2k posts: a guide to 6max turbo SNG's
Hello everyone, just a few months shy of the three year anniversary on which I joined this wonderful forum, I have finally arrived at 2k posts.
I have played most every type of no limit holdem available to me in the United States including cash games, SNG's, and MTT's. For my 1k post milestone I made a guide as extensive as I deemed necessary for beating 300 starting stack 6max hyper SNG's on carbon. Hypers are a game where, while edges can be large... Variance is even larger and I failed to put in the volume I needed to sustain a roll at them long term and so I have switched to 6 max turbo SNG's (3.5-15 dollar BI's) and MTT's (5.5-14) at which I have several thousand dollars of profit in recent date. This forum and its members have helped me immensely to improve my game and it is for that reason I look to give back to the community by creating a live guide to both the SNG's and the MTT's. I have over my poker career played a lot of games and have a lot of experience and hope that this guide can help you to crush these games.
6 max 1500 chip turbos:
The structure of these games is 1500 chip starting stack with 5 min levels beginning at 10/20... 2 places are paid with second place being not even 2BI and 1st place being almost 4BI.
The first thing I want to say about these games is that you should absolutely run an HUD while playing them. This goes for any game type however you will find yourself to have a far easier time determining ideal lines if u know some things about your opponents stats. It might be useful to talk about the HUD stats that I expect to see with certain types of players:
Type 1: the 10/6/1 player
This player is an uber nit. He raises preflop 6%... That's a range comprised almost entirely of premiums. These guys are a real pain in the arse to deal with when we are OOP (all players are really) however when this player raises preflop, you must avoid like the plague hands like A7-A10, they are pretty it's true, however they are crushed by our opponents range. The hands have very bad reverse implied odds
against that range, meaning that there will be many flops (primarily ace high flops) where we hit what we are looking for but are still behind our opponents hand, and are more likely to lose more chips as a result of having hit. I am far more inclined to play bands like 910cc, or 78hh against this villain than I am to play AJ because I know those hands will have higher equity against this villains range. When this villain 3 bets us pre... If we do not have AK/KK/AA/QQ we are 100% folding. In fact AK and QQ are meh against a 2% range and are borderline for me when facing 3 bets from this nitty a player. If I have 5000 hands on a player in my database and I see that my notes on the player are "3 bet AA", "3 bet KK" over and over again I will be far more inclined to fold AK and QQ than I would be against a villain I have 150 hands on. Proceed with extreme caution against this player especially when OOP
Type 2: the 70/4/0
This player is most definitely a fish. We see from the 70% voluntarily put into pot that this villain loves to limp preflop. He limps a very wide range we can assume, but he very rarely open raises and he has NEVER 3 bet pre flop in our experience with him. This villain also tends to be prone to stationing off large portions of his stack with mediocre hands post flop. This is a player that I don't mind limping behind against with medium strength hands, especially when IP against him in early stages of the game. It is also acceptable a lot of the time to raise over the limps with medium strength hands against this villain in early stages. The reason being that our villain may be prone to spew, this is the player we want to value town 3 streets against. And if the pot is larger going into the flop it makes it easier to get higher amounts of value when we hit. If the blinds are 10/20 and villain limps for 20 and we choose to bet our 910cc instead of limping behind, I like to go a consistent amount anywhere between 3.5-4x the BB in this case 70-80 chips. When this player raises preflop alarms should go off in your head because "wait... He usually limps". He is very strong and we need to be very strong to be involved in a hand with him. If we have 500 hands on a villain and his 3 bet % is literally 0... I'm folding all but AA/KK. There are players at these bad enough to have that 3 bet stat and we need to not give them value when they clearly beg for it. We look to primarily play pots with this villain when he limps, not when he raises.
Player type 3: the 90/70/15
This player is just terrible. Super aggressive preflop. He gets involved in most every hand and has the image of a total maniac. He will spew when you have the goods. What I have discovered from experience is that we should rarely raise this villain when he bets on the flop if ever. And if I'm gonna raise the turn my sizing will be relatively small to get calls almost all of the time. Even players with stats as crazy as these will interpret flop raises as nutted. If I'm going to raise against this villain I generally like to do it on the river because once they get to the river spewing they likely aren't gonna fold.
Player type 4: the 23/17/6
This is the player type that is good. These guys aren't nits, and they aren't crazy. When they open pre you should show them some respect and 3 bet a bit of a wider range depending from what position they open from, this is also where I would consider the fold to 3 bet stat to be relevant. We can 3 bet more speculative medium strength hands if the fold to 3 bet% is higher. Play a normal game post flop, pay attention to the villains fold to c bet and c bet % when choosing a good line. This is likely the best player at your table and there usually is not more than one in a game, there are occasionally 2 at the 7-15 level.
Moving on now to bet sizings and how to change your game as the blinds increase it is important to understand that at these games and in poker as a whole, consistency in our bet sizing is king. Good players pick up on inconsistencies and you will pay for it. Consistency in these games however does not necessarily mean we always open to 2x or 3x but it simply means that we don't vary our sizing too often in common spots.
For example at 10/20 blinds, if I determine that I would like to enter a hand I am never going to limp except for a few special cases. I will almost always be raising 3x the BB at this level. This however does not mean that when I open it will be to 300 chips at 50/100, more likely than not by that stage my sizing will be changed to a min raise or 2x BB preflop. Anyway let's talk about the different levels and what we should be looking to do.
