SnG Tactics

    • Philfox1985
      Philfox1985
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2010 Posts: 934
      When I first started playing SnG it felt like it was a very easy format in which to make money. I quick increased by $50 starting capital up to $90 and I was feeling confident at the level I was playing at.

      Since then things haven't been so good, and I have been drifting down towards $50 again. Currently my balance is around $60. It has felt like everytime that I have gone all-in and been called, or called someone elses all-in I have been wiped out, usually with the better hand.

      This has started to make me perhaps a little too conservative, a typical situation for me that has arisen is that I will be short stacked but still in the game with 4/5 players left from the original 9. I will then get a strong starting hand in the region of A10 - AQ. On getting this hand, I'll raise three big blinds (a fairly big proportion of my stack), only to get an opponent raise me to all-in.

      This situation leaves me unsure, I think that I probably should call unless I'm up against an opponent who is clearly a rock. Is this the correct strategy so close to being ICM, should I fold and stay in, but leave myself even more short-stacked?
  • 33 replies
    • Yoshimitsu77
      Yoshimitsu77
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.09.2010 Posts: 337
      study and grind
    • Philfox1985
      Philfox1985
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2010 Posts: 934
      Would you call a re-raise when you have A10-AQ?
    • ricardo132
      ricardo132
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.12.2010 Posts: 37
      I think you should observe the range of hand which your oponents shove. For example i play 6 max 2.25 dolars not turbo and i feel confortable waiting for AQ or a good pocket to shove and double up. Its normal sometimes you lose all-in.


      Try to review your game and improve it
    • ricardo132
      ricardo132
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.12.2010 Posts: 37
      nope Phil, most times A10 is not such good hand against AJ+ or 1010+

      But it depends if the vilan is very loose or tight
    • Philfox1985
      Philfox1985
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2010 Posts: 934
      Well, I was multi-tabling.

      The same thing happened on three tables, and every time I folded keeping me in. The problem was that it left me in a real mess as I was too short-stacked, I had to risk doubling up up with a worse hand soon after to avoid the blinds eating away my remaining chips.
    • gedwashere91
      gedwashere91
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.07.2009 Posts: 2,387
      Originally posted by Philfox1985
      Would you call a re-raise when you have A10-AQ?
      Generally no, but it depends.

      I would recommend you study LOTS, join the study group on skype and talk with people there. Study more play less, that's the best way to get through the micros :)
    • Philfox1985
      Philfox1985
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2010 Posts: 934
      I read all the articles available to me, but some decisions don't boil down to ABC poker. The feel of the kind of range that an opponent will be calling/raising with can't be covered in an article.

      Edit: Apparently it can be covered, having just found an article on this. Having read it I'm none the wiser really. It all comes down to context, in the middle/ late stages of SnG when everyone is around 6-18BB's I think you have to play a little looser, especially with less players left at the table. Given that I would say it was probably worth calling.
    • Steelbrewer
      Steelbrewer
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.04.2009 Posts: 580
      I'll raise three big blinds (a fairly big proportion of my stack), only to get an opponent raise me to all-in.


      IMO you have a leak here. If you just want to steal the blinds then raise smaller, 2,5xBB or even less all the way to a minraise.
      Watch for your opponents stacks when they have 13~20BB then raising into them may trigger a re-steal mechanism.
      If you see that opp. has a comfortable re-steal stack then it is more likely he will fold some mediocre hands if you push directly instead of raising, because your AI will have a lot more Fold Equity, than just a steal attempt.

      Advice you to read/re-read articles about blind stealing/re-stealing and late game play.
    • Philfox1985
      Philfox1985
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2010 Posts: 934
      Guess you are right, at that stage an opponent will either be folding a raise, or pushing all in.

      If I'm not willing to go for the all-in myself there is little benefit in raising much more than 2.5 BB's (which is what I usually do). I have never just raised the minimum amount, it feels too weak to me.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      There are some times when you have an easy fold with AQ when you get reraised, and some times when you have an easy call with AT.

