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Thoughts of a Canadian SNG Stud

    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Hey all,

      So after skimming through some of the blogs here I decided to start my own. I won't guarantee it will be the most exciting thing you've ever read, but I'll try to make it as interesting as possible.

      A little introduction - I'm a 19 year old business admin student attending the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. I was an all-sport athlete in high school (rugby, football, volleyball, basketball, track, curling) - but these days I've just stayed with curling, competing at the provincial level the past few years.

      As for poker, I was introduced to the game a couple years ago by a group of friends this past August. They taught me the game in an hour, and we played a $20 buy-in tourney with the 6 of us. If you busted out, you could rebuy. I ended up winning it all, cashing in for $140 (only one guy rebought). So I was immediately hooked. Played a little bit of playmoney poker online, and bought a few poker books. I particularly enjoyed the Killer Poker series by Jon Vorhaus and crew. Watched a ton of Youtube videos of the WSOP, and found a link advertising a free bankroll at this PokerStrategy site. I was naturally skeptical, but figured I might as well check it out. I read through all the articles, passed the quiz, signed up for an account at Full Tilt, and got my free $50 the next day.

      I started playing the $5 6-max SNGs - I know, I know, terrible BRM - but I went on a nice little heater to start, finishing first in all 3 of my first SNGs. And then promptly pissed it all away. Went on a brutal downswing - some bad play, and a lot of sick beats. I remember getting all my chips in ahead dominating so many times (AQ vs AJ, KK vs QQ, etc) and losing what seems like all of them. I was definitely tilting hard too with all these beats. I ended up down to about $8 in bankroll.

      So I went back to the articles, re-read them all. Played the $1+0.25 SNGs until I was able to build my roll back up to about $25. Then I went back to the $2+0.25 SNGs, and I've been grinding those since. Don't play many of the 6-max's anymore, usually only 9-max and heads-up. Sprinkled a little bit of 6-max cap NL cash games in there too. I'm happy to report that I've now built my roll all the way up to $125.

      My current poker goals:
      - Finish clearing the rest of my $50 bonus.
      - Build my roll up to $200.
      - Work my way up to Gold membership.
      - Build my avg. ROI to 15% - thanks to my early downswing, sharkscope has me at 1%.
      - Learn more about ICM, and improve my game in the push/fold endgame.

      I'm going to try to make sure all my posts aren't this long, but I like to ramble. Thanks to PokerStrategy for starting me off, and I hope to continue learning from everyone here and improving my game.
  • 28 replies
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Haven't played much the last two days. Played one of those 90-man $3 KO tourneys, finished 19th despite being totally card-dead most of the tournament. Picked up QQ fairly early and was able to double through, that kept me alive as far as I did. I'm happy with how I played anyways, its impossible to get through one of those without catching a few hands. The play is unbelievably bad at those levels!

      I should add to my goals that I need to learn to start multitabling. I'll run 2 at a time at the most, and I'd like to increase that.

      Finished 2nd in my last 9-man SNG, A9 lost to A3 at the end when he rivered a 3. Won the 3 SNGs I played before that, and I'm really happy with how I've been playing. Picking my spots well and making smart laydowns.

      Current BR - $143.07

      I've got a stats exam on Saturday, wish me luck!
    • 8979687
      Joined: 11.11.2008 Posts: 2,225
      Glad to see another SNG player!

      I started out on Poker Stars with my starting capital and moved to Full Tilt once I cleared the

      The one thing I do not like about Full Tilt is they did not have a 9 man $3 SNG to play.
      You are just on the verge of having 50 buy ins for them and that would be ideal for you.
      They have the super turbos, but I do not recommend them for a beginner.

      I tried out the 90 player KO, only played 8 of them and I didnt get paid, bubbled out like 2 times.

      Anyhow long story short, Good luck with your SNG games,

      I would stick to just one type of game for now if I were you, Like grind out the $2s untill you
      can hit the BR for the $5s. You need ~$250 for them, and they are very very very beatable.
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Did a little grinding the last couple of days, experimented with 4-tabling. Unfortunately I was pretty card-dead for most of it, didn't do so great. It probably didnt help that there seemed to be a lot of good multitablers at my tables as well.

      Bonus is almost cleared too, so thats kinda nice.

      Good weekend anyways, Saturday night was fun - went and got drunk with Canada's national junior champs just before they go to worlds in Vancouver. Go team Lawes!

      Current BR - $151.82
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Had a bit of a downswing with the SNGs, probably wasn't playing my best game either. So I turned back to my favorite cash game - cap 10nl. Probably one of the juiciest games on full tilt. With the cap being $3, half the players arent afraid to shove with 2nd or 3rd pair - its just free money.

