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Solartje and the fergusson challenge trough sng's.

    • solartje
      Joined: 17.03.2009 Posts: 10,273
      Hi all,

      I'm a (too?) active member of the NL part of pokerstrategy. This is my first post in this section. (excuse me for my spelling skills... i really suck at writing) the reason why I'm making a blog will hopefully be clear and +ev for all by the end of this post.


      I'm 33years old, maried for 3 years, no kids, civil engeneer and architect.
      I have always been crazy about math/numbers and a member of MENSA.

      i start playing poker 2 years ago. having fun with freerolls playing 1 MTT / week, shipping a freeroll, then busting on the cashtables, shipping a freeroll, then busting on the cashtabels (playing NL200 with NO clue at all what poker was).

      Adiction In the past I have been a hardcore adict to slotmachienes when i was a student. getting myself more and more in trouble, selling my books of univercity to pay for my adiction, lying to get $ from my parents, inventing stories, going deeper and deeper, start owning $$ to people who you don't want too etc... untill i hit rockbottem. My parents where my lifesavers, payed off all my debts, and took me into there house, where i started playing Diablo II hardcore style. 16h/day. i was a total mess. The day i met my current wife, she made me promise that i would never gamble again. i banned myself from every gambling place and have been gamble-free for 9 years now. after a 2 year stop, i started univercity again and got my degree

      Even though never going to a gamblinghall/casino again was pritty easy, i always wondered myself, if i was really cured. maybe practically i wasn't gambling, but was i mentally stronger. Like a alcoholic, if you would put a bottle of vodka in front of me, would i be able to controle myself...

      I wanted to test this, in a safe environment, so i came up with the idea of starting with a pokeraccount on partypoker with 50$ from PS and see if i could stand a year without depositing. my wife would get full controle of my BR / deposit to make sure i didnt spend any money.. as i gave myself 20% chance to make it... i was scared as hell for what i might do.
      after 1 week i a was bust and I played on this site for a year without depositing, and it made me very proud. After a year, my first goal was a succes, and i was ready to stop playing poker. (as my goal was not to win money as 99% of the players). Im earning more then avg with my dayjob and had no need to find a extra income.

      After joining this forum, and when there was no freerolls available i started reading.. blogs, articles, etc.. and i realised how much math was in the game, and that i might have a natural aptitude for playing poker. i was a math wiz kid, with fast mouse clicking skills and a pritty good deduction, so on 1/1/2010 when pokerstars wanted to beat the world record of most players in a online tournament, a friend gave me 1$ (the BI) no strings atached. I made a mincash in it, won 2$, gave 1$ back to my friend, and that was it. my first dolar on pokerstars.

      Fergusson challenge
      after googling on what my options would be, i came across chriss fergusson's challenge of going from 0$ to 10000$. It inspired me and descided to do the same thing. i had no idea if i could ever make it, but the plan was to try and enjoy the trip till the 10k mark.

      on 1/1/2011 i got my first 1000$ on my bankrollbehaald ( i love round numbers).
      What do i play: only STT sng's. (accasionally i play some 45'man sng's, mtt's) but 99% of my games are sng, because the game dynamics of a tournament is much more fun then the continously grind of a cashgame. I love the different tight / lose styles you need to be able to learn to be good at them.

      As im a ex- gambling addict, i use one of the most nitty BRM on the forums.
      200BI for regular sng's. Some might argue that this will slow my progress, but $$ is not ony of my goals at the moment, and i see this challenge as a long term marathon , rather then a ROI-bragging-sprint. I alsi have a very short fuse, a very tilting mentality and i get very angry from beats. wich are my bottleneck and my weak points. So my BRM is there to protect my from my worst qualities.

      Also i dont move up when i have 200BI. I only move up, if i beat a certain limiet over a descent sample ( minimum is 1000 sng's) and a ROI that is higher then 5%.

      I played these games in this order:
      - started with 1$ DON's, because of the low variance
      - 1$ STT regular (my maingame i wanted to become good at)
      - 1$ sng 45man (because of the high ROI possible)
      - 3$ STT KO's
      - 6$ STT turbo's
      - 6$ STT KO's
      - 11$ STT regulars

      The bold games where my maingame, where i played 1k sample with 5% + roi before moving up.

      On my other blog in the NL comunity, i have always been very open about my strategy. I love to write articles every month about something i learned. Some might think its bad to write strategy in a blog, because people might exploit it... well i doubt someone is going to read my whole blog to know my leaks and exploit them. I play with sngwiz very often, ive been learning with icm trainer untill i managed to get 98% over a good sample, and sometimes even did 10.000 icm execercises in a weekend. I try to comment on every SNG handjudging post's, so i can compare with the judges if my way of thinking is correct.

