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Old 12-31-2005, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: The trick is...

I agree with Mike. The mini steps are a decent investment for someone with a low bankroll which I think was the gist of his post. If you are just starting out they are ideal as you get a lot of games and SnG practice for your buck. Someone depositing $50 into Party probably isn't looking to grind out 2 BB's an hour and wants a bit fun for his little investment.

I deposited $50 into Party in October for the sole reason of playing them. I was grinding the micro's on Bet365 and saw the structure and it looked possible to get a payday for $6 investment.

Mini Step Structure

I got addicted to them and played them soldidly for over a month and you could say I luckboxed seven Step 5's, cashing in 6 of them for around $5000 but I had the same gameplan as Mike, aim for the top 5 replay then go for the top 2 which is a lot different than playing a standard SnG. Even in Step 1 I was happy with 6th place as you got most of your money back again.

I found the Step 1-3 pretty soft and the Step 4 a rock garden most of the time. I was seeing the same players in step 3 and 4 a lot over the month so I knew their style of play which helped. Whereas if you are playing $11 or $22 SnG's you are playing different players most of the time.

You also get a good mix of game if you are a beginner. You get the loose maniac step 1 and 2 to practice at. Then the 1000 chip start from Step 3 onwards which a low bankroll player would rarely get to play. The rock garden Step 4. Then the good player Step 5 which has it's regular buy in'ers and very good players. You probably get to play a pro like Zee Justin or whatever. [img]/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

For the fun casual player improving his game they are top value.

There are a lot of players who play the steps exclusively and are generally multi tabling maybe sitting at a Step 2, 3, 4 & 5 at the same time. They must be making some cash from it. They must see it as +EV thing to do.

I stopped playing them in December and played normal SnG's and have done well and that's probably because of playing 100's of Mini Step games and the practice. I'm going to go back to them for January and see if it was all just pure luck. [img]/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

I'm rambling.
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Old 12-31-2005, 02:05 PM
EverettKings EverettKings is offline
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Williamsburg, VA
Posts: 86
Default Re: The trick is...

After cashing out a pretty large chunk of my bankroll to care for the holidays and year-end family expenses back in November, I had to find a way to build back up. When I looked at the options, I simply didn't want to invest countless hours at the micro games clearing bonuses, so I looked to SNG's, partly because I wanted to develop my NL touney skills, and partly because I was sick of ring games.

I've usually done fairly well at the $11-$33 level, but the variance just seemed too steep for my meager BR, so I decided to try the mini-steps instead. I took my measely $220 I had left and gave it a go.

After a few attempts at the mini #1 (one buy-in, a couple freerolls), I looked at the structure again and came up with the following plan:

1) Buy directly into Mini #2 ($20+2)
2) Play for 5th place
3) Turn on the jets when I'm guaranteed a re-roll into my current step level.

Now, I have admit I've put in about 160+ hours this month into this, and had to play COUNTLESS re-rolls and a few dropbacks (twice from 4 back to 2) but I've had the following results:

10 Direct Buy-ins = $220
2 Bust-outs before Step 5
1 Finish OOM on Step 5 (Finished 7th)
7 Cashes on Step 5 - (2)5th=$400, (4)3rd=$2000, (1)1st= $2000

$4400 total winnings, $220 Fees = $4180 profit, at roughly 160 hours = $26/Hr.

Now, I know this doesn't seem like a lot to most people, but considering the bone-dry bankroll I started with, this worked out very well. Not only have I built up enough to be flexable again hunting the bonus $, but I've also given myself a cushion to deal with the variance again on the $11's and $22's.

For me, this was far more advantageous than grinding out bonuses playing micro-limits, and had a more manageable risk/reward factor than just playing the standard SNG's. I forced myself to play smarter poker overall when the game was still 5+ handed, and got to really work on honing my short-handed skills after I met my top-5 finish goal. And of course, once reaching the final table, I had to really focus on the game and play to the best of my ability against a wild range of competition (the same gentleman who took me out on my only non-cash final table was, ironically, the same guy I beat HU in my only victory two days later).

I'm going to continue next month with this strategy, so I'll fire up PT and crunch some hard numbers for you guys if you're interested. But I wanted to throw this little story out there because I've found it to be a very good alternative to the standard bankroll-building grind.

Thanks for listening,


[/ QUOTE ]

This is exactly how you can beat these ministeps if you're patient enough to put in the hours. You will reroll MAAAAAAAAANY MAAAAAAAAAAAAANY times, but you can avoid busting with enough care. This seems counterintuitive and "noobish" to the normal STT crowd, as playing just to get into the money is clearly suboptimal in a normal structure, especially since it is this very thinking that players here profit from exploiting in a normal STT.

However, in a ministep the structure is so different that this strategy, assuming that few people use it, may not be far from optimal. Busting in 4th or in 10th doesn't matter in a regular game, so passing up a small edge early is retarded (especially since those chips will give you huge bubble leverage later). But here where the money is far more distributed, busting on the bubble is actually quite good if it allows you to reroll, and passing up those small early edges prevent you from busting and makes your investments last. This does come at the cost of fewer wins, but if you play properly and patiently you can have a lot of low-percentage shots at moving up. You can almost fold your way to a reroll in ministep 1, for example.

However... cashing in 7 of 8 step 5s is absurdly fortunate. On average, for 8 buyins you'll get 8*400 = $3200(assuming youre an average player, maybe only $2000 for a weak player or $4000 for a fantastic player, but $4400 is basically unsubstainable), meaning more like $20/hr for a typical run.

Also, because you get so few step 5 shots, you could easily bust in 7 of the 8 of them or you could only get 4 shots and bust in 3, giving you one $400 cash in 160 hours for a whopping $2.50/hr. Ouch.

That's why these things are really only for people who:
1) Have no real bankroll
2) Can't afford (or don't want to) make a real investment
3) Are playing mostly just for fun and would enjoy just playing a match and rerolling.

A lot of new players fit this description and it's not a bad system, since you really cant lose more than a dozen step 1 buyins without cashing if you play them right (and don't get impatient, since it may take weeks and weeks to complete).

So hats off to you for doing so well Mike, but I hope that with your new-found bankroll you can break into some better poker games. Play some .5/$1 NL cash games, play 200 $11 STTs, hell play Omaha or Stud. Now you can afford to find other ways to make money.

Good luck.

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