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The SNG Planet Guide To Building Your Poker Bankroll
Mark’s Course Introduction
Welcome to the $16 per hour SNG Blueprint, within just 21 days I will teach you a straight-forward system of playing online poker which can be used to build up your bankroll by $16+ per hour. I strongly believe that anyone with average or better intelligence, a little discipline and willingness to move around to find the weakest (most profitable) games can quickly beat the $16 per hour in our headline… What this depends on is your willingness to understand and implement the concepts – and a focus on finding the most profitable games. This 4-part course will focus on single-table SNG tournaments. It starts by giving you a solid understanding of where your profits come from – and then outlines how you can best adjust to benefit. We will gradually increase both the number of games you are comfortable playing simultaneously and the buy-ins levels that you play. At the same time we will sharpen your game with strategy insights that improve your returns from each stage of the game. Remember, poker is about more just how you play the cards you are dealt – the most profitable players are those who take the time to find the games where their edge is greatest! Good Luck At The Tables, Mark http://www.sitandgoplanet.com
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$16 / Hr SNG Blueprint – List Of Contents
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) 9) 10) 11) 12) 21 Days From Now… Where You Can Be After Completing This Course SNGs Introduction, Why These Games Are Great For Building A Bankroll Bankroll Management, ROI Definition And The Effects Of Variance Starting Bankroll, Get Off To A Flying Start By Finding The Most Profitable Games Multi-Tabling, Introducing Hourly Rates + Strategy Changes Strategy Introduction, Starting Hands And Position Strategy Introduction, Objectives, Stages And Stack Sizes Strategy Insights, Early Stages Strategy Tips For Multi-Tablers Strategy Insights, Mid-Stages Strategy Tips For Multi-Tablers Strategy Insights, The Bubble, Equity And Aggression! Strategy Insights, In The Money + Heads-Up Play Summing It Up – Key Take Away Points And Tasks For The Next 7 Days!
We have broken the course into 4 separate areas. you’ll simply fire up more games – focusing on the ‘bubble’ where the skills and knowledge to take advantage of opponents mistakes can be used again and again. along with strategy and profitmaking advice and insights which we will build on as the course progresses. By the end of this section you will know exactly what mistakes your opponents are making at the bubble. You will 3 . and also introduce the reasons why a disciplined early game is key to long term profitability. Let me be more specific. Whether your objective is to move to the high-stakes tournaments. by way of introducing the main concepts. I outline the principles of push / fold poker and ‘prize pool equity’ which you can use immediately. showing you how SNGs can mean big profits and giving you a new perspective which will quickly boost your win-rates. Busting out will not be a problem. and possess an effective counter-strategy for each one. transition to cash games or even just to generate some useful extra money for non-poker uses – you’ll always have the ability to come back for more. firing up 6 to 8 turbo SNG tournaments. I expect that in 21 days from now you be logging on to a poker site which features significantly softer (more profitable) games than you are used to (see below for more on this important aspect). each building on the last: Part #1 – The SNG Blueprint: This part of the course will give you the ‘big view’.Chapter #1 – 21 Days From Now Where Will You Be After Completing This Course With the skills and knowledge to earn an average of $16 per hour (or more!) from the tables your bankroll could be starting to grow very fat indeed after completing this course. based on a clearly defined strategy specifically designed to minimize difficult spots – without leaving too much ‘value’ on the table. In 21 days time you will have the tools to grow your poker bankroll at will. while following our simple guidelines to avoid having too many multitabling opponents. You will be cashing and winning at a rate which sees their bankroll move up and up and up with more games played. Part #2 – Becoming A Bubble Ninja: This part will arrive in 5 days time. it will break down the bubble of a 1-table SNG tournament like you have never seen before. You will be making many fairly ‘automatic’ decisions.
You will be amazed how quickly playing 6. mastering SNG tournaments is easier than many people think! 4 . While we would love to share the insights and advanced strategy tips with you earlier – they become even more valuable after you have a solid grasp of the principles from the earlier sections.also be provided with the ability to identify your own bubble leaks between sessions – and of course the ability to plug them! Part #3 – Turn Up The Volume: Next I will teach you how to gradually increase the number of games you are playing – while maintaining that profitable edge. arriving a further 5 days after Part #3. 8 or more games can become as simple a routine as playing just 2! Part #4 – SNG Profit Booster: In many ways this is the most important part of the course. If you are prepared to put in effort to learn the key concepts and seek the most profitable sites and games then read on.
