9 handed SnGs - what kinda volume should I do?

    • deezerr79
      deezerr79
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.02.2014 Posts: 16
      Hello peoples! I would like to take poker more seriously but I have a really hard time with my mental game. I am a horrible loser with an overblown sense of entitlement and both going card dry and getting sucked out on has me shouting obscenities at my tablet. Running worse than a bow legged hooker doesn't help :-). Don't know how people play live, I'd be going at dealers like Joe Pesci in Casino.

      I play games that my BR has about 200 buy ins for because the downswing is far more common that running "normally" and bigger games just aren't worth the risk. However, I acknowledge that the volume I do cannot really give me the data for what's normal for me. I get online, get violated in some way and mentally check out. Reading on what sort of sample you need to accurately judge how variance is affecting me, I read that you need to have played 1k games. That's insane to me and at the rate I go, it'd take at least 2 years to play that much.

      I like SnGs the best and have been mostly playing 9 handed turbos. I am confident that I make correct decisions in most spots and very rarely bust out of a game feeling that I f*cked up. In am thrilled when I bust out on a flip 'cos usually it's something far less sporting that makes me want to break things and swear off poker. I would say that my results make me a break-even player and those results are dictated by my lack of play. Something bad happens, I stop playing. If the best hand I've had in 4 levels is Q4 and action before me can't justify my going with it, I check out and want to do something else.

      So clearly I have a lot of mind set work to get on top of. My question to you is, how much should I be playing? If the 1K sample size is correct, how long should that take me? Thanks guys :-).
  • 12 replies
    • JJSkidz
      JJSkidz
      Basic
      Joined: 17.12.2013 Posts: 26
      Until you manage to control your tilt issues, probably only a few tables at a time. If you think being card dead or running into coolers is frustrating in a tournament, I can't even imagine what would happen if you were 8-tabling and went 1/8 or 0/8 (and it happens to everyone).

      To answer your question though ("How long?") : It depends. You need to look at it in terms of maximizing your $/hour. Whatever number of tables at a time results in the most $/hour, that is what you should be trying to play. There's a point for everyone where adding another table results in too much of an ROI drop to make up for the extra tables, and ideally you should be playing as many tables as possible without reaching that point. Whatever that number is, in tandem with how many hours you have for poker each day, is pretty much the basis for how "fast" you "should" reach 1K tournaments.
    • vlzvl
      vlzvl
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.03.2014 Posts: 156
      How much you should play it's relative to you but there some rule of thumbs in my opinion.
      You play as long you feel you're making correct decisions i.e. they don't involve tilt either by lost money or won money (i.e. loose play).
      You play with a stop-loss mindset i.e. you define a maximum amount of loss after of which you are just getting out of all games for the day. Yeah you may still feel tilted but you're controlling it anyway.
      The 1K sample size you refer to is to find your true winrate and has nothing to do with "how much" one should play i.e. you play 1K SNGs and find your winrate is 5bb/100 and that's it about 1K rule of thumb.
      Finding your winrate will dictate how much should you play.
      For example if you winrate or ROI% is negative forget about multitabling and play at most 2 tables, even if that stomps your sample size of games per month.
      The online crushers are playing thousands games per month but they have pretty good positive winrate and ROI%.
      Don't also forget that even the greatest SNG winners do f**k up in many games, however because they play sheer amounts of games with proper mindset they eliminate everything.
      Finally every game has their own rules of rule of thumb sample size i.e. 9-man needs far less samplesize than a 45-man or 180-man.
      The same for turbo or regular, turbo requires more samplesize.
      You can also invest into books like The Mental Game of Poker or The Poker Mindset which may take some time but poker is forever i guess.
      My opinion is to play enough to find your winrate while you work your mindset.
    • Ramble
      Ramble
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.11.2008 Posts: 1,460
      Originally posted by vlzvl
      How much you should play it's relative to you but there some rule of thumbs in my opinion.
      You play as long you feel you're making correct decisions i.e. they don't involve tilt either by lost money or won money (i.e. loose play).
      You play with a stop-loss mindset i.e. you define a maximum amount of loss after of which you are just getting out of all games for the day. Yeah you may still feel tilted but you're controlling it anyway.
      The 1K sample size you refer to is to find your true winrate and has nothing to do with "how much" one should play i.e. you play 1K SNGs and find your winrate is 5bb/100 and that's it about 1K rule of thumb.
      Finding your winrate will dictate how much should you play.
      For example if you winrate or ROI% is negative forget about multitabling and play at most 2 tables, even if that stomps your sample size of games per month.
      The online crushers are playing thousands games per month but they have pretty good positive winrate and ROI%.
      Don't also forget that even the greatest SNG winners do f**k up in many games, however because they play sheer amounts of games with proper mindset they eliminate everything.
      Finally every game has their own rules of rule of thumb sample size i.e. 9-man needs far less samplesize than a 45-man or 180-man.
      The same for turbo or regular, turbo requires more samplesize.
      You can also invest into books like The Mental Game of Poker or The Poker Mindset which may take some time but poker is forever i guess.
      My opinion is to play enough to find your winrate while you work your mindset.
      Really good advice here - especially the stop-loss rule and reading the mental game of poker.

