How do I do it?

    • c0wking
      c0wking
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.12.2010 Posts: 109
      So I'm a NL cash game player, my BB/100 is over 17, I've played over 2k hands (so I'm still very newbie), I've been wanting to try out in 1$ SNG's but I just don't get it.

      To me it seems like 90% luck, 10% skill, just like freerolls. Unlike in cash games, you can't wait to make a hand pre-or-post flop forever. And even when I do get a hand, I ALWAYS get beaten by the most unimaginable odds imaginable. That, or when I do get a hand, my opponents got nothing and fold. It's nice holding KK on the BB and everyone folding to you.

      Case in point, I go all in pre-flop with AA, my opponent calls with K6s, the flop alone completes his flush. (started laughing at this point)

      I go all in with two pair on the flop, my opponent calls, he completes HIS full house on turn even though there was only a single card left in the entire deck that could do it, I complete my full house on the turn, and lose because his FH is bigger than mine :f_mad:

      My tournament luck is simply anal. How do I overcome this? To me it seems like there is nothing I can do, if I call into flop with mediocre-bad hands when the blinds are at the lowest, I never get anything, wasting my chips to wait for a big hand.

      If I wait for a big hand, I always lose. I haven't won a single all-in in SNG's so far. Indeed, to me it seems like SNG is just about praying to RNG god you get a good beat, and then praying to RNG god you get a good beat more times than you get a bad beat.

      Should I start going all-in with 6-8os like everyone else? What is a strategy that could get me in the money, even the lowest place. I'd very much like to play SNG's instead of grinding cash games forever, but I just don't see how I can win money instead of lose it.
  • 22 replies
    • ZeloSlb
      ZeloSlb
      Gold
      Joined: 29.03.2007 Posts: 41
      its probably just negative variance...
      do you think there is a positive variance in 17 BB/100 in the first 2k hands?

      stick to the sng strategy.
      and IMPROVE it!!!

      or play cash games if you are crushing them, but you neet a couple more 10k samplesize to see that, just like you need in SNGs...

      if there is 10% skill and 90% luck in SNGs then you need a good samplesize to see if your skillside is winning or loosing...
    • DaveyBlues
      DaveyBlues
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.11.2010 Posts: 6
      Hi c0wking,

      I feel your pain :D

      Sngs are a strange animal. There are some great charts to use when starting out in sngs here.

      Pre-Flop hand selection charts
      http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/sng/1348/1/

      Push/Fold charts (13 Big Blinds or less)
      http://www.pokerstrategy.com/strategy/sng/787/1/

      ICM Trainer software from PokerStrategy
      http://www.pokerstrategy.com/software/8/

      Also some great videos from chenny8888 on sngs
      http://www.pokerstrategy.com/video/12917/

      Sng theory can get quite complex, with ICM being important in the later stages.

      Basically there are many great articles on this site, and I advise you to read and study them.

      There are people who succeed at sngs over the long-term, which disproves your theory about 10% skill. It takes work, discipline, and a good poker mindset to deal with the extreme variance. You will get fish pulling beats on you, but sometimes you will win as an underdog.

      The best advice I can give you is to think about your opponents ranges, and simply try to get it in when you are pretty sure you have the best of it.

      Also, the $1 sngs are an odd hunting ground, as they are split between grinders (multi-tabling micro-stakes for profit with a solid game) and complete donks.

      Good luck
    • c0wking
      c0wking
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.12.2010 Posts: 109
      The thing is, the SNG strategy outlined in here just doesn't work in partypoker (where I play), the only NL SNG's are turbo, you can only find standard and speed tables for Omaha (at least in 1$).

      I don't need a guide to tell me to raise with AA, KK, QQ etc.. and waiting for those hands on turbo just isn't an option. A large majority of winning hands come from complete garbage hands when they're cheap to enter the flop.