      Currently im with 2 other guys playing a sng challenge where we want to get 2.5k profit in 2 months. We have setup a skype channel en we rail/discuss/grind like crazy and hope to improve our game. The worst player of the week, has to give free coaching to a microstake player.

      My biggest cash ever was winning a 45man 6.50$ sng.... once i made 3figure ship (180$ or something in the BOTP bonus), but thats it. im not the BIG hit wonder, but more the slow nitty solid grinder.

      The challenge is now going on for 15 months and my BR is @ 2500$. Im making profit at the 11's, and hoping to get to the 22's as soon as i feel comfortable. i play around 750 sng/ month (sets of 16sng's) wich is much for a recreational player, and knowing i started with 1 table at a time at the 0.10c to startwith, i came a long way.


      My problem:

      There arent many sng players on the NL comunity and 90% of them are playing the 1$-3$ sng's, so its hard to improve your game. with my 2 sng buddy's Nagger and Samni, we do our best to improve eachothers game but we are getting stuck @ running slight above breakeven at the 11's and getting most of our profit from rakeback.

      At the moment im running at 5% roi on the 11's, wich is to low for my goal.
      10% at least and 15% would be my personal goal, before moving up.

      My biggest problem is my finish distribution.

      @ 11's

      @ all stakes

      I'm getting pritty clueless on how to improve this to the normal 1>2>3>4... FD.
      i just play the hands that are playable, and take on every +EV spot on that i can find, and go into -ev pushes/calls when im at 6bb or lower.

      I know the english forum has some of the Greatest sng minds around , and i was hoping someone that is very good in HEM stats analysing or railing, could point me out on how to improve my finish distribution.

      At the moment i have a friend (BBS cashgame coach, that is improving my postflop play skills), and im pritty confident my ICM pushes/calls are solid. (
      last time i checked i had 94% correct pushe/calls and 96% correct folds) so im not to tight or to loose.

      Im hoping that my blog will inspire others to play sng, and my personal storry will inspire other players , and i'm hoping to get back some friendly help from better sng players to improve my sng skills and show me my leaks.

      my NL (dutch not no limit) blog:

      (yes i'm known for my epic threadsavers) :f_biggrin:

      I have skype, mikogo, teamviewer, headset, HEM, sngwiz, TN all ready and im hoping this blog will inspire some better players to contact me and do some HEM stats checking or railing or that allow me to rail some of there sng sessions.


      Boku: 4 his epic grinding skills
      <3: because i love his blog and his epicness in sng's
      PRTZ6666: because he is the best regular at my current stakes and he inspires me to get better and better untill i get the same ROI as him.
  • 5 replies
    • xJCzZ
      Joined: 08.11.2009 Posts: 320
      truly hooked, congrats and goodluck, can't wait for updates
    • solartje
      Joined: 17.03.2009 Posts: 10,273
      thanks :) ill do my best to come over to the ENG side more often, and update on the progress.

      In case anybody feels like looking how my sng game is.
      ive uploaded a set of today. Ive been more agresive then general. After looking at a vid of shenney, i think i was starting to miss some ATC steal spots again, so in this set I tried to push in every ATC spot i could find, because this might be the reason of my bad finish distribution.

      result was: 42% ITM (5/14 ITM and 5x 3th) and -28% ROI *facepalm*

      HH zip file

      feel free to comment. (even if its in general about agression, resteal tighter/loser, or whatever.)

      I did a review myself in sngwiz, and i think that playing a totally opposite style (VERY agresive on the SB/BU with steals and BB resteals), reviewen and then tuning back to somewhere in between might be a very smart idea.

      my first impression is that in the agro session my sb steals where good, but my CO steals where too loose, compared to before where both where too tight on the SB as the BU.

      Ill try some sets tomorow with a 60% stealrange on the BU and ATC stealrange on the SB (where apropriate), put my BB restealrange to 88+/AJ+ and see what that gives me.
    • solartje
      Joined: 17.03.2009 Posts: 10,273
      I had 3 very good sng players review this Agro experiment HH, and i got ALOT of good info on it. They all sayed i had a very solid basic game with not much improvement left, but i do make some small mistakes wich cost me alot of roi. By thinking to much of pushingranges en charts, rather then understanding the gamedynamics when a SB is not a ATC push, im losing some roi.

      I had 2 mistakes on avg for each sng, and only two where perfect. Most errors could be categorised into 4 type of errors. 3 of them are easy to implement. for example. with <15BB UTG, push instead of raising. (i started my P/F in EP from <13bb and in LP from <15bb.)

