SnG strategy not working :(
Hi folks, I usually play 18-man SNG's, and have been losing badly. What's killing me is that I feel like I'm "following the right strategy". Maybe someone can give some good advice here.
First of all, I usually do pretty well in the early to mid stages. I'm TAG, I don't overplay hands, and I'm often sitting at something like 6th or better out of 16 or so by the time we enter the middle of the tourney.
This is when everything starts to unravel. Or, if it doesn't unravel, it unravels by the end of the tourney. Let me explain.
Everything I've read, and I mean everything, says that you need to be more aggressive once the blinds start getting high. And if you're gonna raise, shove rather than just minraise. Okay, I'm doing that.
But this is what always happens:
1. If I wait until I have a good hand before going all in, I usually wind up waiting too long and other people are more aggressive. That usually results in me either blinded out, or puts me at a disadvantage against larger stacks who end up bouncing me from the tourney when the guy's pair of deuces in the BB position beats my AK suited.
2. If I go all in more often, with just semi-decent hands, then I may win a few blinds because no one calls; but then at some point along the line, I'll be called by someone with a better hand and a bigger stack, and I'll be bounced from the tourney.
3. If I go all in from the button while trying to steal blinds, I'll often be able to steal successfully. But I'll also get called often enough by players in the blinds, and wind up getting bounced out of the tournament when the coin flip doesn't go my way. Then it seems pointless to me to have risked and lost my entire stack, just to try to steal the blinds; yet that's what I keep reading that I should be doing. Mind you, too, I'm taking great care not to be "obvious" when I try to steal; I don't steal every time I'm on the button, I'll often wait for a few orbits before trying to steal, I don't always try to steal on certain stack sizes, etc.
EDIT: Okay, perfect example just now. Mid stages of tourney, blinds 100/200. I'm on the button, and haven't played a hand in about 5 orbits, have been folding everything because I've had only junk. I'm at around 1,600 chips, SB is at 2000 chips, BB is at 1650 chips. I shove with J-10 suited; my first all-in in the entire game so far, a game in which I've been playing passively. So to another player, I could have AA for all they know, right? But the BB calls with AQ offsuit, and I lose when the Q hits, and I'm bounced from the tourney. My first thought is, well, I shouldn't have gone all in, right? I mean I could've just waited for a better hand, and THEN go all in. But then if I do that, I wind up waiting too long, and I lose anyway more often than not.
Now then--let's say I somehow manage to overcome these obstacles and make it to the ITM group. At this point, it seems to ALWAYS be the case that I'm being too cautious compared to the other players. They're going all in more frequently than I am, because I'm waiting for AQ suited, JJ pair or higher, etc. So I know their shove range must be bigger than mine. But if I try to match their wider shove range myself, and shove with half-decent cards as opposed to great cards (like AJ offsuit, KQ offsuit, etc), then I may win one or two, but it only takes one loss, and then I'm out.
So I'm sort of in no man's land here. Any advice would be appreciated.