Sitting out

    • wategun7
      wategun7
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 66
      So far in my experience of playing 9man SNGs it seems that sitting out with a reasonable amount of chips is not too bad near the bubble. :f_biggrin:

      Of the 4 times that my internet crashed, near the bubble I finished itm with 4 people left having a big/midstack (at best shared lead with someone else). In 2 cases I came 2nd. I did some calculations and found that third place equity was similar to my icm at the time of internet failure, but 2nd place was much higher equity than I'm expected to get. :f_confused:

      There were also times when someone else sat out. One game we had 3 equalish stacks and a tiny stack, and one of the big stacks sat out. We all had about 13bbs each and the small stack had 2. I pushed in the small blind with 99 against the other big stack who had 15bbs and called with A7s (my push was correct, his call was terrible)- and of course I lost. This was especially interesting since a big stack sat out, and we had a small stack as well. The problem is I am so sure to be itm, that I think it is wrong for me to push 99 if the big blind spite calls with atc (stack sizes me 13, then 15, 15 and 2). He might have thought I was pushing atc, so maybe his call is correct on that assumption? ?(

      I think that sitting out makes people attack your blinds more, and they clash more as well. And at the low limits, people call shoves far to wide, so if you sit out, the other players "co-operate" with you and try to knock each other out. So as long as you are not in too much danger of blinding out immediately, could sitting out be +EV?????

      Is there any interesting articles/videos about strategy when someone sits out? I play 6.5s btw, and would imagine higher up people play much better when this happens.
  • 18 replies
    • dydukas
      dydukas
      Platinum
      Joined: 01.05.2009 Posts: 1,271
      I don't think you should ever sit out.

      As the chip leader you can exploit the bubble which gives you drastic +EV values.
      When you're middle stack, you can't do much but nonetheless you can still catch monster hands preflop which may lead you to chip leading.
      When shortstacked there will be always many opportunities when you have to push for tournament life.

      All that combined in the long run benefits greatly more than just sitting out, no matter how bad the opponents are.
    • gp00053
      gp00053
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2010 Posts: 154
      Originally posted by dydukas
      I don't think you should ever sit out.

      As the chip leader you can exploit the bubble which gives you drastic +EV values.
      When you're middle stack, you can't do much but nonetheless you can still catch monster hands preflop which may lead you to chip leading.
      When shortstacked there will be always many opportunities when you have to push for tournament life.

      All that combined in the long run benefits greatly more than just sitting out, no matter how bad the opponents are.
      Nothing to add except I agree 100%
    • wategun7
      wategun7
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 66
      Yeah I know that playing is strictly better than just folding all hands- if other players use the same strategy. However, at the lowstakes I find that if you sit out you gain some additional equity in that other players are more willing to shove/call shoves.

      Obviously playing instead of sitting out should be strictly better, but mathematically, given certain opposition, it isn't necessarily trivially obvious. For example as a midstack it is entirely possible you end up +EV shoving BvB against a shortstack etc etc and then end up as the bubble boy... But so far I have always finished itm when sitting out. You do sacrifice the fact that you will never finish first however.

      Sitting out is not the same as folding all hands- since your opponents know you are sitting out and their strategies change in your favour.

      This is just a fun topic I was thinking about, and obviously I'm not going to sit out on purpose, ever... Although so far of the games I sat out (sample size), I have done better than $EV at the time of sitting out...
    • Jan217
      Jan217
      Bronze
      Joined: 02.01.2009 Posts: 626
      if people call/shove too much just play tighter than nash, no need to fold AA.
    • gp00053
      gp00053
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2010 Posts: 154
      Originally posted by wategun7
      However, at the lowstakes I find that if you sit out you gain some additional equity in that other players are more willing to shove/call shoves.

      I'm not going to sit out on purpose, ever... Although so far of the games I sat out (sample size), I have done better than $EV at the time of sitting out...
      If you are talking about playing tight and observing how other players at your table are playing, that's different than clicking sit out next hand and every hand thereafter and go have a sandwich then come back in 20 minues.

      I think the best way to go is on a hand by hand situation by situation basis. The goal being earning the most long term. If there are a couple of players at my table being very active with each other or even the other players at the table, I'll tighten up and let them knock each other out. If I'm on the bubble or even 1 away and the table is loose, depending on the situation I will sit out. I folded QQ in that situation because 1 stack shoved I stack called and there was someone with 4bb Like everything in poker I gues it depends on the situation
    • wategun7
      wategun7
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 66
      Originally posted by Jan217
      if people call/shove too much just play tighter than nash, no need to fold AA.
      I'm not sure if you understand my point... the whole thing is that telling your opponents that you will be folding all hands makes them more aggressive hence giving you additional equity. Obviously I would think folding AA in a sng is almost always a mistake (maybe some absurd example of you having 1 chip and the other 3 players are already all in- then you should fold atc).

