SnapShove app and low buy in MTTs

bardorodeobardorodeo Red Chipper Posts: 32

I recently got Max Silver's SnapShove app for my phone and have been using it for about 2 weeks. The app is nicely done and gives shoving and calling ranges based on the number of BB's in your stack, number of players at the table, size of antes in relation to blinds, and your position.
It even has a training mode where it will quiz you about you can call or shove profitably in a given scenario.

My questions are these:

1) Has anyone else in the RedChip community used this app and what are your
opinions about it?

2) I play mostly low buy in live MTTs in Vegas that draw the $100 to $200 regulars with typically 40 to 120 players. I often go deep in these tournaments playing a rather nitty ABC / TAG style and when we're 3 or 4 away from the bubble and when I'm short stacked I've started using the push-fold, call-fold guidelines from SnapShove. I believe push-fold charts are rooted in the ICM model in considering whether a call or shove is +EV in the long-term. However, since the ICM model omits the skill level as one of its factors am I making a mistake to blindly follow a push fold chart when I'm typically up against average regular and random weak tourists?

For example, am I sacrificing my edge when I shove a small to medium pair from early position with a 10 BB stack because SnapShove tells me it is +EV in the long-run? Or should I wait for a better spot and let the weaker opponents bust out before me?

3) Or do I have this question framed completely wrong as playing the way SnapShove recommends is close to GTO so by following it I can be confident that I am playing the most +EV no matter what my opponents do?




  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,876 -
    1.) I have used it. The math is right, I am not a fan of the User Interface. It seems to be best of class though.

    2.) This comes down to GTO versus exploitative. This argument comes up all over the place. If it is 0.1BB +EV or more, I just ship it. SnapShove does not give this info, but a project I am working on through ICMizer2 does.

    3.) It is not "close to GTO" it "is GTO", Push fold, as the first in, is one of the few places in poker where the math is 100% clear. This is all Nash equilibrium.

    There is a subtlety though, if you are playing the "push as the first one in" game, that is 100% solved for short stacks and Nash is the perfect solution. What does not get mentioned is there is another, more complicated game you could play. That game is "raise/fold, raise/commit, limp/fold, limp/call, limp/reraise" where all of these options are in play. There is absolutely a Nash equilibrium for this game also. It is vastly more complicated, has tons of player modeling assumptions, is prone to error.

    Beyond that, we don't know if the Nash Equilibrium for this more complicated game is higher or lower than the "push as the first one in" game. I tend to go with the Nash game, because I know it cold and won't make mistakes.
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • bardorodeobardorodeo Red Chipper Posts: 32
    @Doug Hull Thank you. So since the push/fold game is GTO I shouldn't be concerned that the skill of my opponents is not part of the Nash equilibrium? If playing GTO you cannot be exploited no matter how "good"/"bad" the opponent is?

    (BTW: maybe I'm deceiving myself and I am actually less skilled at a table and am making assumptions about other player's abilities LOL!!)

    But in lots of live weekly tournaments there are many recreational players who are playing just for fun, get lucky, and get big stacks even thought they've consistently make some pretty awful decisions/plays. That's why good players can expect to earn a ROI in the long-term I guess.

    So it gnaws at me to use a push/fold chart in spots and risk getting knocked out before players where I believe I have a skill edge as I think I'm forfeiting at least some future equity by not waiting for them and let them make bigger mistakes later on. (I know I'm being super results-oriented here and am whining --- and the assumption that they'll continue to make more mistakes is an unknown). In other words I may be taking a +0.1BB spot now and risk losing the opportunity to get a greater than +0.1BB spot later.

    Should I just accept that low buy-in MTT's in most casinos favor luck over skill? It seems like such a cop out to just say "you gotta win flips in tournaments" as it puts skill aside. Maybe I'm just not accepting one of the parts of the game that I can't control.

    Thank you for the feedback. I really appreciate it.


  • DspoticDspotic Red Chipper Posts: 19
    If a player is "bad" at the push-fold game, it means he either calls too much or folds too much. For those who call too much, you might get better EV by shoving a little tighter. For those who fold too much (which is probably more common in low-stakes MTTs), you can profitably shove even weaker ranges than those recommended by the app.
    If you have a mix of bad opponents (some too loose, some too tight), then I don't know whether there is a more optimal range than the app suggests--probably not.
  • TravisTravis Red Chipper Posts: 455 ✭✭✭
    The other thing to keep in mind,, (going back to Sklansky-Chubokov even) just because something is positive EV doesn't mean that shoving is the max EV way to play it. Mikka Anntonen has written a series of articles that address this in some ways. I highly recommend reading them
  • foxxxerfoxxxer Red Chipper Posts: 101 ✭✭
    Compared to the Nash charts almost all low/mid-stakes MTT players (at least that I've seen) fold way too much. The standard advice (as noted above) is to shove wider against these players because you can easily steal the blinds and antes.

    However lately I'm wondering if there is any merit to the idea that these players are only considering their hole cards and not necessarily the price they're getting vs the equity they need to call. The result is that players who don't call enough have a pretty inelastic range in this spot -- they're going to call w. AT or fold with Q6s regardless if the bet is 12BB or 7BB.

    If this is the case, is there any value in waiting a little longer to shove, giving yourself more time to get into a better spot whether it be by improving your cards or your position before you shove?

    For example, let's say you're at 10BB and get 33 UTG. If you shove, your all-in needs to pass 8 players and if you're called you're flipping at best. Would it be worth it to pass this spot up and try to get a spot where it's folded to you in the SB/BTN/CO or limped to the BB where you can profitably shove much wider, knowing that your opponents are going to overfold just as much for 8BB as they will for 10BB?
  • Doug HullDoug Hull RCP Coach Posts: 1,876 -
    Exactly how much skill can you employ with a <15BB stack?

    The way you employ skill is by pushing and folding properly. You employ skill by getting fold equity and showdown equity with a properly chosen set of hands and not squandering you stack "trying to see a flop"
    Co-founder Red Chip Poker,
    Author Poker Plays You Can Use
    Author Poker Workbook for Math Geeks
  • bardorodeobardorodeo Red Chipper Posts: 32
    Thank you everyone for some great feedback and ideas to think about.

    Here are a couple short articles on MTT's by Alex Fitzgerald. I don't think he's recommending not shoving a less than 15 BB stack with what Nash says is OK. But, he does mention in his writings that he admires Phil Helmuth's ability to fold in spots that are counter to Nash Equilibrium in order to survive in a tournament. Interesting.

  • vandwellervandweller Red Chipper Posts: 23 ✭✭
    Happened upon this rather old thread, but just wanted to add that SnapShove doesn't do any ICM math at all. The push/fold ranges are based on pure chipEV, not any tournament equity considerations.

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