Live SNG

MrBalzterMrBalzter Red Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
I've recently joined a home game that plays once a month in a format I find odd. There are 6-10 players and we play 3 SNG's in the night.
Starting Stacks $3000
Blinds $25/$50
First place gets 60% the price pool and 2nd and 3rd divide the rest depending on how many players.

The blinds double after a player is knocked out.
Most pots have 5 or more limpers.

I find the blinds shoot up so fast that everyone is very short stacked early on and I am pushing or folding the whole night.
Any advice????
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Comments

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Just to be clear, the blinds only increase when someone is knocked out?
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  • MrBalzterMrBalzter Red Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Just to be clear, the blinds only increase when someone is knocked out?

    Yes, exactly.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    Okay, long post incoming.

    Many years ago I discovered the neighboring county to the one I lived in was one of the most affluent in the nation and therefore jumped at the chance when someone invited me to a home game. Stupidly I mangled my meta-game and after a few months ceased being invited. However, that was accelerated because the game often used a similar design to the one you describe. And IMO it has a serious problem that has nothing to do with the blind structure.

    The problem with running multiple SNGs like this is that, on average, it's the weaker players who bust first. They notice fairly rapidly that, not only is this poker thing costing them money, but they also spend a lot of time sitting on their ass not actually playing poker. With enough people you can mitigate this by setting up a cash game in the loser's lounge until the SNG ends. But you can see the problem that the players you most want to play against are invariably going to enjoy the format the least, and do something terrible like go to the movies instead of poker night.

    The other issue is that this plays right into the hands of anyone who decides to do a bit of arithmetic and studies SNG theory and push-fold ranges. So what I would suggest is that you become the best player in this game and mop up (provided you are confident you'll get asked back), because odds are it won't survive long.

    So how do you crush this thing?

    It sounds like you're suggesting that the rapid blind increase takes the skill out of the games? It's sort of true that at very shallow stack depths the range of skills you can employ diminishes, but man the power of the handful of skills you can use is devastating.

    Let's look specifically at an "average" SNG with 8 entrants. From the starting blinds and stacks, you know at every point in the SNG what the average stack depth is:

    8-handed: 60bb
    7: 34bb
    6: 20bb
    5: 12bb
    4: 7.5bb
    3: 5bb
    2: 3.75bb

    Couple of points. First, this is dependent on number of players. It might be a good idea to base the starting stacks on number of entrants for this reason, but if this is not done, it gives you yet another advantage. You can repeat this exercise for all field sizes. Even people who learn to play these decently by accident won't incorporate that level of sophistication.

    So, essentially my point is that you know ahead of time how each blind level should be addressed. With a 60-20-20 pay-out, general strategy is ultra tight early, then once you are ITM switch completely and play for 1st. Then fine-tune each blind level, know your 3-bet-shove and push-fold backwards, and it'll look less like a poker game and more like an abattoir.
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  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    general strategy is ultra tight early, then once you are ITM switch completely and play for 1st.

    I don't think you can do exactly that here, because ITM means 5BB on average. You can play very tight at first, but by Level 3 or definitely Level 4 you have to start shoving.

  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    jeffnc wrote: »
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    general strategy is ultra tight early, then once you are ITM switch completely and play for 1st.

    I don't think you can do exactly that here, because ITM means 5BB on average. You can play very tight at first, but by Level 3 or definitely Level 4 you have to start shoving.

    Yeah exactly. Level 3, 3-bet-shove, level 4, open-shove. But it's unforgivable to bust in levels 1 or 2 barring some horrendous cooler.
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  • MrBalzterMrBalzter Red Chipper Posts: 61 ✭✭
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Okay, long post incoming.

    Many years ago I discovered the neighboring county to the one I lived in was one of the most affluent in the nation and therefore jumped at the chance when someone invited me to a home game. Stupidly I mangled my meta-game and after a few months ceased being invited. However, that was accelerated because the game often used a similar design to the one you describe. And IMO it has a serious problem that has nothing to do with the blind structure.

    The problem with running multiple SNGs like this is that, on average, it's the weaker players who bust first. They notice fairly rapidly that, not only is this poker thing costing them money, but they also spend a lot of time sitting on their ass not actually playing poker. With enough people you can mitigate this by setting up a cash game in the loser's lounge until the SNG ends. But you can see the problem that the players you most want to play against are invariably going to enjoy the format the least, and do something terrible like go to the movies instead of poker night.

    The other issue is that this plays right into the hands of anyone who decides to do a bit of arithmetic and studies SNG theory and push-fold ranges. So what I would suggest is that you become the best player in this game and mop up (provided you are confident you'll get asked back), because odds are it won't survive long.

    So how do you crush this thing?

    It sounds like you're suggesting that the rapid blind increase takes the skill out of the games? It's sort of true that at very shallow stack depths the range of skills you can employ diminishes, but man the power of the handful of skills you can use is devastating.

