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#1 Jam-Fly

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 12:43 AM

It's fairly standard, but for anyone that isn't sure, heres a pretty solid take on SNGs. I used this on FCP last summer playing mostly $33 10mans and had great results. Happy to hear any thoughts, criticism etc.Some things to note, PokerStars structure is what I used, important stuff in bold, your goal is not to cash or win specifically (ie if all you wana do is come 1st, the strat might change, and likewise, if all you wana do is cash, your strat might change). Think that's about it, enjoy...The early levels: Early in a SNG it is correct to play extremely tight. The blinds start out extremely low. You have 1500 to start, with blinds of 10/20. They then raise to 15/30, 25/50 and 50/100. As I said, your play should be extremely tight. How tight? About as tight as possible. Your aim in the early stages is to double up when youíre a solid favourite or just maintain your chip position. The only hands you should be raising with are the big premium pairs and AK (ie AA, KK, QQ, JJ + AK). When you have these hands, you should raise it up 5xBB. In the first level, this would be a raise of 100. You are happy to get it all in pre flop here. When there is already raise, you want to make an aggressive reraise. For example, someone raises to 80 in early position. You are on the button with KK. You should reraise to 250 or so. Making decisions after the flop is usually easy when you only play good cards. If you hold QQ, and the flop is A93, chances are, you should fold. Even if you have the best hand, there is no need to take the chance, afterall, if your opponent has an ace, your almost dead. The odds of getting another queen is roughly 25-1. There are hundreds of situations that could come up here. I could explain every possible situation but that would take forever. In general, if you think there is a chance your hand is second best, you should fold. There are very rare times that you will fold AA, but if you hold two black aces and the flop is Th-Jh-Qh, you have to fold.The only other hands you should be playing here are pocket pairs. You should just call, try to see a flop and hit a set. If you do not flop a set, you are down with the hand. No set, no bet. Other hands that you can see a flop with (ie-just call) are AQ, AJs and ATs. You want to flop top pair or a flush draw with these hands. Again, if you are unsure about the hand, just get out and fold.The early middle levels: The middle stages in a SNG generally begin when the blinds get to 50-100. At this stage, 1 or 2 players will be knocked out, and your stack is hopefully around 3000, if it is still 1500 or so, donít worry and follow this strategy. Here you can loosen up your play slightly. You can make your raise with the premium hands 3xBB. You can also start raised 3xBB with AQ, AJ, TT, 99 and 88, provided you are not in the first two to act. Other than that, your strategy remains the same. If however, your stack is under 1200, your gona have to reconsider your options. With 1200 (or 12 big blinds in general), your style is tight aggressive. There is no hands you can Ďjust callí with anymore. When you pick up a hand like AJ (if you decide to play it) you are probably best to play it aggressive and be ready to go all in with it. However, sometimes, it is best to give yourself a chance to fold by raising less. In general however, I recommend to play aggressive when short stacked. When you are shorter than that, 8 big blinds or less, you have two moves, move all in, or fold. When in late position, you want to push with a lot of marginal holdings in order to steal the blinds. If you are one off the button, and everyone folds to you. If you have 700 in your stack, and a hand like Th7h, I would move all in in late position. Your aim is to steal the 150 in the pot in the form of blinds. If you do get called, you could still get lucky and double up.The later middle levels: When the blinds reach the 100-200 levels, chances are, half the table will be eliminated. The most important factor at this point is the chip stacks of everyone. We can divide your chip stacks in three different categories: You are short stacked with 2000 or less You are around the middle of the pack with 4000 or so You are chip leaderWhen you get shorthanded, there are a few points that should be noted, regardless of your stack. (1) When you are short handed, the value in any given hand raises. For example, a hand like A8, is a terrible hand at the start of the tournament, but when 5 or so players are left, it is quite a good hand that deserves a decent sized raise. Also, hands like QT rise in value short handed. (2) When the blinds are big, it is important to be aggressive pre flop. There is no hand that you should call with pre flop, every time you decide to play a hand, you should raise. (3) With only 4 or 5 players left, everyone will be conscious of finishing in the money (3rd). You should be aware of this and take advantage of the tight play of others.So how do you play with specific stack sizes?Short stacks: When you are short stacked, you need to get something going. You cannot just hang on. You are in, what I like to call, push mode. This means, you will be moving all in as much as possible in an effort to pick up blinds. When exactly should you be in push mode? Well I have a good rule to follow. If you have 8 big blinds or less, you should be in push mode, but, when antes are in play, if you have 10 big blinds or less, you are in push mode. We briefly talked about it above, saying you should move in with a lot of marginal holdings when short stacked. Weíll talk about it in a bit more depth now. Letís take a look at a few examples. It is 5 handed. You have 1800 left with blinds of 100-200/25 (this means 100-200 blinds and a 25 ante). The first player folds. You have J9. Here is a case where you should move all in. Your aim is to steal the blinds. This is called a blind steal. The beauty of a blind steal is, it is very hard for your opponent to call you, you are forcing them to pick up a big hand, and lets face it, that doesnít happen very often in poker. But here the other great thing about moving all in stealing the blinds, lets say the SB calls you with KQ. The exact odds of J9 beating KQ is 35%-65%. That means, every three times, you will win one time in three. So if you try a blind steal and get called, you still have a good chance of doubling up and being right back in the thick of things. There is another important factor when short stacked, it is called folding equity or first in vigorish. Basically, what that means, is, if you are first in the pot raising, you have the best chance of winning it. In the last example, lets say the first player called the big blind. You should not move in here. You are safe to move against three random or average hands (ie the three players still left to act) but the first player has clearly stated he has a better than average hand. So what hands do you need to make a move when someone else has entered the pot? I would recommend any pocket pair, AK-A8, KQ and possibly KJ, depending how short you are. Hands you can move with when no one else has entered the pot are many. AK-A2, any two face cards, and two suited connecting cards, KQ-K6, QT-Q7, JT-J8 any pocket pair, and a few others. All these hands are good enough to move in with.Medium Stacks: There is no certain way to play a medium stack. When playing a short or big stack, you can dictate the action, however when playing a medium stack, what everyone else is doing, dictates the action. If everyone is still playing tight, you take advantage and steal as many blinds as possible. The best way to do this is to raise 2.5xBB. Hopefully they will all just fold and you will collect a set of blinds. If however, you are raised, and have junk, like JQ or 79, you just fold. Donít get any further involved. Just give up your raise and move onto the next hand. I would recommend playing all your hands the same, be it a blind steal with T6 or raising with KK, I would always make it 2.5xBB. More often than not, players will be playing tight at this stage. They may still playing like it is 7 handed (ie tighter) but you know that you have to play looser 4 or 5handed. They also may be playing tight because they want to finish in the top 3. If they are playing this way, you want to take full advantage and steal as many blinds as possible.What other table variations are there? Generally one of two things are happening if the table is not tight here: There is an aggressive big stack There is an aggressive short stackIt is tough to deal with either of these. Generally, the best thing to do is just wait. A fatal mistake is, if the big stack raises you, and you just call on the BB hoping to flop a pair with your KJ, and the flop comes T47. What do you do? You have to check to him, then he bets, and you fold. Never just call the big stacks raise. Either reraise or fold. There is something to consider here. If for example, the chip stacks are as follows:Seat 1 7400Seat 2 3000 (you)Seat 3 2700Seat 4 1900You are relatively happy for the big stack to steal your blinds, so long as he is stealing everyone elses blinds too. You have 1100 more than the short stack, so hopefully heíll get eliminated and you will have gotten at least a 3rd place finish for yourself. This is one of the only times I think you should tighten up on the bubble. Also, when you are the first person in the pot, donít be afraid to try a blind steal yourself, unless the big stack has made it clear (by reraising all in whenever you raise) that he wants to win EVERY pot.As for the aggressive short stack, not much you can do but play the waiting game. If the short stack is moving in every other hand, you can call him with hands like A7 or KJ, but if he is moving maybe once every 5 hands, you want to call him with AK-AT, AA-88. I fold all other hands. Hopefully someone will just pick up a hand and bust him, other than that, you just have to wait.Big stacks: Really, thereís only one way to play a big stack, aggresively. You want to keep the pressure on constantly. This means, raising 2.5xBB almost every hand. The only hands Iíd fold here are hands like 92 or 73, but Iíd raise with almost everything else. Remember what I said about first in vigorish when talking about short stacks? Well the same thing applies to big stack play. If someone calls or raises in front of you, donít come in with your KT, just fold. The thing is, you want to steal as many uncontested pots as you can. You do not want to play big pots without a big hand. So you are being aggressive, but you are being selectively aggressive. Other things you need to know when playing the big stack is the maths. When a short stack picks up a hand and reraised you all in, you have to know whether or not to call. Eg. Blinds are 100-200/25. You raise with Q7 in first position to 500. The button reraises 1600 total. Everyone folds back to you. So, the pot is 500(your bet)+1600(buttonís bet)+100(SB)+200(BB)+125(antes)=25e25. It costs you 1100 more to call. That is 2.5-1 roughly (2625 to 1100). This means that you have to be less than 2.5-1 underdog to make the call. Some rough odds: AJ 66% Q7 34%. 55 52% Q7 48%. AA 85% Q7 15%. AQ 75% Q7 25%. From these odds you can see that so long as the button doesnít have a big pair or a queen (or an ace) with a bigger kicker you are in pretty good shape, considering the odds on your money. Generally, if you are getting 1.8-1 or better, you can call with a lot of marginal hands. It does look ugly putting in a lot of money with a bad hand, but sometimes the maths just dictates that you do it. However, do not make a habit of it. It seems as I am contradicting myself. On one hand, I am saying to only play small pots and steal the blinds, and on the other Iím saying call a short stacks all in with mediocre hands. It just takes experience to know what to do. You will have to call when you are getting good odds, but other than that, just try to steal the blinds.That is basically how to play the later middle stages of a SNG. An important thing to note is that the blinds are always going up. This means that at the 100-200/25 level, 3800 is a medium stack, and you play the medium stack strategy, but when the blinds go up to 200-400/50 then you are now a short stack so you have to play short stack strategy.The later levels: So your in the money. Now you wanna do your best to win the tournament. At this stage the blinds will be very high more often than not. This means it will be a series of all ins. There isnít a lot of skill at this stage, which is ironic because this is where the most money is. In my experience, the one who pushes (goes all in) the most, wins the most blinds uncontested, and the one who wins the most blinds, wins the most chips, and the one who wins the most chips wins the most money. There are a few things to note in the late stages though: Do not steal blinds from people who are very short stacked. They are commited and will call you. So if you have a good hand, raise it up and they will most likely call you. This is true in the earlier stages also. Be prepared to call if the maths dictates it. There is never a need to slow play. There is so much money in the pot in the form of blinds and antes that it is always worth picking up the pot. When the blinds get so big, everyone is effectively short stacked, even the chip leader, so play like a short stack. Always be aggressive. Never ever call before the flop, always raise.When you get heads up, itís basically the same strategy. Try to steal as much as possible basically.In SNGs, it is inevitable that it will come down to 1 or 2 big hands in the late stages. You just have to do your best to steal blinds and give yourself the best chance to do well.That is a short crash course on how to beat SNGs. Along with these tips and some experience, you should be able to do very well at the SNGs.In conclusion: Play very tight early. When you play a hand, play it aggressive Play the middle stages relatively tight also, unless short stacked.  Approaching the bubble, your play depends on your stack. Play aggressively if short stacked or big stacked. If you are medium stacked, let the table dictate your play When you make the money, play aggressively to win 1st
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#2 iggymcfly

