THE LONG RUN - Building a bankroll [$1.50 / $3.50 45-man sng's atm] [BR: $289]

    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      Hi,



      I have been here before on these forums, but that's quite some time ago now. I recently started playing poker more again, and I will have a lot of time on my hands in the near future to play and study poker. So I decided to try and build a bankroll, starting at the micro-stakes.

      Why this blog?
      I want to start a blog because this is a place where I can get feedback on my game. I will share my strategies here and hopefully people will correct me where I'm wrong or point out things I don't see, so I can get rid of the mistakes I'm making and can improve my game.

      What I've played before and what I play now
      I have played quite a lot of NL Holdem on the micro-stakes. Mainly 6max cashgames. Right now, I am focussing on sng's though. I like the dynamics of a tournament, but I don't want to play hours and hours with just a 5 minute break each hour. I like the shorter timeframe of sng's as I can easily divide my time between my other occupations and poker. I can mix up my time and keep things divers.

      I have played about 1200 9-man turbo sng's before with profit. But that was years ago. I also practiced with PokerStrategy's ICM Trainer then. That's how I got a bit of a feel for what people push in certain situations when the blinds are getting higher. But other than that, I don't know a lot about ICM. I mean, I understand the concept of chipEV not being equal to $EV, but I am not sure how I should adapt my game to it. I am sure I am making a lot mistakes in that regard. But nevertheless, most people I play against are worse than me and make a lot more mistakes still.

      At this time, I am playing $1.50 6-man turbo sng's at Pokerstars. Other sites are probably softer, but I don't want to play their crappy software. Even if that costs me some bucks. And having said that, even the games at Pokerstars are still very soft at this limit and the next one at least.

      I have played 317 $1.50 sng's so far since I started to play more again with 6.67% ROI. Based on the play I see on the tables I would think my winrate should be higher. But I am not sure what is attainable at these limits. I heard things about 20% ROI for the best players, but I am not sure if this is still true nowadays.

      Here is my graph until now:



      Thanks for reading!
  • 75 replies
    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      Bankroll management
      Today I deposited a bit on my account. I now have $80, which will be my starting bankroll.

      I will work the $80 up to $125 playing the $1.50's 6man turbo's. And then, I will play the $3.50's with every amount I have above $125. On average I think this should be the fastest way to build a bankroll if you are a winning player. The $125 will pretty much make sure I'm not going broke at the $1.50's and with the rest of my bankroll I can be a bit more aggressive.

      That's one of the great things of sit and go's. You can just mix them up without having to adjust anything. It's the same game. Same amount of chips, same blind levels, and from what I experienced, the skill level at the $1.50's and the $3.50's are also the same. And dropping back in limit doesn't really feel like dropping back, it's still 1500 chips to start with.
    • SDK1987
      SDK1987
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 12.11.2008 Posts: 27,140
      I would normal use a 100 buy-in BRM for Turbo STT SNG’s, but if you keep it safe with taking shots it would be nice to improve your bankroll faster.

      Further I wish you all the best with improving your game and bankroll :gl:

      Cheers,
      SDK1987
    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      Hi SDK! Good to see you are still here :f_biggrin:

      Thank you for your advice!
      I will change my bankroll management a bit, and deposit $20 more. Then I have $100 which I will work up to $150 or 100 buyins for the $1.50's. (I can deposit more if I need to). And then I will play the $3.50's with everything I have above $150.

      However, I won't deposit the $20 just yet. I just hit a big downswing (big to me anyway) and lost a lot in 1 day. I first want to break through this downswing before I deposit the $20.

      Here is the nice downswing, all my profit gone, guess this is gonna be a long run indeed:

    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      My strategy for the early stage (6handed)
      The first two levels, 10/20 and 15/30, I consider to be the early stage of the tournament. You start out with 1500 chips, so 75 bb's. That means there is some room for postflop play, but not a whole lot. Losing a big pot will criple you.

