone
giving you the correct odds to call. You have a bunch of outs but when
they bet big, you should be folding those hands. I used to have the same
problem. They are betting big to get rid of the flush draws. Let's say
you have a pot 100 and they bet 200 (300 in the pot). You put them on a K
with a better kicker. You have a flush draw and the other two eights as
outs. You are still only going to win 25 - 30% of the time if you go to
showdown. Why put in 200 of your chips into a 300 chip pot for a 30%
chance of winning? Now if he bet 40 (140 in the pot), then you should
call becasue those are good odds and you might get him to call future bets
if you hit that eight or flush (implied odds).

I don't usually suggest books but Sklansky's Theory of Poker is good for
basics like this. A little boring read but good on the basics.

____________________________________________________________________ 

DravenStone

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Dec 7, 2004, 1:17:29 PM12/7/04
to

I'm with you 100% on that logic, my problem is I sometimes do call that
300 on say the flop, and when I don't hit the turn, I end up using that
stupid logic that I've got so much in the pot now I better call another
200 to see the river and then when I don't hit that... well you know
the end of this story.
I'm working on it. Sitting here at work talking about it, it's SO
obvious not to call that big bet (or even sillier reraise to try and
steal it!) but when I'm playing I sometimes get blinded by the idea of
being a super smooth check call/raiser and looking like a real pro
instead of just getting out and finishing in the money! If I can make
that lay down 100% of the time instead of 50% I'll definately improve
my game a LOT.
I'll check that book out of my local library soon. Thanks for the
recomendation.
-ct/ds

Lost in Reno

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Dec 7, 2004, 1:25:22 PM12/7/04
to

So far I have netted $64 since yesterday playing the $10/$1 Sng's.
Basically $9 per hour/game playing two tables, beats the brutality of no
foldem holdem. I have today and tommorrow off and I'm gonna play a large
number of SNG's. After last night's drubbing at the $2/$4 tables I've got
some work to do. You cant ask for a better strategy for the cheap SNG's at
Party IMHO. What more can you ask for, but to get all in with a premium
hand.
I've tweaked it to handle AQ suited and the like. I got drilled last
night playing AK and the like, but in the SNG it gives you leverage and
the premium hands seem more plentiful for some reason. As for employing
the mafia strategy I have finished in seven tries the following...

first= 1
second=2
third= 1
fourth=3 (lost KK to AA and TT to AK in large blind territory)

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