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 02:29 AM

View PostJam-Fly, on Monday, December 25th, 2006, 1:43 AM, said:

It's fairly standard, but for anyone that isn't sure, heres a pretty solid take on SNGs. I used this on FCP last summer playing mostly $33 10mans and had great results. Happy to hear any thoughts, criticism etc.Some things to note, PokerStars structure is what I used, important stuff in bold, your goal is not to cash or win specifically (ie if all you wana do is come 1st, the strat might change, and likewise, if all you wana do is cash, your strat might change). Think that's about it, enjoy...The early levels: Early in a SNG it is correct to play extremely tight. The blinds start out extremely low. You have 1500 to start, with blinds of 10/20. They then raise to 15/30, 25/50 and 50/100. As I said, your play should be extremely tight. How tight? About as tight as possible. Your aim in the early stages is to double up when you’re a solid favourite or just maintain your chip position. The only hands you should be raising with are the big premium pairs and AK (ie AA, KK, QQ, JJ + AK). When you have these hands, you should raise it up 5xBB. In the first level, this would be a raise of 100. You are happy to get it all in pre flop here.Uh, no. I'm not happy to get all-in with AK or JJ in level 1. There are definitely spots where you can fold these hands. When there is already raise, you want to make an aggressive reraise. For example, someone raises to 80 in early position. You are on the button with KK. You should reraise to 250 or so. Making decisions after the flop is usually easy when you only play good cards. If you hold QQ, and the flop is A93, chances are, you should fold. Even if you have the best hand, there is no need to take the chance, afterall, if your opponent has an ace, your almost dead. The odds of getting another queen is 50-1.Also completely wrong. The odds of getting another queen in this scenario are 23-1 if your opponent has an ace. Don't know where you got 50-1 from.There are hundreds of situations that could come up here. I could explain every possible situation but that would take forever. In general, if you think there is a chance your hand is second best, you should fold. There are very rare times that you will fold AA, but if you hold two black aces and the flop is Th-Jh-Qh, you have to fold.The only other hands you should be playing here are pocket pairs. You should just call, try to see a flop and hit a set. If you do not flop a set, you are down with the hand. No set, no bet. Other hands that you can see a flop with (ie-just call) are AQ, AJs and ATs. You want to flop top pair or a flush draw with these hands. Again, if you are unsure about the hand, just get out and fold.This is pretty bullshit too. At this point in the SnG, our cEV ~= our $EV. There's no reason to make bad folds just to be risk-averse.
I didn't read all the late stage stuff, but it seemed like that was good for the most part. It's just a pet peeve of mine when people overdo the tight-aggressive thing for the early stages of SnGs. Then, when you made the 50:1 comment, you kind of left yourself open to be attacked.
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#3 simo_8ball

