MTTs - SNG strategy?

    • Berkstajger
      Berkstajger
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.03.2009 Posts: 878
      Due to the horrible lack of FL tables on Pacific I've been forced to play MTTs that have a nice 0.88$ buyin and 10$ first prize / 40 players.

      However I find it very difficult to get anywhere. I try to follow bronze and silver SNG strategy but with playing that tight I have to fold lots of hands since players often raise in early stages (10/20 blinds @ 888 starting capital) so I have to fold JJ on BU.

      Therefore I get little or no play until the middle/late stage of the tournament where I am always shortstacked and struggle to get some little pot and then at 300/600 or 400/800 blinds I'm more or less finished.

      I would love to post some hands but unfortunately I haven't been able to find a hand converter that would work with Pacific Poker.

      I think I should play more aggresive having in mind that 0.88 / 10$ ratio. Because just struggling to break even is not getting me anywhere. As the cherry on top then something like this then often happens when I'm desperately trying not to be blown out of the bubble:

      #Game No : 425410452
      ***** Cassava Hand History for Game 425410452 *****
      $400/$800 Blinds No Limit Holdem - *** 29 05 2009 23:55:27
      Tournament #23560933 $0.88 + $0.08 - Table #1 (Real Money)
      Seat 2 is the button
      Total number of players : 5
      Seat 1: girtom ( $5,558 )
      Seat 2: michel__ ( $1,712 )
      Seat 5: marlich62i ( $1,344 )
      Seat 9: ACESTUP1 ( $7,498 )
      Seat 10: Bergstajger ( $312 )
      marlich62i posts small blind [$400]
      ACESTUP1 posts big blind [$800]
      ** Dealing down cards **
      Dealt to Bergstajger [ Qs, Ad ]
      Bergstajger calls [$312]
      girtom folds
      michel__ folds
      marlich62i folds
      ** Dealing flop ** [ Kc, 3h, 4c ]
      ** Dealing turn ** [ 5d ]
      ** Dealing river ** [ Td ]
      ** Summary **
      ACESTUP1 shows [ 3d, 4d ]
      Bergstajger shows [ Qs, Ad ]
      ACESTUP1 collected [ $936 ]
      ACESTUP1 collected [ $576 ]


      I was UTG, BB would forced me all-in anyway so really had no option.

      All-in-all I've played around 20 of these MTTs, won 5$ on and few times 0.7$ and finished 15-20th place most of the times so even taking variance into the equation I think in this certain situation something is wrong with my game.
  • 10 replies
    • AussieIan
      AussieIan
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.12.2007 Posts: 366
      ICM is the key...in tourneys like that, you can be very tight and let people knock each other out till it comes to push fold. Any sit n go player here will recommend the ICM trainer to you. Suckouts happen, as long as you are playing well dont get down....it happens to everyone, and everything evens out in the longer term.
    • Berkstajger
      Berkstajger
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.03.2009 Posts: 878
      Pfff... ICM trainer, I totally forgot I already have it installed on my computer. I will sure give it a go, thank you. :)

      But I still think there's a little glitch in the starting hands charts. I think the charts presumes other players also playing by the chart at least at raising. But in these MTTs there are mostly minimum raises so a raiser invests 40 in a pot instead of 120(BB @ 20) where there were already 3 callers infront of him.

      In that case for instance if I'm on BU and with 1 minimum raise and 4 callers, the pot would be 240 and I would have to invest 40 to call. I would get 5:1 pot odds and in that case all solid hands like JJ, AJ+ and KG stand a decent chance with EV+. Having in mind that players on that stage call almost everything even 4:1 pot odds would be worth taking a chance, even though that would be a bit EV-.

      Just thinking out loud... Any comments from the more experienced MTT players? Please have in mind that I am playing on the lowest limits on Pacific and players are imho more loose than on higher buyins.
    • IndianLuck
      IndianLuck
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2009 Posts: 3
      Hi Berkstajger

      I assume you play 40 man SNG's. If yes, I too play $1 or $2 30 man SNG's at Mansion. I have just posted my stats in "Your Poker Blogs" to get some inputs from some more experience players.

      I think the charts gives you the hand range you must be looking for, But in a given situation there are also other things you must consider about the table, and your opponents before folding JJ, AJ+ and KG. These are good starting hands. A raise of 40 when BB @ 20 is not a substantial raise to fold the hand range you are talking about. I personally would consider to re raise with them in some situation and see how the table reacts to it. But avoid to call or re raise any substantial raise. Again that depends on which player made the raise and how tight or loose he is playing at the table. And yes 4:1 pot odds would be worth taking a chance.