      So I played for about 3 hours at the cap games, walked away with about $30 in profit. Not bad for 10nl, 2 tabling.

      I'm gonna work my way back into the SNGs, re-study all the articles and hopefully be profitable again. Don't know how much poker I'm gonna get in this weekend tho, I'm curling in a men's bonspiel with this years junior provincial champs. Probably not a good idea to play too much poker while the beer is flowing all weekend. :)

      Current BR - $167.06
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Quite a bit of time at the tables lately - not much to show for it. Hit a downswing, but recovered nicely yesterday.

      Bankroll hasn't really improved though - hopefully I'll run a little better and crack that elusive $200 mark. Even better - maybe i can get up to that $250 mark so I can move up to the $5 SNGs and start building my bankroll faster. My bonus is cleared too so the rakeback should help me out a little bit.

      Update on the girls at worlds - hot start, but struggling now - consecutive losses to France and the States...the girls gotta pull it together before playoffs. She did the same thing at nationals when she lost to the Yukon and really wasn't playing hopefully a little deja vu is in order.

      Current BR - $164.90. Was - barely - chip leader in the last SNG I just played. Here's the hand that crippled me.

      Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, 2+0.25 Tournament, 60/120 Blinds (5 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

      BB (t1975)
      UTG (t2840)
      MP (t2790)
      Button (t3145)
      Hero (SB) (t2750)

      Hero's M: 15.28

      Preflop: Hero is SB with A, K
      3 folds, Hero bets t2750 (All-In), BB calls t1855 (All-In)

      Flop: (t3950) 6, J, A (2 players, 2 all-in)

      Turn: (t3950) 10 (2 players, 2 all-in)

      River: (t3950) 3 (2 players, 2 all-in)

      Total pot: t3950

      Hero had A, K (one pair, Aces).
      BB had K, Q (straight, Ace high).
      Outcome: BB won t3950

      Fairly standard bad beat....but in another SNG last night - in which I finished 2nd in - the guy hit two runner runner straights against me - the first one was for him to stay alive 5-handed in a 3-way allin (he called two all-ins with A3 off!), and heads up, I started with a big chip lead. He cracked my JJ with 77 hitting a set on the turn, and then finished me off with his AQ hitting runner runner straight to beat my AK.

      Can't complain though, I've hit my fair share of suckouts lately too.

      GL at the tables all.
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      I'm feeling a little like a hamster - spinning that wheel, with nothing to show for it. Can't seem to get anything going. I've been sucked out on the bubble so many times...

      Here's a fun hand from a few minutes ago. Doyle Brunson impersonator?

      Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, 2+0.25 Tournament, 20/40 Blinds (8 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

      UTG+1 (t1590)
      MP1 (t2030)
      MP2 (t1850)
      CO (t2580)
      Button (t1350)
      SB (t1105)
      BB (t1450)
      Hero (UTG) (t1545)

      Hero's M: 25.75

      Preflop: Hero is UTG with K, K
      Hero bets t160, 3 folds, CO raises to t2580 (All-In), 3 folds, Hero calls t1385 (All-In)

      Flop: (t3150) 3, Q, 4 (2 players, 2 all-in)

      Turn: (t3150) 10 (2 players, 2 all-in)

      River: (t3150) 4 (2 players, 2 all-in)

      Total pot: t3150

      Hero had K, K (two pair, Kings and fours).
      CO had 10, 2 (flush, Queen high).
      Outcome: CO won t3150

      Congrats to team Lawes and team Gallant for taking silvers in the World Juniors this weekend. Also congrats to Stoughton on his run at the Brier - repped Manitoba very well as usual.

      I've got my new team in place for next year - my last kick at the can at the junior level. Hope all goes well! We'll get in a few men's spiels and some training at the high performance centre before the seasons done - try to get that headstart on next season.

      Current BR - $159.98
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Finally running really, really good, and finally cracked the $200 bankroll mark! And that's not including the rakeback I'll get later today. :) WOOHOO!

      In my last ten $2 SNGS - 6 1st, 1 2nd, 3 non cashes. Even the cash games I was running good in, probably made about $25 or so through there in the last week. Aggressive play works really well there - most players are very LAGY preflop, and very passive postflop. So big preflop raises and good bets on the flop and turn are generally very profitable.

      Just one example of how amazing I ran - 3-handed, I was bigstack and shoved from button with pocket 5s. Got called by A8 in small blind and QQ in the BB. QQ held up and i was down to 960 chips at 150/300 blinds.

      I proceeded to win the following races - all of which I was behind:

      It's fun being on the good side of the suckouts. :D Next goal is to reach the $250 mark so I can start grinding the $5 SNGs with the proper bankroll.

      Current BR - $202.77
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Continue to run goooooood, and just hit the $250 bankroll mark!! Will be grinding the $5 9-mans for a while then.

