Are SNGs harder to master than NL cash?

    • gutocrapula
      gutocrapula
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      Joined: 16.02.2009 Posts: 52
      I've been playing $1-2 sngs, watching videos and reading the articles. My BR right now is around $76. I reached $100, was so happy then crashed back to $60 and grinded back to this...

      I took a break and studied more after the downsing and it gave me a better perspective.

      I want to know if sngs are much tougher to learn then NL BSS since you have the different fases and ICM to learn. I understood ICM after struggling and doing a lot of research. But I'm sloooow at doing math in my head and everybody says you have to spend hours studying ICM and analyzing hands to get good at sngs... I also cannot afford to buy any software right now (Would buy if I made money with poker) and don't want to let this hobby take over my life but really want to build my BR and improve over time.

      (I'm sorry, I posted this by mistake in the "general discussion" forum and reposted here. Mods are welcome to delete the first one)
  • 46 replies
    • EmanuelC16
      EmanuelC16
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      Joined: 02.01.2010 Posts: 13,897
      I think any form of poker is very hard to master. You just have to find the game that suits you best. I also tried SNGs but I didn't like that there was so few hands played postflop. I thought this would be an advantaged for a beginner but it just got so booooring and in the push or fold phase there are just to many bad beats to handle so I switched to NL BSS.
    • Steelbrewer
      Steelbrewer
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      Joined: 22.04.2009 Posts: 580
      NL BSS and SnG are two different variations of poker even if the game (NLH) is the same. Someone who crushes the limits in cash may not adapt for SnG and the other way around SnG oriented player may suck at cash tables.

      I think NL SSS is easiest to "master" but it is not that much of skill involved there. As for BSS I would say in the micro stakes it is easier than SnG and at mid stakes it is the other way around.

      As for software ICM trainer and ICM trainer light are free and that's more than enough to get a feeling about ICM.
    • viewer88
      viewer88
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      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      From what I understand about cash (little) sng's are far easier ^^
    • pzhon
      pzhon
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      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      Both are very hard to master. However, you do not need to master them to win. This also means that many winning players have room for improvement.

      I think SNGs are better suited for beginners in some ways. Since the stacks are shorter, you go to showdown more often, which is better for learning than when you don't get to see the hands. On the other hand, SNGs require different play at each stage, so SNG players have to learn to play in more situations.
    • gutocrapula
      gutocrapula
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      Joined: 16.02.2009 Posts: 52
      Hey, thanks for the replys.

      Questions:

      How can I effectively review my tournaments having at my disposal just an online replayer and ps equilator and without spending hours every day? I feel the need to group specific scenarios where I'm not sure I'm doing the right thing to nail them down and plug leaks. I probably have many.

      Is it useful to keep running icm trainer light after having gone through it a couple of times? (I can't afford to buy icm trainer)

      How much are my limitations with math going to limit my improvement with poker?


      Thx
    • pzhon
      pzhon
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      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      I believe ICM Trainer is free.

      You don't need to review every decision you make.

      One alternative is to take a few tournaments, and play through them. Try to come up with ranges for your opponents, and think about some of the decisions on a deeper level than you could while you play. You may have better reads on your opponents as you review the tournaments. Later, you should be able to recognize similar situations and apply the conclusions.

      Another alternative is to take some phase of the tournament, or some situation. Look at all bubble hands, or all blind-versus-blind hands.

      You don't have to do many calculations at the table, if that is your worry. One of my students has a Ph.D. from MIT, and she came up with the following rule: To find out what a 10 bb stack is, take the big blind, and add a 0 at the end. A 5 bb stack is the small blind with a 0 on the end. You do want to be able to recognize the difference between getting 3:1 odds and getting 3:2 odds, but you don't have to do many precise calculations.
    • jbpatzer
      jbpatzer
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      Joined: 22.11.2009 Posts: 6,944
      Originally posted by pzhon
      One of my students has a Ph.D. from MIT, and she came up with the following rule: To find out what a 10 bb stack is, take the big blind, and add a 0 at the end.
      Blimey! Those MIT PhD students are sharp!
    • gutocrapula
      gutocrapula
      Bronze
      Joined: 16.02.2009 Posts: 52
      Originally posted by pzhon
      I believe ICM Trainer is free.

      You don't need to review every decision you make.

      One alternative is to take a few tournaments, and play through them. Try to come up with ranges for your opponents, and think about some of the decisions on a deeper level than you could while you play. You may have better reads on your opponents as you review the tournaments. Later, you should be able to recognize similar situations and apply the conclusions.