      And one more thing you had "$312" when the blinds are "$400/$800". You can't just sit around for that long to get that perfect starting hand. You must be going all in when the blinds are at 50/100 or 100/200 with near about 1000 in your stack and try to double up or at least seal some blinds to keep you in the race for the money.

      Hope this helps you.
    • IndianLuck
      IndianLuck
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2009 Posts: 3
      And one more thing. I might be wrong, But that's what I would do if I am in your place.
    • tk3302
      tk3302
      Bronze
      Joined: 20.10.2008 Posts: 2
      Hey OP, I understand exactly what your saying. The thing is, the starting hand chart doesn't read other players for you, and not everybody plays by the chart. So in other words you can't follow it like the bible, all the time! However, following it the best you can will lead to more success and money in the long run. With that being said there is an exception...

      When in a MTT, and the antes start kicking in, that is the optimal time to follow the hand chart to a 95% accuracy. Keep in mind that stealing blinds are essential to survival so look up the article on that as well. But late stages in a MTT, follow the chart to a "T."
    • Berkstajger
      Berkstajger
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.03.2009 Posts: 878
      Wow.

      Just played two MTT's the way I decided - more loose at start and with blind stealing in middle and late phase.

      I finished up 8th the first one, earning 1$, and the second one:



      :s_biggrin:

      I did have good cards so of course I cannot always expect to be winning, but still I'm quite satisfied because I feel that the change of tactics worked. It was quite easy on HU when I could use my experience from turbo SNG's where people play too tight and I just slowly collect their blinds and finish. I still have to work on ICM, but all in all I think these adjustments work very well :f_p:
    • miskokvo
      miskokvo
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.03.2008 Posts: 1,502
      ICM wont help you there ... ICM (icm) trainer is based on 9(10) players with payout first 3 places.

      how can you adapt ICM when there is 18/40 left and first 6 get payed out? ...

      as i can remember there is some formula on internet that it produce you some sort of chart for this more people sngs


      ICM is used maybe in last few hands of tournament....


      you rather stick with MTT strategy for those ones
    • Berkstajger
      Berkstajger
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.03.2009 Posts: 878
      18/6 = 3

      It's the same ratio - you have to make to top 33%. There are of course deviations because you'll probably play on two tables at that point, but goal remains the same - you have to beat 77% of players with blinds kicking in. I think ICM could roughly be appliable here. At least on lower limits. It worked for me so far...
    • miskokvo
      miskokvo
      Bronze
      Joined: 28.03.2008 Posts: 1,502
      Originally posted by Berkstajger
      18/6 = 3

      It's the same ratio - you have to make to top 33%. There are of course deviations because you'll probably play on two tables at that point, but goal remains the same - you have to beat 77% of players with blinds kicking in. I think ICM could roughly be appliable here. At least on lower limits. It worked for me so far...

      number is same but payout structure is so diferent eg in 9 handed is 50% 30% 20%

      in 45 sng is somthing like 45% 28% 20% 17% 15% 7% etc...

      mayking huge diference in ICM calculations
    • rhinoneil
      rhinoneil
      Silver
      Joined: 16.04.2008 Posts: 1,159
      You should definately use ICM theory in later stages of mtts.
      Early on it is fine to play small pps as long as you can get in cheap, for set value. I certainly wouldnt be folding any pp to a min raise and i would also call a higher, standard raise if there are several callers.
      Your JJ example is at the very least a call, possibly a reraise depending on any reads.
      You cant allow yourself to get so low in chips, even if you are trying to avoid the bubble.
      Once you get below 10BB you have to make moves. If you dont find good hands, shove first in, in late position with virtually any two just to get the blinds and keep your head above water.
      The problem you have once you are down to 5-6BB is that people will call your all ins light and you need to get your chips in before that.Also remember that once you are close to the bubble, smaller stack players will be reluctant to call big bets unless they have good hands and you should aggressively target these players if you have position on them.
      For example, if you are button and have 2 shorter stacks in the blinds and nobody else is in the pot, you can shove really light near the bubble, they wont call unless they wake up with a premium hand.
      You dont need to play loose early on, just play sensible tight aggressive poker. Raise first in with pps, AK, AQs etc but dont get drawn into limping with marginal hands like AT, JQ, etc just because everyone else is.