    Let's look specifically at an "average" SNG with 8 entrants. From the starting blinds and stacks, you know at every point in the SNG what the average stack depth is:

    8-handed: 60bb
    7: 34bb
    6: 20bb
    5: 12bb
    4: 7.5bb
    3: 5bb
    2: 3.75bb

    Couple of points. First, this is dependent on number of players. It might be a good idea to base the starting stacks on number of entrants for this reason, but if this is not done, it gives you yet another advantage. You can repeat this exercise for all field sizes. Even people who learn to play these decently by accident won't incorporate that level of sophistication.

    So, essentially my point is that you know ahead of time how each blind level should be addressed. With a 60-20-20 pay-out, general strategy is ultra tight early, then once you are ITM switch completely and play for 1st. Then fine-tune each blind level, know your 3-bet-shove and push-fold backwards, and it'll look less like a poker game and more like an abattoir.

    I like the idea of using the amount of players left to estimate the average stack left. I find myself constantly counting how many BB people have left, this draws a lot of attention because most of the players are making snap calls or min raises regardless of stack sizes.

    The game itself has been running for years and they have no intention of changing it at all, so being the new guy I don't want to push too hard to change the format. I'm not used to live play at all either and I'm shocked at some of the plays. (One guy talked about how 25o was a great hand because it can be a disguised monster, but the effective stack was 3BB)

    So far so good though, my ROI over 12 Games is 60% and they haven't really caught on yet.

  • jeffncjeffnc Red Chipper Posts: 5,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    MrBalzter wrote: »
    (One guy talked about how 25o was a great hand because it can be a disguised monster, but the effective stack was 3BB)

    lol I mean honestly the things you hear at a poker table are mind boggling. I think it's a case of "he knows just enough to be dangerous to himself". They pick up tips and scraps of info, and when combined with shallow thinking, they cobble together a rickety "strategy" out of duct tape and bailing wire. And the thing is, it works - sometimes. They assume the randomness of the cards is all that keeps it from working all the time, and so it continues.

    Example, someone raises, and a couple people call. So now is the time to play little cards like 53 because everyone else has big cards. Also, you're going to "trick" people because when the flop comes 246 or 335 and then shove, they'll never guess you have more than 1 pair. The great thing about this is there's a little grain of truth to the idea that little cards are slightly more likely to come out, but they just haven't grasped the details of it.

    Anyway, aside from the strategy, psychologically these can be frustrating because of how very short term and high variance they are. But if you can view 1 SNG kind of like 1 orbit at a cash game, you'll have a better perspective on it. You can lose for quite a few orbits and still be a big winner.
  • TheGameKatTheGameKat Posts: 3,654 -
    MrBalzter wrote: »
    TheGameKat wrote: »
    Okay, long post incoming.

    Many years ago I discovered the neighboring county to the one I lived in was one of the most affluent in the nation and therefore jumped at the chance when someone invited me to a home game. Stupidly I mangled my meta-game and after a few months ceased being invited. However, that was accelerated because the game often used a similar design to the one you describe. And IMO it has a serious problem that has nothing to do with the blind structure.

    The problem with running multiple SNGs like this is that, on average, it's the weaker players who bust first. They notice fairly rapidly that, not only is this poker thing costing them money, but they also spend a lot of time sitting on their ass not actually playing poker. With enough people you can mitigate this by setting up a cash game in the loser's lounge until the SNG ends. But you can see the problem that the players you most want to play against are invariably going to enjoy the format the least, and do something terrible like go to the movies instead of poker night.

    The other issue is that this plays right into the hands of anyone who decides to do a bit of arithmetic and studies SNG theory and push-fold ranges. So what I would suggest is that you become the best player in this game and mop up (provided you are confident you'll get asked back), because odds are it won't survive long.

    So how do you crush this thing?

    It sounds like you're suggesting that the rapid blind increase takes the skill out of the games? It's sort of true that at very shallow stack depths the range of skills you can employ diminishes, but man the power of the handful of skills you can use is devastating.

    Let's look specifically at an "average" SNG with 8 entrants. From the starting blinds and stacks, you know at every point in the SNG what the average stack depth is:

    8-handed: 60bb
    7: 34bb
    6: 20bb
    5: 12bb
    4: 7.5bb
    3: 5bb
    2: 3.75bb

    Couple of points. First, this is dependent on number of players. It might be a good idea to base the starting stacks on number of entrants for this reason, but if this is not done, it gives you yet another advantage. You can repeat this exercise for all field sizes. Even people who learn to play these decently by accident won't incorporate that level of sophistication.

    So, essentially my point is that you know ahead of time how each blind level should be addressed. With a 60-20-20 pay-out, general strategy is ultra tight early, then once you are ITM switch completely and play for 1st. Then fine-tune each blind level, know your 3-bet-shove and push-fold backwards, and it'll look less like a poker game and more like an abattoir.

    I like the idea of using the amount of players left to estimate the average stack left. I find myself constantly counting how many BB people have left, this draws a lot of attention because most of the players are making snap calls or min raises regardless of stack sizes.



    You need to keep doing that since relative stack distribution is important, but having the average every level gives you a head start and strategic a plan ahead of time.
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