      I just won my first SNG, and yes, it had nothing to do with my skills. I was down to 349 chips and forced to go all in on small blind with 4-8. Ended up winning a few more, pretty much forced, all-ins with garbage hands against AK's etc... after I was chip leader, I could just sit there and watch everyone kill themselves out of desperation like I was, although they just didn't get lucky like I did.
    • scscpoker
      scscpoker
      Bronze
      Joined: 29.06.2010 Posts: 121
      Ofc playing ONE sng is just about luck. Your goal is to profit in EV (Expected Value) line, ur realised profit will take care of itself in time.

      Also, in SNGs there is just ROI for example 10%, that means every 10th buyin makes u profit 1 BI. If u buyin 100 times for 10$, with 10% ROI u make avg. profit 100$.

      If u play good hands, u can get "unlucky" in short term, but longer u play, more u win.

      If u play garbage, u can get "lucky" in few SNGs, but longer u play, more u lose.
    • c0wking
      c0wking
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.12.2010 Posts: 109
      The point is, you can't play only good hands. In turbo 1$ SNG you get dealt 20-30 hands before you're in the point of forced all in, or at least having to make an educated guess that this will be your best hand in the amount of hands you have left (K-10 for example).

      If you get dealt nada (which according to the hand chart in here) is like 80% of the time, you're paying 1$ to flop your hand for 15 minutes.
    • TiciBoy
      TiciBoy
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.01.2010 Posts: 1,235
      This strategies have been prooven and tested, so I'd suggest you read all the articles available to you, and stick to them + download ICM trainer, it is the backbone of SNGs (especialy turbos, because you're in the push/fold phase wery fast).
    • goldchess
      goldchess
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.02.2010 Posts: 641
      Seriously, move to another poker platform to play $1 SNGs.
      Party Poker has huge rake, and their 'turbos' are in fact superturbos.
      Full Tilt would be my recommendation, since you get rakeback, and can move up to the $2.25s when your bankroll hits $100, where the rake is much better.
    • DaveyBlues
      DaveyBlues
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.11.2010 Posts: 6
      I think you are getting some great advice here.

      It is possible that sngs are not for you, and if you are comfortable in cash games, then that is maybe the best option for you.

      Sngs require a very specific mindset, in being non results-oriented and thinking of long term profits from very small short-term edges. They don't suit everyone, that is for sure.

      The difference between cash and sngs is as large as pot-limit/NL and full-ring/short-handed.

      The best thing is to find the poker variant that suits you, then play your heart out.

      I do hope that doesn't sound harsh, I am just trying to save you pulling your hair out getting frustrated playing a game that you will not enjoy.

      p.s.
      You could also try another site that hosts non-turbo sngs, if you believe the turbo blinds to be the problem. You can sign up with great bonuses at many sites from here. In my little experience, if you get comfortable with push/fold, ICM and the swings, turbo makes little difference in the long run.

      Cheers and the best of luck
    • c0wking
      c0wking
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.12.2010 Posts: 109
      Well here's an example.

      You've haven't played a single hand (except BB check without winning anything), you haven't been dealt a single playable hand.

      You started the game with 2k chips, you are now down to 900 chips, a single round of blinds takes away 600 chips.

      You are 2 hands away from blinds in early position, you get dealt K-10. What do you do? Play the best hand you've been dealt so far, or flop it?

      If you go all in and win, you get a chance to win or finish in the money.

      If everyone folds, you steal the blinds and survive for another round of blinds.

      If you flop, the blinds will eat you down to 300 chips, at which point you're going to need ridiculous luck to finish in the money.

      In cash games, making the right decisions will earn you money, because you're losing less money, and winning more money.

      In SNGs, making the right decisions is completely irrelevant if you don't finish in the money. Making the "right" decisions won't earn you money, because you've already lost that money. After a certain point in the SNG, it's like going through the event horizon of a black hole. There's no going back.
    • JonnyJr555
      JonnyJr555
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.01.2010 Posts: 1,122
      Originally posted by DaveyBlues
      I think you are getting some great advice here.

      It is possible that sngs are not for you, and if you are comfortable in cash games, then that is maybe the best option for you.

      Sngs require a very specific mindset, in being non results-oriented and thinking of long term profits from very small short-term edges. They don't suit everyone, that is for sure.

      The difference between cash and sngs is as large as pot-limit/NL and full-ring/short-handed.

