SNG FR -> HU plays when 2 on 9 players remaining.

    • stevegold87
      stevegold87
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      Joined: 18.06.2009 Posts: 2,640
      I think I have a problem when playing HU when 2 players remain on 9. I often end up 2nd and I don't really know what my problem is. Obviously ending up 2nd in a FR SNG can have a big impact on winning $$$ since the huge difference between 1st and 2nd.

      How do you guys play that stage of the SNG?
      Do you follow the SAGE system that is in the article?
  • 16 replies
    • Tibovw
      Tibovw
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      Joined: 02.05.2010 Posts: 1,994
      I have the same problem.

      Our strategy in the beginning and middle fase makes it normal that we end up HU against a big chipleader.

      The strategy that we are best using in the HU is called the Nash Equilibrium strategy. This is a chart which gives you what hands to push with X bb's en what hands to call with X bb's. It's a very loose strategy and i'm currently still trying to improve my game with this.

      I think the HU is very variance heavy tho. On the SB i'm running at 30bb's/100. On the BB i'm having -140bb/100. EV wise this should be 25bb/100 though. I like to think that it's just some bad variance but working on my game will never hurt!
    • Hlynkinn
      Hlynkinn
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      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      Print out the HeadsUp Push/Fold Nash Equilibrium chart... and push according to that...
      Then just try to adapt your calling ranges to your opponent..
    • stevegold87
      stevegold87
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      Joined: 18.06.2009 Posts: 2,640
      I think sadly that chart is only accessible for gold member +. Could somebody sent it to me or should I just wait until I get gold? :P
    • Hlynkinn
      Hlynkinn
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      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      Originally posted by stevegold87
      I think sadly that chart is only accessible for gold member +. Could somebody sent it to me or should I just wait until I get gold? :P
      just google it :f_biggrin:
    • stevegold87
      stevegold87
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      Joined: 18.06.2009 Posts: 2,640
      true story i'll do that. My bad
    • pzhon
      pzhon
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      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      It is a common misconception that getting more first places than seconds means you are playing heads-up well, or that getting more seconds than first means you are playing badly heads-up. Of course, these could be true in very extreme cases, and they would be true in a heads-up tournament when there is nothing else, but the main factor which determines whether you get more wins than second places in a 9-player tournament is how many chips you have going into the HU phase. If you typically start out as a 3:2 underdog, then par is to have 3 seconds for every 2 firsts. If you win even 42% of these, you are doing well. On the other hand, if you start out with 55% of the chips on average, and only win 54%, then you are playing poorly heads-up.

      You can see whether you are gaining ground or not by filtering to two players at the table, or using the report which groups by the number of players at the table. You want to be gaining chips on average and you want to have a positive win rate. Even a significant win rate doesn't do much to change your ratio of firsts to seconds, though.

      Your goal should be to win more money, not to win more tournaments. A big part of SNG strategy is making it into the money, and then into the top 2, not just winning. However, if you are not winning 12.5% or more (with a higher threshold for lower stakes tournaments), this is a sign that your game could be improved. You win more tournaments by accumulating more chips throughout the tournament. Some plays would gain chips but lose equity, and you should avoid those, but if you have too few first place finishes it suggests that you are missing plays which gain both chips and equity.

      When you see players collide in early levels, what is your reaction? "Haha, the maniac got knocked out. I gain by staying out of that until they are gone." Well, as I pointed out in my ICM video, you don't gain very much even when there are multiple early collisions. My reaction is, "I wanted those chips. How could I have gotten them? It will be harder to get those chips from a bigger stack or from a better player."
    • Hlynkinn
      Hlynkinn
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      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998


      seems like my HU game has some huge leaks???
      Might be just variance???
      Any "common" leaks I could have???

      these are just stats for this month.. and I've just been pushing like the nash chart tells me... I'm calling way tighter than the nash chart tells me... since I feel like most of the players on my limit shove way too tight... might this be a leak?? (i'm playing $12 turbos..)
      I start to fallow the nash chart when effective stacks are <11 bb's... should I consider starting earlier since I don't seem to have an edge in HU???

      My hu style before entering P/F is pretty much just min-raising a lot of stuff from sb.. and playing tight in the bb.. 3betting large percent of the hands I'll play from there...
      I thought I had some edge in HU until looking at this lol.. I though I was just always entering hu as an underdog... and that 11.5% 1st place finish weren't that bad...


