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SNG Break-Even calculations

    • VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 10,491
      Since I can't play on FT anymore, I switched to Party, because that account is also tracked.

      Until now, I played mainly cash games, NL10, and have a positive winrate.
      I'm trying to clear a bonus, though, and I can handle only about 4 tables, and at NL10, it takes about two hours of play to generate 8 Party points.

      If I play $3 SnGs, though, I get 1.2 pts each, they take about 1/2 hour each, and playing 4 at a time, I play roughly 16 SnGs in the same time, for more than double the points.

      So I did some math, and to break even (ROI = exactly 0)
      I need ITM%:
      38% for $3  SnGs
      36% for $6  SnGs
      33% for $11 SnGs

      This assumes that I get an equal number of 1st, 2nd & 3rd place finishes.

      Does this make sense?

      It really surprised me that the $11 SnGs have EXACTLY the same fee as the $6 ones.
      so the rake % for the $6.00 is 20%, where as the $11 the rake is now only 10%

      Are they much tougher to win?

      What are the BRM rules for SnGs? I'm not sure if I'm rolled for either of them.
      Is there a BRM article specifically for SnGs? I found one for MTTs, but that doesn't really apply here.

      Last question:
      Double-or-Nothing SnGs: Good deal, or sucker bait?
  • 1 reply
    • pzhon
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Yes, you need a much larger advantage to make back a 20% rake than to make back a 10% rake. When I last checked, the play was significantly worse in the $5+$1 SNGs than the $10+$1 SNGs, but the difference in rake might mean it is easier to beat the $10+$1s.

      There is a simple consistent bankroll rule which applies to cash games, SNGs, and MTTs:

      bankroll = comfort * standard deviation^2 / win rate.

      Comfort depends on your personal risk tolerance and your ability/willingness to move down in stakes when you hit a bad streak. Most people find a comfort level of 2 to be aggressive, and a comfort level of 4 to be conservative.

      The standard deviation in a STT primarily depends on the prize structure, not your playing style. In a 9-player STT with a 50-30-20 prize structure, the standard deviation is about 1.5 buy-ins per tournament, or 150% of a buy-in.

      You should measure your win rate in the same units as the standard deviation. Note that if your win rate is cut in half, then the bankroll you need for the same level of comfort doubles.

      For example, suppose you choose a comfort level of 3, and your ROI is 10%. Your target bankroll is 3 * (1.5 ^ 2) / 0.1 = 67.5 buy-ins.

      If your bankroll drops below your target, that doesn't mean you should stop playing, but when your bankroll falls below half of this level, you might view play as damaging to your bankroll. Of course, when you start out, your balance might be much smaller than your bankroll, and losing your entire balance on one site is an inconvenience, not a disaster.

      Whether Double-or-Nothing SNGs are good depends on the blind schedule and your skill. The bubble is much more extreme than in a 50-30-20 structure. Be careful that this form of tournament is particularly vulnerable to collusion, and large collusion rings were discovered in high stakes DoN SNGs on PokerStars.