Saturday, February 11, 2006

Starting to play SNGs ... one-a-day

With the football season over, I’ve decided to play one SNG per day. This isn’t much obviously, especially if one gets knocked out early on. I’ll be playing for fun, a little profit (stakes will be low for me in the beginning as I get a feel for how players play these) but most importantly for me, using it as a way to research and think about SNGs, and possibly adding it as an extra chapter in the second edition of Weighing the Odds in Hold’em Poker.

Here’s the first SNG I played.

Feb 11 2006
Ultimate Bet $20 + $2
No Limit Sit-N-Go

Place: 10 out of 10
Knocked out in second hand with JJ vs AKo. Flop came a K.

Pre-Flop, I was about 3rd in line…I raised $70. There was one caller immediately after me. Everyone folds, but the big blind raised it $230. I went all in at that point. Only the big blind calls and he turns over AKo.

Per, I had a 57.1% chance of winning, so I was happy when he turned over his cards. If his hand was suited, I’d only have a 53.7% chance of winning.

Overall, this is a great position to be in at the beginning of a Sit-N-Go. 57% to double-up (actually slightly more with the $70 caller).

Possible questions to answer:
1. What if the BB did not raise? How would I have played it on the Flop? Given two players in there, I think I would have played it very carefully. If the BB did not bet, I’d put in a half-pot size bet or something along those lines, with the intention of not putting in another bet again.
2. What if the BB turned over AA, KK or QQ? What if it was TT, 99? What are the chances he calls with the worse cards or with AQs? This can be broken down using EV calculations to see where the breakeven point is. Obviously, he’s all-in with AA and KK…and probably with QQ too. Most will probably call all-in with AKs, and AKo…but TT, 99 and AQs (or AQo) is more interesting. In a $20 SNG, I’d imagine the answer is probably eyes to all of these questions. But it will be difficult to know without more experience in these games. This is will be interesting (although not fun) stuff to work on.
3. In these SNGs, is it possible to get a read on a player at all early on? I’d guess most of the time, I won’t recognize any players, especially since the limit is low. So it will be important to use general ideas about how all players play.

I’m looking forward to playing more and thinking more about SNGs. But I will pace myself with one per day. This way I won’t get burned out, plus it will be fun looking forward to it. Also, more important for me, I’ll have plenty of time to think about the issues and do research. Possibly I’ll read some books already in print and discuss how useful they are.

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