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 05:36 AM

It's fairly standard, but for anyone that isn't sure, heres a pretty solid take on SNGs. I used this on FCP last summer playing mostly $33 10mans and had great results. Happy to hear any thoughts, criticism etc.Some things to note, PokerStars structure is what I used, important stuff in bold, your goal is not to cash or win specifically (ie if all you wana do is come 1st, the strat might change, and likewise, if all you wana do is cash, your strat might change). Think that's about it, enjoy...The early levels: Early in a SNG it is correct to play extremely tight. The blinds start out extremely low. You have 1500 to start, with blinds of 10/20. They then raise to 15/30, 25/50 and 50/100. As I said, your play should be extremely tight. How tight? About as tight as possible.Not necessarily. If most of the table are playing tight, there is no reason not to loosen up and grind away. You can double up in the first few levels just by stealing blinds and winning small pots. You don't need to wait for aces. Your aim in the early stages is to double up when youíre a solid favourite or just maintain your chip position. The only hands you should be raising with are the big premium pairs and AK (ie AA, KK, QQ, JJ + AK). When you have these hands, you should raise it up 5xBB. In the first level, this would be a raise of 100.I disagree. I never look to play a huge pot preflop generally. I also dislike raising to 5xbb. Smallball poker works fine. Many players will realise that if you have folded for the first few revolutions and suddenly make it 100 to go, you are going to have a real hand. It gives a lot of information to your opponents, and it makes it far more difficult to fold an overpair when you are beaten. Your opponents can call 100 with a small pair profitably. If you raise to 60, you are less likely to go broke if they outflop you, so you decrease their implied odds. You also encourage them to call when they are easily dominated. You are happy to get it all in pre flop here. When there is already raise, you want to make an aggressive reraise. For example, someone raises to 80 in early position. You are on the button with KK. You should reraise to 250 or so. Making decisions after the flop is usually easy when you only play good cards. If you hold QQ, and the flop is A93, chances are, you should fold. Even if you have the best hand, there is no need to take the chance, afterall, if your opponent has an ace, your almost dead.The problem is, if you are only playing JJ+ and AK aggressively, you are going to be giving up on far too many flops. You are likely to end up shortstacked (compared to the table average) by the 4th or 5th blind level and you will be more likely to end up allin in a marginal situation. As iggy says, $EV ~= cEV in the early stages. Don't be afraid to go broke, and don't make -cEV folds for the sake of survival. The odds of getting another queen is 50-1. There are hundreds of situations that could come up here. I could explain every possible situation but that would take forever. In general, if you think there is a chance your hand is second best, you should fold. There are very rare times that you will fold AA, but if you hold two black aces and the flop is Th-Jh-Qh, you have to fold.No. Just no. See my above comment. Don't make -cEV plays just to survive.The only other hands you should be playing here are pocket pairs. You should just call, try to see a flop and hit a set. If you do not flop a set, you are down with the hand. No set, no bet. Other hands that you can see a flop with (ie-just call) are AQ, AJs and ATs. You want to flop top pair or a flush draw with these hands. Again, if you are unsure about the hand, just get out and fold.Don't open limp in holdem unless the table is passive. Your advice is once again intent on sacrificing cEV purely for the sake of survival. Hands like AT are much easier to play in a HU pot than they are in multiway pots. Thin the field with a raise and try to win a small pot on the flop.The early middle levels: The middle stages in a SNG generally begin when the blinds get to 50-100. At this stage, 1 or 2 players will be knocked out, and your stack is hopefully around 3000, if it is still 1500 or so, donít worry and follow this strategy. Here you can loosen up your play slightly. You can make your raise with the premium hands 3xBB. You can also start raised 3xBB with AQ, AJ, TT, 99 and 88, provided you are not in the first two to act. Other than that, your strategy remains the same.This is a reasonable strategy from the start of the tournament, not just from the mid stages. There is nothing wrong with open raising AJ in mid position with 10/20 blinds. If however, your stack is under 1200, your gona have to reconsider your options. With 1200 (or 12 big blinds in general), your style is tight aggressive. There is no hands you can Ďjust callí with anymore. When you pick up a hand like AJ (if you decide to play it) you are probably best to play it aggressive and be ready to go all in with it. However, sometimes, it is best to give yourself a chance to fold by raising less. In general however, I recommend to play aggressive when short stacked. When you are shorter than that, 8 big blinds or less, you have two moves, move all in, or fold. When in late position, you want to push with a lot of marginal holdings in order to steal the blinds. If you are one off the button, and everyone folds to you. If you have 700 in your stack, and a hand like Th7h, I would move all in in late position. Your aim is to steal the 150 in the pot in the form of blinds. If you do get called, you could still get lucky and double up.This is fine. The problem is, by only playing premium hands at the start, you are quite likely to end up in that situation.Short stacks: When you are short stacked, you need to get something going. You cannot just hang on. You are in, what I like to call, push mode. This means, you will be moving all in as much as possible in an effort to pick up blinds. When exactly should you be in push mode? Well I have a good rule to follow. If you have 8 big blinds or less, you should be in push mode, but, when antes are in play, if you have 10 big blinds or less, you are in push mode. We briefly talked about it above, saying you should move in with a lot of marginal holdings when short stacked. Weíll talk about it in a bit more depth now. Letís take a look at a few examples. It is 5 handed. You have 1800 left with blinds of 100-200/25 (this means 100-200 blinds and a 25 ante). The first player folds. You have J9. Here is a case where you should move all in. Your aim is to steal the blinds. This is called a blind steal. The beauty of a blind steal is, it is very hard for your opponent to call you, you are forcing them to pick up a big hand, and lets face it, that doesnít happen very often in poker. But here the other great thing about moving all in stealing the blinds, lets say the SB calls you with KQ. The exact odds of J9 beating KQ is 35%-65%. That means, every three times, you will win one time in three. So if you try a blind steal and get called, you still have a good chance of doubling up and being right back in the thick of things. There is another important factor when short stacked, it is called folding equity or first in vigorish. Basically, what that means, is, if you are first in the pot raising, you have the best chance of winning it. In the last example, lets say the first player called the big blind. You should not move in here. You are safe to move against three random or average hands (ie the three players still left to act) but the first player has clearly stated he has a better than average hand. So what hands do you need to make a move when someone else has entered the pot? I would recommend any pocket pair, AK-A8, KQ and possibly KJ, depending how short you are. Hands you can move with when no one else has entered the pot are many. AK-A2, any two face cards, and two suited connecting cards, KQ-K6, QT-Q7, JT-J8 any pocket pair, and a few others. All these hands are good enough to move in with.If you are near the bubble, you should play very tight. In a normal MTT tournament you are correct to move in with marginal holdings, but on a STT bubble I think you should be folding J9. You should also not be calling allin (or shoving where you have very little fold equity) with anything but the most premium of hands.Medium Stacks: There is no certain way to play a medium stack. When playing a short or big stack, you can dictate the action, however when playing a medium stack, what everyone else is doing, dictates the action. If everyone is still playing tight, you take advantage and steal as many blinds as possible. The best way to do this is to raise 2.5xBB. Hopefully they will all just fold and you will collect a set of blinds. If however, you are raised, and have junk, like JQ or 79, you just fold. Donít get any further involved. Just give up your raise and move onto the next hand. I would recommend playing all your hands the same, be it a blind steal with T6 or raising with KK, I would always make it 2.5xBB. More often than not, players will be playing tight at this stage. They may still playing like it is 7 handed (ie tighter) but you know that you have to play looser 4 or 5handed. They also may be playing tight because they want to finish in the top 3. If they are playing this way, you want to take full advantage and steal as many blinds as possible.What other table variations are there? Generally one of two things are happening if the table is not tight here:? There is an aggressive big stack? There is an aggressive short stackIt is tough to deal with either of these. Generally, the best thing to do is just wait. A fatal mistake is, if the big stack raises you, and you just call on the BB hoping to flop a pair with your KJ, and the flop comes T47. What do you do? You have to check to him, then he bets, and you fold. Never just call the big stacks raise. Either reraise or fold. There is something to consider here. If for example, the chip stacks are as follows:Seat 1 7400Seat 2 3000 (you)Seat 3 2700Seat 4 1900You are relatively happy for the big stack to steal your blinds, so long as he is stealing everyone elses blinds too. You have 1100 more than the short stack, so hopefully heíll get eliminated and you will have gotten at least a 3rd place finish for yourself. This is one of the only times I think you should tighten up on the bubble. Also, when you are the first person in the pot, donít be afraid to try a blind steal yourself, unless the big stack has made it clear (by reraising all in whenever you raise) that he wants to win EVERY pot.As for the aggressive short stack, not much you can do but play the waiting game. If the short stack is moving in every other hand, you can call him with hands like A7 or KJ, but if he is moving maybe once every 5 hands, you want to call him with AK-AT, AA-88. I fold all other hands. Hopefully someone will just pick up a hand and bust him, other than that, you just have to wait.Even if he is moving in every other hand, you should still fold A7 and KJ. You don't seem to realise how tight bubble play should be.Big stacks: Really, thereís only one way to play a big stack, aggresively. You want to keep the pressure on constantly. This means, raising 2.5xBB almost every hand. The only hands Iíd fold here are hands like 92 or 73, but Iíd raise with almost everything else. Remember what I said about first in vigorish when talking about short stacks? Well the same thing applies to big stack play. If someone calls or raises in front of you, donít come in with your KT, just fold. The thing is, you want to steal as many uncontested pots as you can. You do not want to play big pots without a big hand. So you are being aggressive, but you are being selectively aggressive. Other things you need to know when playing the big stack is the maths. When a short stack picks up a hand and reraised you all in, you have to know whether or not to call. Eg. Blinds are 100-200/25. You raise with Q7 in first position to 500. The button reraises 1600 total. Everyone folds back to you. So, the pot is 500(your bet)+1600(buttonís bet)+100(SB)+200(BB)+125(antes)=2625. It costs you 1100 more to call. That is 2.5-1 roughly (2625 to 1100). This means that you have to be less than 2.5-1 underdog to make the call. Some rough odds: AJ 66% Q7 34%. 55 52% Q7 48%. AA 85% Q7 15%. AQ 75% Q7 25%. From these odds you can see that so long as the button doesnít have a big pair or a queen (or an ace) with a bigger kicker you are in pretty good shape, considering the odds on your money. Generally, if you are getting 1.8-1 or better, you can call with a lot of marginal hands. It does look ugly putting in a lot of money with a bad hand, but sometimes the maths just dictates that you do it. However, do not make a habit of it. It seems as I am contradicting myself. On one hand, I am saying to only play small pots and steal the blinds, and on the other Iím saying call a short stacks all in with mediocre hands. It just takes experience to know what to do. You will have to call when you are getting good odds, but other than that, just try to steal the blinds. If it is a fairly marginal situation you are far better folding as a big stack. The longer you are on the bubble, the longer you have to bully the table and accumulate chips uncontested. Everyone else will be waiting to cash and because of your stack you don't need to worry. Interestingly, you seem to overvalue survival in the early stages and undervalue it in the later stages.That is basically how to play the later middle stages of a SNG. An important thing to note is that the blinds are always going up. This means that at the 100-200/25 level, 3800 is a medium stack, and you play the medium stack strategy, but when the blinds go up to 200-400/50 then you are now a short stack so you have to play short stack strategy.The later levels: So your in the money. Now you wanna do your best to win the tournament. At this stage the blinds will be very high more often than not. This means it will be a series of all ins. There isnít a lot of skill at this stage, which is ironic because this is where the most money is. In my experience, the one who pushes (goes all in) the most, wins the most blinds uncontested, and the one who wins the most blinds, wins the most chips, and the one who wins the most chips wins the most money. There are a few things to note in the late stages though:? Do not steal blinds from people who are very short stacked. They are commited and will call you. So if you have a good hand, raise it up and they will most likely call you. This is true in the earlier stages also.? Be prepared to call if the maths dictates it.? There is never a need to slow play. There is so much money in the pot in the form of blinds and antes that it is always worth picking up the pot.? When the blinds get so big, everyone is effectively short stacked, even the chip leader, so play like a short stack.? Always be aggressive. Never ever call before the flop, always raise.When you get heads up, itís basically the same strategy. Try to steal as much as possible basically.In SNGs, it is inevitable that it will come down to 1 or 2 big hands in the late stages. You just have to do your best to steal blinds and give yourself the best chance to do well.That is a short crash course on how to beat SNGs. Along with these tips and some experience, you should be able to do very well at the SNGs.In conclusion:? Play very tight early. When you play a hand, play it aggressive? Play the middle stages relatively tight also, unless short stacked. ? Approaching the bubble, your play depends on your stack. Play aggressively if short stacked or big stacked. If you are medium stacked, let the table dictate your play? When you make the money, play aggressively to win 1stThere is some useful stuff in there, but your general advice is to be far too tight early, and slightly too loose later. Pot odds are far more important in the early stages than they are near the money, because $EV closely approximate cEV early, but diverges in the later stages.

