View Full Version : SitnGo strategy and Results questions

01-22-2004, 03:25 PM
I've recently decided to temporarily abandon both ring games and multi-tournies and concentrate specifically on SnG tournaments for the forseeable future. My goal is to play 500 tournies at each level, starting with 10+1, to assemble data and determine my own level of profitability within them.

It would be very helpful to me if anyone who has compiled data over a large number of SnG's could post their results in terms of ROI and win %. I know that several of you primarily play the higher levels but if anyone does have extensive stats on 10+1 or other low levels that would be great.

Also, I haven't seen anyone post a comprehensive "strategy" for SnG's on this site and I think it would be great if long time winning players were able to provide some insight. I know that even in the first couple of weeks of concentrating on SnG's my strategy has changed and I'm guessing it will continue to do so. Any tips/advice specific to SnG's that people could provide would be much appreciated.

01-22-2004, 04:01 PM
Let me begin by saying that this type of SnG has been haunting me lately, they creap on for close to 2 hours and suck the life out of me.
That said. My opinion, of course open to criticism. You have enough chips to see 7 more hands. I don't know what your chances of getting a better hand than AJs but I would bet not great. Also, even if you just doubled up you would still have less than 10 BB and therefore still not be very secure. However, if you quadruple up, you are back in the fight. You have a hand that likes allot of callers, with the straight and flush opportunites. I think I would do the same thing here.

Another option would be to complete and hope the a straight/flush draw or Jack high flop hit and fold to any bet if you didn't hit. Since you know your all-in won't scare anyone off this is the safer route. But, then you are back to hoping for something that isn't likely to come: a better hand. I like the all-in.

Prickly Pete
01-22-2004, 04:33 PM
Most would probably say search the forum, this has been discussed before. But for today anyway, that's not the case in this new forum. So I'll give you some of my info.

All of my data is from Party NLHE SNGs. I played 1000 $30s with an ROI at 30%. And I've played almost 500 $50s, with my ROI at almost 28%. Fwiw, my "in the money" percentage has been about 41-42% on both. Obviously, the ROI is the much more important stat though.

I think you're going about this the perfect way. Starting low and planning on playing a lot to make sure you are beating the game is a great way to go. Playing 50 or 100 may give you an indication, but it's not enough of a sample in my opinion.

As for specific advice, I won't go into anything more than tight early, loosen up late. And reading this forum will help immensely. You're already on the right track.

Good luck.

01-22-2004, 04:37 PM
wow JDO...that's some pretty specific advice for such a general query.
by the way, what the hell are you talking about???? har har har.

i suspect i will find the answer (errr, the question) as i peruse the other posts in this new forum.

Martin Aigner
01-22-2004, 04:40 PM

donīt get me wrong, but what are you writing about? Should this be a reply to another post or am I missing something?

Best regards

Martin Aigner

01-22-2004, 05:01 PM
Thanks for the reply. I've been playing SnG's overall for over a year at all levels but I figured I'd start at the bottom and work my way up to have some reliable information and make sure I was "beating the game" as you said.

I tried searching the forum and came up with limited success. Specifically I can't find information regarding specific strategies people employ in SnG's as opposed to Multi's and ring games. I employ a tight early loose late strategy as you suggested however I was hoping that people might be willing to get into a bit more detail.

One thing I have found is that in certain situations (stack sizes, people left) it is correct to push in with almost any two cards (for instance if a very small stack with 3 left has folded the button and you are the SB and have the BB covered). Also, strategy regarding blind stealing etc. and any specifics would be awesome. From what I can tell, with the rapid escalation of blinds stealing is probably the biggest factor separating a fourth place or a 1st place finish.

Anyway, any help would be appreciated, I don't know how much strategy people are willing to share, but perhaps an open discussion will expand everyone's knowledge.

01-22-2004, 05:32 PM
~500 $30 PL tourneys, 40% money finish rate, 18% ROI. Must be getting 3rd more than I should if 28-30% ROI is possible with that win rate...

