Push/Fold Stage a must?

    • midgetjay
      midgetjay
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.05.2008 Posts: 241
      I've been training with the ICM Trainer and I can consistently score 88%+ on every set of 300 hands that I run. My question to you is: when the push/fold stage arrives, is it a must that I only push or fold? (and put to use what I've been practicing?)

      I guess it's a dumb question, but I'm starting to second guess myself after busting out of so many SnG's. I was doing great at first! But now, I'm down 7BI, which really isn't that much when I type it out. Variation? I'll post some hands in the review section shortly...
  • 15 replies
    • LuborC
      LuborC
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.04.2008 Posts: 1,243
      Hi midgetjay,

      I guess you should keep practicing with the ICM trainer, 88% is not such a great result.. You should aim at over 95% every time.
      Also don't forget to change the settings to 4 handed and practice the bubble play! It is very different to the normal play and it is the stage where you can win or lose a LOT of chips and a LOT of money easily. Getting over 95% on this settings is tough, though, so I guess 90-95% should be generally enough..

      And yes, in the push or fold stage you should only push or fold. This is simply because a normal raise commits you to go all in anyway so you should just push it preflop. That also gives you the opportunity to push also some weaker hands and steal the blinds pretty often.
      You don't have to push ALL the hands ICM trainer tells you are profitable, though. I usually wait untill i have like 10-11 BB before I start pushing but there are different opinions on this also and you will have to figure this out yourself I guess..

      7BIs downl is pretty standard but if you're a beginner it might well be caused by some leaks rather than variance and you should keep on trying to find and fix these.. Watch all the available videos. Those help a great deal. Also coachings are great so visit those..


      Anyway, if you have any more questions don't hesitate to ask..

      Lubor
    • viewer88
      viewer88
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      Originally posted by LuborC
      You don't have to push ALL the hands ICM trainer tells you are profitable, though. I usually wait untill i have like 10-11 BB before I start pushing but there are different opinions on this also and you will have to figure this out yourself I guess..
      If anything you should push looser then the ICM trainer suggests :)

      ICM trainer assumes "optimal" call and pushranges for villains, luckily the vast majority of people we play against are FAR from optimal ^^

      Practising with the ICM trainer is a great start, to give you an idea of the optimal pushranges. In practice most players will call too tight, so you can push a little bit looser. Posting hands and messing around with the SNG wizard (1 month free trial) will help you to further improve your game.

      And as a final note: the ICM model doesn't work all too good when there are super-shortstacks around or if the blinds get crazy high. Post the hands you doubt about :)
    • midgetjay
      midgetjay
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.05.2008 Posts: 241
      Yes, I'm always training with the ICM trainer to improve myself and 95% seems so far away!! lol. Thank you for such a well-thought-out and informative response Lubor. And thanks for the tips viewer88! :D

      But I have another question, with the Trainer, I have the handranges turned off. Is that a wise idea? Should I turn them back on? And if so, how would I be able to put my opponent on a specific range perecentage that may be constantly increasing as the blinds become larger? Seems crazy!

      ..off to do some more practising..



      P.S.


      -7 BI swing
      +14 BI swing
      ----------
      = :)

      (I placed first in the last 4/8 SnG's! I know that's not normal, but I'll come back down to Earth.. later :P )
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      hi midgetjay,

      The handranges off is a good idea to help you learn what other players might push, and understand which cards are included in a pushing range.

      Sometimes ICM trainer has some weird ranges so check out the details at the bottom. You might see it's ok to push A9o, A80, A70, and A5o - but not A6o (a minor point)

      To understand your opponent's actual range is going to take some experience. It's different at different buy in levels.

      I go by the ICM trainer ranges and adjust if I think the player is looser or tighter at the endgame.

      It's not a rule, but I find at low buy ins usually the players loose early on tighten up later, and the early tight players adjust fast and go into ICM mode when they hit 13BB - pushing like mad.

      I do notice that the tighter early players are much more likely to push any two cards in the SB.

      If you have enough stats, you can filter them by the blind level, so you'll get a better idea - but you need a lot of hands to do this. I mostly play according ICM, and occasionally adjust depending on opponents tendencies if I can tell.
    • midgetjay
      midgetjay
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.05.2008 Posts: 241
      Oh, I see. So it's not as precise an art as it is in ICM? (Ex. 18.2%)

      Phew.

      I'll learn the ranges through regular practice of the trainer, right? Or will I have to download pokerstove again?

      And as for putting opponents on handranges, any tips, advice, or ways that I could hone that skill? I can put em on a range of cards, but not quite a percentage.. and now that I multi-table, I regularly lose track of who's who.

      So as you can see, the use of range is practically missing from my game, which to me, is a huge leak.
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      I just go with the ICM trainer range without any reads. ICM does have some shortcomings.

      - it doesn't account for bad players. players that don't use ICM might not have such a loose range from the SB as some that use ICM, so you can't call as loose.

      - it doesn't simply take into account future hands if the blinds are high and you lose fold equity next round because you are crippled.

      - it breaks down at very high blinds and short stacks

      Having said that, the VPIP/PFR stats are useful for me to divide the players into two or three types.

