Sng Strategy Questions

    • Michael2345
      Joined: 31.07.2010 Posts: 74
      Hi everyone,

      So right now I just started playing online again. I got up to playing the 12 dollar sng's a couple years ago and right now I'm starting up again and hoping to continue even higher this time. I also play in a home league where there's about 18 players per night. The top 8 receive points each week and the top 4 receive money on a percentage similar to that on the pokerstars 18 man payout structure. I have a few questions that I've run into both live and online:

      Live: I was dealt AQh in the bb 6 players left and I'm the short stack with about 10 bb's everyone else is about midstack with a couple big stacks. UTG who I noticed has been playing very tight open raised for about 4x. He's not the nittiest player ever but I know for sure he's playing a tight game but I've played with him before and seen him reshove less than premium hands. The sb (a pretty good aggressive player that's selective about his calling range) calls and then it got to me. I thought it was a pretty close spot and I know according to the basic hand chart or ICM it's probably a push which is what I did but I'm wondering what everyone else thinks is the right play in this spot.

      Another close spot I got into was when the aggressive player to my right raised utg after he's been opening a lot of pots but I know he's been getting some pretty good hands so he hasn't gotten too out of line. I had AJh utg+1 and decided to call with about just over 20 bbs. I don't like just calling with this stack size because I don't have the initiative in the hand but I feel like if I shove I will only get called by better and just over 20 bbs is a lot to risk with AJh. Players and coaches thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

      Also, when I'm under 10bbs I find it hard to know when to shove hands that a pretty good and likely to be the best hand but according to ICM I may have to fold based on stack sizes. Like if I have 33 on the button with about 10bbs, the sb (bigstack) has the chip lead with about 15bbs, and the bb has about 4 bbs. I'm thinking it's a shove but if the bigstack calls I know I'm done and I know you can gain a lot of equity in less than stellar games by avoiding confrontation.

      Same with another spot where it was folded to me in the sb with 107d with about 7bbs. I know I could probably push pretty wide against the bb because it was a really tight player but all stacks were fairly close so it's tough to risk your tournament on 10 high and can obviously get better hands and better spots. Thoughts on this situation?

      Online: I'm doing pretty well in the 9 man sng's online playing a basic beginner abc tight strategy. The only times I run into problems are when I face good tight regulars as well cause I want to open up my game and sometimes run into problems. I was wondering what some of the players or coaches do to gain an edge against these types of players as well.

      I find that playing like a nit works really well in the 9 man and in my live tournament 18 man game as well and some people make fun of that but if it works why switch it but I want to get better and am looking for players and coaches help on finding spots that may deviate from a basic strategy. Also, if there's any good vids you could refer me to on this site relating to this that'd be great.

      I know this is a lot for one post but hopefully I'll receive some good advice or feedback to help improve my poker game. Thanks everyone!
  • 2 replies
    • ghaleon
      Joined: 17.10.2007 Posts: 5,940
      Well for AQo hand it sounds reasonable to shove if you are smallest stack. But there is no clear answer for this. Depends so much of our reads on villains. E.g. is 4bb open raise normal for UTG? How deep are villain stacks? Do we expect SB to have so called "nice looking" hands in his flat range, KQo, QJs and such?

      For AJs hand if we are in 9handed table I would just fold versus decent villain always. We always have whole table behind also and might face 3bet and often forced to fold. In later positions flatting would be ok as villain range is likely wider, we end up more often to be in best position postflop and 3bets are less likely.

      For 33 and T7s shoving will often be best play. Even if we get called it's not like we always lose either. Those hands can quite easily have 35-40% equity. If villain is too tight those shoves quickly show big profit and especially in live they usually are.

      Tight style is often good start point. When you start to get more experience you can play wider especially from late positions, start defending bit wider and make looser isolation raises and limping in multiway pots. Open limping outside of SB is often not recommended.

      Versus good regs it's often best to avoid playing in same games. Often that is not possibility so you have to look for leaks in their game. Maybe they defend blinds too tight and you can steal with wide range? Maybe they try to steal wide themselves, but very often only continue with premium hands versus 3bet? Maybe they have some habits postflop you can exploit?

      You had quite few questions in your post, but maybe these help :)
    • Michael2345
      Joined: 31.07.2010 Posts: 74
      Thanks for the quick response! Appreciate the help!