01-22-2004, 06:29 PM
Here are my results since the beginning of December:
<font class="small">Code:</font><hr /><pre>
buyin Tourneys Place % AvgFin 1st 2nd 3rd ROI $/hr Total Gain
$55 125 39.20% 4.44 23 12 14 30.20% $25 $2,075
$109 31 38.70% 4.71 4 5 3 21.30% $32 $721
$215 62 33.90% 4.68 9 5 7 11% $35.50 $1,470

Total 218 37.60% 4.55 36 22 24 18.00% $29 $4,266
</pre><hr />

Prickly Pete
01-22-2004, 06:37 PM
Hey Allen, impressive results. I'm about to make a splash into the $100s and hope to increase my hourly rate as you have.

I assume I know the answer based on your results to date, but I was curious what your take is on the competition at the different levels. And are you playing limit or NL?

01-22-2004, 07:31 PM
Sorry about that. I found the rightful home of that post. I feel like a dipshit...

01-22-2004, 07:48 PM
my website includes both my own input and a great writeup by Stagemusic on how to play in these.

the three most important points are:

- your primary goal is to make sure you still have a decent amount of chips when it gets down to 6 players
- avoid taking big chances for all your chips when it is down to four players
- take advantage of your opponents' reluctance to gamble late in the tournament

01-22-2004, 07:55 PM
Thanks for the info and website reference. Is it just me or is it a precarious balancing act between trying to take advantage of others reluctance to gamble with 4 left and ensuring that you don't bust out yourself. When the BB is 30% of the average stack it becomes difficult to do both.

So far my strategy has been to pick my spots and steal blinds by pushing in, which obviously creates the risk of busting out if I run into a monster. Still, not too sure what the balance should be as complete passivity will kill you just as quickly.

01-22-2004, 07:59 PM
true. this is a very delicate point, and i'm still learning myself how to best work with it, so i can't give a definite answer (although others' opinions are very welcome). unfortunately the tournament isn't long enough to determine a player's range for calling your all-ins at this point, unless you play a lot of SNGs with the same people.

however, i can tell you this: 90% of party players miss a huge profit opportunity when it gets down to four-handed and they have the big stack against three stacks that are almost even with each other. at this stage, i think against most opponents you could show a profit pushing in every hand.

01-22-2004, 08:09 PM
I actually had this situation the other day in a tournament where I was the chip leader, one person had slightly less and there were two very short stacks. I raised nearly every hand and took down most of the pots uncontested. It allowed me to obtain 75% of the chips at the table with 4 left and cruise to a victory.

01-23-2004, 09:54 AM
however, i can tell you this: 90% of party players miss a huge profit opportunity when it gets down to four-handed and they have the big stack against three stacks that are almost even with each other. at this stage, i think against most opponents you could show a profit pushing in every hand

[/ QUOTE ]

Crock, first thanks for the nice comments. Appreciated. I agree with the statement quoted above. Although it's a little extreme. I have found that if I become a little more aggressive when the game is 4 handed it actually gives me some +EV when the game goes HU. My opponent has no idea from one hand to the next of what to expect and will fold borderline hands that are playable in HU situations. Of course, this doesn't work as well at the lower buy in as these players aren't really all that capable of analyzing previous play, but in the the $30's and $50's seems to do ok.

01-23-2004, 03:54 PM
I am still analyzing the competition at different levels. From what I have seen so far, "most" of the people playing at the $200 level are just as clueless as the ones playing at the $50 level. But there are some players (I am compiling a list of ids) that play only at $100 and $200 levels but are obviously expert players. Pokertracker helps a lot to identify these players. If I try to join a table that has one of these players already there, I just wait for the next one.

I only play no-limit. It's really hard to go back to limit poker after playing no-limit --- I feel so constrained!

01-24-2004, 02:44 AM
Hi Grifter,

Well, although I said I wasn't going to be here for awhile, it's too late to work and I'm not quite sleepy yet, so....

It really depends on whether you play one-table or two-table SNGs.