#4 Jam-Fly

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 06:39 AM

It's fairly standard, but for anyone that isn't sure, heres a pretty solid take on SNGs. I used this on FCP last summer playing mostly $33 10mans and had great results. Happy to hear any thoughts, criticism etc.Some things to note, PokerStars structure is what I used, important stuff in bold, your goal is not to cash or win specifically (ie if all you wana do is come 1st, the strat might change, and likewise, if all you wana do is cash, your strat might change). Think that's about it, enjoy...The early levels: Early in a SNG it is correct to play extremely tight. The blinds start out extremely low. You have 1500 to start, with blinds of 10/20. They then raise to 15/30, 25/50 and 50/100. As I said, your play should be extremely tight. How tight? About as tight as possible.Not necessarily. If most of the table are playing tight, there is no reason not to loosen up and grind away. You can double up in the first few levels just by stealing blinds and winning small pots. You don't need to wait for aces.I don't like the grinding away method at the start. Even if you are a very skilled player, you will get in too many situations where you have tough decisions to make. There is no need for this. If you reach level 3 with 1400-1500 chips 70% of the time, 2500+ 25% of the time and are bust or short stacked 5% of the time, I would be happy. As opposed to 1800+ 50%, 1200 35% of the time, and 0-500 15% of the timeYour aim in the early stages is to double up when youíre a solid favourite or just maintain your chip position. The only hands you should be raising with are the big premium pairs and AK (ie AA, KK, QQ, JJ + AK). When you have these hands, you should raise it up 5xBB. In the first level, this would be a raise of 100.I disagree. I never look to play a huge pot preflop generally. I also dislike raising to 5xbb. Smallball poker works fine. Many players will realise that if you have folded for the first few revolutions and suddenly make it 100 to go, you are going to have a real hand. It gives a lot of information to your opponents, and it makes it far more difficult to fold an overpair when you are beaten. Your opponents can call 100 with a small pair profitably. If you raise to 60, you are less likely to go broke if they outflop you, so you decrease their implied odds. You also encourage them to call when they are easily dominated.Well if your not willing to broke with AA or KK pre flop you shouldn't be in the SNGs. Again with small ball, it's simply the dynamics of SNGs. The extremely tight aggressive method works better in SNGs. In MTTs (with 300 or more entrants), I am an avid small ball user, because you need to build up chips to go deep in MTTs, but there is not the same neccessity in SNGs. There is another problem with smallball, if you multi table, it is harder to implement it. I play 3-6 tables at once to maximize my EV, and this earns me a higher hourly rate. There is no way I could match this hourly rate using small ball. As for players noticing that you have folded many hands, I would say maybe 30-40% of players would notice. Many people only take into consideration their own two cards when making a decision. Sometimes in poker, you have to go broke, I don't see how raising 60 with KK, flop coming 274, you getting it all in vs 44, is any different from raising 100 and the same events occuring. The whole idea with the bigger raise is to stop junk hands coming in. Small pairs are not junk hands. Stuff like K2s or Q8s are the junk hands you wanna get out.You are happy to get it all in pre flop here. When there is already raise, you want to make an aggressive reraise. For example, someone raises to 80 in early position. You are on the button with KK. You should reraise to 250 or so. Making decisions after the flop is usually easy when you only play good cards. If you hold QQ, and the flop is A93, chances are, you should fold. Even if you have the best hand, there is no need to take the chance, afterall, if your opponent has an ace, your almost dead.The problem is, if you are only playing JJ+ and AK aggressively, you are going to be giving up on far too many flops. You are likely to end up shortstacked (compared to the table average) by the 4th or 5th blind level and you will be more likely to end up allin in a marginal situation. As iggy says, $EV ~= cEV in the early stages. Don't be afraid to go broke, and don't make -cEV folds for the sake of survival.Again, this is down to the dynamics of the SNG. The way the structure is, if you can win one or two pots later on, it is the same as wining 8 or 10 pots early on. So if you can survive till that stage, pick up a pot or two, then you back in the hunt. It all has to do with the structure and uniqueness (sp.?) of SNGs.The odds of getting another queen is 50-1. There are hundreds of situations that could come up here. I could explain every possible situation but that would take forever. In general, if you think there is a chance your hand is second best, you should fold. There are very rare times that you will fold AA, but if you hold two black aces and the flop is Th-Jh-Qh, you have to fold.No. Just no. See my above comment. Don't make -cEV plays just to survive.Yeah, the odds obv isn't 50-1, I'll edit that, shouldn't have put it in. That is the thing, I think you can make -EV plays to survive, because, again, of the dynamics and structure of SNGs. If you fold and leave yourself with 1300, if you can win just two pots at the 50-100 level, your back up to 1600. But what if you decide theres a 70% chance your hand is best and a 30% chance your beat. 70% of the time you might end up with 2000 and 30% there is a good chance you will go broke. There is no need to go broke with a possibly second best hand. Of course there are times you will just have to go broke but situations like the ones above, premium pair on an ace high board, no need to go broke there. After all, the most you've invested is 200. The only other hands you should be playing here are pocket pairs. You should just call, try to see a flop and hit a set. If you do not flop a set, you are down with the hand. No set, no bet. Other hands that you can see a flop with (ie-just call) are AQ, AJs and ATs. You want to flop top pair or a flush draw with these hands. Again, if you are unsure about the hand, just get out and fold.Don't open limp in holdem unless the table is passive. Your advice is once again intent on sacrificing cEV purely for the sake of survival. Hands like AT are much easier to play in a HU pot than they are in multiway pots. Thin the field with a raise and try to win a small pot on the flop.No real problem with this. Only thing is, so long as you don't get commited, as in, flopping TP/TK or TP with AT or AJ isn't something to go broke over. Raising with hands like AJs in middle/late pos I don't have any real problem, but raising with ATo in early pos, I don't like. As I've said before though, I rather just maintain my chips at this stage for reasons stated aboveThe early middle levels: The middle stages in a SNG generally begin when the blinds get to 50-100. At this stage, 1 or 2 players will be knocked out, and your stack is hopefully around 3000, if it is still 1500 or so, donít worry and follow this strategy. Here you can loosen up your play slightly. You can make your raise with the premium hands 3xBB. You can also start raised 3xBB with AQ, AJ, TT, 99 and 88, provided you are not in the first two to act. Other than that, your strategy remains the same.This is a reasonable strategy from the start of the tournament, not just from the mid stages. There is nothing wrong with open raising AJ in mid position with 10/20 blinds.By now I'm sure I've said why I like to raise extra early and not raise with mediocre hands.If however, your stack is under 1200, your gona have to reconsider your options. With 1200 (or 12 big blinds in general), your style is tight aggressive. There is no hands you can Ďjust callí with anymore. When you pick up a hand like AJ (if you decide to play it) you are probably best to play it aggressive and be ready to go all in with it. However, sometimes, it is best to give yourself a chance to fold by raising less. In general however, I recommend to play aggressive when short stacked. When you are shorter than that, 8 big blinds or less, you have two moves, move all in, or fold. When in late position, you want to push with a lot of marginal holdings in order to steal the blinds. If you are one off the button, and everyone folds to you. If you have 700 in your stack, and a hand like Th7h, I would move all in in late position. Your aim is to steal the 150 in the pot in the form of blinds. If you do get called, you could still get lucky and double up.This is fine. The problem is, by only playing premium hands at the start, you are quite likely to end up in that situation.FineShort stacks: When you are short stacked, you need to get something going. You cannot just hang on. You are in, what I like to call, push mode. This means, you will be moving all in as much as possible in an effort to pick up blinds. When exactly should you be in push mode? Well I have a good rule to follow. If you have 8 big blinds or less, you should be in push mode, but, when antes are in play, if you have 10 big blinds or less, you are in push mode. We briefly talked about it above, saying you should move in with a lot of marginal holdings when short stacked. Weíll talk about it in a bit more depth now. Letís take a look at a few examples. It is 5 handed. You have 1800 left with blinds of 100-200/25 (this means 100-200 blinds and a 25 ante). The first player folds. You have J9. Here is a case where you should move all in. Your aim is to steal the blinds. This is called a blind steal. The beauty of a blind steal is, it is very hard for your opponent to call you, you are forcing them to pick up a big hand, and lets face it, that doesnít happen very often in poker. But here the other great thing about moving all in stealing the blinds, lets say the SB calls you with KQ. The exact odds of J9 beating KQ is 35%-65%. That means, every three times, you will win one time in three. So if you try a blind steal and get called, you still have a good chance of doubling up and