      1) loose preflop early game (these players usually tighten up at higher blinds and generally don't know about or use ICM)

      2) tight preflop early game (sitting waiting for a hand.. there are two types here)

      - the good player that understands ICM and uses it well

      - the nit who is still waiting for a good hand

      This helps me a bit, generally it means I play tighter against the loose players and looser against the tight ones. Not sure if it's right on all buy ins, but so far so good at $6.50 turbos.
    • viewer88
      viewer88
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      as to give you an idea about the ranges to use,
      these are approx the callranges I use for unknown. They can be looser at your limit, I dont know.

      The nr. of BB is the number of effective BB's. Assume the player I push into isn't a super-bigstack.

      10-13: 9%

      7-10: 10-12%

      5-7: 12-14%

      <5 too situation dependant. usualy way to tight or way to loose.


      Oh and btw: I did not know the icm trainer gave you the possibility to change the calling ranges for villain? That suddenly makes the (expensive) SNG wizard sound a lot less atractive :)
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Originally posted by viewer88

      Oh and btw: I did not know the icm trainer gave you the possibility to change the calling ranges for villain? That suddenly makes the (expensive) SNG wizard sound a lot less atractive :)
      I don't think icm trainer does, does it? but it's free and the ranges are very good to learn. after that i figure slight adjustments are made based on reads and situations.
    • midgetjay
      midgetjay
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.05.2008 Posts: 241
      Thank you for all the wonderful advice everyone! It is very much appreciated!! I've been grinding at the $2.00 + 0.25 SnG's and as soon as I hit $152, I'll give the 3.50 + 0.30 SnG's a shot
    • LuborC
      LuborC
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.04.2008 Posts: 1,243
      So your BR is growing as I take it. That is good news! The 3.80$ SNGs are SUPER TURBOs, though. You only have 10 BB at the beginning and the blinds rise very quickly. You might give it a shot some people make good profit grinding these. I've been too scared to even try these, though.. :D
    • WildBeans
      WildBeans
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.09.2008 Posts: 586
      Originally posted by gavinonymous
      Originally posted by viewer88

      Oh and btw: I did not know the icm trainer gave you the possibility to change the calling ranges for villain? That suddenly makes the (expensive) SNG wizard sound a lot less atractive :)
      I don't think icm trainer does, does it? but it's free and the ranges are very good to learn. after that i figure slight adjustments are made based on reads and situations.
      I was under the impression that ICM was an optimal strategy so that if any player plays a little differently (looser OR tighter) then you're going to be even more ahead.. But at the same time it makes a lot of sense that if someone is tighter in sb then my calling ranges should be lower...?
    • LuborC
      LuborC
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.04.2008 Posts: 1,243
      ICM is an optimal strategy in a way. Meaning that when everybody plays like that you can't play any better than ICM. But if people don't play like it and you know who and how plays different you can actually play better than ICM and exploit his mistakes.
      So yes, when there are blinds big enough to be worth stealing you can push looser against somebody calling you tighter. You can also push diffrent hands. Example: you know that someone only calls you with AT+ and some pockets. In this case QJ has more value than say A2 because A2 is always dominated when he calls while QJ almost always has live cards + has bigger chance to outdraw a higher pocket than A2..
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Originally posted by LuborC
      Example: you know that someone only calls you with AT+ and some pockets. In this case QJ has more value than say A2 because A2 is always dominated when he calls while QJ almost always has live cards + has bigger chance to outdraw a higher pocket than A2..
      This is a really good point. I see ICM leaves out A2o A3o A6o etc..but leaves JQ. Sometimes the ranges it gives you are very specific in terms of cards. I don't get it, but it maybe makes sense that A5o is good while A6o isn't.

      You can also play better than ICM if you know it's an ATC push for your opponent and he plays according to ICM, you can change your range to negate his FE +$EV factor. He might have calculated that you would fold all but 30% of your hands, but you might call with 35% instead.

      One of the most enjoyable plays in an SNG for me is when I call an ATC push with a mediocre hand and villain turns over something like 47s. Next rounds and games they don't try to push so loose, so you can readjust
    • viewer88
      viewer88
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      hallo gavinonymous,

      you have to be carefull calling with mediocre hands. There are times and spots where it's OK, but in the vast majority of cases it isnt. Calling 35% is almost never good though. It makes his push -$EV, but your call is also heavy -$EV.

      You can make "educational calls" against regulars on higher limits, call really loose to show they dont have much FE (--> get pushed into less often). I woulden't advice to experiment it though, since these concepts can only be applied at the highest level sng's imo.
    • gavinonymous
      gavinonymous
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.12.2008 Posts: 1,146
      Originally posted by viewer88
      hallo gavinonymous,

      you have to be carefull calling with mediocre hands. There are times and spots where it's OK, but in the vast majority of cases it isnt. Calling 35% is almost never good though. It makes his push -$EV, but your call is also heavy -$EV.

      You can make "educational calls" against regulars on higher limits, call really loose to show they dont have much FE (--> get pushed into less often). I woulden't advice to experiment it though, since these concepts can only be applied at the highest level sng's imo.
      Oh of course be careful. I wouldn't do it without really good reads, and even then I'll need other good reasons to call (shortstacked etc..)

      I'm amazed at some of the calls that ICM trainer allows you from the BB late. I'm playing 3-5 players about 300 hands and SB pushes very loose in some spots ATC, which makes your 55% call +$EV if you have the right stack.

      I made a call last tourney with the big stack with only T7o from a CO raise, but it was late, and he was shortstacked. I had the chip lead and was in BB, so it wasn't much of a stretch to call for the pot odds either.

      agreed - I recommend at least 1000 hands on ICM trainer with 3-5 players left.