When enough players sit down. The shift in strategy from one stage of the game to another is not obvious. If you think about when you first discovered online poker. with the many size. making these games a consistent profit source. These can range in size from 2 players to more than 300. these games are attractive to inexperienced players. This has a huge effect on the ‘correct’ strategy (from a mathematical perspective). Firstly. and errors can get expensive (we’ll explain these changes below!).Chapter #2 – SNGs Introduction. Good players do not stay playing SNGs for long – the lure of cash game profits or the big-prize multi-table tournaments soon sees them leave. Why These Games Are Great For Building A Bankroll Sit And Go Tournaments are usually defined as a poker tournament with no fixed starting time. This course focuses on 1 table tournaments (sometimes referred to as STTs or ‘Single Table Tournaments’) featuring 9 or 10 players. 5 . the game begins. Add to this the fact that (with the right strategy) they are the easiest games of all to multi-table and you have a situation where you can increase the volume of games to turn on that ‘money tap’ any time you please! My final reason is that your opponents simply have more opportunities to make mistakes in SNGs than in cash games. you can think of this as the ‘standard’ SNG. which many of your opponents will not understand – this is one key reason that SNG tournaments are so profitable! There are actually several reasons why SNG tournaments are a great choice for players looking to build their bankroll. Payouts for 1-table SNGs are usually for 3 places in a 50% / 30% / 20% of the prize pool format. structure and betting variations coming from this base. the 1 table games looked like a great way to learn without spending too much in one go… A second reason these are good bankroll builders is the speed of the games make them ideal to divide up into short and sharp sessions.
Which Gives You A Big Initial Bankroll Boost Here is the special deal for Blueprint course members: First. Click This Link To Visit Titan Poker Now! I’ll return to the subject of finding the weakest opponents many times during this course. a 200% matched 1 st deposit bonus . This is for a couple of important reasons: .Special Note – The Most Profitable Place To Learn SNGs I strongly recommend that you choose Titan Poker as the place to go through the SNG Blueprint course. If you have not yet seen how easy the SNGs are at Titan Poker.then $20 in free cash on top of that! You need to use bonus code SNGPLANET to claim this deal.The SNGs At Titan Are Very Soft (And So Are Easy To Profit From) . and the minimum deposit is $25 for the extra cash – which will be deposited into your account within 48 hours. Moving away from tables filled with ‘regulars’ and seeking soft games is just as important a poker skill than understanding the finer points of strategy! 6 . which is part of the excellent iPoker Network – then this is a great opportunity to check them out.A Special Bonus Deal.
we know it. Bankroll Management is so important for SNG players that we created a dedicated section just for this subject at SNG Planet – you can reach it by clicking here. we do recommend starting with at least 20 buy-ins – and ensuring that you could replace this should the natural variance deplete your cash. It should be enough to say that the result of one bubble ‘coin flip’ (for example a pair of Queens vs.Chapter #3 – Bankroll Management + Return On Investment This is a critical chapter. While we are not going to be that strict. you know it. Yep. everyone knows it… but get this. 7 . It seems impossible to many newer players for a ‘proven winner’ to hit a 30 or 40 buy-in downswing – trust me. those who do not use it are very unlikely indeed to ever be consistent winners in poker. Pro SNG players often ensure that they have 100 (or more) buy-ins for the level they are playing at. Ace-King’) can make the difference between being $50 down or $50 up at the end of a session of SNGs. Add to this runs of missing the flop and you can see that it would make little sense to have too much money riding on a small set of games. When you play many tables you give up some ROI in exchange for a bigger hourly rate – this is explained in chapter #5 below. use it or eventually you lose.10 per game. skill debate in too much depth here. The reason is ‘Variance’ which describes the natural swings in the game due to the chance fall of cards. Return On Investment is known as ‘ROI’ and is how we measure our success in SNG tournaments. If you are playing the $5+50c games and have a 20% ROI then your profit is $1. it is far more common than you think. so make sure you understand it! ‘Poker Bankroll Management’ is kind of dull. it is that simple. We are not going into the chance vs.
8 . never play poker with money you can not afford to lose. you’ll just need to start at slightly lower levels and work your way up – if you have the time and motivation this should not be a long delay in reaching our goal! This will involve starting at the $5+50c SNGs and working up as you win money and clear the great bonus and cash boost offered at Titan. and grabbing a new bonus will make this significantly easier. loyalty rewards become a factor to consider – and Titan Poker are one of the more generous sites when it comes to converting points into cash or tournament entries (don’t forget you need the special bonus code SNGPLANET to get the 200% + $20 cash combination). As you pick up the volume of games played. While this is taking a small ‘bankroll management risk’ from the perspective of established pro players – I believe that the smaller games are profitable enough that you will be able to build a safety-zone into your bankroll reasonably fast! Remember. I mentioned bonuses for a good reason. you need to get to the $11 to $22 levels as quickly as possible.Chapter #4 – Starting Bankroll For This Course + Choosing The Easiest Games Ideally I would like to see readers that you start with a minimum bankroll of between $75 to $150 to achieve the results within 21 days. If you can not raise this much then do not worry.