At one-table SNGs, and particularly at the lower buy-ins ($33 and below), you really only need to win 3-5 pots to make the money. This is especially true if the structure encourages "fast" play (fewer chips, fast blinds). With that setup, basically you play almost squeaky tight early, knowing that when you do catch a hand, the structure will force people to play with you and pay you off. After the table is down to 5-6 players, you can open up your game a bit, just about the time other players are tightening up, and steal a few pots here and there to stay ahead of the blinds. Avoid showdowns unless you have close to the nuts, especially on the bubble, and you'll make the money often enough to show a good profit. Once you do make the money, you can shift to a short-handed strategy, stealing blinds when you can, and so on.

The two-table SNGs require a different approach, especially at PokerStars where you start with T1500 and the blinds are comparatively slow (12-min rounds). While this structure rewards patience, you can't be TOO patient because there are 27,000 chips in play and you're going to need to build your stack if you hope to compete at the final table.

The two-table format also brings two short-handed phases into play: when there are 10-12 people remaining, then a full final table at 9, and short-handed again as the final table thins. This gives an edge to players who can adjust to the different dynamics of full- vs. short-handed play. A lot of players are good at making the shift from full-to-short ... but they forget to shift back to full-table mode when they reach the final table, and bleed off chips making over-aggressive moves that were working just two hands ago.

On the other hand, you can't go all the way back to early-game, full-table-tight mode either, because the blinds are bigger and, pretty quickly, the antes come into play. So you basically apply the same approach you would at a final table in a multi-table tournament where the money is all in the top four places: look to take uncontested pots, avoid all-in showdowns with larger stacks unless you are so short-stacked you have no choice, or you have the nuts, and look for opportunities to pick on the short stacks. (See Kurn's thread about unhappy railbirds for an example.)

I hope this helps a little.


01-24-2004, 04:42 AM
Hi Grifter,

We have beaten this one up pretty well. Here are some general observations.

1. The advice you are getting is very good
2. Aggression, especially later, is the difference between 1st. and 3rd.
3. Play your way through the levels until you reach a point where you are getting the best $$ per hour. For example, my $$ per hour is higher on $30 tourneys on PP than $50 tourneys, but much better at $100. In spite of this, I play mostly $30's because I don't like the affect of losing streaks on my BR

4. It is hard to draw conclusions about your play with only 100-200 tourneys at any one level. I have extensive results / stats for 1000's of tourneys, so I know what is going on.

5. Do not be shocked at any losing streaks. 2 examples. Just 2-3 weeks ago I went through a streak of 20 tournaments not in the $$, despite a 46% rate over 1000's for tourneys. BTW, I am over 50% since then, with 23% wins.
About 6 months ago, had a streak of 9 $100 tourneys not in the %%. That was very tough, so I stopped playing them as much (maybe play these 5 times a month) but even with that losing streak, 100's give the best $$ return.

6. During the tournaments, never panic. Being shortstacked is really no big deal. You can come back, just be aggressive and play the players. I have come back a few times from $50 chips or below to win these things.

7. Don't take any serious risks early without monster hands. Note that I will get all my chips in the middle with AA early, pre-flop. By early, I mean Level 1. I don't want to "play" this hand. I want the caller to take a huge risk. Many players put you on medium pairs with this move, and call with hands like JJ, or much worse....

Good luck, and stick with your plan about levels!


01-24-2004, 12:13 PM
Thanks for the information, I've only played a few of the 2 table tournaments on Stars and will probably just stick to the single tables for now.

One question, what is your opinion on limping in with hands that may flop big very early? For instance, a hand like A3s can become the nuts and at level 1 where I play it only costs 10 chips to get involved (it seems at the 10+1 level lots of people limp and rarely do I see preflop raises). So far early in the tourney I've been employing a loose preflop strategy (in an unraised pot) followed by a very tight postflop strategy. Specifically I will limp in with just about any hand that has good possibilities even in very early position and then just muck my hand if raised. Just not sure if anyone else has found leaks that can occur by playing this way. Thanks again, any commentary is much appreciated.