      Does anyone see my point? I personally don't actually think it's +EV to be sitting out anyway, but I found that you would generally gain some equity (at lower stakes anyway)- and it's an interesting idea at least (imo).

      Here is something with a similar idea- say there are 3 people playing minority voting- each person chooses A or B. Then which ever choice has only 1 vote wins (or if 3 people vote the same then they play again). Obviously the voting is anonymous etc.

      If I were to play this game, I would try to vote immediately and show to everyone that I have voted A (or B). Now if spite voting doesn't exist, and the other 2 players don't cooperate and want to maximize their winning chances, then they are faced with a dilemma. If either of them vote A then they cannot win- so votiing B is, in this sense, optimal for both of them and I would win.

      I'm not sure if the people who replied my original post understand my point and are just saying that the equity gained in this way is not enough to sacrifice the equity lost by folding out all hands... But anyway I hope this clears my intentions up.

      imo at the micro stakes against bad players this might actually be true in some cases- i.e. that sitting out is +EV. I can certainly construct examples where sitting out is better by giving 3 villains certain strategies (and their changes when you sit out)- at least theoretically.
    • wategun7
      wategun7
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 66
      Originally posted by gp00053
      Originally posted by wategun7
      However, at the lowstakes I find that if you sit out you gain some additional equity in that other players are more willing to shove/call shoves.

      I'm not going to sit out on purpose, ever... Although so far of the games I sat out (sample size), I have done better than $EV at the time of sitting out...
      If you are talking about playing tight and observing how other players at your table are playing, that's different than clicking sit out next hand and every hand thereafter and go have a sandwich then come back in 20 minues.

      I think the best way to go is on a hand by hand situation by situation basis. The goal being earning the most long term. If there are a couple of players at my table being very active with each other or even the other players at the table, I'll tighten up and let them knock each other out. If I'm on the bubble or even 1 away and the table is loose, depending on the situation I will sit out. I folded QQ in that situation because 1 stack shoved I stack called and there was someone with 4bb Like everything in poker I gues it depends on the situation
      Yeah I agree with this- but I'm talking about the equity you gain when your opponents change their strategy knowing that you are sitting out.

      It is a valid point, at least theoretically (and of the games I sat out in, seems to be verified so far).
    • wategun7
      wategun7
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 66
      Originally posted by wategun7
      Originally posted by Jan217
      if people call/shove too much just play tighter than nash, no need to fold AA.
      I'm not sure if you understand my point... the whole thing is that telling your opponents that you will be folding all hands makes them more aggressive hence giving you additional equity. Obviously I would think folding AA in a sng is almost always a mistake (maybe some absurd example of you having 1 chip and the other 3 players are already all in- then you should fold atc).

      Does anyone see my point? I personally don't actually think it's +EV to be sitting out anyway, but I found that you would generally gain some equity (at lower stakes anyway)- and it's an interesting idea at least (imo).

      Here is something with a similar idea- say there are 3 people playing minority voting- each person chooses A or B. Then which ever choice has only 1 vote wins (or if 3 people vote the same then they play again). Obviously the voting is anonymous etc.

      If I were to play this game, I would try to vote immediately and show to everyone that I have voted A (or B). Now if spite voting doesn't exist, and the other 2 players don't cooperate and want to maximize their winning chances, then they are faced with a dilemma. If either of them vote A then they cannot win- so votiing B is, in this sense, optimal for both of them and I would win.

      I'm not sure if the people who replied my original post understand my point and are just saying that the equity gained in this way is not enough to sacrifice the equity lost by folding out all hands... But anyway I hope this clears my intentions up.

      imo at the micro stakes against bad players this might actually be true in some cases- i.e. that sitting out is +EV. I can certainly construct examples where sitting out is better by giving 3 villains certain strategies (and their changes when you sit out)- at least theoretically.
      Obviously in the minority voting game- if the 2 remaining players have any brain they would vote as soon as possible and declare that they have voted B. So in effect the first 2 people to declared their hand carve up the equity the third person has in the game and improve theirs from 33% to 50%.

      In poker it is very different- but the same idea does exist. Another point is that although I have gained higher than EV the times I have sat out, maybe it is the case that the players are bad regardless, and I would have had a bigger edge by playing my cards anyway. But all in all- imo this is something quite interesting.
    • UXMALAGA
      UXMALAGA
      Bronze
      Joined: 21.12.2010 Posts: 362
      Never Sit Out,
    • gp00053
      gp00053
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2010 Posts: 154
      [quote][i]I'm not sure if the people who replied my original post understand my point
      imo at the micro stakes against bad players this might actually be true in some cases- i.e. that sitting out is +EV. I can certainly construct examples where sitting out is better by giving 3 villains certain strategies (and their changes when you sit out)- at least theoretically.[/quote]I got ya. You mean somthing like this. You make a play and some lame says in the chat box "You idiot, how could you make that call? I come back with . ??? What's wrong with it? I know I'm new to this but I think this was a good hand. I saw Daniel Negrannu play the same hand on TV. It always amazed me at micro and even low stakes and to tell you honestly mid stakes, the amount of players who went for that and then started to tell you what you should be doing and not, and focusing more on your game than their own. Again it all depends on the situation. I watched this guy have the away sign on when he was in the bb and as soon as somone raised he 3bet them. Like I say when things like that work; people call you a brilliant :s_biggrin: , when it doesn't they call you an idiot :f_grin:
    • wategun7
      wategun7
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 66
      Meh yeah dirty tricks like that are similar to what I was talking about.