being right back in the thick of things. There is another important factor when short stacked, it is called folding equity or first in vigorish. Basically, what that means, is, if you are first in the pot raising, you have the best chance of winning it. In the last example, lets say the first player called the big blind. You should not move in here. You are safe to move against three random or average hands (ie the three players still left to act) but the first player has clearly stated he has a better than average hand. So what hands do you need to make a move when someone else has entered the pot? I would recommend any pocket pair, AK-A8, KQ and possibly KJ, depending how short you are. Hands you can move with when no one else has entered the pot are many. AK-A2, any two face cards, and two suited connecting cards, KQ-K6, QT-Q7, JT-J8 any pocket pair, and a few others. All these hands are good enough to move in with.If you are near the bubble, you should play very tight. In a normal MTT tournament you are correct to move in with marginal holdings, but on a STT bubble I think you should be folding J9. You should also not be calling allin (or shoving where you have very little fold equity) with anything but the most premium of hands.I never say you should call an all in, that is a huge blunder. Also, you should only be pushing with reasonable fold equity. I'd never push in with J9 if I had 500 when the BB is 200. If I had 1700 however, I would push. Whats the point in hanging around and getting blinded out. It's not very likely for the second small stake to play a big pot so you have to dictate the action.Medium Stacks: There is no certain way to play a medium stack. When playing a short or big stack, you can dictate the action, however when playing a medium stack, what everyone else is doing, dictates the action. If everyone is still playing tight, you take advantage and steal as many blinds as possible. The best way to do this is to raise 2.5xBB. Hopefully they will all just fold and you will collect a set of blinds. If however, you are raised, and have junk, like JQ or 79, you just fold. Donít get any further involved. Just give up your raise and move onto the next hand. I would recommend playing all your hands the same, be it a blind steal with T6 or raising with KK, I would always make it 2.5xBB. More often than not, players will be playing tight at this stage. They may still playing like it is 7 handed (ie tighter) but you know that you have to play looser 4 or 5handed. They also may be playing tight because they want to finish in the top 3. If they are playing this way, you want to take full advantage and steal as many blinds as possible.What other table variations are there? Generally one of two things are happening if the table is not tight here:? There is an aggressive big stack? There is an aggressive short stackIt is tough to deal with either of these. Generally, the best thing to do is just wait. A fatal mistake is, if the big stack raises you, and you just call on the BB hoping to flop a pair with your KJ, and the flop comes T47. What do you do? You have to check to him, then he bets, and you fold. Never just call the big stacks raise. Either reraise or fold. There is something to consider here. If for example, the chip stacks are as follows:Seat 1 7400Seat 2 3000 (you)Seat 3 2700Seat 4 1900You are relatively happy for the big stack to steal your blinds, so long as he is stealing everyone elses blinds too. You have 1100 more than the short stack, so hopefully heíll get eliminated and you will have gotten at least a 3rd place finish for yourself. This is one of the only times I think you should tighten up on the bubble. Also, when you are the first person in the pot, donít be afraid to try a blind steal yourself, unless the big stack has made it clear (by reraising all in whenever you raise) that he wants to win EVERY pot.As for the aggressive short stack, not much you can do but play the waiting game. If the short stack is moving in every other hand, you can call him with hands like A7 or KJ, but if he is moving maybe once every 5 hands, you want to call him with AK-AT, AA-88. I fold all other hands. Hopefully someone will just pick up a hand and bust him, other than that, you just have to wait.Even if he is moving in every other hand, you should still fold A7 and KJ. You don't seem to realise how tight bubble play should be.Yeah, that is debatable, but you have to take a stand some time. It all depends on your chip position e.g. if you call and he wins, you are now the short stack, you should fold. But if you call and he doubles up, and you are still in more than decent shape to make the money, I would lean towards callingBig stacks: Really, thereís only one way to play a big stack, aggresively. You want to keep the pressure on constantly. This means, raising 2.5xBB almost every hand. The only hands Iíd fold here are hands like 92 or 73, but Iíd raise with almost everything else. Remember what I said about first in vigorish when talking about short stacks? Well the same thing applies to big stack play. If someone calls or raises in front of you, donít come in with your KT, just fold. The thing is, you want to steal as many uncontested pots as you can. You do not want to play big pots without a big hand. So you are being aggressive, but you are being selectively aggressive. Other things you need to know when playing the big stack is the maths. When a short stack picks up a hand and reraised you all in, you have to know whether or not to call. Eg. Blinds are 100-200/25. You raise with Q7 in first position to 500. The button reraises 1600 total. Everyone folds back to you. So, the pot is 500(your bet)+1600(buttonís bet)+100(SB)+200(BB)+125(antes)=2625. It costs you 1100 more to call. That is 2.5-1 roughly (2625 to 1100). This means that you have to be less than 2.5-1 underdog to make the call. Some rough odds: AJ 66% Q7 34%. 55 52% Q7 48%. AA 85% Q7 15%. AQ 75% Q7 25%. From these odds you can see that so long as the button doesnít have a big pair or a queen (or an ace) with a bigger kicker you are in pretty good shape, considering the odds on your money. Generally, if you are getting 1.8-1 or better, you can call with a lot of marginal hands. It does look ugly putting in a lot of money with a bad hand, but sometimes the maths just dictates that you do it. However, do not make a habit of it. It seems as I am contradicting myself. On one hand, I am saying to only play small pots and steal the blinds, and on the other Iím saying call a short stacks all in with mediocre hands. It just takes experience to know what to do. You will have to call when you are getting good odds, but other than that, just try to steal the blinds.If it is a fairly marginal situation you are far better folding as a big stack. The longer you are on the bubble, the longer you have to bully the table and accumulate chips uncontested. Everyone else will be waiting to cash and because of your stack you don't need to worry. Interestingly, you seem to overvalue survival in the early stages and undervalue it in the later stages.Yeah, that is true. If it is more profitable to fold getting 3.5-1, because of the fact you will be able to steal far more, then I don't mind folding. But sometimes, getting unreal odds, with no real adv to folding (e.g. they aren't playing that tight and don't make it easy to steal from) I call. These situations come with experience imo, eventually, you'll just learn what to do. But my primary point was to only play small pots and steal, making calls with big odds was only a side note that must be taken into consideration.That is basically how to play the later middle stages of a SNG. An important thing to note is that the blinds are always going up. This means that at the 100-200/25 level, 3800 is a medium stack, and you play the medium stack strategy, but when the blinds go up to 200-400/50 then you are now a short stack so you have to play short stack strategy.The later levels: So your in the money. Now you wanna do your best to win the tournament. At this stage the blinds will be very high more often than not. This means it will be a series of all ins. There isnít a lot of skill at this stage, which is ironic because this is where the most money is. In my experience, the one who pushes (goes all in) the most, wins the most blinds uncontested, and the one who wins the most blinds, wins the most chips, and the one who wins the most chips wins the most money. There are a few things to note in the late stages though:? Do not steal blinds from people who are very short stacked. They are commited and will call you. So if you have a good hand, raise it up and they will most likely call you. This is true in the earlier stages also.? Be prepared to call if the maths dictates it.? There is never a need to slow play. There is so much money in the pot in the form of blinds and antes that it is always worth picking up the pot.? When the blinds get so big, everyone is effectively short stacked, even the chip leader, so play like a short stack.? Always be aggressive. Never ever call before the flop, always raise.When you get heads up, itís basically the same strategy. Try to steal as much as possible basically.In SNGs, it is inevitable that it will come down to 1 or 2 big hands in the late stages. You just have to do your best to steal blinds and give yourself the best chance to do well.That is a short crash course on how to beat SNGs. Along with these tips and some experience, you should be able to do very well at the SNGs.In conclusion:? Play very tight early. When you play a hand, play it aggressive? Play the middle stages relatively tight also, unless short stacked. ? Approaching the bubble, your play depends on your stack. Play aggressively if short stacked or big stacked. If you are medium stacked, let the table dictate your play? When you make the money, play aggressively to win 1stThere is some useful stuff in there, but your general advice is to be far too tight early, and slightly too loose later. Pot odds are far more important in the early stages than they are near the money, because $EV closely approximate cEV early, but diverges in the later stages.^^All my explanations above ^^
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#5 mikeysong