      Some hands where OVER agresive (wich i thought so too), but it was helpfull to understand what hans exactly and why. Ill now have to decrease the agression untill i hit that sweet spot. Very good experiment for naturally tight players, to play some sets very agresive and then downgrade it.
    • Demonic226
      Joined: 22.10.2010 Posts: 1,461
      Nice blog, good to see another fellow Dutch guy on here. For me it's the opposite, I have never been active in the NL part of PS.

      Anyway, nice challenge you got going there.

      I myself play turbo SNG's at the $36s and $60s, feel free to shoot me a PM if you want to get in contact (you can also take a look at my blog if you want).

      As for your finish distribution, usually it's better to look at individual hands rather than to look at the stats.
    • solartje
      Joined: 17.03.2009 Posts: 10,273
      hi all, been some time, so time for a update.

      took a grinding break of 1 week after a masive downswing. my biggest ever in 5000sng's. i dropped a good 45BI and was running worse then bad. still finished the month with profits as i had played all month @ 15% ROI, but the swing was very bad for my mental attitude.
      I needed a break to find some confidence and reduce my tiltinduce, so for 1week i havent played a single sng, and started to concentrate on improving my game and analsying my game 5hours each day.

      - in the early game i have checked for each position, wich hands are giving me profit and wich hands are giving me losses. This gives me my maximum range i can play. I had a openingrange, but never bothered to check if that range was ok for my BI level and my postflop skills.
      The better your postflop games become, the more hands you can open. as more hands , also mean more marginal hands, you need to be very good at postflop play, as these hands have a high reverse implied odds. I was playing the same range as players with better postflop skills, wich ment that instead of increasing my profits i was losing more money. I just didnt had the skills to backup a bigger range.

      I made a chart for every blindlevel, with all the opening hands that gave me profit. From that list, i removed the hands that are giving me only marginal profits and not helping me significantly to get with a bigger stack to the bubble, but only increase the risks. The results is my new base Starting hand chart. Ofcourse depending on the table and players, i will sometimes fold a hand, that on other tables i could open. Its just been helpfull to analyse my profits of each hand on each level, so i can trust my openrange 100%.

      - After that i checked wich hands had an abnormal deviation of bb/100 won for its strenght, and i found one big leak. Not only was i making less chips with AQs then with AJs, i was losing money with AQo and AQs. I was :f_eek: when i saw that. Started to analyse all the AQ hands, and found i was overplaying them and not folding to 3bets preflop and reraises postflop.

      - After that i checked what my avg bb/100 was from all positions for each level, and i wasn't making my profit there either. 0-2 bb/100 on each level , lower then 100/200 (after that i was making correct profits from my lategame). SO for each level , i analysed the bb/100 from each position, and eventhough i was increasing my stacks from all positions UTG till BU @ 10-20bb/100, i was losing it all on the blinds. so i had a leak there too.

      I checked what my bb/100 would be if i folded every hand and got these stats:

      sb: -50bb/100
      bb: -80bb/100 (freeplays included).

      with the hands i played, i had:
      sb: - 35bb/100
      bb: - 40bb/100

      It would logic that if you add the hands you do play, (like 40bb/100 for each position), it should look something in the lines of:
      sb: 0bb/100
      bb: -40 bb/100

      witch is a MASIVE difference. especially the SB loses are way to high, and started analysing these hands to find a leak there. my problem there, was that if i made a steal from the sb and the bb called, i continued to play my hand to agresive postflop as i always thought... he's on the bb, and his range is wide, but as im playing the hand OOP till the SD, and he already showed strength by calling my sb raise, i was spewing chips there.

      - I have watched many 11$ sng vid's and especially the early game to see if my openranges and callranges where ok, compared to what the vid producers tell and i think it should be ok now.

      I did a simulation to see what the results would be if i removed my SB and my AQo/AQs leak , and i should improve my overal bb/100 for each level from 0-2bb/100 to a good 8-10bb/100 wich is much more in the line of what you would expect from a solid player. This will also improve my avg stack size on the 4-5man bubble stage, wich means more FE, more succesfull steals, high stack itm and improving my finish distribution.

      Im curieus about the next month and the improvements this one week study will have on my results. Next month i will make a checkup in HEM of all the stats to see if the improvement is enough and if my leaks are gone , or if it still needs some adjustments.

      goals: going from beating the 11's sng's to crushing the 11's sng. (im hoping to get a consistent 10-15% roi over a good sample (1k or 2k). I have the BR to move up to the 22's already, but not the game to back it up. So now its all about getting better, instead of increasying my BR.