      Had a deep run in a $3 KO tourney, 611 players i believe. I finished 24th, although I was kinda disappointed as I was second in chips right around bubble time. Lost 3 big all-in matchups - 2 where was dominating, and the last one was a big flip with AK vs. 77. Oh well, I was really proud of how I played in it, and if i win a couple of those big matchups, I'm probably going to the final table and who knows what happens when i get there. Argggg what could have been......

      Current BR - $250.46
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Happened to come across this little nugget today. Apparently I am ranked 20th on Sharkscope in Holdem 9-10 seated $2 and under 2009 total profit. So I get this nice little star next to my name when you look me up on Sharkscope.

      Screenshots to prove it:

      My Sharkscope graph however, doesn't look quite as pretty. But you can definitely see where my nice little upswing lately is happening. :)

      Current BR - $267.21
    • 8979687
      Joined: 11.11.2008 Posts: 2,225
      It's always nice to have that line fire right up on the graph eh?

      How have the $5s been treating you? do you find them easy to beat?
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Variance and the tilt issues that followed (moreso in the cash games...i played way longer than I shouldve) dropped my bankroll to about $200ish lately. It was as low as $182 at one point. I've been really good about not tilting after bad beats, but there were just so many in a short period of time and I just kept playing. Really stupid on my part. I guess it was expected after the sick upswing that preceded it. So I'm grinding the $2 turbo SNGs until I have the proper bankroll for the $5 reg. speed again. I find the turbos easier to practice ICM with then the reg. speed ones - therefore, less interesting hands lately.

      Playing well again though, even with variance rearing its ugly head tonight again. Quite a few suckouts - especially on a couple of my tables, this guy (same one on both tables) was truly a suckout king. QQ>KK, J7>AT and 34s>AK. Rebounded with a win and a 2nd (all in with AT with blinds at 250/500 and sucked out by J7 again, what can you do) to finish off my really short session.

      I started making a graph to see how many flips I was really winning/losing, and how many times I sucked out compared to how many times villain sucked out on me. Flips were even - how they should be - but suckouts were 7-3 in their favour.

      No really interesting hands to post this time, I should have one or two next time.

      Current BR - $207.86
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Ugh....I can't understand why people are so retarded.

      Last sng of the night, bubble time. Super shorty pushes from button, and well, I'll let you read the rest.

      Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, 2+0.25 Tournament, 300/600 Blinds (4 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

      UTG (t1255)
      Button (t690)
      Hero (SB) (t3920)
      BB (t7635)

      Hero's M: 4.36

      Preflop: Hero is SB with Q, J
      1 fold, Button bets t690 (All-In), Hero calls t390, BB calls t90

      Flop: (t2070) Q, 5, 4 (3 players, 1 all-in)
      Hero checks, BB bets t6945 (All-In), Hero folds

      Turn: (t2070) 2 (2 players, 2 all-in)

      River: (t2070) Q (2 players, 2 all-in)

      Total pot: t2070

      Button had 2, A (two pair, Queens and twos).
      BB had K, 7 (one pair, Queens).
      Outcome: Button won t2070

      BB had been playing pretty tight, trapping, no bluffs, so I figured that he had to have me beat. Why would he shove with king high? Aren't we trying to bust someone? If I'm betting with a shorty all-in, no side pot, I better have the nuts or something pretty close to it. I bust out on the bubble with AA two hands later. I open shoved, same idiot called me with QJs and made his flush.

      No more poker for me tonight, I just know that is going to tilt the shit out of me.

      Otherwise, I've been running better. A little bit up and down, but I think I'm gonna continue grinding the $2 until I reach ~$300. Once I get back to the $5 and $6, I don't want to have to move down again.

      Current BR - $248.78
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Gonna update the blog after the tourney - but for now, I'm going to tell you all to register for the PokerStrategy English community tournament at Full Tilt in an hour and a half. ($5.50 entry)

      To access it, go to Tournaments, then the Private tab, and find PokerStrategy English. Or you can go to Requests, then Find Tournament by ID, and type in 85347213.

      Password is rivered. I better see you all there!
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Haven't updated this thing for a while (2 weeks!) so this post might be a little longer.

      Have moved up to the $6 turbos, really becoming a fan of the turbos as my push/fold game is improving all the time. Variance is definitely a factor but I am showing a long term profit. The players are amazingly bad, including a lot of the multitablers/regs. There are a few good players, but in general I actually found the competition tougher on the $2 turbos.