      The best thing is to find the poker variant that suits you, then play your heart out.

      I do hope that doesn't sound harsh, I am just trying to save you pulling your hair out getting frustrated playing a game that you will not enjoy.

      p.s.
      You could also try another site that hosts non-turbo sngs, if you believe the turbo blinds to be the problem. You can sign up with great bonuses at many sites from here. In my little experience, if you get comfortable with push/fold, ICM and the swings, turbo makes little difference in the long run.

      Cheers and the best of luck
      Davy stands absolutely correct here...

      Basically the problem faced by Cowking was same with me....i used to play normal speed 9-handed SNG's may be 3-4 $1 Tables with -EV but now after watching this video here i play 10-15 $1 Super Turbo Tables with +EV since last week (omg am i getting result oriented thought :s_o: )

      What is expected from a SNG player is that he should not draw conclusions from small sample sizes!

      If u r gud with cash games stick ur a** to cash tables, poker is all abt making most of money and look i don't play RAZZ say why? bcauze i have accepted that i am the worst RAZZ player u will get on this planet LOL :D


      Cheers
      JonnyJr555
    • DaveyBlues
      DaveyBlues
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.11.2010 Posts: 6
      I do see your point there.

      Simply put, and I am no expert in these things, yes. In that position you should push with the KT.

      And yes, the pre-flop charts may appear quite restrictive.

      But, if you pay attention to the table, there are spots where the blinds are available to a light steal. There are spots where others are feeling the frustration you feel and start pushing light. There are spots where people make odd-sized bets and with a decent read and some luck you can raise them out of the pot. There will be spots where you sense a bluff or semi-bluff and raise them out. There will be pots that no-one seems interested in winning, and pushing may win them.

      Poker is not straightforward as you already know. It is a game of greys, of small edges, of bluffs and counterbluffs, passivity and aggression.

      If you persist in sngs, you will develop a feel for it.

      You could also look at things like line-balancing, equity calculations. Get a stats-tracker if you don't have one. These things will all help your game.

      There is no key to overnight success in sngs.

      I don't think you can get a feel for them in anything less than several hundred games, and perhaps several thousand.

      Without dedication to improving your game, learning the maths, studying ICM and sheer persistence you will most probably not be happy with your results.

      Can I ask why you are so interested in sngs? Do you aspire to grind out a profit from them? Do you feel prepared to spend almost as much time studying as playing in the short-term? Do you think it might be where you play best and feel most comfortable?

      We are all in the same boat here, trying to turn a complex and exciting recreational activity into something more, to increase our understanding and edge, to give ourselves the best chance at the tables. There are proven methods and tools to help, but ultimately I feel it is all down to mindset. Do you feel you the mindset to work at it until you become successful?

      And there is another truth to this; some people just do not end up being winning players for whatever reason. Sad but true.

      Also, on a side-note, what BRM do you use? I recommend the 50BI that you find recommended here. That can help take the sting out of the lows, and good BRM is crucial to long-term success in poker.

      Just trying to help. Good luck.
    • JonnyJr555
      JonnyJr555
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.01.2010 Posts: 1,122
      Originally posted by DaveyBlues
      Can I ask why you are so interested in sngs? Do you aspire to grind out a profit from them? Do you feel prepared to spend almost as much time studying as playing in the short-term? Do you think it might be where you play best and feel most comfortable?
      well i dont know what cowKing replys to this but if i was asked

      why i play SNG's in exact the Push Or Fold game?

      then i would answer that since,
      the mathematical probability and ICM ranges and Pre-EQ and Post-EQ percentages and all ICM parameters are same for all players (from donk - to - pro) and since,
      that's not the case in Cash Games........in cash games u will and certainly will find tough competators at medium/high stakes(-EV) than at microstakes(+EV) and since i dont want to loose my money to pros, i will play SNG no matter whether i am a donk or an rookie or the pro to myself! :s_evil:
    • chilliyen
      chilliyen
      Gold
      Joined: 12.04.2010 Posts: 158
      "I ALWAYS get beaten by the most unimaginable odds imaginable."

