What Changes when a player is siting out

    • BigAl123456
      Joined: 21.07.2010 Posts: 4,080
      Hey all,

      Today I was grinding some SNGs on FTP and in my 2nd SNG I had an interesting situation. The player to my direct right tripled up in the first couple of hands then decided to sit out the whole tourney. We got to the bubble even stacks which is the worst possible outcome, it didn’t take long for 1 of the players to fall, so we got to the situation where 3handed chip leader has 7k and me and the sitting out player both have about 3k.

      The BS player punished me raising every BTN and there was not much I could do because I was guaranteed 2nd if I folded everyone and stole every now then when i picked up a decent hand. Eventually sitting out player got KO so HU BS had 10k to my 3k.

      Is there any different way to play in this situation.

      Big Al
  • 5 replies
    • ILuvBeachVB
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 358
      Great question!

      I would play as if he wasn't there. I would play to win, not come second. If you wait until he blinds out to make moves, you will have too small a stack to try to come back and win. It's much better if he is to your left of course, so you can get his blinds a lot of the time.
    • santostr
      Joined: 11.08.2009 Posts: 663
      I'd resteal only with my value range.
      Steal from the BU depending on BS restealing actions.

      Coming 2nd in SnGs is realy important.
    • pzhon
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Some people compare the 30% for second place to 20% for third and conclude that making it into second place is not important, and that you should go for first place. This is wrong. Once you are in the money, the amount awarded for third place no longer matters. Imagine the guaranteed money is already paid out. Then first place gets 30% of the original prize pool and second place gets 10%, which means it is as though you are on the bubble of a 75-25 tournament. Half of the prize money left rewards making it into the top 2, and half of the prize money left rewards actually winning the tournament. The bubble of a 75-25 tournament is not as severe as the bubble of a 70-30, 65-35, or 50-30-20 tournament, but there are times when you should be quite risk-averse. If you focus on first, you can burn a lot of equity.

      It is valuable to get a chip lead over the player who is sitting out so that you can coast into second place. This does not mean you will coast into second place, but it is good to have that option. The value of getting that chip lead depends on the site. On PokerStars, it is possible for a player who is sitting out to win while all-in, but this is difficult. At some stack sizes the player will fold while all-in, and the antes also help to drain the stack of the player sitting out. On Full Tilt, players who are sitting out do not fold while all-in and there are no antes. This means there is a much sharper difference between outchipping the sitting-out player on PokerStars than on Full Tilt. The player who is sitting out can win a few showdowns on Full Tilt, so having 1 big blind more will make you a favorite to outlast him, but not an overwhelming favorite.

      How does your risk-aversion compare if you have the middle stack at 8.5k-3k-2k versus 11k-1.5k-1k? You are more risk-averse in the second situation. Doubling up gives you more of a shot at first place when you start with a bigger stack. If you have a very short stack, most of your equity comes from making it into second place even if you double up, so the reward of doubling up is smaller. You need to be much more likely to win to risk busting out in third.

      It is good to be willing to push occasionally, and to call all-in with very strong hands. If you never bust out before a player who is sitting out, you aren't playing well. However, remember that the ICM typically underestimates your equity, and that you should tend to be more conservative than the ICM normally tells you to be when you have the chance to coast into the next money level.
    • VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,828
      A lot depends on where you set relative to the one sitting out.
      A lot also depends on the ratio of the mid-stack to the big stack.

      If I am the mid-stack and I have a clear advantage over the sit-out, then I'll min-raise almost ATC when the sit-out is in the BB -- this way, even if I have to fold it, the sit-out never gets to see a flop, and the worst that can happen is I lose 2 BB to the big stack, but a lot of the time the big stack will fold, and even when not, I can win with a c-bet, since the big stack is wanting to keep his lead for going in to HU

      It is worse if you are just slightly ahead of the sit-out, the big stack will be attacking you in the same way.

      Position is important too.
      If you UTG when the sit-out is in the BB, you get your raise in first.
      If the big stack can raise ahead of you, it makes it much more expensive to get into a pot, so you have to have better hands.

      I am in this situation a fair bit, since I play basement-level SNGs.
      I don't mind playing very tight to get second, because once it's HU, I seem to do faily well.

      Oh -- one more thing -- be real careful and don't assume that the sit-out has left. Some of these guys have a bunch of tables going, and if a premium had appears, the zombie will wake up and eat you for lunch.

    • aleXXa19
      Joined: 10.12.2010 Posts: 21
      and if the big stack becomes a maniac as he knows of the fold equitity watch for the first prob. 70% situation and take it.