      I would suggest you don't worry about volume at all yet. Focus on studying the game and reviewing your hands after every session. When I was playing more seriously, I kept to a 50% play / 50% study rule. The more I studied, the more I learned and the more automatic my decisions got. The more automatic my decisions got, the more tables I could play at a time and my volume went up.

      I'm a real believer that by taking things slow and steady you'll get there faster. In less than a year I went from single tabling $1 games to 12-14 tabling $7 games, but it was a very gradual climb.

      Good Luck!
    • deezerr79
      deezerr79
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.02.2014 Posts: 16
      Hi guys! Thanks so much for your responses. I was hoping for timeframes on how long putting in the 1k games takes people here, but got more :f_biggrin: . I do need to take it at a rate I'm comfortable with but my mindset is really dragging that down.

      Ramble : I feel that I have gotten to the stage that the decisions I make are automatic. Part of that is what's so frustrating to me. Mixing that auto-play with being so results orientated just makes me feel helpless. It doesn't matter what I do...so why do it?

      Multi-tabling means the punishment will be multiplied. I have just been playing one table recently and it just feels inevitable, make the right decision and I'm gone. Had a hell of a run about a week ago, getting it in good meant I'd win more than lose - played 7 games in a session taking 1st in 4 and 2nd in two. Felt validating. Steady decline since then and most of the run good profit has gone.

      Anyway!! I need to get my mind right and learn to keep playing while being bent over that virtual table. vlzvl: I do have The Mental Game of Poker, bought it a while ago but didn't give it much study. Didn't have the patience and figured that a dominating hand will hold up or it won't - how's how I feel about it going to change things? I will definitely break it out again and see if that's a good centre to mind set training. I need to if I want to do any good volume 'cos right now it's one game and I quit. Not gonna get anywhere like that.

      Thanks again guys.
    • vlzvl
      vlzvl
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.03.2014 Posts: 156
      I do have The Mental Game of Poker, bought it a while ago but didn't give it much study. Didn't have the patience and figured that a dominating hand will hold up or it won't - how's how I feel about it going to change things? I will definitely break it out again and see if that's a good centre to mind set training. I need to if I want to do any good volume 'cos right now it's one game and I quit. Not gonna get anywhere like that.
      Personally i never put real read into Mental game of Poker as i did in Poker Mindset but they both require patience. Some concepts are very easy to grasp but others require total change of your game and you may feel lost.
      I like the Poker Mindset more since it breaks down a lot of concepts you may even don't know they exist so you check what you actually do wrong and add it in your list for elimination, which eases the procedure.
      For example, some random concepts, easy or hard, from the book are:

      You might play in games you can't beat (perhaps obvious)

      You might make plays to impress your opponents (obvious if you take a good think)

      You have limited power to achieve monetary goals (really not than obvious and/or confusing)
      If you find a bad habit listed on one of such concepts, just concentrate on it and it would be a good mindset training, don't try to master them all because these books are really hard if you try to read them fast or without patience.

