***1k Post SnG's & Their Advantages To MTTs***
This is just a general outline of the various types of SnG's and how they help your play in MTTs. All the SnG's I outlined are from playing $1-$5 SnG's. Again, this is my opinion on these and any input is welcome. A couple personal tips in there as well.
Again I want to thank every one, Nick, Mods, and Members. For making this the best forum on the internet!
Before we get into this too deeply, This weapon I use frequently at these stakes, SnG, MTT, and Cash as well. Is good if used properly.
My #1 Weapon Of Choice For $5 and below SnG’s:
For those of you who do not know what a probe bet is; it is generally a 10-20% pot sized bet or 1/3rd pot whichever you are comfortable with. This helps you determine the strength of your opponents hand. Due to the small bet you can gain some info from it. Also, For some reason $5 SnG’s and down, this probe bet definitely ignites a fiery rage in aggrodonktard players who don’t want to call, they see it as a weak bet, they want to be the aggressors and they want everyone else to fold. Especially, in turbo sit and go’s. Because if the pot is 240 and you bet 60, or I know you have seen other players do it to you. That bet just looks horrible, by flat calling you are giving away a lot of information that you are obviously drawing or have a weak pair, by re-raising you are representing a stronger hand, but you better have it if the initial probe bettor shove’s on your ass. I’ve thrown out probe bets on totally dry flops when I hit a set and someone in late position shoves on me, seems to ALWAYS happen and I’m always happy when it does. This does more than double up your stack. Your small “probe bet” is going to be looked at as a monster and it can pick up some pots for really cheap if your opponents have observed or fear you.
9-Player SnG (non-turbo) –
These games are pretty good for practicing all aspects you may encounter in a standard MTT but without the constant shuffling of players. Basic strategy for these is to start out tight when the blinds are low and when the game gradually gets short handed and the blinds escalate open up your hand range. Steal the blinds from the passive players, 3-bet light into the guy who raises 35% of his hands, get reads on your opponents, see who likes to see flops see who is raising every hand they enter, see who will limp/call out of position, so forth and so on. Besides the basic pre-flop reads you can get on your opponents. Ultimately the best information you can get from a player will be the cards shown at showdown. It will give you plenty of useful information.
Playing a 9-Player $2 SnG. I am UTG+1 ($1,530) (8 Handed) with 6h 6s, fishy limper from UTG ($1,665), Limps for $30, I raise to $90, Player on my left ($3,180) re-raises $240. Folds around to UTG who cold calls.
Now before I go into the rest of the hand. UTG is a total noob, playing pretty much any two cards, and will fold to a continuation bet 80% of the time. The player to my left’s raises are inherently pointless, he/she/it has been raising every hand he/she/it decides to play, typically a timid player in my spot would fold, but I have this same player on 3 other SnG’s at the same time and the hands that went to showdown we’re complete and utter garbage. This player has also stacked off post flop with AKo while completely missing the flop, and stacked off with TT on a flop of 5d Qh Kd, (where he went runner runner straight) when he/she/it completely missed the flop. With this in mind, I flat call with intent to set mine, and if there are no cards TT and up I will call a shove if I miss my set, because I very well may have the best hand with sixes against a maniac like this and I almost guarantee that UTG will fold to a c-bet on this flop from “the aggressor”. The flop comes: 2s 6d 8h, very dry board, I know I’m sitting pretty with the best hand when UTG checks to me, I simply check behind knowing villain to my left is going to c-bet 100% of the time and from hands played on other tables will call an all-in shove from me with any two over cards and sometimes with any two cards. Like clockwork. I check player to my left c-bets for $240, UTG folds, I shove with my set and get called by the maniac who shows Ad Ts. Really no way for villain to win, needs a runner runner 9x and 7x for a straight. Turn: 5s, River: 9s. I win.