      At the early stage I play very snug. I fold a lot, play only the strongest of hands that are likely to be going to win. At this stage, I sit back and observe my opponents play, while folding myself. The blinds and antes are still very small, and you don't gain much by stealing them. So I fold everything, open-fold a lot of buttons, and don't complete the sb when it's limped and multiway.

      I think folding accomplishes 3 things:
      - One is that you don't get involved in pots, but others do. And because every hand in an sng could be a potential all-in, the people that are playing hands during this stage are risking to be eliminated early. If you don't play, there is no way you will get busted. Let the others bust each other, whoever it is. if 1 player busts you are that much closer to the money.So folding wins you money when the other people are playing.

      - The second thing that folding your way through the early stages accomplishes, is that you just earn a lot of fold equity you can utilize later on. Every time I open-fold my button or don't complete the small blind while getting odds is a chance for my opponents to think: man this guy is tight. At the $1.50's you are constantly playing against different players, and to a lot of them it is not obvious you will be opening up your range later on.

      - The third thing that folding accomplishes is that you don't give a lot of information about how you play other than extremely tight. Then when you do enter a pot, people are not really sure how to play against you because they didn't see you do anything yet. This adds to your preflop and postflop fold-equity.

      - Then there is a fourth thing, but that is more of a side-effect. Because you have been playing so tight and folding a lot, people will think they can run you over. And they can run me over a little bit during the early stages. I give them some crumbs now. That's okay, I can probably take it back later on with a single bet. But you know if you feed them now, they will be back for more thinking they have a lot of fold equity and stuff. And they will also expect you to play your hand face-up, like you have been doing at the early stages. That's all one of those I-know-that-you-know things. So I know some things about them because I watched them play. With that information I can estimate their ranges based on their player types. But they don't know anything about me or my ranges except that my range is likely to be strong if I play.

      As far as my default ranges go, for the early stage, it is something like this:
      I open all pairs from all positions at the early stage because the blinds are small and it is probably going to be multiway.
      UTG I open AJs and KQs, but fold AJo and KQo, I start opening those at middle position. From MP I also open ATs and I also might add QJs at middle position. Then at the cutoff I add Ato, A9s, KJs and JTs. If I can expect a lot of folds I maybe open T9s from the cutoff. At the button I open A9o, KJo, all suited aces, and if the blinds are folding a lot I add all suited kings and suited connectors from 45s up.
      From the small blind I always play pretty tight. It's a thing nowadays to open the SB with a min-bet, but I'd rather call that min-bet with a weaker holding at the BB in position than make such a min-bet out of position with a weaker holding. At the early stage I open A9s+, JTs+ at the small blind.

      So my default ranges at the early stage look something like this:
      UTG: 22+, AJs+, KQs, AQo+ [8.90%]
      MP: 22+, AJs+, KQs, QJs, AJo+, KQo [11.01%]
      CO: 22+, A9s+, KJs+, QJs, JTs, T9s, ATo+, KQo [13.42%]
      BTN: 22+, A2s+, K2s+, QTs+, JTs, T9s, 98s, 87s, 76s, 65s, 54s, A9o+, KJo+ [21.87%]
      SB: 22+, A9s+, KTs+, QTs+, JTs, ATo+, KQo [13.73%]

      I never 3bet-bluff during the early stage, there's not much to win. I rarely 3bet AQ and sometimes I just flat AK. I 3bet JJ to a CO open, but just call if it's opened from early or middle position.

      Thanks for reading all that much. Feel free to comment on my strategy, I post it here to learn from it.
    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      Some goals

      I think I should also set some goals for myself.
      I calculated how much I'd have to play to get Gold status on Pokerstars. That would be about 95 sng's/day at the $1.50 limit. I think that is much too much for me, so the Gold status has to wait until the $3.50's at least.

      My goal is to play at least 30 sng's per day for six days a week.
      That would be at least 30 * 6 * 4.5 = 810 sng's per month.