$0.80 Per Game .5 Tables .5 .46 Per Game – 6 Games / Hour = $8.40 per hour .5 Games / Hour = $8.76 per hour .62 Per Game – 4.5 Games / Hour = $11.7 Tables .95 Per Game – 12 Game / Hour = $11.$1.$1.Chapter #5 – Multi-Tabling.13 per hour .5 Games / Hour = $7.8 Tables .$1.06 Per Game – 10. Before you get that far. Let us take a simple example we’ll make the game cost $10 for simplicity with a 20% return. each game will take 40 minutes (turbo SNGs) – so we get the hourly rate by multiplying the profit per game by 1.3 Tables . Affects Both Your ROI And Strategy This course will teach you how to multi-table SNGs.5 Games / Hour = $3 per hour .29 per hour . this is just an illustration to explain the relationship between ROI and Multi-tabling.31 Per Game – 7. less reads on opponents and requirement to fold some marginally profitable hands to focus on other games. and some of the strategy adjustments you will have to make. Key to understanding the effect of playing many tables on your returns is this: More tables will give you a lower profit per game played. at the same time as significantly increasing your hourly rate overall.6 Tables . and take 10% from the ROI for each table added to account for faster decisions. as well as to ‘own the bubble’.61 per hour .$1.18 Per Game – 9 Games / Hour = $10.3 Games / Hour = $5.40 per hour Remember.$1.4 Tables .$1. and also include some killer tips and strategy ideas which will help you maximize your returns while feeling more and more relaxed playing multiple games. The 3rd part of the course ‘Turn Up The Volume’ will go into more detail on this subject.2 Tables .85 per hour .1 Table – $2 Per Game – 1. My personal belief is that the negative effect per table diminishes over time (once you have got used to 4 the jump to 6 and then 8 is actually comparatively small). We probably started too high with 20% too – 9 . here is an explanation as to why multi-tabling is key.
You will be surprised how fast this becomes ‘normal’ and how easy it is to watch multiple tables – and best of all. One of the exercises I want you to practice at the end of this part of the course is to add one more table to your current comfortable limit. If you play one table at a time then two is just fine. adding another table now will help you when it comes to the 3rd part of the course.and play during the evenings and weekends and this might well be achievable! You will have less decision time per hand when multi-tabling. I recommend that you treat hands which might have been marginally profitable when playing one table into 'folds'. particularly easily dominated hands such as unsuited high cards – where your post flop action might have depended on knowing something about your opponents tendencies.though choose the softest games on an easy site like Titan . 10 . with only the craziest of them becoming visible. Getting reads on opponents will be somewhat trickier while you get used to multi-tabling. This requires some adjustment to your strategy too – you’ll need to play in such a way as to maximize your advantages and make the most money from an ‘average’ opponent. The next part of the course explains the best way to do this – starting with the basics and going from there.
Chapter #6 – Strategy Basics . For now we will cover the early and middle stages. the blinds going up / player numbers going down as we run through the stages of the SNG – and the fact that we will be multi-tabling. or when you are one of the first to act at the table. and so want to avoid those hands which might require tricky post-flop decisions or specific opponent reads in order to play profitably. either a top 5% hand or something that could spike a well hidden ‘monster’ on the flop and win a big pot. This will save you a lot of chips over time! New players often think that these starting hand requirements are unnecessarily tight. which states that you need a stronger hand to call a raise from another player than you need to open the betting with a raise yourself. the charts you see below really do depend on what happens at the table before you act. There are only a small percentage of hands which are good enough to call a raise. There are two more factors we need to consider. When you call a raise your hand no longer needs to be ‘better than average’ it needs to have solid chances against the much smaller group of hands your opponent might be raising with. Understanding this concept is key you successful multi-tabling of 1-table SNGs. When you are the first to raise you take control of a hand. it really is that important. EP = Early Position MP = Middle Position LP = Late Position at the table 11 . For example. Get into the habit of folding marginal ‘raising hands’ when there is betting action ahead of you. show strength and put yourself in the position of being able to win the pot either immediately or after the flop if your opponents miss. I am a very strong believer in the ‘gap concept’. but not good enough to re-raise with.Starting Hands And Position I grouped starting hands and position together for a good reason – these two poker concepts can not be properly looked at separately. if this opponent only raises the top 10% of hands you need to be holding something which can win a big pot against this range. trust me they are not – learning to fold all but the best hands from early position at the table or when you see a raise ahead would make many marginal losing players profitable extremely fast.
while people are not reraising often. at a table where many players usually limp or are all ‘supertight’ the opposite could be true. As you gain experience in SNG tournaments the appropriate times to play more hands or tighten up further will start to become clear. Firstly your main profits will come from the later stages of SNGs. instantly muck ace-jack to any action ahead and re-raise with only the top few hands in the early stages. whether your call closes the betting should be one of the factors you assess. someone raises and then you call then the betting is still open. Once you feel comfortable that you are disciplined enough to fold that small pair if you miss your set then you might want to add a few more pairs to your range as one example. We will return to position again and again in this course – 12 . There are two linked reasons for this. Folding easily dominated hands such as Ace-Ten or King-Jack off suit is probably the fastest ‘win’ new players can achieve from starting hand discipline. bear in mind that you will often have the opportunity to build a big pot those times you do hold a premium hand against these types. If you have identified one or more ‘light raisers’ who have yet to act. is huge in all forms of poker. In this case the limper could choose to re-raise. If a limper entered the pot. While this can be frustrating at times. Aggressive re-raisers who will act after you for the remainder of the hand mean you have to tighten your own opening requirements. Starting Hands Are Not Rigid I suggest any starting hand chart act as a guideline only. If you are last to act. this can change your strategy considerably. and your call will ensure you see a flop – then you are sure of the price and can make a ‘good’ decision based the odds you are getting and hand you hold. Simply by playing more hands when you act after your opponents than when you are first to act after the flop you will have a profitable edge against them. One more thought. and secondly any chips you lose during the early stages are ‘worth’ far more than any chips you win – this will be covered below! I would only ever limp hands at those tables where raises are being called. if you are considering whether to call a raise. Of course. With a tight range you will take full advantage of those opponents who can not fold their easily dominated hands when they do hit part of the flop! Finally for this chapter . that is acting last after the flop.Yes. Here you can not be sure that calling the initial bet will get you to the flop. so you should be more cautious with the number of hands which you call with. Starting Hands And Aggressive Opponents It is not just the number of opponents yet to act that you need to take into account when selecting playable hands. I really am saying you should fold a pair of 9’s when first to act.position.
