Rule #1: Survive

    • VorpalF2F
      Super Moderator
      Super Moderator
      Joined: 02.09.2010 Posts: 8,901
      I have now played a total of two (2) real-money SNGs

      I usually play cash games

      I went through the whole 10 basic/bronze SNG articles, and thought I'd have a go. After I won the first SNG I ever enterred, I played play money SNGs of various sizes for several days to see if that win was just blind luck or if maybe the strategy given had merit.

      Along the way I discovered the following:
      1: Yes, it does work. I was ITM in all but four play money tournaments.
      2: Each time I was NOT in the money, I did something more-or-less contrary to the "by-the-book" strategy. Mind you, I did take a couple of successful risks -- usually as a result of exploiting an idiot.
      3: Regardless of what the ICM says to do, you must survive. Never EVER risk everything unless you are dead cold certain that you have the nuts.

      OK, I'll have to admit I'm not totally certain about #3. In my 2nd real money tournament, I folded AK pre-flop against a re-raise that would have meant half my stack on the bubble. I felt like such a fool. I still have no idea what the villain had. However I eventually won that tournament too, and AK can easily miss a flop, which even against pocket deuces means I've lost everything.


  • 4 replies
    • santostr
      Joined: 11.08.2009 Posts: 663
      1) Keep studiing.
      2) Folding AK to a resteal on the buble might not be the right play (usualy isn't), but need more details on that:
      3) Stack sizes, Nr of players, blind level. Pay atention to that, and how affect your play.

      4) Sorry to say that your results are meaningless.
      You can see in other topics that even 500 tourneys will not make you sure you're a good winning player...
    • andreibalint
      Joined: 11.04.2009 Posts: 872
      If you play sng's do yourself a favour and play by the book. If you have to push 72o then push it!!!

      I personally don't give a crap to survival in a sng, all I care is having a decent ROI over a big sample size = you make money. If you play only nuts and push only good hands you'll wake up with 2-3 blinds, maybe on the bubble to mess your brains worse.

      I stongly believe that you can make more money in a SNG then cash games (at micro and low stakes at least). In theory the more swingy the game the bigger the profit (since regs prefer lower variance games).
    • ihufa
      Joined: 18.03.2008 Posts: 3,323
      rule two (2): lol
    • pzhon
      Joined: 17.06.2010 Posts: 1,151
      In tournaments with prizes for second and lower places, there is a balance between survival and chip accumulation. In SNGs with a 50-30-20 structure, this balance is tilted much more toward survival than in most other tournaments. Only super satellites and Double or Nothing tournaments are more extreme. Nevertheless, it sounds like you are going overboard, and you need to swing back toward accumulating chips if you want to be a solid winner, or even a winner at all.

      I'm afraid I don't believe that you can almost always cash just by waiting for the nuts. In all but the softest games with the craziest players (play chips might not resemble real money enough), you can no longer fold into the money. You will have a short stack, and the medium stacks tighten up against each other, waiting for you to bust out. The blinds will take larger bites out of your stack with each orbit. You will not have the nuts often enough to make up for this.

      Well-timed aggression is critical for success in SNGs in the long run. Part of this is to shove with a wide range at times, knowing that you will be behind if you are called, but that the reward is worth the risk. In fact, you should exploit the fact that many of your opponents are overly cautious by being more aggressive than they are to get more than an even share of the prize pool.