      As your stack gets shorter, you usually want to call a greater proportion of your range when you get reraised. If you raise to 2.5 bb out of a stack of 10 bb, and someone reraises, you should call with almost your whole range, perhaps 80-90% of what you raised. If your stack is 20 bb, and someone reraises to set you in, then it is usually ok to fold a lot of hands. Then your default might be to call with the top 30% of what you raised. Bubble considerations can mean you should call a little less than this, but when you are the clear shortest stack you usually are not so risk-averse.

      If you raise from early position, even AQo can be at the bottom of your range. You might fold AQo UTG when you are deep stacked, but usually raise it with shorter stacks. However, you are representing a lot of strength if you raise in front of 8 players, and they need more strength to play back at you. If someone makes a big reraise, solid poker is to fold hands at the bottom of your range, even if you are holding a hand as good as AQ.

      By contrast, if you raise from the button, you might have a range of 30% or more. AT is within the top 10% of hands. If you raise a wide range, but then fold hands as good as AT, then you are folding over 70% of your hands to reraises, and that is a possible leak. Solid poker would be to call since AT is toward the top of your range as long as the stacks are not too deep.

      You can deviate from solid poker if you have reads on your opponents, or on tendencies of players in your games. If you have noticed that your opponent is tight and passive, and tends to reraise only very strong hands even when the stacks are short, then you might be able to fold more often, so much that you are inviting observant players to exploit you by restealing ATC. However, your folds should be based on reads, not fears. Look through your past hands to see what hands turn up when your opponents reraise all-in and get called (not necessarily by you). This may stop you from putting your opponents on premium hands when they are actually showing up with hands like 66, A7o, and JTs.
    • jokin4party
      jokin4party
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.09.2009 Posts: 968
      Originally posted by gedwashere91
      Originally posted by Philfox1985
      Would you call a re-raise when you have A10-AQ?
      Generally no, but it depends.

      I would recommend you study LOTS, join the study group on skype and talk with people there. Study more play less, that's the best way to get through the micros :)
      I tought the higher the stakes are, the more we should focus on the game studding, and the lower it is the more we should practice then practice (and keep an eye on our game obv)
    • jokin4party
      jokin4party
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.09.2009 Posts: 968
      (hmm just a question, did you really edit your post more than 1200 times?)
    • Philfox1985
      Philfox1985
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2010 Posts: 934
      Thanks all for your comments, they have been very useful.

      My recent results have been a bit stronger, and I'm becoming less worried about calling re-raises, depending on the position in the game. There is often positive EV even if I'm potentially slightly behind (which I'm not usually as I play a fairly narrow range). The large blinds make it so you are almost always pot commited on a re-raise when you are short stacked.

      By playing less games at a time, and trying to think a little more carefully it has allowed my general game to improve I feel. Certainly post flop I'm getting my calls correct a far larger proportion of the time.

      There is still an issue with all-ins for me, I have been burnt a crazy amount of times recently. I have lost my last four all-ins with AA's or KK's, usually to a flush of some kind. Still, there isn't much I can do about it I figure thats just the luck of the draw and if my play is strong I will eventually get the returns.

      Apart from a bit of a bad run of cards on all-ins, the other thing I have noticed recently is how badly I'm being bullied when on the bubble & mid-stacked. The last few games I have been to the left of the big stack, and on 60+% of hands been faced with an all-in from him. Often I would put myself ahead given his hand range, but it doesn't feel very sensible to call and risking going out on the bubble on not much more than a coin flip. By avoiding any calls, and playing aggressive against the small stack I have managed to get over this hurdle, but it has always hurt me when I have reached heads up with a massive chip disadvantage.

      Would you play this any different, is it worth the risk of the call? My thoughts were that my hand range in this situation would have to be very narrow, perhaps 99+, AQ+ otherwise its just not worth it.
    • jass1960
      jass1960
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.04.2010 Posts: 709
      Originally posted by Philfox1985
      Thanks all for your comments, they have been very useful.