Something like this hand you really need to be observant of the table and know what your opponents are and aren’t capable of. In this case, I knew I was relatively safe calling a raise from UTG+2 who plays and raises 50% of all hands dealt to the player. On the plus side, even though I was going to get a little better than 3 to 1 on my money with pot odds
pre-flop, I would generally not call a raise with sixes when I am sandwiched between two loose-players, one being passive and the other being a maniac. Aside from that, it’s a pretty easy hand to get away from opposed to KQ if the flop is KQJ and villain shoves, I’m going to assume two pair is good and villain may have AT, T9, JT, so ultimately the sixes put me in a somewhat better position IMO.
Benefit of 9 Handed SnG (non-turbo):
This will all around be pretty tasteful in getting you used to full handed early stages of a MTT. You can usually cash a lot in these simply by playing tight and making decent value bets. There is no real need to be totally aggressive early on in this as you will usually get down to 3 players (ITM) when the blinds reach 60/120 in most cases. In rare cases you will find yourself at a table with nit’s, which you would need to adjust your game because you can potentially still be 7-8 handed depending on the players when the blinds are at this stage.
9-Handed SnG Turbo –
Good for the soul, if you can catch some cards early on you can play a little tighter than normal for a brief period of time. The aggression level in these turbos is phenomenal. To win these you generally want to open up your hand ranges a little bit because you are fighting with the quickly escalating blinds and due to that as well this is a good game for a successful
loose-aggressive style, being loose-aggressive has many benefits but also has downfalls that outweigh the benefits to a certain extent. You should get a read on your opponents first and see if your SB & BB will fold to a steal, see how many times the CO and BTN attempt to steal your SB & BB and see how passive the rest of the table seems. One thing I found that helps get ITM in these is that the agrotardedness of most of these players will be shipping chips back and forth to each other and when the blinds escalate they will pretty much let their stack become useless by letting the blinds hit them. So in these I see a lot of aggression in the early stages and it gets really tight when the blinds escalate to a significant level. In my opinion, you should play this exactly the opposite. You should play semi-conservatively early on and turn up the aggression when the table tightens up and blinds escalate. Also, flopping a monster is hard to get paid here, and one thing that turbo’s are famous for are aggrotarded players. A probe bet
when you flop a monster on a dry board is almost guaranteed to ignite some kind of retarded aggrofury from another player who wants to “outplay” you, make the table fear him/her and steal the pot, and they may even think that KQ high is the best hand, these guys will pay you off and help you stay alive if you can get into a good situation with them.
9-Handed (turbo) Benefit for MTTs:
This can be a cheap and inexpensive way to develop your aggression and adjust it accordingly depending on the table. Opposed to the non-turbo 9-handed game, your M can quickly go downhill if you are playing too tight. Another benefit of this is, knowing when to take advantage of your opponents at the right time. Stealing becomes very effective in later stages of these and you will notice some players will even become extremely tight which is not going to be helpful. This will help you open up your hand ranges in MTTs when you need to.
6-Max Sng (non-turbo)–
Playing 6-max, you can still try to adapt to a “tight is right” approach, but in most cases you would want to open up your starting hand requirements. I personally find ATs A9s is good enough to raise UTG with 6 handed. But you must also have the discipline to lay those down depending on your opponents. Up to $5 SnG’s here you’ll find the most loose-aggrotard players for the most part. Not a game I particularly enjoy playing fully because it pays out top 2 opposed to top 3. You really need to take advantage of weak players who limp in to try to see flops cheaply.
6-max (non-turbo) benefit for MTT:
Good game to work on your short handed game, while tuning your aggression. This kind of game you have to be aggressive because the blinds are going to hit you 33% more than at a 9-handed game, therefore you really need to be stealing limped uncontested pots, stealing blinds, and protecting yours. You, like the other players there have opened up your hand ranges and they get wider with each KO’ed player and with each blind increase from what I have over time observed.
6-Max (turbo) –
Aggression, Aggression, Aggression – You’ll see a lot of relative 3-bets and 4-bets here due to the rapidly increasing blinds, and the constant aggression. This like the non-turbo, you have to be picking up a lot of limped pots, stealing from the CO & BTN whenever possible, and try to re-steal from the CO & BTN. Your hand range is going to need to be fairly wide after the 6th or 7th blind escalation. Your opponents are all going to be pretty loose aggressive, you’ll have some ATC players at the $5 and lower SnG’s and you really need to take advantage of them and the weak players who limp in to try to see a flop cheaply. PUNISH THEM!!!