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 10:12 AM

i really wanted to write something...but not in 5 paragraph format. Good lord you guys.

#6 copernicus

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 11:01 AM

"Other things you need to know when playing the big stack is the maths. When a short stack picks up a hand and reraised you all in, you have to know whether or not to call. Eg. Blinds are 100-200/25. You raise with Q7 in first position to 500. The button reraises 1600 total. Everyone folds back to you. So, the pot is 500(your bet)+1600(buttonís bet)+100(SB)+200(BB)+125(antes)=2625. It costs you 1100 more to call. That is 2.5-1 roughly (2625 to 1100). This means that you have to be less than 2.5-1 underdog to make the call. Some rough odds: AJ 66% Q7 34%. 55 52% Q7 48%. AA 85% Q7 15%. AQ 75% Q7 25%. From these odds you can see that so long as the button doesnít have a big pair or a queen (or an ace) with a bigger kicker you are in pretty good shape, considering the odds on your money"1. Why on tearth would you ever raise UTG with Q7 when you are 5 handed (see 3)?2. You get reraised but you list odds of how hands fare vs a wide variety of hands. Do you really think someone on the button is going to reraise laying you 2.5:1 odds with AJ and 55 when, given a realistic range he is at best a 55:45 favorite?3. Your addition is wrong, the pot is 2525, or you meant that antes are 225, which implies 9 handed, which makes Q7 an even more horrible hand to raise with.Your idea of raising 5x bb with monster hands is terrible. You want action, 5xbb is going to kill action. You dont get that many big hands in a short tourney. You need to maximize them to the extent possible.Fold AA to TJQ suited? What position are you? What position is your opponent? Was there a preflop raise? What is the action on the flop up to you?Blind stealing depends more on the tendencies and stacks of the blinds than it does your stack in the middle levels.Folding equity and first in vigorish are not the same thing. First in can incerease your folding equity, but there are a lot of situations where you arent first in where you still have FE."AK-A2, any two face cards, and two suited connecting cards, KQ-K6, QT-Q7, JT-J8 any pocket pair, and a few others. All these hands are good enough to move in with."This is from the short stack section, where you are calling 1800 with 100/200/25 blinds and antes. This is way too loose a range. 1800 chips is not that short in a SnG. The average stack 5 handed is 2700. 1800 probably isnt even the shortest stack. Reraise or fold with a medium stack vs a big stack raise in the middle stages? With position and a medium stack calling a standard raise is usually the best option, the opposite of what you say. If he raises to 3xbb you need to raise to 9x the BB to limit him to about 2:1 odds. That is probably half of your stack! Also, you tend to overlook position in most of your strategy, and thats just wrong.HU you talk about wanting to steal? Generally the blinds are so big here there is no such thing as stealing unless the stacks are unusually even, and then "stealing" is only right from the SB/Button.Spend some time in the STT forum at 2+2. The advice there will help your game tremendously. This "strategy" guide is woefully incomplete and/or inaccurate.
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#7 Jam-Fly