Stay tight when first to act and open up when last.for now it is important only to understand that this simple concept is far more important than most beginning players believe. with the dealer button being valuable enough to be worth protecting. 13 .
You must stay aware of where you stand and what stage your game is in. If You Have Yet To Discover How Soft Titan Poker SNGs Can Be The Ctrl + Click This Link Now!! Remember Bonus code = SNGPLANET for your 200% matched bonus + $20 Free Cash Boost! 14 . our primary objective is always to get to the bubble with a reasonable stack. simply putting them on reasonable hand ranges (I will show you how) and then playing in a ‘mathematically unexploitable’ system will bring in the money. you will need to be careful to account for ‘Implied Odds’ (again. I go through each stage below – complete with a list of mistakes your opponents will make for you to profit from. here is the reason why: You can make good profit in SNG tournaments simply by taking advantage of the mistakes your opponents will make at the bubble. out-think or out-read your opponents. Early. however. in fact there are few things more pleasurable in SNG poker than being the big stack with 4 to go and picking up all those extra chips from opponents who are scared of busting out in 4th! Let me repeat one more time. if we play a game where we only break even in chips before arriving at the 4-players left stage then this can still be counted as a success. Poker is a betting game based on odds. the more chips the better. you do not need to out-play. this is explained fully later) as well as pot odds when you make those plays. Many of your opponents will make mistakes with these concepts. simply understanding the ‘rules’ laid down by equity models such as ICM and how this applies to each situation is enough to make you a tidy profit at the lower limits. You do not even have to learn the math. Stack sizes are mentioned a lot below. in SNGs these are usually measured in terms of the number of Big Blinds you have. your opponents will make different mistakes as the game progresses. anything else is a bonus.Chapter 7 – Strategy Basics – Objectives. Of course. if you can accumulate chips on your way to the bubble that is even better. we will include stack size considerations and odds-errors as we go through the stages below. Stages And Stack Sizes I need to be crystal clear in the overall objective for our strategy for the $16 per hour SNG Blueprint. Bubble and ‘In The Money’. Yep. it is to get to the bubble. I suggest playing Turbo SNGs for two reasons. Of course. preferably with enough chips to make some of our opponents fold. Middle. firstly that you get to play more games per hour – but more importantly you get to reach the bubble fast! SNG tournaments are usually divided into 4 stages.
In this case this includes aces with better side cards (kickers) or pairs seven and above. Remember our key objective when multi-tabling. a waste of chips! Before we get to the flop. How about a seven? This might work. the eBook “A Comedy Of Errors” we coined the phrase ‘tight is right. that is to say that the majority of hands which will willingly play against it are 70% or more favorites to win the pot. Horrible. with the added advice that we stay sharp enough to exploit those huge errors that our inexperienced opponents are likely to be making at these stages. In this example our player calls the raise. but what if there are higher cards too. with a raise from an active player in front and several players left behind. for example a king and a jack? Where will we stand. let us think about what our player hopes to see? An Ace? Well. this is potentially a problem. even if this is the highest card how can we be sure an opponent did not start with a higher pair such as Tens or Jacks? This hand is easily ‘Dominated’. This advice is as strong today as it was 3 years ago. One more player enters the pot. thinking that the hand is not good enough to re-raise with. since two more players are in the pot and either of them could have a better ‘kicker’ with their own ace. also by calling – note that if anyone had put in a further raise here then our player would have been forced to fold. These include: Playing Too Many Hands. we will take the example of AceSeven off suit. ‘Calling’ Poker! Let me start with an example of playing easily dominated hands. Playing easily dominated hands without position in a situation where your opponents do not play predictably is a problem in poker – you will not know whether or not you are ahead without committing many more of those valuable chips to the pot. it will be to get to as many ‘bubbles’ as possible – where we can maximize our profits by taking advantage of opponent errors. Especially ‘Easily Dominated’ Hands Chasing Flushes And Straights Against The Odds Over-Valuing Hands Playing Passive. 15 . but tighter is righter’ to sum up the early stages of SNG tournaments. Early Stages Strategy Tips For Multi-Tablers In my last SNG course.Strategy Insights.Chapter 8 . in middle position. At the same time some of the errors your opponents will be making during the early stages are just too big to ignore.