Benefit of 6-Max (turbo) for MTT:
Opening up your hand ranges and turning up the aggression is definitely going to benefit you in late stages of a MTT when the tables are short handed and the blinds are high. Blinds and Antes at later stages of a MTT become very valuable and if you are able to walk all over your opponents, it’s a huge benefit to you.
10-Handed (non-turbo/turbo) Double Ups/DoNs –
I won’t go into too much detail in this one as they are fairly easy to beat. Basically you’re going to have a pretty boring game in any of these you join. In these the top 5 players get paid double their buy in minus rake, so if the buy in is $5.50 with $.50 being the rake and you double up you make a net profit of $4.50. Anyway, these games are boring but they help you with a major aspect of MTTs.
10-Handed (non-turbo/turbo) Double Ups/DoNs Benefit in MTT-
What sucks more than busting out in the middle stages of a big tournament? Getting blinded out when you are 3 places from the money. Double Ups or DoNs are a great way to practice bubble play. You will see really passive-players at DoNs when there are 6 or 7 left. Chips go into lock down mode. What better way to practice “Playing the Bubble”? You definitely don’t want to be going into the late stages of a huge tournament with an average stack and then “experiment” with bubble play while putting the time you invested and your tournament life on the line.
These are a very nice and inexpensive way to work on bubble play.
9-Handed Super Turbos or All-In or Fold SnG’s –
Granted these are pretty much crap shoots and all but they will help with a few aspects of your game. I would never suggest playing a 90 player super turbo, although I have done it before and took 7th for $47 in a $7 super turbo on full tilt. The all-in or fold tourneys are pretty insane. You have to play these with premium hands and only premium hands. Your only options after all are All-In or Fold.
MTT Benefits of Sup-Turbo & AIoF:
The super turbos, can in some way shape or form help you develop a short stack strategy. Which not a lot of people have, generally when you’re playing a SnG if a player loses a large pot and has 300 chips left, we usually see this guy shove the next hand with any two cards and without fail ultimately bust. At least try to develop some kind of plan to get over the loss and try to recover. The all-in or fold tournaments pretty much fall under the same guidelines but, they are more about hand selection, playing the cards and position, not so much the players because the only info you have on players in these is How many folds? How many all-ins? Which will not really help you define his hands.
Kamikaze SnG’s –
These games take control of your stack. You have no say in the matter. Everyone is all in every hand by will or not (these are on cake). So may the best rush of cards win.
Kamikaze SnG Benefits in MTT:
There really aren’t any benefits, it’s strictly a test of luck. We all need luck sometimes so this is a fairly inexpensive way to test it. I’ve played one for $1 with 90 players, I took 3rd for $8. That was the first and last time I tried those out. I don’t suggest you play these, seriously, unless you are really bored and don’t mind losing $1. Actually, the benefit of these should teach you that the "any two cards" approach... sucks, unless you are a luckbox.
Now I’m not going to tell you what to play in terms of non-turbo or turbo games. It’s always going to depend on the tournament, tournament stake, and players. Pick whichever one you find most comfortable. Never should you worry about the average stack size of the tournament instead you should be paying attention to your M which is how the BB, SB, and Antes correlate to your stack. By paying attention to average stack size and position in the tournament, you may very well put yourself on tilt for no reason by trying to catch up to an above average or average stack. All of these 2 or 3 table SnG’s will help you out with your MTT game by introducing you to the “shuffled” players. I do not suggest watching the other 2 tables as that won’t benefit you too much when you enter the large MTT field. You need to be able to identify how an unknown is going to play. If you’re playing the Big Little Tournament with +10K players, no way you would have 100+ windows open and observing all the players. So, don’t do it. Unless you strictly want to stick to 18 – 27 player SnG’s then get all the information you can on your opponents.