      There is still an issue with all-ins for me, I have been burnt a crazy amount of times recently. I have lost my last four all-ins with AA's or KK's, usually to a flush of some kind. Still, there isn't much I can do about it I figure thats just the luck of the draw and if my play is strong I will eventually get the returns.

      Correct

      Apart from a bit of a bad run of cards on all-ins, the other thing I have noticed recently is how badly I'm being bullied when on the bubble & mid-stacked. The last few games I have been to the left of the big stack, and on 60+% of hands been faced with an all-in from him. Often I would put myself ahead given his hand range, but it doesn't feel very sensible to call and risking going out on the bubble on not much more than a coin flip. By avoiding any calls, and playing aggressive against the small stack I have managed to get over this hurdle, but it has always hurt me when I have reached heads up with a massive chip disadvantage.

      Would you play this any different, is it worth the risk of the call? My thoughts were that my hand range in this situation would have to be very narrow, perhaps 99+, AQ+ otherwise its just not worth it.
      On the bubble

      I play 135 man SNG and this may be different for ST SNG, but..........

      I saw a great video by Aaron Lambert (worth searching for) and he explained how tight many players get when near the bubble and how this was the wrong play. His advice was to play for a WIN because of the top-heaviness of the prize structure - so loosen up near the bubble when everyone tightens.

      Good players use their stack sizes to bully more inexperienced players and quite a lot of the time they have jack-shit.....

      I play back into big stacks with a wide range (22+, A9+) - they fold a lot of the time, they call with Ax (low x) a lot of the time (allowing double ups) and they sometimes have the better hand (but if I get lucky I double). My view is that I can struggle ITM for 1.5 buy-in prize money or be aggressive and double-up and have a shot at the FT prize money (my ROI is 40% from 850 SNGs).

      Remember 22 is slight favourite (53% I think) v AK, so in the long run this play is +ev.

      Cheers

      Jass :D
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Originally posted by jass1960
      I play 135 man SNG and this may be different for ST SNG, but..........

      I saw a great video by Aaron Lambert (worth searching for) and he explained how tight many players get when near the bubble and how this was the wrong play. His advice was to play for a WIN because of the top-heaviness of the prize structure - so loosen up near the bubble when everyone tightens.
      This is something which is very different between STTs and MTTs. The rational risk aversion is much greater in STTs, and playing for the win is often far from correct in a STT.

      Going for the win can be quite wrong in a MTT, too, but Lambert's advice will often help to correct bad instincts many tournament players have.

      At the final table, or in a STT, it is better to focus on your equity according to the ICM rather than your chance to win. Otherwise you might win more tournaments while missing out on your share of lower prizes, reducing your ROI.
    • Philfox1985
      Philfox1985
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2010 Posts: 934
      Right, so I have been re-reading the SnG strategy articles and playing around with the ICM trainer. If there are any major leaks in my game, I want to iron them out as quickly as possible.

      As I play most of my SnG's in Turbo format, the blinds usually become large very quickly and a key feature of the game play is based around blind steals & re-steals. With that in mind I have designed myself a push & re-bound chart to be used as a reference guide for my play. Its a bit long so I get a feeling I will have to play a max of 2 games at a time in order to learn to use it properly.

      Push/Fold Article

      I have also been looking at using the SAGE system to play heads up a bit better. The problem being that its points systems don't agree with the ICM trainer, especially for cards such as 65s.

      SAGE Article

      Whats your attitude with these cards heads up, worth a push if the stacks are under 10 BB's?
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Sage is just an approximation. It is designed for live play, and to correct large errors. If you play online, have a heads-up push/fold chart visible as you play, instead of using Sage.
    • Philfox1985
      Philfox1985
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2010 Posts: 934
      Where can I find one of those?
    • SkamanVN
      SkamanVN
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.01.2010 Posts: 39
      Google for Nash Equilibrium, it's easy to find. Very useful when you reach HU.
    • 1
    • 2