      HoHo, very funny......
    • JonnyJr555
      JonnyJr555
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.01.2010 Posts: 1,122
      Originally posted by chilliyen
      "I ALWAYS get beaten by the most unimaginable odds imaginable."

      HoHo, very funny......
      same for me LOL :D
    • DaveyBlues
      DaveyBlues
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.11.2010 Posts: 6
      Originally posted by JonnyJr555
      well i dont know what cowKing replys to this but if i was asked

      why i play SNG's in exact the Push Or Fold game?

      then i would answer that since,
      the mathematical probability and ICM ranges and Pre-EQ and Post-EQ percentages and all ICM parameters are same for all players (from donk - to - pro) and since,
      that's not the case in Cash Games........in cash games u will and certainly will find tough competators at medium/high stakes(-EV) than at microstakes(+EV) and since i dont want to loose my money to pros, i will play SNG no matter whether i am a donk or an rookie or the pro to myself! :s_evil:
      That is a great point JonnyJr. It is a pretty level playing field.

      I play them for pretty much the same reason, plus I like the payout structure. They have less variance for me than tournaments, and also because I seem to get bored playing .01/.02 and other micro cash games, to the extent that I loosen up too much and start spewing money. My game could stand a LOT of improvement, as evidenced by my recent -ev run, but I will not stop learning and playing. I do hope to get my game solid enough to start mass-tabling soon, and then I might have a decent justification for the inordinate amount of time I spend on it ;D

      Forwards imagining the unimaginable :D
    • JonnyJr555
      JonnyJr555
      Bronze
      Joined: 30.01.2010 Posts: 1,122
      Originally posted by DaveyBlues
      Originally posted by JonnyJr555
      well i dont know what cowKing replys to this but if i was asked

      why i play SNG's in exact the Push Or Fold game?

      then i would answer that since,
      the mathematical probability and ICM ranges and Pre-EQ and Post-EQ percentages and all ICM parameters are same for all players (from donk - to - pro) and since,
      that's not the case in Cash Games........in cash games u will and certainly will find tough competators at medium/high stakes(-EV) than at microstakes(+EV) and since i dont want to loose my money to pros, i will play SNG no matter whether i am a donk or an rookie or the pro to myself! :s_evil:
      That is a great point JonnyJr. It is a pretty level playing field.

      I play them for pretty much the same reason, plus I like the payout structure. They have less variance for me than tournaments, and also because I seem to get bored playing .01/.02 and other micro cash games, to the extent that I loosen up too much and start spewing money. My game could stand a LOT of improvement, as evidenced by my recent -ev run, but I will not stop learning and playing. I do hope to get my game solid enough to start mass-tabling soon, and then I might have a decent justification for the inordinate amount of time I spend on it ;D

      Forwards imagining the unimaginable :D
      See You At The Tables :s_thumbsup:
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Originally posted by c0wking
      So I'm a NL cash game player, my BB/100 is over 17, I've played over 2k hands (so I'm still very newbie), I've been wanting to try out in 1$ SNG's but I just don't get it.

      To me it seems like 90% luck, 10% skill, just like freerolls.
      I think you are greatly underestimating the luck in cash games, perhaps because you want to believe your 17 bb/100 for 2000 hands is the result of your skill rather than luck. That 17 bb/100 might be better viewed as 17 +- 40 bb/100 -- you don't even have strong evidence that you are winning in cash games even though you should be happy to be up a few buy-ins.

      Suppose I invite you to play poker against some novices. They have seen poker on TV, but never played. You have a big advantage, right? Not so fast! You only get to play one hand. Now how large is your advantage? In the short run, luck dominates. In the long run, skill dominates.

      Unlike in cash games, you can't wait to make a hand pre-or-post flop forever.
      You also can't wait forever in cash games, either, and you don't always get paid off when you hit. In both cash games and SNGs, you should try to take good gambles, and avoid bad ones.

      if I call into flop with mediocre-bad hands when the blinds are at the lowest, I never get anything, wasting my chips to wait for a big hand.
      Yes, that's generally a bad gamble, whether in cash games or SNGs. Sometimes you can call with speculative hands, or play bad hands with good position and reads on the blinds, but patience to avoid bad hands is important in SNGs.