      I'm a mathematician by nature and was just interested in how the game changes when all players know that one is sitting out...

      e.g. if stack sizes are low enough, and all 3 players have similar stack sizes (and as long as the one sitting out isn't a huge chip leader- so that he won't take too long to blind out)- then maybe the nash equilibrium optimal play is for the first one to act to shove atc as the others can't call with a wide enough range.

      What i found is that people at the lower stakes at least tend to over estimate this effect, and play too aggressively, giving the person sitting out a lot of additional equity (which, if they played normally as before would be close to 0).
    • gp00053
      gp00053
      Bronze
      Joined: 27.12.2010 Posts: 154
      Originally posted by wategun7
      Meh yeah dirty tricks like that are similar to what I was talking about.
      "Dirty Tricks" to the uneducated mind :f_mad: An edge to the educated one :s_biggrin:
    • wategun7
      wategun7
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 66
      you mean like an online angle shoot :f_grin:

      I remember I used to play freerolls for fun and shove atc first 2 hands... It's amazing how these people try to tell me how to play properly :s_cool: . It just made me lol so much (especially some of the reasons they give).

      Once I just said that my utility is convex in the beginning of freerolls since I would rather have a small chance of quadrupling up early to have a big chance to cash, than play properly and get a higher itm%, but waste a lot of time most of the time when I don't. :s_biggrin:
    • wategun7
      wategun7
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 66
      I wouldn't think that sort of thing works at higher stakes though- I thought most players would just turn their chat off, or are multitabling so much that they can't really use it...
    • Anssi
      Anssi
      Black
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 2,173
      You'll never get walks though.
    • Anssi
      Anssi
      Black
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 2,173
      EDIT: Feel free to delete, double-post.
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      I'm glad that sitting out worked out that time, but in my experience you usually lose a lot of equity by sitting out near the bubble. I think you may be suffering from the confirmation bias. You are ignoring most of the costs and remembering the occasional benefits.

      In theory, it is possible that players could go crazy when there is a player sitting out, leading to more collisions which could benefit the player sitting out by enough to make up for the cost of sitting out. I don't think that happens in practice. As Anssi points out, you will more rarely get walks while sitting out. Some players will push more often, but sometimes the opposite happens. Many opponents will check hands down to cooperate to knock out the player who is sitting out. Players tend to call with a tighter range than normal when there is a player sitting out. When you are sitting out, you can't take advantage of another player who is sits out.

      In order for someone to gain from sitting out, the average effect on his opponents must be negative. If you see an opponent sit out, do you feel like complaining? Well, maybe you feel you play better than average. If you were backing a new player, and you see an opponent sit out, do you feel that helps the player you are backing? I think it would be very rare for you to feel bad about seeing someone sit out, and that it isn't bad for the player's opponents. So, on average it isn't good to sit out.

      Historically, just after SNGs started, people played low stakes SNGs so badly that you could sit out and coast into the money. You could do even better by not sitting out, of course. This matters because so much of the old advice about SNGs, such as ultra-tight early play, is based on those games. However, sitting out from the start of the tournament only works in play chip games now, and maybe an occasional $0.10 SNG. (Play chip players actually complain that sitting out is an unfair tactic, and it's a way some people accumulate play chips, so some sites limit the number of play chip SNGs you can play at once.) If you try it in $1 SNGs, you will occasionally cash, but not nearly often enough to pay for the buy-in.

      Your opponent's call with A7s would be bad ordinarily (but there is a huge difference between calling a 13 bb push with a 15 bb stack rather than another 13 bb stack). It may be better here if he puts you on a random hand. The reason is that losing to you would cripple him, but he is much more likely to make it into the money with only 2 bb because the other short stack would be sitting out. So, getting crippled to 2 bb is not as bad as it would be normally. Maybe he would have closer to 15% equity instead of 12% after losing, which means he should be much less risk-averse.
    • wategun7
      wategun7
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.10.2010 Posts: 66
      Yeah that is what I thought as well- maybe when I sat out they had KK vs AA or some other similar cooler... Interesting that you used to be able to finish itm by sitting out!

      I of course never sit out on purpose (except once during a satelite and i was the overwhelming chip leader)... But interesting discussion nontheless.