SnG, a poker game for noobs?

    • CHARMANDER06
      CHARMANDER06
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      Joined: 06.08.2010 Posts: 301
      Hey guys, I am a SnG player and have been running very well lately at + 25Buy ins. However, I have only started having succes when I stopped playing post flop.. (or almost).

      So basically I dont even need the raise button when I play SnGs.. I only need to push or fold much like ICM trainer which I have mastered. I can run 100% in ICM trainer for 400+ hands.. (played it for hours and hours and hours.. loll :P ). This leads to the following question: is SNG simply a game for the noobs of poker? It it simply a question of good ICM calls.. if so I dont feel very statisfied even if I am a winning SnG player.. feels soo robotic

      Also, My post flop play is horrible (compared to any cash gam grinders) and I always lose money when I play cash games.. should I work on my post flop play playing cash games.. or is it not important to learn how to play post flop if I only plan on playing SnGs.. (lol..)

      Thanks for your insight!!
  • 10 replies
    • Hlynkinn
      Hlynkinn
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      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      your serious?

      bunch of postflop play in sng's.. although ICM might be slightly more important...

      But there is also lot more to do in late stages than just push or fold..

      so yea... you've got buuuuuuunch to learn trust me :P
    • pzhon
      pzhon
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      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      It is true that SNGs are a good form of poker for beginners who are learning to play winning poker. However, this does not mean beginners master SNGs quickly. It means beginners can learn to survive, and to get an advantage large enough to make back the rake relatively quickly. While you are running well, you might want it to be true that anyone who masters a few simple ideas will expect that level of success, but there is a lot to learn, and even experts see some long break-even stretches.

      The ROI you get by ignoring postflop play, and by playing only the GTO strategy used to be high, particlularly when there weren't helpful tools like ICM Trainer and the Nash calculator. However, GTO play doesn't give you a great ROI now. Ignoring early levels and postflop play is a mistake which means you give up on many good opportunities. While you get an advantage over typical opponents by playing GTO push/fold, you can get a larger advantage by adjusting to how people actually play.

      You have to deal with players who don't play push/fold, e.g., someone limps in on your big blind. Then what? Fold preflop? Give them credit for aces? Push for 30 big blinds at a 2 bb pot? None of these are as good as playing poker normally, which sometimes means checking to see a flop, then evaluating your hand and your opponent's range.
    • Navrark
      Navrark
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      Joined: 27.01.2010 Posts: 313
      I have found that scoring 100% in ICM Trainer doesn't help me to win SNGs at higher stakes $6-$11 buy-ins. Sure, it's adequate for playing the donks in $1 buy-in games, but higher than that I have trouble.

      Try SNGWiz and see how you fair. I only managed about 80% in SNGWiz. It provides a lot more scenarios that ICM Trainer does not. ICM Trainer only seems to show you as a smaller stack or a larger stack. It doesn't really cover what happens when you are the 2nd largest stack pushing into the big stack, or when you are in the Big Blind and should you call someone who pushes with only $400 chips when the Big Blind is $250 chips, or what if you are the 3rd largest stack, etc.. Maybe you have a better mental understanding of ICM then I have though...
    • DocBrown112
      DocBrown112
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      Joined: 14.04.2009 Posts: 57
      Still learning to play, I find this very interesting.

      The pushbot discussion is very relevant I think, because you need more weapons than push/fold and the ICM trainer I see more as an eye opener to how wide you can actually push, but what it doesn't take into consideration is the reads and table dynamics which I believe also play a major part. I am still learning to push wide enough, not really there yet when it comes to restealing, and I think the more subtle aspects is much more important to success than ICM dictates.

      Being a noob myself, I would appreciate it if SNGs actually were a place for me, but that is not my experience. People call much more frequently than they should (in terms of ICM) and push/fold requires a decent amount of folds to be profitable, at least that's my understanding.

      pzhon mentions that you cannot ignore early levels and postflop poker, and I am curious to what is meant by early levels, in terms of what kind of hands should be pursued or how tight should you play. Standard strategy is to play VERY tight until around 100/50 - do you suggest to play more loose and try to catch the board with a small pair or suited connectors?