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 11:34 AM

View Postcopernicus, on Monday, December 25th, 2006, 11:01 AM, said:

"Other things you need to know when playing the big stack is the maths. When a short stack picks up a hand and reraised you all in, you have to know whether or not to call. Eg. Blinds are 100-200/25. You raise with Q7 in first position to 500. The button reraises 1600 total. Everyone folds back to you. So, the pot is 500(your bet)+1600(buttonís bet)+100(SB)+200(BB)+125(antes)=2625. It costs you 1100 more to call. That is 2.5-1 roughly (2625 to 1100). This means that you have to be less than 2.5-1 underdog to make the call. Some rough odds: AJ 66% Q7 34%. 55 52% Q7 48%. AA 85% Q7 15%. AQ 75% Q7 25%. From these odds you can see that so long as the button doesnít have a big pair or a queen (or an ace) with a bigger kicker you are in pretty good shape, considering the odds on your money"1. Why on tearth would you ever raise UTG with Q7 when you are 5 handed (see 3)?2. You get reraised but you list odds of how hands fare vs a wide variety of hands. Do you really think someone on the button is going to reraise laying you 2.5:1 odds with AJ and 55 when, given a realistic range he is at best a 55:45 favorite?3. Your addition is wrong, the pot is 2525, or you meant that antes are 225, which implies 9 handed, which makes Q7 an even more horrible hand to raise with.Your idea of raising 5x bb with monster hands is terrible. You want action, 5xbb is going to kill action. You dont get that many big hands in a short tourney. You need to maximize them to the extent possible.Fold AA to TJQ suited? What position are you? What position is your opponent? Was there a preflop raise? What is the action on the flop up to you?Blind stealing depends more on the tendencies and stacks of the blinds than it does your stack in the middle levels.Folding equity and first in vigorish are not the same thing. First in can incerease your folding equity, but there are a lot of situations where you arent first in where you still have FE."AK-A2, any two face cards, and two suited connecting cards, KQ-K6, QT-Q7, JT-J8 any pocket pair, and a few others. All these hands are good enough to move in with."This is from the short stack section, where you are calling 1800 with 100/200/25 blinds and antes. This is way too loose a range. 1800 chips is not that short in a SnG. The average stack 5 handed is 2700. 1800 probably isnt even the shortest stack. Reraise or fold with a medium stack vs a big stack raise in the middle stages? With position and a medium stack calling a standard raise is usually the best option, the opposite of what you say. If he raises to 3xbb you need to raise to 9x the BB to limit him to about 2:1 odds. That is probably half of your stack! Also, you tend to overlook position in most of your strategy, and thats just wrong.HU you talk about wanting to steal? Generally the blinds are so big here there is no such thing as stealing unless the stacks are unusually even, and then "stealing" is only right from the SB/Button.Spend some time in the STT forum at 2+2. The advice there will help your game tremendously. This "strategy" guide is woefully incomplete and/or inaccurate.
You raise with Q7 to win the blinds. You put yourself in position to win the tournament when u steal blinds. If you steal them alot, people are gona get frustrated and push back with mediocre hands.The 5xBB raise early is to drive out junk hands. If you want action and get it from 4 other people and see the flop come 845 two hearts, how do you proceed? As the quote goes, it is better to win a small pot than lose a big one.The ThJhQh is only a brief sample, it is meant to demonstrate that you cant get overattached to AA, not a specific example.In the example of fe, I was specifically talking about the benefit of first in vigorish. Blind stealing depends on alot of things, the most important being first in vigorishWhen down to 1800 shorthanded, you need to get something happening. I don't see the intelligence in waiting around and getting blinded out. If you are 3rd in chips, you should follow the medium stack play. But if you are the short stack though, you have to get chips. The other stacks are not going play big pots with you on the short stack, so why not take advantage of this and steal the blinds ? Your just saying the requirements are too loose, why ?When playing vs the big stack with ur medium stack, I only like to play premium hands, in which case I will reraise. But calling in pos with mediocre hands doesnt make sense to me. Calling with drawing hands means putting too much of a % of ur stack in the pot, and calling with stuff like KJ is tough, coz if you flop a pair and he pushes in, are you gona call risking going out on the bubble? This is why I like to either reraise (with my premium hands) or fold (my junk, mediocre and drawing hands) vs the big stack.HU is basically a craps shoot, and the work you've done to get there is what matters. Basically I'm saying push every hand basically, standard HU play in a sng
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#8 copernicus

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 02:36 PM

View PostJam-Fly, on Monday, December 25th, 2006, 2:34 PM, said:

You raise with Q7 to win the blinds. You put yourself in position to win the tournament when u steal blinds. If you steal them alot, people are gona get frustrated and push back with mediocre hands. trying to steal blinds from EP is awful strategy.The 5xBB raise early is to drive out junk hands. If you want action and get it from 4 other people and see the flop come 845 two hearts, how do you proceed? As the quote goes, it is better to win a small pot than lose a big one. a standard raise in a Sng doesnt get 4 callers, there is no need to go to 5x.The ThJhQh is only a brief sample, it is meant to demonstrate that you cant get overattached to AA, not a specific example. My response was also meant to be general. The post-flop considerations in a sit n go are the same as in any other tournament In the example of fe, I was specifically talking about the benefit of first in vigorish. then it was poorly worded because it equated themBlind stealing depends on alot of things, the most important being first in vigorish if you are blind stealing you have FIV by definition, the most important part of the decision isnt that you have FIV, its whether to use your FIV based on the other factors i mentioned.When down to 1800 shorthanded, you need to get something happening. I don't see the intelligence in waiting around and getting blinded out. If you are 3rd in chips, you should follow the medium stack play. But if you are the short stack though, you have to get chips. The other stacks are not going play big pots with you on the short stack, so why not take advantage of this and steal the blinds ? Your just saying the requirements are too loose, why ? because at 1800 you arent so short you have to play hands the have almost no implied odds.When playing vs the big stack with ur medium stack, I only like to play premium hands, in which case I will reraise. But calling in pos with mediocre hands doesnt make sense to me. I didnt say you call with mediocre hands, I said you call with a few more hands than you would reraise with and if you are going to reraise you should push, because a reraise of sufficent size to not be an autocall pot commits you.Calling with drawing hands means putting too much of a % of ur stack in the pot, and calling with stuff like KJ is tough, coz if you flop a pair and he pushes in, are you gona call risking going out on the bubble? This is why I like to either reraise (with my premium hands) or fold (my junk, mediocre and drawing hands) vs the big stack. then push with them, because there is no post flop play anyway. You cant price out draws, so the hands that you bet you are going to be WA/WB, which calls for small bets relative to the pot, but they are still large bets relative to your remaining stack. Presumably you are only going to reraise with hands that you think you have a 3:2 edge or so over his raising range which are precious few if he is playing appropriately tight knowing that small and medium stacks that play are going to put him to the test...i.e. you are going to fold so many hands that you will be blinded out. Calling with second tier hands (88-TT, KQ, A9-AJ.) will add some positive equity and will also let the big stack know he isnt going to run over the table with standard raises.HU is basically a craps shoot, and the work you've done to get there is what matters. Basically I'm saying push every hand basically, standard HU play in a sng. ROFL. HU is a crap shoot???? Lets play HU sometime! When blinds get big but not huge, (small stack= 6 bbs- 12 bbs) it is far from a crapshoot, there are a significant number of hands that the small stack should push that the big stack should fold to. As you get shorter obviously the small stack is pushing more and more, until you get down to about 2bb when every hand is a push. See the SAGE system.