Our overall goal every game: get to 3k chips.
^ I always keep that magic 3k in my mind because most often it is a cashing stack.
1st blind level (10/20):
Now is the time to be a little bit nitty, there isn't really a reason to splash around. If u can get to some cheap flops with speculative hands that is definitely something you wanna do. Take this first level to observe the unknowns and tag them. Do they seem like type 1, or do they seem like type 4? Knowing the type of player we are up against is half way to beating them. This level can be defined by the words: observe, speculate, premiums. When we open at this level it should always be to 3x and generally the worst hands I will 3 bet at this level are 88 and AQ, this of course is dependent on the identity on the opener but these are the hands where I tend to draw the line as good enough to 3 bet.
2nd blind level (15/30):
Remember, just because this is a turbo... That doesn't mean u need to come out of the gates throwing serious punches. A lot of players get thrown off by the term turbo and they get way more aggressive than they need to be in the early levels. No it is not that important that you steal the blinds right now... Keep observing, keep playing premiums, keep opening 3xBB when you open.
Now would probably be a good time to discuss a good sizing for opening over 1 or more limpers. My general rule is that I open to 3BB +1/2BB over one limper... 4BB + 1/2BB over two limpers etc.
So for example if an MP player limps and I am on the button and I wanna open over this limper at 15/30... I will make my open 105 chips. However if I were the SB here, I would open to 120 chips or 4xBB because I need to account for the fact that I will be OOP against the limper post flop. If there are 2 limpers and I am the button I will size to 135 chips, and if I'm OOP I will go 5xBB or 150 chips = 3BB + 1BB per limper.
How often I Cbet flop after opening will be determined by my villains fold to Cbet stat. If a villain has a very high fold to c bet percent (some even have a 100) then I'm gonna Cbet almost every flop and this includes when the flop hits me because it's important I keep my c bet range balanced. The fold to Cbet stat also helps to define how often I will double barrel the turn . If somebody has a fold to c bet% of 14 then I will know that when they call my c bets most often they have not connected with the flop, and When the turn is a card that hits my range and not my villains it will be profitable for me to double barrel since most likely my opponent missed the flop and the turn benefited me and not him.
Blind level 20/40:
Really nothing new here. You can begin adding in done LP steal attempts if you have a tight image from 10/20 and 15/30. If you are going to steal I would rather you do it on the button and not the CO just because it's early and we don't really wanna play lots of hands this early. The only significant change I make here is that if my stack is between 1250-1700 I'm going to be opening to 2x instead of 3x BB. That will be the norm for us for the remainder of the game unless we develop a rather large stack. There are two positions at the table where we will not be min raising until the very late stages of the game and those are the button and SB. We won't be opening 3x on our button however we will be opening 2.5x, so we will make it 100 at this level.
Next level: 25/50
Don't be opening too too wide now, but this is the level where I like to kick into gear depending on who's in the blinds I'm likely opening around 70% of my buttons. There will likely be more post flop play at this stage which is bad for the fish but very good news for us. There might be a shorty or two at this stage down to 10-15 blinds or something like that. If you are in the SB when they are in the BB, use common sense... Don't open 2.5x... Just open shove because it's awkward to play post against shorties and you an put pressure on.
30/60 or 40/80 (whatever it is on your site):
Steals become more and more important as the blinds get higher. I don't really have anything magical to add in at this level except that when we Cbet I always like to Cbet 1/2 pot and if I'm double barreling the turn I like to size to 40% pot and then round to the nearest 99 chips. This really perplexes players. There is actually a psychological aspect to it I'm certain that the human mind sees a larger pile of chips being bet and associates it with stronger holdings. It does not always work but I find it gets me some folds in spots where I normally might not get folds. As you can guess this is especially helpful when we are double barrel bluffing 😂 and this isn't just for SNG's this also works awesomely in MTT's sizing to 999 instead of a thousand or 555 instead of 600 has worked miracles for me.
Fast forward to the bubble, we will assume the blinds are around 75/150. They way we play the money bubble greatly depends on how many chips we have. If you walk into the bubble with 1200 chips which does happen fairly often, your goal is not to win the game. Your goal is survival and that is it. It's a different story if we walk into the bubble with 4500... If that's us, then our job is to take steps to walk into the HU with a large lead. There is a large difference between second and first place money and I would rather bubble while giving myself a real opportunity to win outright, than play like a worried baby and get a bunch of second places. For that reason the version of ourself with 1200 chips needs to be shoving a really wide range from buttons and SB's trying to stick around, and the version of ourself that has 4500 chips should be min raising buttons and SB's to accumulate more chips. This big stack should still be trying to accumulate chips and shouldn't become complacent over his large amount of chips.
If all goes well we should arrive at heads up where min raising buttons is important, c betting a lot (villain dependent) is important. It's a very important section of the game of course so I would go read HU content all over to learn though at 7's and 15's? It's not very necessary. I just wait until my villain does something super stupid, they almost always do. We should become more aggressive all arounf the board... If u are down say 3k to 6k don't fear the coin flip... Take the coin flip and give yourself a shot at the win... If you lose, load up another.... They run A LOT 😎😎😎
Hope you guys find this useful. Feel free to ask any questions you might have, correct me on anything you disagree with, post hands. These games are very profitable if u know what ur doing a I hope you guys will check them out
Thank you cardschat.