Tuesday, August 02, 2005

SNG - Month in Review

First off, I would like to thank everyone for their nice comments regarding my SNG Fest. It was surely a roller coaster ride. More on this later.

It was a little strange last night. I sat down at the PC last night and I wasn't quite sure what to do. I had been doing the SNG thing for a month and was quite accustomed to sitting down and getting right to work by opening 3 or 4 SNGs. Last night, that wasn't the plan so what do I do? A friend had given me $50 because I posted the most messages on his forum. He was trying to kick start his forum and unfortunately, the $50 bonus didn't help. Anyway, because of that, I decided to go over to Poker World and play. I originally signed up there under him so I played there to help him recoup his $50 by getting some affiliate money from me. BTW, PokerWorld has a new promotion where they have topless reload bonues and if you sign up with them, every deposit (original and reload) will receive a 20% bonus. The catch is that they virtually have no traffic. They still have the nightly $1K guaranteed tourney ($20 with rebuys and addons). The still are only average between 20-30 people. I haven't had a chance to play in one of these in a while; but it still great overlay. I played for a short while and made around $106 and called it quits there for the night.

Now, some thoughts on the month was the SNG Fest. First, a quick recap of the final numbers:

Tourneys: 282
1sts - 31
2nds - 35
3rds - 34
ITM - 35.46%
ROI - 5.74%
$ - +890

As I mentioned, this was quite the roller coaster ride and I/we talked about the variance that goes into all poker. I originally thought that variance was really more suited to ring play. Why? Because that is where I had experienced it most. To show the variance or swings this month, see below where I show my balances throughout the month:

Ending Date - Balance

first 9 SNGs - +305
07/03/05 - (675)
07/12/05 - +920
07/21/05 - (-740)
07/31/05 - +890

Wow.. I didn't really realize the swings when I was actually playing. I guess I was so much into focusing on the negative... For sure, I continued to focus on July 16th when I went 0 for my first 18. That $990 investment sure put a damper on the month to date numbers. The bright side is that I hopefully didn't let it get me down. Every new set was exactly that. A new set. You can't dwell on the past.

One of my 19 month old daughter's favorite show is JoJo's Circus. In that show, at the end of the show they ask JoJo what she has learned. Well, I would like to do the same. WillWonka, what did you learn? So, below will be take away from all my SNGS. They really aren't in any order.

  1. Play to Win. Who cares if you finish 4th or 10th. It pays the same. If you are afraid of losing your stack, then that is exactly what you will do. You need to play with confidence of making the money. One step further and this is probably an obvious one. Making the moeny should not be the goal either. Play to win. Take advantage of those bubble moments where people are playing a little bit tighter to make the money. Obviously, don't go crazy; but don't lose out on the opportunities because you are afraid of being bubbled out.
  2. Position. Some of these, you will have heard from everybody and I will try not to rehash the blatently obvious ones; but this one deserves repeating. The single most important thing in Poker is position. Enough said.
  3. Play aggressive early. I'm not saying to take any two cards and try to buy pots early; but play those good cards aggresively early. Winning the small pots at the beginning of tournies is what enables you to make moves later. What happens if the cards don't come? Wait it out. This is obviously hard; but patience is another important key to success. Speaking in Party SNG terms. If you haven't had any cards by level 4 or 5. You need to start gambling. Remember, 4th pays just as much as 7th or 8th. Some games, you are not going to get the cards.
  4. Unpredictably Predictable. Play the good cards the same as the bad cards. If you are open raises with Aces with 3x the blinds, then do the same with 65s. Adjusting your open raises may seem to be a good plan as to keeping your opponents confused; but I am not a fan of this strategy. In my humble opinion, if you do the same thing everytime, then there is no way of them knowing what you have.
  5. Paired flops. Flops that have a pair, especially a low pair are good opportunities to pick up the pots. Remember, we are not always going for the big score. An accumulation of small pots is what gives you power.
  6. Mid-Range Hands. Stay away from middle range hands in early position (KJ, KT, QJ, A2-A8). Just don't do it. If they are suited, then a limp might work but be careful if you get raised. Of course, I'm talking about full or mostly full tables here. When it is get's short handed, this obviously changes things.
  7. Slowplaying big hands preflop is -EV. Again, don't do it. Why people like to slow play Aces or Kings in EP is beyond me. Did you know that AA against a full table will only win about 31% of the time. It simply is not worth it. So what if nobody plays with you. Again, it is about accumulating chips.
  8. Don't Dwell on Past. This goes for past hands in the same tourney or for past SNGs. Trying to get even quickly is the biggest mistake that we poker players make and yes I am absolutely guilty of this at times. Each hand should be treated like new. Learn from the past and use that information wisely in the future.
  9. Don't show your cards. I sound like a broken record.... just don't do it. It is very hard to resist the urge of showing a great bluff; but what do you gain? OK, maybe the table will call you next time when you have the goods... maybe not. Why risk it?
  10. Putting oppenents on a range of hands. This is one of my biggest flaws. I like to play fast. After so many games, sometimes you get into an autopilot mode and that is bad. Before you call or bet, you need to be putting your opponent on a range of hands based on his betting this hand and past hands. This will help in figuring out what the right call is. I'm an accountant by trade; but I don't consider myself a "mathie" when it comes to poker. I do the simple odds caculations and that in itself helps me with my decisions. Even if you are not a "mathie", you need to be doing some pot odds calculations and knowing your outs.

I'm not big on posting strategy posts because I don't consider myself to be in a position to be giving out advice. The above points are a few of things that go through my head while playing. Do I follow the advice above all the time. NOOOOO. You do need to be able to adjust your playing based on game conditions.

Well, it was a fun July. Counting my poker, blackjack and rakeback, it made for a month over $1,300 and I can't really complain about that.


GaryC said...

Nice recap, WIll.

Glad to see you came out on top and by the way, anyone consistently beating the games you play, definitely should be giving advice to the rest of us.

Just my opinion,


ScurvyDog said...

Nice recap and finish to the month.

Are you going to continue with the SnG fest? It's interesting to see the results of these, especially at the $50 level and above. I may devote a month to these myself at some point, just to compare and contrast.

Sometimes it's a chore firing up all the assorted tools, trying to find good tables, good opponents, decide when to cut losses or book wins, etc., and it'd be nice to, like you say, be able to just sit down and play, wiping the slate clean after each set.

Quillspirit said...

Great tips... I need to work more on keeping my raises constant. I think my hands are a little too predictable at times, which hurts my games. Thanks for the reminder.


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