      Best regards
      DocBrown112
    • evertonroar
      evertonroar
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      Joined: 26.06.2009 Posts: 737
      somehow i dont think <3 is a noob
    • pzhon
      pzhon
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      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Originally posted by DocBrown112
      pzhon mentions that you cannot ignore early levels and postflop poker, and I am curious to what is meant by early levels, in terms of what kind of hands should be pursued or how tight should you play. Standard strategy is to play VERY tight until around 100/50 - do you suggest to play more loose and try to catch the board with a small pair or suited connectors?
      The strategy of playing very tightly in early levels is a survival strategy. It is not supposed to be optimal. It is supposed to get new players to a part of the game they have studied, preventing them from making some terrible plays in early levels in case they have no idea how to read strength, size bets, etc.

      Again, ultra-tight play is not the ideal, and the biggest winners are not as tight in early levels as beginners are taught to be. As you gain more skill, you can play better postflop, so more hands should be profitable for someone with postflop skills than a beginner. My analysis of SNGs played by several winning players showed that overly tight players were losing 2-4% of a buy-in in early levels compared with the players with the highest ROIs.

      Small pairs and suited connectors are more powerful when the effective stack depth is 120-150 bb. You are almost never that deep in SNGs (and you need your likely opponent to have that much, too). When you have 40 BB, you generally aim for top pair hands in raised pots. If you are used to folding AJo in late position after a limper or two in early levels, reconsider that habit. The limpers could be trapping with AA, but it's much more likely that they have some hand like Q7s they think looks nice. You are way ahead of their range, and you have position. Unless you feel these limpers have a large skill advantage over you, AJo is much too good to fold.
    • CHARMANDER06
      CHARMANDER06
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.08.2010 Posts: 301
      Thanks for the insight pzhon! Do you recommend I start learning how to play cash games in order to improve my postflop play or is it possible to become a good post flop player uniquely through SnG experience. This, of course, is considering the fact that in a cash game I would play a lot more hands with 40BB in one session then I would in SNG. Hence, learning faster.


      Thanks!
    • DocBrown112
      DocBrown112
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.04.2009 Posts: 57
      Thanks for the eloboration phzon.

      I am allready playing most pairs, suited connectors and AT+ and I can tell I need to be more position aware and stack aware. I used to play Axs but I am cutting back on that unless it's very early. I far too often forget why I like to play them, and that can be very costly. Two pairs and top pair can also be dangerous when playing suited connectors, so I try to avoid investing too much in those kind of hands.

      In terms of whether SNGs or Cash Games are best for learning I don't know for sure, but in terms of control I prefer SNGs and MTTs. That is probably saying more about one of my leaks than anything else, but I also think there is often a great deal of post flop play in SNGs too and you can win nice pots by suggesting you hit something the other guy fear. It's hard due to the abundant number of calling stations, so you must evaluate each opponent.

      Best regards
      DocBrown112
    • deVall3y
      deVall3y
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      Joined: 06.01.2009 Posts: 554
      I'd say the game gets very complicated when playing with a lot of regs. a lot of steals and resteals, adjustments to push ranges, etc... you also need to play good postlfop game vs the fish to maximize profit not to mention vs the regs.
      in the lower limits you can definitely can get away with just pushbotting and make decent roi though
    • pzhon
      pzhon
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      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      If you come to SNGs with a cash game experience, you can still use your postflop abilities. Many cash game players are told they have to be ridiculously tight in early levels, and that's advice aimed at those who are not used to playing postflop.

      If you want to be the best SNG player possible, cash games can be a good exercise. So can playing HUSNGs. These will help you to focus on that part of the game. However, you can also learn about these parts of the game while only playing SNGs. You get enough experience from SNGs. Learning to play SNGs can be a good introduction to cash games, MTTs, satellites, and HU play.