      Should I start going all-in with 6-8os like everyone else?
      In fact, that is often solid poker, and it is something which distinguishes serious players from casual players. It is often right to be aggressive near the bubble, and while you sometimes bubble out instead of limping into the money, aggression tends to build your stack. If you have your opponents covered, then it takes more than one lost hand to knock you out, and you will find many good opportunities because you are not as risk-averse as they you. Sometimes, it is correct to push any two cards when your opponents shouldn't call without a very strong hand.

      There is some depth to SNGs. Professional players who play SNGs all day for years still have more to learn. It may be easier to get into SNGs than other poker variants, but if you want to win, you should respect the game and how much there is to learn.
    • alejandrosh
      alejandrosh
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.07.2008 Posts: 4,346
      Originally posted by goldchess
      and their 'turbos' are in fact superturbos.
      really? going to get some money on party poker right now if that's correct.
    • c0wking
      c0wking
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.12.2010 Posts: 109

      Can I ask why you are so interested in sngs?
      A.) Because I want to be an all-rounded poker player. The things I'm not doing so good at atm are shorthanded cash games and SNGs. Full games and headsup I'm doing just fine.

      B.) Because my current goal in poker is to win the qualifier to a Monthly Million freeroll, and then double to xxx my bankroll in the actual event. SNGs are good practise, they play out pretty much like freerolls, maybe a less gun ho.

      I think you are greatly underestimating the luck in cash games, perhaps because you want to believe your 17 bb/100 for 2000 hands is the result of your skill rather than luck. That 17 bb/100 might be better viewed as 17 +- 40 bb/100 -- you don't even have strong evidence that you are winning in cash games even though you should be happy to be up a few buy-ins.

      Suppose I invite you to play poker against some novices. They have seen poker on TV, but never played. You have a big advantage, right? Not so fast! You only get to play one hand. Now how large is your advantage? In the short run, luck dominates. In the long run, skill dominates.
      Choosing your opponents = skill.

      I don't play conservative tables where I can't lure my opponents to build a huge pot unless I'm facing a winning hand.

      I'd rather spend 30 minutes looking/waiting for a table with high VPIP players who bet hard pre/post flop and play in that table to for 30-60 minutes, than spend 2 hours playing in a tight, conservative table where nobody takes risks without holding the best hand.

      It's simply better income. I'm not saying I'm some kind of great poker player because my BB/100 is good, I'm just better than the majority of other fish like me.

      Personally, I play like a drive-by-shooter, I enter a loose game, wait for a big hand, win a huge pot or two, leave and find a new table unless I feel confident that I can keep winning good money from the table. When I win 3 or so major pots, that's when I notice the table tightens up and my winnings start to dry, and then I just steal blinds until I leave.

      The same goes for headsup, I can always milk someone for .5$ very early in the game, but the longer I stay in the game, the higher the chance my opponent starts to get some kind of feeling on me / gets a big hand.

      You also can't wait forever in cash games, either, and you don't always get paid off when you hit. In both cash games and SNGs, you should try to take good gambles, and avoid bad ones.
      Well you can't wait forever forever, but in cash games you won't be forced to go all in pre-flop with whatever hand you have, in SNG's that's very much a real possibility. Like I already said, after a certain point in the SNG, winning the all-in with a big hand is more like a temporary band-aid instead of a cure. The blinds keep increasing, your chips keep decreasing at increasing volume.

      really? going to get some money on party poker right now if that's correct.
      The blinds in PP turbo increase every 3 minutes. I don't know how it goes in other poker rooms, I play at PP because I'd rather pay high rake at beginner level rather than high tax at higher level if I ever get to earn real income from poker.

      Besides no matter what anyone might say, PP has a lot of bad players, at least on the level I play in, .2/.4 .5/.10 NL. Besides, I will never invest real money in poker, and the high rake makes it easier to earn back the party points needed to keep the 50$ starting deposit.

      And yes, I will probably stop playing SNGs until I have a big enough bankroll to play the 3$ standard ones, the turbos are just... madness.
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