      how's how I feel about it going to change things?
      Well for a start if you had the better hand (dominating), that's all you need to know; the result is irrelevant, you played just fine, move to next hand.
      Every time you feel titled, it's another chance to break down a hand.
      If you feel titled that means you're monetary emotional while you need to concentrate only on your decisions and completely de-attached to money.
      Such things are just the starting pages...
      Good luck
    • deezerr79
      deezerr79
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.02.2014 Posts: 16
      Thanks for the response. That's probably my biggest problem; I just can't emotionally detach from results and monetary affects. Playing well gives me little comfort and I don't see the decline in my bank roll as being irrelevant in how I feel about poker.
      I tend to just play 1 table turbo SnGs and it's very rare that I play a hand that I feel needs study. Perhaps that's arrogant. Certainly I would need more study on deep stack play and I can see the benefit of breaking down hands in, say, cash games. Sometimes I think about posting hands that I bust on for some feedback but feel it'd come off as passive aggressive.
      For example, last hand I played the cut off open shoved 15bb with 6-high and I call off my 9bb stack with AA. Dude flops 2-pair and I'm done. Not only the money bothers me but I become hugely disillusioned with poker. I want to defend it as more than gambling. It's a skill game, right? Been a while since I've seen a huge chip leader in the games I play who doesn't get it in bad consistently. Not that I want to be the guy who can shove any 2 and win. Those that don't hesitate to call of a 13bb shove with 10-9s. Maybe I need a better grasp of ICM. Perhaps it can be profitable for me to play that way in certain spots.
    • vlzvl
      vlzvl
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.03.2014 Posts: 156
      Well, i can see a number of mindset issues here :)
      The problem of getting attached to money is that you make less than optimal decisions by specific hand or by stack size etc. and also these different plays could as well make to someone's personal notes.
      In addition, attached to money really means that your limit is too high so that you literally feel the dollars getting away by every game you play. It will also lead to another issue, of getting away for the day if you win a nice tournament (win tilt).
      Proper bankroll management and lots of games will fix that issue.

      it's very rare that I play a hand that I feel needs study. Perhaps that's arrogant.
      Yes :) You have to realize that the best players became best because they were in every forum here and there, asking and posting. Even a seemingly stupid hand could give you another view if a better player gives you his view. Closing yourself to better players is a serious mindset issue. Poker ego is serious issue. Also SNGs are more complex than they appear, especially when ICM factor gets in and you will be surprised by what better players have to say.

      Sometimes I think about posting hands that I bust on for some feedback but feel it'd come off as passive aggressive.
      Why are you afraid of getting labeled as passive fish or loser? If you were the best player, you would win after all and you wont asking :) Unless the replies you have are outright rude, it's a chance to improve something, even if it's an ego hit.

      For example, last hand I played the cut off open shoved 15bb with 6-high and I call off my 9bb stack with AA. Dude flops 2-pair and I'm done.

      You entered with the best hand, that only matters. Of course that may tilt you if you play $1 games with 30$ bankroll but it will be just poker variance with a 200$ bankroll. Multi-tabling also helps you de-attaching with results but unless you're a good player it's going to hurt you. Just have a proper bankroll with money that only goes for Poker.
      Perhaps you're also trying to set monetary goals which are bad when you're trying to improve a faulty strategy, which leads to disaster.

      I want to defend it as more than gambling. It's a skill game, right?
      Well the difference between those that say it's gambling and those who say it's skill it's the number of games they play. If you play 10 games perfect and lose the 8 and say it's luck, you're gambler because you don't get a fundamental truth of poker, which is that you should play heavy volume.
      However some players do play heavy volume, however with a faulty mindset and they're still losers.
      There are many crushers which actually lose even 20 games in a row in ridiculous ways, even by playing perfect; however if those players play 150 perfect SNGs a day it's not an issue, and if not by day then certainly by week or month. Unless someone puts so much volume in his game, he can't say about gambling or skill.

      Those that don't hesitate to call of a 13bb shove with 10-9s.

      This is a simple case of choosing your plays either by pushing or calling by opponent stats and forum really helps in such situations. 13bb is not static, it may become 10bb or 16bb against specific opponent. ICM greatly helps here, for example if you think as a default of 10% calling range when pushing against a reg, set a 20% against a fish in BB in your ICM program. It will certainly cut some hands for you to push against such fishy players.
      ICM is king especially in SNGs because the payment jumps are big and they come faster in 9-man. Just reading Pokerstrategy SNGs articles will certainly help for a start :)
    • deezerr79
      deezerr79
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.02.2014 Posts: 16
      I hear you. I do feel that my main mind set issue is with motivation and that's dictated by results. Got an email telling me about your response when I was playing the first SnG since my last post. Played two hands. One was J6 (I was in bb against limper) vs their 5-6, rivered gutshot for them. And the other was me busting out on my last 8bb with QQ vs A10. When suck outs become a statistical probability, what sense can I make of this? It's true, I can't separate making good decisi0ns with success. Pokerstars can but I can't.

      Your suggestion of going back into the SnG articles is a good one. I do get stuck in my ways and maybe there's aspects to play that I don't consider. With regard to ICM and calling ranges, I get what you mean by them fluctuating depending on player and position. Though I don't think it's ever a good idea to call off a 13bb shove with 10-9s, regardless of those factors. When are you ever ahead? You're just gambling IMO but those are the players I am seeing winning in these games.