      I am also going to study, but I'm not setting any time-based goals for that. I want to:
      - Study up to the the bronze sng articles here on Pokerstrategy
      - Watch a couple of video's each week, I also have some other stuff on my computer
      - Re-read Andrew Seidman's book, I forgot the title.
      - Study some sng articles that I got from some other website

      Don't really have any longterm goals other than increasing my bankroll and learn to play more tables. I'm thinking about also getting into heads-up sng's someday when my bankroll is bigger to hone my heads-up skills, hopefully while making some money too. Getting better heads up will serve me in the other games. So longterm goal = get better = increase bankroll.
    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      My strategy for the middle stage (6handed sng's)

      After 10 minutes of play you get at the 25/50 level. Most of the time 1 player got busted during the first two levels, sometimes two. And most of the time I am down to 22-25 bb's, 1200 chips or so.
      The blinds now are getting higher relative to my stack and now I'm looking for spots to win chips, mostly by stealing the blinds. Most players start to call a bit less, so you have a bit more fold-equity.
      I generally only call raises when I am in position and I think I am ahead, but not enough to reraise. But I fold a lot if the pot has already been opened. I open up the most from the CO and BTN of course. UTG I stay pretty tight. Tighten up even. Now that the blinds are getting higher I drop the low pocket pairs at UTG and MP. And at MP I start to add some suited aces. But still I stay pretty tight overall I think.

      This is my default range at the middle stage:
      UTG: 88+, AJs+, KQs, AQo+ [6.18%]
      MP: 66+, A8s+, KQs, QJs, AJo+, KQo [10.11%]
      CO: 22+, A2s+, K9s+, QJs, JTs, T9s, ATo+, KQo [16.14%]
      BTN: 22+, A2s+, K2s+, QTs+, JTs, T9s, 98s, 87s, 76s, 65s, 54s, A7o+, KTo+, QTo+, JTo [27.30%]
      SB: 55+, A2s+, KJs+, QJs, ATo+, KJo+ [14.48%]

      If I call a raise it is probably in position with a big ace, a suited ace or a medium pocket pair. If the raiser is aggressive I add some more suited hands because I expect to get paid off at least some if I make the better hand.

      My 3bet range really depends a lot on the player that's raising. And his and mine positions of course. I almost never 3bet bluff really. Maybe I should do some calculations if this can be profitable or not.



      My Ev-line went way down even more. Hopefully it will go up again very soon. This is a nice test for me. I have played these 400 sng's with a big downswing tiltfree. At least I didn't notice any tilt. Not that I was a heavy tilter, but sometimes it got the better of me.

      Although my confidence did get a little slap in the face. I am wondering if I really am a winning player. But then I see how some players I play against play, and I think how can I not be a winner in these games?

    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      I offically broke the downswing, now it's back to break-even play :f_tongue: But honestly it feels like winning after losing all that monies!!

      Also been trying 8 tables, but 8 tables 6max turbo's is a bit too much for me, so I'll stick to 6 for now, so I can still follow the game enough and have an idea about how people play, so that I can estimate their ranges.

    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      500th SNG
      I played some $3.50's a few weeks ago. those aren't included in above graphs. Including those ... I played my 500th sng! :f_drink:
      I am also gonna be silver at Pokerstars after playing 12 more, so that's nice too!

      It looks like the graph of a break-even player but it's still very short term. I am happy I am at least break even EV-wise.

    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
      Bronze
      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 151
      Congratulations on the 500th SNG.

      Your post about your strategy was very interesting to read. Look forward to seeing how it works out for you. Best of luck.
    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      Hee thanks man!

      I need some luck now! Hopefully the next 500 will be without downswing and I can turn some profit. I'm curious how it will work out too. I want to see my whole graph of the future now already ... and then maybe I'd have to decide to just quit now and don't waste my time :f_tongue:
    • justkyle88
      justkyle88
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      Joined: 07.05.2008 Posts: 7,596
      Keep at it man, we have faith :)
    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
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      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      Yes Yes Faith we have! :f_tongue:
    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      Some more break-even play.
      Only played 20 instead of 30 today, but that's okay. I played more on the other days and I have 2 days to play another 20 to achieve the weekly goal.