      I suffered an absolutely brutal downswing after my bankroll reached $350 for the first time. Something like 18 buy-ins, took my bankroll down to $260ish. I decided that I was still playing well but just running like shit, so I continued to grind the $6 turbos and was rewarded with an awesome upswing that brought my roll up to about $380. Since then, my bankroll went through swongs where I was up to $400 and back down to $330, then up again, and down again. Extreme patience is necessary to wading through these donks sucking out on you over and over again. (I understand how 8979687 became so frustrating during his downswing! the $6 turbo donks are truly incredible!)

      My patience paid off last night/this morning though thanks to two back-to-back solid sets of 4. In my set last night, I scored a 1st and a 3rd, nothing special but I played excellent. Was forced to make some really tough calls and some great laydowns (at least I hope so!) and this morning's set was unbelievable - 2 1sts, 1 2nd, 1 3rd. Felt like I played almost perfect this morning, maybe one or two tiny errors.

      And an absolutely disgusting cooler last night, here it is:

      Full Tilt No-Limit Hold'em, 6+0.50 Tournament, 50/100 Blinds (6 handed) - Full-Tilt Converter Tool from

      BB (t1710)
      UTG (t3160)
      Hero (MP) (t1350)
      CO (t2280)
      Button (t1150)
      SB (t3850)

      Hero's M: 9.00

      Preflop: Hero is MP with 4, 4
      UTG calls t100, Hero calls t100, 1 fold, Button calls t100, 1 fold, BB checks

      UTG was capable of limp-calling shoves, so I decided to limp and go set mining. Also felt like there were too many left to act for me to open shove such a low PP.

      Flop: (t450) 9, 2, 9 (4 players)
      BB checks, UTG checks, Hero checks, Button checks

      No point in betting OOP in a 4 way pot, someone else could easily have a PP or BB could have woken up with a nine.

      Turn: (t450) 4 (4 players)
      BB checks, UTG checks, Hero bets t200, Button calls t200, BB calls t200, 1 fold

      Bingo! Decided to bet weak and look like I was trying to pick up the pot for cheap, a higher pocket pair like 66 or 77 might have come over the top. I also wanted to price in anyone that might have had a flush draw.

      River: (t1050) 7 (3 players)
      BB checks, Hero bets t500, Button raises to t850 (All-In), 1 fold, Hero calls t350

      Total pot: t2750

      Button had 7, 9 (full house, nines over sevens).
      Hero had 4, 4 (full house, fours over nines).
      Outcome: Button won t2750

      I kinda think my value bet on the end was too big. Thinking 350 might have been more appropriate. Turns out button shoved over the top and I obviously had to call. Was absolutely shocked to see the result.

      Current BR - $436.21
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      I'm so bad at updating this thing lol.

      Anyways, lots of things have been happening lately, poker and otherwise.

      School is done for the year! Last exam was last Wednesday, and I let the next day for Edmonton with my team for the weekend to curl in the Kevin Martin bonspiel. Someone lent us a van for the road trip for free, so we just had to pay for gas. So no poker from Friday to Monday - first real break I've had for the game in a couple months. We did good out there too, made it to the semifinals where we lost in a very well played game to a guy who was the first all-star team skip at junior nationals this year. Both teams shot in the high 80s in terms of shooting percentages, which is incredible for most mens games, never mind a junior game. It was a really tough field too, every province except for Newfoundland was represented there and there were a lot of players who had national/worlds experience. Good way to end the season.

      The drive back was very scary though. Just outside of Yorkton, SK, we hit a 1500 pound moose. The windshield and part of the roof was caved in, and the side windows completely shattered in on us too. We all thought we were gonna die for sure, but unbelievably, none of us were hurt at all. The cops got us a hotel room in town and the parents picked us up in the morning. I might take my share of bad beats in poker, but I think this weekend proved I am the ultimate luckbox.

      As for poker, when I got back, I took Monday off, but decided to get back and play on Tuesday. Ran kinda bad to start, maybe it was partly the fact that I had taken a few days off, but I think I was getting my money in good for the most part. I've been running (and playing!) pretty damn good since. Last two days have been especially good (big start to May!), with 79 SNGs played at a 24% ROI for a profit of $124.

      See pretty sharkscope graph for the deets:

      Current BR - $655.50
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Oh, one more thing - I decided to change the name of my blog, because the original name sounded incredibly dull. Maybe I'll attract some new readers......
    • fun101rockets
      Joined: 01.06.2008 Posts: 1,162
      great to see a SnG player from Canada. I also play Sngs and I am from Edmonton. On FT I usually play the $11+1 turbos (have not played on FT in a while). The trick to overcoming varience is mass multitabling.
    • LuborC
      Joined: 20.04.2008 Posts: 1,243
      Ha! You think you can steal the pot by donking with A high on the flop? Think again! :D
    • wasy8
      Joined: 29.01.2009 Posts: 1,507
      Hahaha I don't know if I wouldve tried it with too many others.....shouldve fired again on the turn...
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