      Someone decipher my stats and tell me what I can do to work on this aspect of my game..
    • Tibovw
      Tibovw
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      Joined: 02.05.2010 Posts: 1,994
      Check your EV bb/100 to start with. Might change a few things already :)
    • Hlynkinn
      Hlynkinn
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      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      Originally posted by Tibovw
      Check your EV bb/100 to start with. Might change a few things already :)
      Tyvm for your reply.
      I seem to be 55k chips up after adjusted ev.. and EV bb/100 = 3.64/100
      So I guess I'm just running horribly... Still this could look better riight?
    • stevegold87
      stevegold87
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      Joined: 18.06.2009 Posts: 2,640
      Originally posted by pzhon
      It is a common misconception that getting more first places than seconds means you are playing heads-up well, or that getting more seconds than first means you are playing badly heads-up. Of course, these could be true in very extreme cases, and they would be true in a heads-up tournament when there is nothing else, but the main factor which determines whether you get more wins than second places in a 9-player tournament is how many chips you have going into the HU phase. If you typically start out as a 3:2 underdog, then par is to have 3 seconds for every 2 firsts. If you win even 42% of these, you are doing well. On the other hand, if you start out with 55% of the chips on average, and only win 54%, then you are playing poorly heads-up.

      You can see whether you are gaining ground or not by filtering to two players at the table, or using the report which groups by the number of players at the table. You want to be gaining chips on average and you want to have a positive win rate. Even a significant win rate doesn't do much to change your ratio of firsts to seconds, though.

      Your goal should be to win more money, not to win more tournaments. A big part of SNG strategy is making it into the money, and then into the top 2, not just winning. However, if you are not winning 12.5% or more (with a higher threshold for lower stakes tournaments), this is a sign that your game could be improved. You win more tournaments by accumulating more chips throughout the tournament. Some plays would gain chips but lose equity, and you should avoid those, but if you have too few first place finishes it suggests that you are missing plays which gain both chips and equity.

      When you see players collide in early levels, what is your reaction? "Haha, the maniac got knocked out. I gain by staying out of that until they are gone." Well, as I pointed out in my ICM video, you don't gain very much even when there are multiple early collisions. My reaction is, "I wanted those chips. How could I have gotten them? It will be harder to get those chips from a bigger stack or from a better player."
      Hi pzhon,

      First let me thank you for stopping by my thead and giving me this very good answer. What I understand about SNG is the part that you play first to make it to the money but once in the money I usually aim for 1st place. (Lots of pushes maybe I shouldn't do now that I think about it.) Right now my SNG volume is too low to make a deep analysis of the game but I will keep those stats in my head the more I play.

      Now about the very interesting part of what you said is the chip ratio when you are HU. See I always thought in a way when you are chip leader by far like 6:1 or 5:1 ratio you can pretty much push any hand..is this wrong? Lots of time the small stack will double up and catch up to me because the blinds are so big......and I might lose those situations. According to what you said, I should win those SNG 5 out of 6 times? I can assure you I am not able to do that. :( .

      I also thought that the SAGE article on this website was good but it seems like people use NASH chart now.

      I will definally look again at your ICM video that was published this month!

      Also not too sure about how good PTR3 is to analyse SNG.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
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      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Originally posted by Hlynkinn
      Originally posted by Tibovw
      Check your EV bb/100 to start with. Might change a few things already :)
      Tyvm for your reply.
      I seem to be 55k chips up after adjusted ev.. and EV bb/100 = 3.64/100
      So I guess I'm just running horribly... Still this could look better riight?
      Excellent suggestion, Tibovw. EV BB/100 is much more accurate.

      4 bb/100 doesn't seem bad, depending on the effective stack depth and your opponents. There might be room for improvement, but many heads-up hands have no real decisions. Also, remember that the all-in luck doesn't see all of the luck, even on all-in hands. If your KK runs into QQ instead of AA, that is lucky but not counted in the all-in luck. It takes a lot of hands for the non-all-in luck to even out.

      That you have had 170k chips of bad luck after getting all-in heads-up means you would have won 170k/13.5k ~ 13 more tournaments instead of getting second if you had break-even luck instead. The 55k chips you should be up suggests that you were supposed to win 4 more tournaments than the chip counts suggested when you started heads-up, but your bad luck when all-in changed that to 8-9 fewer.
    • viewer88
      viewer88
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      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      Most people I play against are WAY too tight HU, that's usualy shoving way too tight and calling my (extremely loose :p) shoves way too tight.

      On stars vs an unknown I'll usualy shove at least 70-80 % on the 300/600 limit and 100% on the 400/800 level. People don't adjust. Learn to adjust.

      Also, if you notice that a villain is calling you way too tight you should call him slightly tighter. There's no point in making a marginaly +$EV call when you get a bigger edge exploiting his bad callrange ^^

      The Nash range is (for me) the minimum shoverange: use nash vs regulars. VS unknowns you can almost always shove looser.
    • DonCorleone369
      DonCorleone369
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      Joined: 16.11.2009 Posts: 1,267
      Ok.. I have to admit that my HU game is not solid/ poorly.. anyway I was wondering how to react in these kind of spots.. it's 200-400 we have like both 6750 chips (using pokerstars =1350chips total).. assuming I won't be playing like minraising preflop but just say according to push/fold nash (of course with deviations e.g. pushing looser than nash vs very tight players and generally calling tighter than nash etc.)..