unless our player flops a big hand of 2-pairs or better. Over playing one-pair hands is a killer in most forms of poker. This same scenario happens again and again in poker. getting the information you need. players call with Ace-Nine. overvaluing hands goes even further. and not the individual hand. things are going to depend on guess work after the flop. offer them a good price to continue and think of it in terms of the chips you will make over time. If someone ‘chases’ then be thankful. King-Jack. not raising until they hit their miracle card… Learn those basic odds and outs (Click to see the article) before you play another game. will often cost chips that could have been saved for the all important mid-stages and bubble. Many of you will have suffered the horror of watching an opponent call half of their stack with only a flush draw. A key part of our strategy is to seek easy decisions. Over Valuing Hands… I already covered this a little when talking about domination. An even bigger mistake when over-valuing hands is to be too stubborn after the flop. This mistake is easy to counter. and avoid ‘close things’ whenever possible. allowing opponents with small pairs or drawing hands to catch up. However. Queen-Five suited and all sorts of hands… only to find they have no idea where they stand after the flop comes… Early Stages Tip: Choose hands which are unlikely to be dominated (big pairs or big aces) or hands which will give you instant feedback on the flop* – get in the habit of folding those tempting but expensive ‘in between’ hands. make sure you keep a close eye on your own 16 . Get into the habit of folding these marginal hands to a raise. Whether you opponent hits or misses if they take current odds of 2/1 from the pot on something that will happen only 1 in 4 times they will lose money… and actually lose it very fast. only to hit it on the river. Instead of calling you should often be making big raises if you find yourself with a strong draw – giving your opponent the chance to fold. and are often horribly slow-played. Without these types of players poker would be a more difficult game by far – so make sure you identify them and take their money gracefully. Compounding this type of error is that many opponents will simply call-call-call with their draws.Back to our example . with which you are basically trying to hit trips or fold to post-flop action is you miss. *Hands like this include small pairs. especially at the lower limits. Kings and Queens are seen by novice players as through-tickets to a double up. just wait until you can beat one pair and get those chips in. Some players treat a flopped middle pair like a certain winner and will resist all moves to get them to fold. Aces. In a low level SNG your opponents are going to play unpredictably at best. Chasing Against The Odds is a common mistake. especially with players still to act.
those rare times they do bet rather than everyone realizes that they have a monster and quickly folds. Think that passive callers prosper over time? Of course not. Now. someone wins the pot before any hole-cards are revealed. 17 . more than half of hands never get to a showdown. Playing Passive. Calling. The way to look at it is that you only have one way to win a hand when you call call call – you have to show your opponent the best poker hand at showdown. aggressive poker not only gives you more ways to win. Playing positive. If you call with these hands you will never be sure if your opponent is bluffing.reaction to these hands and are capable of folding them when the action gets heavy – particularly if there is more than one opponent in the pot. Raising that mid-strength hand and getting re-raised allows you to fold (or see a flop and then fold when you miss) for only the price of the initial bets. since you showed weakness which inspires many of your opponents to continue betting. Horrible Poker: Calling too much is often the single biggest ‘leak’ lower limit SNG players have in their games. it saves you chips when you are beaten too.
unless you have been raising every hand. Blind increases are going to be significant now. You will only hit the flop one in eight times (odds of approximately 7-to-1 against doing so).Strategy Insights. If you follow this logic you should be opening a lot of pots with a raise. especially when there are comparatively few players left to act behind you. This is not enough to justify the cost. I like to define this as having 6 or so opponents where the stack sizes range between 10 and 25 times the big blind. In the middle stages you can not usually call a raise with those same cards. Here you do not have the odds to call. and you will need to fight just to keep ahead of them. Anyone re-raising is showing a lot of strength. You have a pair of 4’s and see an opponent raise ahead to 600. and the pot will be big compared to your stack sizes – I advise keeping up the pressure unless you have a known slow-player on your hands. Of all the mistakes your opponents will make in the middle stages. An example of a small pair will illustrate: In the early stages we pointed out that small pairs were playable in SNGs. in which case they may be ‘making a stand’. I will look at situational factors in the very last part of this course – which details how to fine tune your profits. this means there are very few hands which it is profitable to call with at all! In the middle stages it really is a ‘raise or fold’ game.Chapter #9 . even before we factor in the fact that you will sometimes hit and still lose (for example to a flush). looking at the math. failure to adjust to the smaller stack sizes compared to bets is the biggest. we will give both you and an opponent 3000 chips with the blinds at 200 and 100. For example. People will call you occasionally. Get Into The Habit Of Re-Raising Or Folding When Someone Else Bets! Limpers are another big source of revenue during the middle stages of SNG tournaments. and other times see your opponent fold on the flop when you bet! Whether you reraise all in or fold depends on your opponent and the situation. Now. you will lose 600 chips seven times (7 * 600 = 4200) and win 3000 chips (plus the blinds) once! A huge loss. (click to open it up!) 18 . I wrote an article in SNG Planet especially dedicated to a move called the ‘Push Over Limpers’. since you can potentially spike a big hand (a set of trips) and win a huge pot. Most people will not be able to take the heat! Mid Game Tip: You Should Not Generally Be Calling Raises. This significantly affects your starting hand selection. Mid-Stages Strategy Tips For Multi-Tablers While the exact transition between the early stages and the middle stages of SNG tournaments are fuzzy.
