Deviating from the charts

    • JamieFinch
      JamieFinch
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.06.2010 Posts: 34
      Recently I got my freeroll for partypoker.


      To begin with I stuck to the shc's religiously, without success. I simply found myself folding almost constantly and some games I would only get to see the flop if I was playing BB.

      Not only was this unsuccessful, but it also became quite boring and so I began deviating from the SNG shc's. Not by much, but I'd be more likely to play that A 10 s or even and A or K with a lower card (suited) if I was in a late position.

      The result was that I started winning, or at least getting into the money. What I have noticed is that despite not playing as tight as the charts, I was still playing tighter than most if not all of the other players at the table.

      I'm not trying to suggest that I know better, after all I am new to poker. Perhaps somebody could give me some insight as to why this might be though, or maybe I have been reading the charts incorrectly?

      Thanks.
  • 9 replies
    • pzhon
      pzhon
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      First, I should point out that it takes surprisingly long to determine whether a change in strategy is producing better results. Sometimes the cards will favor you, and you may win more even if you are not playing better.

      That said, the charts are not meant to represent optimal play. They are more of a survival strategy, and you should deviate from them by playing more hands in good situations as you gain more experience.

      For example, the chart for stealing from the button in early levels suggests playing any pair and any broadway hand except QT and JT. That's 15.5% of all hands. I consider this 32% range conservative: 22 A2s A5o K5s K7o Q8s QTo J8s J9o T8s T9o 98s 87s 76s 65s 54s. The extra hands should be profitable against almost all opponents, but they also lead to tougher postflop decisions which beginners may not be comfortable handling. It would be a shame if beginners busted out too often in early levels due to misplaying these hands and didn't get a chance to get to the push/fold portion of the game, where practice with ICM Trainer gives PokerStrategy players a big advantage. As you develop more skills, both preflop and postflop, you should loosen up a bit from the charts.
    • alenstrat
      alenstrat
      Bronze
      Joined: 13.03.2009 Posts: 821
      Your problem is strange, you should have no problems in early stage SNG with the TAG SHC.

      If you are playing turbos, try dropping down to regular speed till you are more experience. In regular speed you should do well at any stage of the tourney.

      Having problems from the mid stage onwards in turbo or even regular speed tourneys is not that abnormal for a beginner. The normal TAG starting chart is only what you use the first stage of an MTT of SNG. When the blinds become big enough, which happens always in turbo and sometimes in normal speed, you start loosening up the chart in late position. For a beginner you should be shoving with those hands with less then 10bb. If you are min raising or raising normal, that would definitely get you into postflop trouble when you get called.

      And then at some point in the tourney you almost play ICM poker, except that you use your reads (ie you might not shove 102s or other marginal hands from bu if there is a super loose on the blinds). I'm not sure if I'm doing right in replying this to you since you are bronze. Can't remember if the bronze articles already mention this.

      Definitely attend sng coaching, in particular I think Chenny rules, I understood more about the dynamics of a SNG from his coaching then all the articles I read together. And as the other post says, yes, dload the ICM trainer if you're serious about improving your late stage SNG game.

      For your level you definitely shouldn't be stealing or open raising with the wide range you mention early in SNG or MTT. You'll only get into post flop trouble with those marginal hands.
    • JamieFinch
      JamieFinch
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.06.2010 Posts: 34
      Thanks for your replies.

      Is it possible that I just hit a period of down swing? When I say that I rarely got to see the flop, I mean regardless of position or what was played before me. The hands that I had simply where not on the SHC at all.
    • JamieFinch
      JamieFinch
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.06.2010 Posts: 34
      I was doing quite well on SNG's on Titan poker with a freeroll that I got from another site (I blew that freeroll, my fault entirely). I was nearly always getting into the money, although I was struggling with the later stages as I had not yet achieved bronze status and so could not access the relevant material.

      My freeroll from poker strategy is for party poker and I started to struggle straight away. The minimum pay in for SNG's on pp is $1 as opposed to the 0.2 and 0.5 I was playing on titan. I assumed at first that my downturn in fortunes was because of this small step up.

      I passed the first 5 tests on the ICM trainer at the first time of asking and the 6th at the second time of asking, so I must have been doing something right. This was before I attained bronze level.

      Think I'll go through the trainer starting at level 1 again, perhaps I have lost my way somewhere.
    • Ph1l1pp3
      Ph1l1pp3
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.04.2008 Posts: 3,666
      Hi JamieFinch,

      You shouldn't play a freeroll with the SHC for SNG's. Rather stick to the article "How to play a freeroll".
    • JamieFinch
      JamieFinch
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.06.2010 Posts: 34
      Thanks all. All of your advice is appreciated and heeded.
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      I think when he says freeroll he actually means free starting bankroll, which are very different things. I sincerely suggest you stick to the charts for thousands of tourneys. If you want to test different strategies, you will need a lot of experience to make it profitable.

      You may catch very bad streaks from time to time, this week I've lost close to 50 buy-ins and I've played around 5,000 sng's in the last two years. It's better to analyze your play and post hands for evaluation than creating a new strategy all by yourself. Early in the tourney you better keep folding that AJ, A10, KQ, KJ from early position as it is very likely that you are losing huge pots if playing that crap.
    • JamieFinch
      JamieFinch
      Bronze
      Joined: 09.06.2010 Posts: 34
      Originally posted by AquamanBT
      Early in the tourney you better keep folding that AJ, A10, KQ, KJ from early position as it is very likely that you are losing huge pots if playing that crap.
      Which suggests to me that I was doing the right thing all along (before I deviated), but luck was not going my way. Back to basics it is then.

      Thanks, to all.
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      Originally posted by pzhon
      First, I should point out that it takes surprisingly long to determine whether a change in strategy is producing better results. Sometimes the cards will favor you, and you may win more even if you are not playing better.

      That said, the charts are not meant to represent optimal play. They are more of a survival strategy, and you should deviate from them by playing more hands in good situations as you gain more experience.

      This. Hadn't seen it was a coach telling you basically the same thing I told you, and he has much more status and experience than me. Keep it up!