This is how I look at these types of SnG’s:
Non-Turbo (Standard Stack) 2 or 3 Tables –
I think these are good, you need just the right balance of aggression and skill. Being that the non-turbo blinds escalate at a decent time you can get plenty of hands in and be patient and wait for cards and play your position correctly without any unnecessary plays or undue aggression. I always view the big chip leaders early on in the tournament as either really lucky or they actually deserved to win that pot by going in with the best of it and taking a stack or two off of a few fish. You can play ABC poker and still make the cash. As long as you blend in some strategies you gained from playing various other SnG’s. The aggression will rise as the blinds go up and then you can start to steal blinds and antes when they are worth something.
Turbo (Standard Stack) 2 or 3 Tables –
These SnG’s outcome depends on aggression from the start, you need to pick up a lot of pots as you did in the turbo STTs. I think in these catching cards (luck) becomes a bigger factor than skill. You are in a field of generally very-aggressive players. Again, if you can isolate weak non-aggressive players you should be able to steal a lot of blinds from the passive players and be able to pick up pots from LAGs who are raising ATC. Due to the rapid blind escalation, you either need to catch cards, have a good read on your opponents, or be able to steal pots in position.
Non-Turbo (Double Stack) 3 Table –
Starting with a 100BB stack really gives you a lot of breathing room. These are great IMO they require more skill, and allow you to play your “A” game without having to worry about blinds for a while. These huge effective stacks should rarely ever be all in early on in the tournament. Of course, if you have Aces you don’t mind shoving or calling an all in from Mr. Kojack Offsuit. But, it’s pretty unnecessary to get into all in coin-flip situations so early on in a tournament unless you’re holding AA or KK, and will happen occasionally. Our starting effective stacks here are so wide, so we should never be shoving all-in with AKs early on in here, there's plenty of chips to actually play poker and not have a shove fest.
Turbo (Double Stack) 3 Table –
Same as the turbo standard stack but a nice run of cards will definitely build up your large starting stack early on in the tournament. Lot’s of aggrotarded donks in these.
Heads-Up Play –
At these stakes the $2 - $5 SnG’s these guys, usually have little to no game. Unless you are buying into a $5 HU Match that’s a whole different story. Playing heads up you should be the aggressor put the pressure on, because in most scenarios your villain is truly letting you take his BB and SB while he waits for a premium hand. Obviously, if he shows resistance, try and see a flop, keep the pressure on and chip away at his stack, once he realizes he’s down and out it’s a little too late for a shove to be meaningful at all.
There’s generally three players you will find playing HU at a final table SnG.
1.The Passive Scaredy Cat – He’s never made the money before, never made light of heads up play. He thinks he should still be playing ABC poker and waiting for a good hand to go with. When this player shoves into you, he’s generally got something. But more times than not simply a min raise or 3xBB raise will make him fold most hands.
2.The Aggrotardbustodonk – He’s all in every hand because he thinks any two cards can win. You can call this player lightly and not worry too much about it. Usually he just has no game, he has you covered in chips, or he’s tilting because you made his ass sore.
3.The Heads-Up Player – Pretty straight forward game – No huge bets, min raises and 3xBB raises, bet when he has them fold when he doesn’t. You do the same throw in some plays and 3-bets.
4.The Crazy – He’s going to tilt you. You try to make a play, he re-raises you and you fold. Several times. He’s definitely used to the HU game. Play solid play aggressive fold when obviously beaten.
My Advice on Coin-flips:
You really shouldn’t participate in coin-flips early on in a tournament. You have to pick your spots. Because, 54/46 odds, kind of suck especially with pocket pairs 2 through 7. Each situation is different obviously. I personally stay away from coin flips unless I have a very healthy stack and I’m shoved into by a short stack at a much later stage in a tournament. THAT should be standard to everyone. Shoving ranges of Short Stacks is so wide, you could even justify calling with A7, K9, Q8, any pocket pair. Just as long as it is not going to cripple your stack.