Part #4 of this course contains many mid-game tips – for now playing positively when folded to and tight when there is action ahead will get you safely to the bubble more often than not! If you have not checked how much more profit you could be making at Absolute Poker compared to your current site then I strongly recommend you see for yourself now – click the banner below!! Don’t Forget Bonus Code = SNGPLANET for your 200% + $20 Boost!! 19 . By noting who are the players more likely to call you (or raise back) and targeting the tighter and more cautious players you can add to your chip stack without taking on too much risk.In the middle game the tendencies of your opponents are key. you must get aggressive when folded to and steal your share of blinds and antes.
you will simply take home more money. get into the habit of thinking in there terms instead of justifying expensive mistakes with ‘I was going for 1st’ and your profits will improve fast! We explain this fully in the next part of the course along with several examples – so do not worry if it is not yet completely clear. The Bubble. In fact the bubble is so important that the next part of the course is totally dedicated to helping you become a bubble ninja. This next section brings strategy based on ‘prize pool equity’ into play – for now we will gently introduce the key concepts and give you some (extremely) important pieces of strategy advice you can start profiting from right away. Now if player A chooses to play a hand he pushes all-in every time… and here is why: 20 . If you take mathematically ‘correct’ decisions which increase your equity again and again it will not actually matter whether your intention is to play for 1st or not. both are actually incorrect and understanding why will help you to profit! At the bubble of a SNG decisions are not based on whether you are ‘going for’ first or 3 rd and then first – they are based on the best way to maximize your equity – or ‘average’ return if the same game were played 1000’s of times.Chapter #10 – Strategy Insights. All-in Or Fold – Why The ‘Poker’ Appears To Disappear At The Bubble Many people unfamiliar with SNG tournaments think that the ‘skilled’ poker disappears at the bubble. and to an extent they are right! What they fail to notice is that there are good reasons why players push all-in instead of standard raising. we now come to the part of any SNG tournament which will make you the majority of your profit. Unless there are extreme situations in terms of stack sizes or huge blinds the best decision is the one which will increase your average win the most. These reasons are nothing to do with complex equity formulas or equilibrium models. Let me use an example of an ordinary enough bubble. Play To Cash? Play To Win? Before we start I’d like to address a debate which appears in forums and so called ‘strategy articles’ again and again – whether you ‘play to win’ or ‘play to cash’ in SNGs? While both strategies seem plausible. they concern the simple concept of poker Pot-Odds. Equity And Aggression! Ah the bubble. 11 times the big blind. blinds are 300 / 150 ante 25 and all 4 players happen to have a stack of 3300 chips.
chance will affect any individuals results.. meaning A only has to win the hand 35% of the time to show a profit. While in the short-term. This is just under 2-to-1 odds. Bubble Mistakes. Where Your Cash Will Come From! Now you understand the premise behind all-in poker I can start to cover at some of the major mistakes your opponents will make at the bubble of SNG tournaments.. Again. Player A wins and her chips go to 6000 with player B getting nothing at all for busting in 4th place. on average and over the long run. Now we take an all-in confrontation between players A and B. Let us be honest. which will turn you into what is commonly known as a ‘Bubble Ninja’! For the time being the concept I would like you to understand is that doubling your chips at the bubble will usually only increase your average win in dollars over 1000’s of tries by 50%. so pushing all-in has the effect of getting many of the hands which might have re-raised to fold. The key is this: If The Pot-Odds You Receive After Raising Mean That You Will Be Forced To Call Any Re-Raise. with a 20% / 30% / 50% prize pool 21 . Here is a simplified example – it is important that you understand the dynamic here. Now. these errors are covered in detail in Part #2 of the course. with many of the hands A is legitimately raising he would be happy to pick up the blinds. as we get to 10. Again keeping things simple we can assume $25 of a $100 total prize goes to each player. I wrote a dedicated article explaining ‘Why All In?’ in SNG Planet explaining this concept with more examples.If Player A were to raise 3 times the blind to 900 and player B were to re-raise all-in then the Pot-Odds Player A sees are huge.5 times the blind. 8 or even less the logic for pushing all-in gets even stronger – were we considering raising 2. that is to say the relationship between your chip stack and your winnings is not linear. Then You Should Usually Push All-In To Start With. how many hand combinations which legitimately raised here are less will win less than 1/3rd of the time against the entire range B could have re-raised with?? Not many! This example is with 11 blinds. over 1000’s of games each player would end up winning an equal share of the pots. The total pot = 900 (the raise) + 550 (the blinds + antes) + 3300 (Player B’s call + re-raise all in) a total of 4750 and it costs A his remaining 2400 chips to call. There are 4 players left each with 3000 chips. continuation betting and then folding to resistance with 1500 chips left!! Of course. we will ignore the effects of the blinds for now (they are 300 / 150 for the record!) and imagine that every player is equally skilled and experienced in the game. we will keep the number of links back to the site to a minimum – you can find it fast via our site search function on the top right hand side.