      I have this problem vs those loose players (either passiver or aggressive) who will not push preflop but instead limp from BTN/SB a lot.. so what happens most of the time is this: I (try to) push like nash from BTN/SB and mostly villain will fold in SB and call with those tight range of hands like Ax etc and I'm mostly behind and lose.. and it happens very often as I'm the one mostly pushing loose, their tight calling range will come along the way soon

      next villain limps SB/BTN.. flop comes.. I totally miss the flop most of the time.. villain IP bets.. I fold.. then when I try to DB air (to make a stand/win the pot) from BB they sometimes fold, but mostly call me or even reraise me or float me .. So I mostly fold (even bottom or 2nd pair I fold too those reraises) and when I call flop I have to fold turn most of the time unimproved.. I mean that's how they are taking down the blinds.. me, from SB by trying to push like nash preflop.. and them, by taking it down with flop bets IP on the flop.. and mostly I loose because I'm pushing loosely preflop and their tight calling range "arrrived" and call me.. I'm behind most of the time and lose (of course win/continue with those time I suck out)

      Of course, it all depends again to whom I'm up.. but does that mean that I have to DB air more, or float OOP ( ?!) vs their flop bets IP when I'm almost always missing ? or any advice on how to play accordingly to such kind of opponents

      then you have these situations (I know situationally dependant again but I'll try to explain it) where I hit top pair OOP (so in BB and no one has raised preflop ) I mostly donkbet strongly the flop.. then I get reraised strongly or all-in.. let's say that the flop also has a possible flush draw most of the time.. the problem I mostly have then is my Kicker which is often weak.. would u ALWAYS go all-in with top pair (weak kicker) in these spots and if villain shows a much better kicker, do I have to see it as a set-up play? or do u sometimes fold in those spots (if you believe your opponent would only be doing his reraising range for value or with only very strong draws..)

      Ok, sorry for such a long (and maybe boring) post.. yeah I hope u understand what I've tried to explain.. and hope to get some valuable feedback.. if possible :) ..
    • viewer88
      viewer88
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      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      with like 15+ BB minraising pre is often good vs some opponents... it really depends. I'm usualy either minraising or folding in this stage. Most villain do not adjust by reshoving looser so you can minraise looose.

      If you have a villain that doesnt push/fold to your minraise (usualy fish) you can complete aswell and try to play some postflop.

      Donkbetting with air is actualy something I do alot! But like everything in headsup it really depends... what villain, what dynamic do you have, what board texture... if you have a tight image vs a loose villain in a limped pot it's really +EV, just don't do it every time. You get a feel for it after a while, just really think about his range, how it connects with the board and about your percieved range.

      I'm almost never floating OOP with air, sometimes you can c/c with like Ahigh but it usualy leads to difficult spots on later streets. If you reach HU in a low blindlevel (that almost never happens in turbo's) postflop play starts to become important, in turbo's its a lot simpler really :f_grin:
    • DonCorleone369
      DonCorleone369
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      Joined: 16.11.2009 Posts: 1,267
      Originally posted by viewer88
      with like 15+ BB minraising pre is often good vs some opponents... it really depends. I'm usualy either minraising or folding in this stage. Most villain do not adjust by reshoving looser so you can minraise looose.

      If you have a villain that doesnt push/fold to your minraise (usualy fish) you can complete aswell and try to play some postflop.

      Donkbetting with air is actualy something I do alot! But like everything in headsup it really depends... what villain, what dynamic do you have, what board texture... if you have a tight image vs a loose villain in a limped pot it's really +EV, just don't do it every time. You get a feel for it after a while, just really think about his range, how it connects with the board and about your percieved range.

      I'm almost never floating OOP with air, sometimes you can c/c with like Ahigh but it usualy leads to difficult spots on later streets. If you reach HU in a low blindlevel (that almost never happens in turbo's) postflop play starts to become important, in turbo's its a lot simpler really :f_grin:
      Ok.. thx a lot..
      in turbo's its a lot simpler really :f_grin:
      [/QUOTE] I agree.. unfortunately I play the non-turbo's.. but will try to switch in the near future to turbo's..

      one more thing.. what about those spots that I've said above when I'm OOP and hit top pair with weakish kicker and face a strong reraise vs my DB (vs a loose passive player for example).. would u almost always go all-in (so assuming effective stacks are like 15bb or below) and no scary boards.. and when we go all-in and villain shows top pair Better kicker.. should I see it as a set-up play? or are there times you might fold it ? I mean problem is our stack sizes which is quite shallow (15bb or less).. anyway I understand if won't be able to give a good advice on this (the "it depends thing" ;) ) .. but I can at least ask right ;)
    • viewer88
      viewer88
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      Top pair is usualy good enough to go all-in with (but it depends really :f_o: )