      Instead of playing I did some studying. I read the PokerStrategy SNG articles except those about basic pre- and postflop play (propbably already read those one time or another). There wasn't too much for the bronze level, so I have to find some other good sources too.

      I am also thinking about this mathematically founded gameplan for 6max sng's instead of relying on your feeling something is a profitable play according to ICM or not. I am supposed to review my sessions a lot and do ICM simulations, and then basically from seeing a lot of situations, I should get better at making decisions that are ICM-sound. But I kinda question my abillity to get really good as this. But also, there must be a better way that is more reliable than just my feeling. Did nobody come up with some way to make ICM-sound decisions without actually doing ICM calculations which you can't do ingame? There must be some substitute for ICM calculations, something you can actually use ingame. Anyway, I am thinking something out right now. But as I am not the greatest math wizkid nor the smartest person around, this could very well end up in something useless :f_tongue: . Still though, with some rational thinking you can do a lot. And even if I just come up with a load of crap, I will learn some things from it.

      Post some graphs if I play some more.
    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      Haven't played much at all, I have been thinking about this strategy or gameplan to conquer 6-handed sng's, but I just ended up doing ICM calculations and re-inventing the ICM model. I have to think about it some more though, I am pretty sure I can end up with something, but maybe this something will take too much time to actually actualize.

      Anyway, I also calculated what would be a break-even finish distribution for me at the $1.50's:



      This is based on a rake of 12%. The numbers will be different when the rake is different.

      Off to play some sng's now, have to play a few today to meet my weekly goal.
    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      Week 38

      Last week's results:
      180 $1.50 6-handed sng's
      + $3.22
      EV: -$5.10




      And the whole graph:

    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      $100+

      Running hot after the downswing. Don't really notice it ingame, but I win a lot now. Also played a few 45-man sng's and shipped one of those. So bankroll is now $106.

      I restricted myself from playing any mtt's at Stars :f_tongue: . I can only play sng's (also multitable) and cashgames now. Last times I have a habit of throwing my winnings away with mtt's. Then after a few hours I don't feel like playing anymore and I just quit or something. Because this is still happening I excluded myself from playing mtt's. Need to reset that 24 hrs beforehand if I want to play one.

      Nice to finally be on a little heater.
    • Catonthemat
      Catonthemat
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      Joined: 01.08.2016 Posts: 151
      Congratulations on getting past 100. Hope the heater continues.
    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
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      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      Yo thanks man! Hope so too!
    • Ka0s
      Ka0s
      Bronze
      Joined: 05.11.2008 Posts: 722
      Yesterday I felt like playing some multitable sng's, so I played a few 45-mans. Today I played some again and won a few more. I have $127 now on my account.

      I kind of liked to play them. Of course because I won some money, but full-ring is just easier for the most part. It felt kind of nice to be able to play more straightforward and not think too much about things. Other players are playing more straightforward too so their ranges are more defined. And the blinds just don't come around nearly as often. Those blinds at the 6-handed man ... those blinds. Full ring you got a bit more room to breathe.

      Although I don't really have the bankroll for it, I am thinking about switching over to the $1.50 full-ring multitable sng's. The 45-mans in particular. I guess I could go and play the $0.50's, but that's just not enough money for me and I wouldn't enjoy it as much. I'd rather play the high stakes :f_tongue: . I guess if I am willing to deposit again I do have the bankroll for it .... how much would I need anyway? Would about 250 buyins be a good to play the $1.50 45-mans ... anybody? I guess there can be some long downswings and a lot a variance in those.

      Advantages of full-ring 45-mans
      The full-ring 45-man sngs's have some advantages over the 6-handed single tables:
      - There is more to win
      - The rake is peanuts compared to the price money
      - More straightforward, so I can play more tables
      - Easier on the mind

      Disadvantages
      And some disadvantages:
      - A lot more variance
      - They take longer to complete
      - Maybe not as much as a challenge, altough it got it's own challenges

      So I might switch over, I'll play some more and see if I like it.