start to think of how much ‘average winnings’ you are risking compared to how much more ‘average winnings’ you might gain – and then choose hands where you increase that average profit only. you need to balance the risk / reward by having a hand which is better than a 2-to-1 favorite against the range of hands your opponent could be playing. we will see that if the situation with one 6000 chip stack and 2 * 3000 chip stacks were replayed 1000’s of times A would win an average of $38. Key Point: Player A risked $25 in average winnings to win $13 more in average winnings by calling Player B’s All-In At The Bubble. and all have a chance of coming in 1st or 2nd too. bad players do not and will make horrible errors – such as the following: 22 . If your opponent has a reasonably tight range there are actually very few hands which make it worth risking $25 worth of equity to win an additional $13 – we are often talking in terms of premiums such as aces. Incidentally. This has a bigger effect on bubble strategy than many players realize. if you take a 60% edge when you need 67% to show profit you will go broke over time… the fact that many of your opponents do not understand this is exactly where your profits will come from! Instead of thinking about the bubble in terms of chips. players C and D were not involved in the ‘All-In’ hand. Even against a ‘loose’ raising range your King-Jack or Ace-Ten is not going to be a 2-to-1 favorite. one of them will definitely win $30 and both have a chance of $50! If we look at the average winnings. while C and D will average $31 each (to choose approximate examples). yet their average win in this particular game just shot up. kings and queens only. Here is why: When you call an all-in on the bubble your risk (in average winnings) is almost twice as big as your potential gain from winning the hand. This means you do not just need a ‘better hand’ than your opponent. they are now guaranteed $20. Good players understand this and know the ranges of hands they can profitably push and call with at the bubble. Having more chips always helps! Though to have doubled the $25 in average winnings to $50 player A would have to win every single time… and with the other players still having 3000 chips each that is simply not going to happen.payout each player is guaranteed at least $20 (the 3 rd place prize money).
Not Accounting For Stack Sizes: A simple example is people who fail to use a big stack to their advantage. While the caller feels smug when his opponent shows King-Ten. Again.and start using this to your advantage. Once you get a handle on the type of players who will call you and those who raise light you can use the math to your advantage. for example calling with Ace-Eight is a horror at the bubble in most circumstances using the logic explained above. A great trick is to keep the bubble alive when a mini-stack is at the table while you steal from mid-sized stacks. We explain this one in the SNG Planet Article: Keep That Bubble Alive and will cover the concept later in this course. This creates situations in most games where your opponents will fold so often that you will win money just from the folds. We will teach you to spot them in part #2 of this course. part 2 of the $16 / Hour SNG Blueprint is dedicated to helping you become a master of the bubble. You see. Since they are all trying to avoid busting 4th you can literally own the bubble in these circumstances. 23 . Calling less and pushing all-in more will instantly improve your bubble results. any opponent who understands prize pool equity will be reluctant to call all-ins. think of prize pool equity risked against prize pool equity gained . especially when the other players have ‘medium’ sized stacks. Since those times you are called any hand has some winning chances there are often situations where it is correct to push ‘any 2’. For now getting the ‘chips are not equal to average winnings’ concept straight.Calling too much. all he is doing is spewing average profits over to the players not in the hand at his own and the ‘pushers’ expense! Not Pushing All-In Enough.
This takes into account the size of the blinds. Before we get into the math and discuss whether using SAGE would be a good option a quick note on copyright. Again we are playing to maximize equity. with more than this you have some room to play a little poker. What we are talking about is known as ‘Nash equilibrium’. those of all the players in relation to the blinds). Unexploitable Play And SAGE Did you know that when you get heads-up it is possible to play in a style which is ‘Mathematically Unexploitable’. For example if they are pushing all-in with the top 20% of hands you can call with top 6. pushing all-in with almost every hand in a wild bid to regain some of the chips they gave away desperately trying to get to the last 3! This creates profitable situations for those who are able to judge a profitable calling range against the crazies. While the exact math depends very much on stack sizes (not just your own.7%. meaning we can play hands closer to the ranges of our opponents (though still ahead of them!). you can often profitably call with a range of top 33% of the cards your opponent is playing. This is © 2005 Lee Jones and James Kittock. I strongly advise that you learn it!! When you are heads-up at the end of a SNG Tournament with just one prize on offer the SAGE poker system can be used to ensure that your play is ‘mathematically unexploitable’. 24 . The system itself is very simple – it involves assigning ‘power rankings’ to hands and comparing them with a table showing your optimal push / fold ranges. this means whatever your opponents do they will not be able to take advantage of you. if they push the top 60% then you can call as wide as the top 20%. only this time the buffer of 3rd or 2nd places mean that the risk is lower. if you hold 60% of the chips heads-up and play an unexploitable style then you will win 60% of the time. stacks and your cards and gives you clear push all-in / call / fold advice… it is simple enough to be memorized too. Once thing we should note is that the best players actually deviate a lot from an unexploitable style – in order to exploit the tendencies of their opponents and win more than their fair share. period. In The Money + Heads-Up Play All the focus on bubble play can often lead to players not appreciating the significance of a solid strategy once you are in the money. Lee Jones is former Pokerstars card-room manager and author of the best selling book ‘Winning Low Limit Holdem’.Chapter #11 – Strategy Insights. SAGE works best with less than 15 Big Blind stacks. Here is an adaptation of an article I originally posted over at SNG Planet on how to use SAGE. I believe that the best way for a new player to take advantage of this is to learn a simple point-counting system called SAGE. You will often see players turn into Maniacs once the bubble bursts.