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#9 Jam-Fly

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 03:23 PM

1st pos in a shorthanded game is similar to late pos in a full handed gameFrom my exp, standard raises do get 4 callers. I don't think the specific size matters that much, just the whole survive theory is important post floppoint 3 - finepoint 4 is grand toookay, from what i see, you are agreeing, but ur just giving a more in depth view, right? ie im saying FIV is the most important factor and you are saying that there are other factors tooi've talked about this point enuf i think. if they will let you take their blinds, u shud just take them.what hands are you going to call with so? im shoving with any premium hand and folding all others, not much left to call with becoz as u said, the post flop play is practical unexistantdont like the idea of calling with second tier handsheads up isnt a craps shoot, but whoever gets the best cards generally wins. its pretty standard strat tho, not alot to explain.How do you think u shud play the big stack on the bubble btw ? As you can see I imply a very aggressive style in order to steal the blinds of the tight players trying to finish in the money. This gives you the best chance to win the tournament (which is usually a full 50% of the prize pool)
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#10 simo_8ball

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 03:41 PM

View PostJam-Fly, on Monday, December 25th, 2006, 11:23 PM, said:

From my exp, standard raises do get 4 callers.
What the hell have you been playing? A standard raise doesn't get 4 callers in any game other than <$5 STTs. Even then, 4 is optimistic.

#11 copernicus

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 04:10 PM

View PostJam-Fly, on Monday, December 25th, 2006, 6:23 PM, said:

1st pos in a shorthanded game is similar to late pos in a full handed game your recommendation of 5xbb was at the start of a tourney, not shorthanded.From my exp, standard raises do get 4 callers. the youre playing micro buy-insI don't think the specific size matters that much, just the whole survive theory is important post flop point 3 - finepoint 4 is grand toookay, from what i see, you are agreeing, but ur just giving a more in depth view, right? ie im saying FIV is the most important factor and you are saying that there are other factors tooi've talked about this point enuf i think. if they will let you take their blinds, u shud just take them.what hands are you going to call with so? im shoving with any premium hand and folding all others, not much left to call with becoz as u said, the post flop play is practical unexistantI named them in my last post. post flop play is non-existent if you reraise, there is plenty of play when you call.dont like the idea of calling with second tier hands then youve turned SnGs into more of a crap shott than they need to be.heads up isnt a craps shoot, but whoever gets the best cards generally wins. LMAO, this is total nonsense. My record in HU play (from HU SnGs so there is no initial chip disparity, is >60% in >1000 of them, more than enough for cards to equal out. its pretty standard strat tho, not alot to explain.How do you think u shud play the big stack on the bubble btw ? As you can see I imply a very aggressive style in order to steal the blinds of the tight players trying to finish in the money. This gives you the best chance to win the tournament (which is usually a full 50% of the prize pool) depends on too many things to generalize...specific stacks, blind sizes, acton to you, competence of the other players, etc. Obviously aggressive is correct if first in and neither of the blinds is short enough to be in auto call mode, the issue is how aggressive.

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#12 Jam-Fly

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Posted 25 December 2006 - 04:27 PM

whats ur first point about ? u sed that stealing in EP is dumb, then i said, effectively ur in late pos when it is shorthanded, and u raise 2.5xBBIn the $33s on FCP, 4 way pots werent uncommonDo u rly think u have an adv post flop against a big stack that can put u under severe pressure? why not reraise if ur hand is best pre flop ? i know the best players shud be better post flop but with relatively short stacks its too hard to 'out play' your oppsI have a great hu record but I dont think that there is anything special in hu play. regular hu sngs are MASSIVELY different from hu at the end of a 10man sng, i assume u know thats what i meant? of course there is alot of skill in hu sngs, but when the blinds are big at the end of a 10man, i dont see alot of skill. its mostly alot of borderline decisions, and making these decisions generally come with exp, too many possibilities to explain
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#13 SlackerInc

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 10:23 AM

Copernicus, you mentioned "WA/WB". What's that? Thanks.

#14 simo_8ball

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 11:08 AM

WA/WB = Way ahead/Way behindTHIS THREAD has all the acronyms you will need.

#15 blacktie31

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 12:08 PM

Raising 5x early in sit n go is standard play and it right out of Fish's book. Your only playing super prem hands and you are raising not to push people out, but for value.
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#16 copernicus

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 01:24 PM

View Postblacktie31, on Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 3:08 PM, said:

Raising 5x early in sit n go is standard play and it right out of Fish's book. Your only playing super prem hands and you are raising not to push people out, but for value.
Fish's book? If thats what he (whoever that is) recommends after the second level, throw the book away. First two levels you might get away with it because you wont have more than 2 super premium hands and you might get lucky and have one of them called.
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#17 Jam-Fly

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 02:31 PM

Yeah thats from Scott Fischmans book. He gives a pretty vague strategy which I expanded in more detail. His bubble play is more aggressive than mine tho.Raising 5xBB - level 1,2Raising 3xBB - level 3,4 (5 maybe)Rasing 2.5xBB - levels after 5generally my strat
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#18 SlackerInc

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 03:29 PM

View PostJam-Fly, on Tuesday, December 26th, 2006, 4:31 PM, said:

Rasing 2.5xBB - levels after 5
So when you guys talk about raising two and a half times the big blind online, you are typing these bets in, then? I'm too lazy for that (shocker, given my SN I know). I always use the slider.Oh, and thanks to Simo for the acronym thread.

#19 navybuttons

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 04:08 PM

a few thoughts i had in regards to some of the things i read in this thread. "stealing from EP is a bad strategy"i disagree with this one hundred and ten percent. i can say will full confidence that stealing from EP can be a very positive +EV (although i hate that term) play. i think the support of this idea is best shown through example. in a 6 handed game with stacks all 2000 and blinds of 100/300, hero raises to 750 UTG with 56s. all theMP players behind hero have to pick up a monster hand JJ+, AK to make a play at him since there are stacks behind them. if they shove you know their range and that you are not getting odds and can easily lay it down. if the button calls you should have a pretty good idea of his range 88-10,10 and AQ. and if he shoves he is at the top or above these ranges (you can call based on read loose vs. tight of opponent). the opponents you're worried about are the blinds who are going to be the most likely to outplay you (reshove w/ junk). basically the risk to your stack (the raise) is justified with the percentage that the play will work (believe me it's high) and allow you to survive another round of blinds. a tricky player (w/ a loose image) needs to tighten up his requirements in back (or else he get re-stolen from far too often) and loosen up his requirements up front.if this is not a play you are continually using try it and see how your results change. i'm not saying the play is for everyone, but it should be part or your arsenal."don't raise 5x in early stages"i disagree with this as well at the lower buy in SNGs. for anyone that's played over 300 of these low buy in SNGs you should recognize the success of the call rate of these raises and how often they allow you to stack an opponent (the most important thing in the early stages). obviously at the $100 and $200 buy-in level their success rate declines but i'm absolutely positive that at lower levels they are successful.
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#20 simo_8ball

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Posted 26 December 2006 - 04:23 PM

View Postnavybuttons, on Wednesday, December 27th, 2006, 12:08 AM, said:

a few thoughts i had in regards to some of the things i read in this thread. "stealing from EP is a bad strategy"i disagree with this one hundred and ten percent. i can say will full confidence that stealing from EP can be a very positive +EV (although i hate that term) play. i think the support of this idea is best shown through example. in a 6 handed game with stacks all 2000 and blinds of 100/300, hero raises to 750 UTG with 56s. all theMP players behind hero have to pick up a monster hand JJ+, AK to make a play at him since there are stacks behind them. if they shove you know their range and that you are not getting odds and can easily lay it down.
Try doing the math before you give an example. You would have to call allin here getting (at least) 2850:1250.If they will really only play with only JJ+ and AK then you should shove any 2 cards UTG.




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