      I dropped down buy ins a while back because of bad variance and am playing well within what you feel should help me see results as "just poker variance". Playing $1.5 with a current roll of $275, it's slowed the bleeding and does help with tilt. The amount of money isn't what upsets me. I should spend more time thinking about what is upsetting me.

      I think that you're right about having to play heavy volume and that is the point of this thread. I just struggle to bring myself to do it. It's like poker PTSD. Maybe I won't care so much if I play a lot but if every time I go on, I get sucked out on - hard to psychologically justify multiplying the pain.

      You may have misunderstood me when I said that posting hands might be passive aggressive. Take the last hand I played: HJ min raises A10 and I shove 8bb (little over) with QQ from the button. Flop gives him two pair and fills up on the river. I can't see what feedback I would get from this situation. To me and I'm sure most players, this would be totally standard and I just got unlucky, so aren't I wasting their time asking for advice? If most hands I bust out on are just like this and I post them, it'd come off as simply whining about bad beats and not really expecting feedback. Although I'm sure there's a lot of that going on in this thread :-).

      Volume would help me tilt less but the tilt is still there and when something gross happens to me, I just want out. Last time I tried multi tabling, got violated on the first hand so wanted to quit but I had two other games to play. So I'm reluctantly going but in my mind I'm thinking poker to futile and I just want to go do something else. Got to get over the rage dudes!

      Oh, and I do get win tilt too. If I win I still want to check out. I attribute that to the poker PTSD and likening it to playing a game like blackjack, I might win but if I keep playing - they'll get their money back.
    • vlzvl
      vlzvl
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.03.2014 Posts: 156
      You may have misunderstood me when I said that posting hands might be passive aggressive. Take the last hand I played: HJ min raises A10 and I shove 8bb (little over) with QQ from the button. Flop gives him two pair and fills up on the river. I can't see what feedback I would get from this situation.


      You're right there's minimal feedback on this one. It's the standard case of entering with the better hand and losing a lesser percentage of the time. You're pondering too much in these cases, it's a 70-30 case it's not like 95-5 to ever care. In all cases, all members of this site would tell you to shove, result is irrelevant even if he's a rock. Its kind of basic and it's true that it may be not a good question.
      I myself posted fishy questions, only to find i was looking at it wrong. Perhaps there are variables you're not considering, which a better player found after some time.

      And there are not only pushing hands to post here :) One time i posted a question here on how to play a set. They concluded i was raising lower than optimal, which was something i might not considering because my mind was on the flop, to play the board etc. Never underestimate a hand and anyway you either get the answers you expect or something else, you never lose by asking others :)

      Volume would help me tilt less but the tilt is still there and when something gross happens to me, I just want out.


      Well, the best thing you could do is to post the hand to SNG forum, you'll feel better by answers, i always do. Describe the situation and how you thought of it and the answers will be based on that. Just quitting a game you lost doesn't help you at a later day at all. :f_drink:
    • Kammalleri
      Kammalleri
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.05.2011 Posts: 5
      I'm starting to get back into Poker never played a ton at a a time, but I'd like to give it a shot, but I find it hard to focus when playing only one table because I tend to start reading or paying attention to anything else. Should I try to lower my buy ins and try like 4 tables or stick to 1 table until I get better and be able to focus the whole game at my current buy in?
    • deezerr79
      deezerr79
      Bronze
      Joined: 15.02.2014 Posts: 16
      I get bored too, especially when there's no plays to make. It's all set ups and suck outs right now so the roll's in freefall. Still can't do the volume and my rage is off the charts. I really need to find out what's behind this anger. Wish I could show up behind my opponents like the Candyman whenever they rob me :-). Pokerstars won't even let me swear in the chat...it's just wrong!
    • Avataren
      Avataren
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.04.2010 Posts: 1,743
      Originally posted by Kammalleri
      I'm starting to get back into Poker never played a ton at a a time, but I'd like to give it a shot, but I find it hard to focus when playing only one table because I tend to start reading or paying attention to anything else. Should I try to lower my buy ins and try like 4 tables or stick to 1 table until I get better and be able to focus the whole game at my current buy in?
      try 2 tabling first WHILE studying and turn off all tv / browsers get rid of all books and stuff.. another thing that might help is you follow those hands your not a part of. get tells and also try to guess what kind of hands they have. make it a game if you get closer to what hand / hand range the better. For example if a flushdraw flop and 1 guy bets the other raises 3x. does he have the flush draw and what does the other guy have when he goes all in over that 3x raise?