      Another alternative is to take some phase of the tournament, or some situation. Look at all bubble hands, or all blind-versus-blind hands.

      You don't have to do many calculations at the table, if that is your worry. One of my students has a Ph.D. from MIT, and she came up with the following rule: To find out what a 10 bb stack is, take the big blind, and add a 0 at the end. A 5 bb stack is the small blind with a 0 on the end. You do want to be able to recognize the difference between getting 3:1 odds and getting 3:2 odds, but you don't have to do many precise calculations.

      Thank you so much for these tips! I'll copy this to a notepad. I like the shortcut for calculating blinds too.

      Whats the easiest way to calculate the pot odds?
    • ihufa
      ihufa
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      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 3,323
      stop confusing him with long answers.

      the answer is a definite NO
    • StoneJ
      StoneJ
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      Joined: 03.08.2010 Posts: 153
      The PhD's we are getting in the UK are obviously no match for the PhD's in other countries if she was able to work out that a quick way of multiplying by 10 is to add a 0

      amazing
    • ihufa
      ihufa
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      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 3,323
      oh and thanks pzhon i've been trying to figure out how to do those calcs for quite some time now. At first i thought i should add 10 0's since i was multiplying with 10, but that never really worked out
    • BCShad0w
      BCShad0w
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      Joined: 07.06.2010 Posts: 78
      I'd say yes.

      In cash games I can almost promise at micro you will only see pairs or Ax or Kx played. That's because you can sit for hours and not worry about the blinds.

      That all changes when the blinds are biting you on the ass. You need to take into consideration chips stacks, levels and timing in my opinion. I have more success at SnGs than cash because Im not playing 8 ultra tight players who don't mind folding 20-30 hands before they play one!

      /C
    • viewer88
      viewer88
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      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      Originally posted by BCShad0w

      In cash games I can almost promise at micro you will only see pairs or Ax or Kx played. That's because you can sit for hours and not worry about the blinds.

      That's terrible cashgame strategy though :p

      Sng's have less postflop play, less levelling and less multi-street thinking.

      The first half of an sng you're just gonna play your big hands ABC style
      In the second half your biggest decisions are about pushing or folding preflop, there's even software that can give you a decent calculation about the $EV of those situations. There's always gonna be an optimal push/callrange, the players that get closest have the highest ROI.

      SNG's are easier to play but you can't earn as much as cashgame players. The high limit sng players are breakeven or 2-3% ROI players who make most of their money through rakeback, and will earn only a fraction of what high limit cashgame players make.
    • andreibalint
      andreibalint
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      Joined: 11.04.2009 Posts: 872
      For me SNG's were definately harder but they were definately worth the effort.

      You find much more idiots then cash games, and you can put a lot of pressure on your opponents ( what do you mean you're raising my blind when i'm the chip leader and there's a short stack around? Ship it!!!)

      Try them! I was surprised how incomparably fishier 2$ sng's were from NL5.

      Thing is SNG's are about preflop, cash is about postflop. First has more variance but it's easier to find the optimal play.
    • Hlynkinn
      Hlynkinn
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      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      Originally posted by jbpatzer
      Originally posted by pzhon
      One of my students has a Ph.D. from MIT, and she came up with the following rule: To find out what a 10 bb stack is, take the big blind, and add a 0 at the end.
      Blimey! Those MIT PhD students are sharp!
      finally I understand something pzhon said!!!
    • Hlynkinn
      Hlynkinn
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      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      SNG's are easier to play but you can't earn as much as cashgame players. The high limit sng players are breakeven or 2-3% ROI players who make most of their money through rakeback, and will earn only a fraction of what high limit cashgame players make.


      what is considered high limit for sng's???
    • Proky11
      Proky11
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      Joined: 05.10.2009 Posts: 1,473
      Originally posted by Hlynkinn
      what is considered high limit for sng's???
      I guess $60+. Definitely $100+.
    • Hlynkinn
      Hlynkinn
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      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      Originally posted by Proky11
      Originally posted by Hlynkinn
      what is considered high limit for sng's???
      I guess $60+. Definitely $100+.
      anyone knows if $109's non turbo are grindable???
    • viewer88
      viewer88
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      Joined: 19.04.2008 Posts: 5,545
      I don't think there's enough traffic, even at peak times. You can mix it up with other limits ofcourse.