01-24-2004, 12:19 PM

2. Aggression, especially later, is the difference between 1st. and 3rd.

7. Don't take any serious risks early without monster hands. Note that I will get all my chips in the middle with AA early, pre-flop. By early, I mean Level 1. I don't want to "play" this hand. I want the caller to take a huge risk. Many players put you on medium pairs with this move, and call with hands like JJ, or much worse....

[/ QUOTE ]

Thanks for all the advice, it's great to hear from those of you who have played thousands of these and really have a firm grasp on what wins. I would like a little more detail on what you consider "early" and "late" in the tourney.

Thus far I've been switching literally as soon as the blinds (combined) become about 1/10th of the average stack from tight to very aggressive. This is usually when the blinds are 50/100 and the average stack is 1500 (1000 starting). Do you get progressively more aggressive or is it an immediate switch, what are the pros/cons of each approach? One of the reasons I like to switch quickly is to confuse the opposition but I feel like this might not have much of an effect at 10+1 where I'm currently playing. Thanks again for your help.

03-01-2004, 10:07 PM
Feb Party $10+$1 : 61 tourneys, 44.26% in money, 7 first, 9 secon, 11 third, 169/671 = 25.18% ROI

03-01-2004, 11:18 PM
I feel like an idot for asking , but I cant figure it out.(sometimes the simplest things escape me)

What does RoI stand for? How is it calculated?

03-02-2004, 12:19 AM
Hiya ss,

ROI == Return on Investment == (Net Proceeds)/(Net Wagered)

E.g.: if you wagered a total of 500, and won a total of 750, your net proceeds are 250, and your ROI is 50%.


03-02-2004, 09:52 AM
Hi Grifter

As an "understudy" I won't even pretend to give you advice/strategy. I haven't even got to the stage of keeping accurate records, only the emails from stars when u money (but all that is about to change!)

I'll just make an observation on strategy that maybe is a given (but I like to state the obvious /images/graemlins/smile.gif). I come across two very different types of players/play in SnG's depending on the time I play and not just the level (up to $33 anyway).

As a player in UK if I play in the mornings (not very often) I can catch some really loose players tanked up (and still tanking up) in USA. Of course they get me back when I do the same back here!!

03-02-2004, 11:25 AM
For Feb I came in at 54% in the money, 57% ROI with an avg finish of 3.99 I play a mixture of limits and games.

03-02-2004, 12:01 PM
Hi Allen, I've also recently decided to take a shot at the $200 level and have compiled a list of my own. If you'd like we can compare my list with yours when it's ready.

I've noticed the same thing you have, there are some very good players there but not as much as I had expected.

03-02-2004, 01:59 PM
Thank you Chris Brown.

I am fairly new to SnG , and I was curious how I was doing as well. After reading this I feel pretty good about it.

Party $10+$1 : 25 tourneys, 37.5% in money, 5 first, 3 secon, 1 third, 96/261 = 36.36% ROI

I know 25 isnt a good database to start feeling proud about anything but... When I play it feels good. I rarely ever go out earlier then 5th.

By my stats, it looks like this is as good as its going to get. so I can only expect to win about 3-4 bucks per tourney I play, and that is if my stats are not a fluke.

Thanks again for your help.

03-02-2004, 02:21 PM
i think your numbers are off.

25 10+1 = 275 in buyins.
1st 5(50)=250
2nd 3(30)=90
3rd 1(2)=20

250+90+20-275=85 85/275= .309

after only 25 games it could easily be a fluke in either direction. ive had streaks of 14 straight losses and 14 straight wins. and thats only in my 90 tourney sample.

03-02-2004, 03:18 PM
You are right. a few numbers were off... Tourneys played was only 24. buy in was 264(24x11) so 96 was my return(not 85) 96/264 = 36% RoI

The 25 was an all out stupid mistake.. the 261 was a typo.

I need a secretary.

However, I wont be satisfied till I have 100 tourneys played for a better "general idea" and not untill 500-1000 played to judge myself. I am glad to see that a 30% return is good for solid play. I thought it should be higher then that, and I had been disapointed with my results. Now I am happy.