and push all-in with just under double the range they believe their opponent will call with. Adding a 3rd player would add complexity to this simple system – we point readers to our ICM articles for more information on this. Introducing The 'Power Index' Score The SAGE system’s benefit is simplicity.While this article is part of a course on SNGs. based on the value of ‘R’ here is a list of what PI you can push and call with. For suited cards you add 2 points to the total and for pairs you add 22 points. You can thus think of SAGE as being for the difference between 2nd and 1st (usually an additional 20% of the prize pool). For each ‘R’ there are then numbers given for the SB to push all in and the BB to call based on PI. both of which are very easy to work out – then a simple chart for deciding on your action. To get the PI of your hand take the highest card’s power number. The keys factors are ‘PI’ which stands for the ‘Power Index’ of your current cards and ‘R’ which is the ratio of the smallest stack to the big blind. Those who want an even more simple strategy to get them started with heads-up play with less than 10 times the big blind can simply call with the top 50% of the range of hands their opponents are pushing all-in with. Working out PI is done like this: Each card is given a ‘power number’ based on its rank. There are 2 key factors. So. double it – then add the number of the smaller card. SAGE works with a single prize. R 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 Push from SB PI 26 PI 25 PI 24 PI 23 PI 22 PI 21 PI 17 Call From BB PI 30 PI 29 PI 28 PI 26 PI 24 PI 17 ANY* * One of you is all-in at this point in the chart. when you are heads up at the end of a SNG you are guaranteed 2nd prize as a minimum. So the highest PI is for Ace-Ace (15*2) + (15+22) = 67 and the lowest PI is for 3-2 off-suit (3*2) +2 = 8. it can also be used for high blind play in normal Satellite tournaments or larger multi-table tournaments. For example – Queen-Eight would be (12*2)+8 = 30. Though you will need to be capable of adapting to very tight or crazy loose opponents! In Part #4 of this course I will show you how to move from an unexploitable heads-up game to one that can actively exploit the tendencies of your opponents. 25 . Ace= 15 / King = 13 / Queen = 12 / Jack = 11 and the others at face value.
Key Points: . Take advantage of these players with a tight and aggressive early stage strategy. This is due to the payout structure. Simply by playing to get to the bubble. right attitude. easy poker site and of course the information in this course. If you have a chance to open a pot by raising yourself this is even better. . . .Position at the table is extremely important. instead we play to have a greater average stake in the prize pool each time we make a decision. and has an effect on your strategy at every stage of the game.Your opponents will make huge errors at the bubble. instead you re-raise or fold.Chips you lose are worth more than chips you win in a SNG tournament. Here is a quick summary of what we have gone through so far. with the right approach.Chapter #12 – Summing It Up Key Take Away Points And Tasks For The Next 5 Days! You can be earning $16 per hour with SNG tournaments in 21 days. with these as your foundation we can move on to the more advanced parts of the course soon! In addition to the strategy adjustments I hope you have added 1 more table. switched to turbo-speed tournaments and found some easily beatable games (along with a new bonus!). . then playing a solid ‘mathematically correct’ strategy. you can make a nice profit in SNG Poker. I have tried to summarize the key points into single short-statements. 26 . My advice is to go though your own games and see how these points can relate to you. .During the middle stages you should very rarely call raises.We do not ‘play to win’ or ‘play to cash’.One of the biggest mistakes you will see is opponents who over-value hands such as ace-jack and unpaired picture cards during the early stages. as is your position in relation to particularly active or aggressive opponents. Learn to fold reasonably good hands when out of position and loosen your raising requirements when you are in position after the flop.
ensuring you get your fair share (or more!) of 1st places! One of the most significant aspects of profitable poker is finding the best games. I strongly advise the $5+50c turbo SNGs at Titan Poker as the best place for course members to build their initial bankroll You can claim your 200% bonus matched to your first deposit by using bonus code SNGPLANET when you register.At the bubble chips you win will often only be worth half as much in terms of average winnings as chips you lose.When heads-up at the end of the tournament. .. Instead of asking whether your hand is better than that of your opponent – as whether your prize pool equity risked is adequately compensated by your potential gain. employing a simple system such as SAGE will make your play ‘unexploitable’. Click now to check out those soft Titan Poker tables now! 27 .
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