My $5 SNG final table system

smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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OK at this level i find it more profitable to stick to something like this instead of something more complex, play is super tight loosening up gradually as stack increases/M changes, anything cards not listed are folded:

notes:
by all means this is far from "fun" poker, i sit around folding all the action for majority of the game and i only make moves with solid odds, it gets really boring and is definetly more of a "grind" than playing for fun.
interestingly enough i have found my game much more profitable ever since i stopped having fun and started griinding it out every game

rules:
position is key
absolutley no bluffing with the exception of steals in late stages
only calling/limping min bets
will call against pot odds depending on opponent stack size/bet size in comparison to my stack/position
get as many notes as possible
early-mid stage fold as many hands as i possibly can, if its aint tight it aint right!!

early stages:
raise - 3xbb - AA KK AKs/AKos
raise - 4xbb - QQ JJ AQs
call/limp - Axs suited connectors whenever cheap
call preflop all in - AA KK

mid stage -
raise 4xbb - AKs AA KK QQ JJ 1010
call/limp - Axs 99 88 77 66 55 44 33 22 + any suited connectors
call preflop all in - AKs AA KK QQ JJ 1010

late stage (close to final table/final table)-
raise 4xbb - AA KK AKs AKos QQ JJ 1010
call/limp - Axs 99 88 77 66 55 44 33 22 + any suited connectors
call preflop all in - AKs/AKos AA KK QQ JJ 1010

ofcourse this is very generalised but you get the idea, all other cards are folded i will often fold some of the cards listed for call/limp it depends on stack, doesnt matter if its cheap or w/e i wont play anything less than the cards stated above. Using this system strictly i end up at final table consistently, either ill have a big stack from picking up some pots with flushes/straights/sets etc or ill have a smaller stack from playing too tight or not catching enough hands, either way i get super-aggressive as soon as its final table.

This is far from complex and infact its very basic/amateur one might say its too tight but i stick to this like a bible and i end up at more final tables than i ever have playing any other style at this level, it helps that i have some kind of natural ability to end up in the money even if i bring a crippled stack to the final table, all that matters is i get there and then i work with whatever i have, im pretty sure all of you already have your own systems in place, im just posting for personal reference feedback welcome and appreciated :)
 
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switch0723

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why arent we limping with pockets in early stages? thats when stacks are deep enoguh for set mining
 
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Inscore77

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why arent we limping with pockets in early stages? thats when stacks are deep enoguh for set mining
I'll limp with about any pocket pair early on, but fold dependent on raises and etc
 
smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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yes sry forgot to add, cant edit the post anymore but yea call min bets/limp with pockets in early stage aswell, set mining is ideal
 
TWiTCHaH

TWiTCHaH

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This has to be the most common poker alias: "Smoking Aces"

There is one of them in every single table, I swear.
 
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Dr_Dick

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I'm glad it is working for you...my feedback:

First, this is entirely pre-flop strategy. What are your rules postflop, only push with the nuts? You say "position is key" but have nothing in the strategy about position.

If you raise, x4 bb mid stage with JJ, do you only lead out with an all under flop? If you raise with AK, do you make a continuation bet?

"early-mid stage fold as many hands as i possibly can, if its aint tight it aint right!!"

You should not be folding as many hands as possible. The blinds are relatively low and pot sizes are less in comparison to your stack. In this environment you need to be looking to build your stack, not sit back waiting for premium hands and the perfect flop.

I would guess that when you end up at most final tables you are almost always short stacked and never the chip leader. And, the more tables in your SNG, the more likely the above holds true. What size (number of opponents) is your typical SNG?

And why would you only call an all-in preflop in early stages with AA/KK, but then when you are close to the final table (getting in the money) you call with TT or AK?

My basic strategy is loose when the blinds are low, tighten up through mid stages into the money, then loosen up.
 
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switch0723

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the strategy is way to general aswell, i mean if i have jay and aloe in the blinds and its unopened to me on the button, im raising atc whatever the blind levels
 
smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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Yes it is very general, i have a ton of stuff i want to add to it i just have it all written down on paper, will type it all up into this thread later.

yes this is just pre-flop, post flop i will use my reads/ranges/position to make decisions, you must be a LAG player if you dont like the idea of folding so many hands, i believe that early stages of SNG is best played conservative and usually your just wasting chips playing heaps of hands there will always be heavy action and i like to stay away.

While it is true that i sometimes do end up final table shortstacked, i can always outplay my way up to the average stack size, with this system its either me going to the final table short stacked or going in monster stacked, either way works alright for me, the reason why i have a wider range for late stage all in call is because you get looser all ins at later stages of SNG.

Its interesting that you think its more likely ill be short stacked going to final table if theres a larger field, i actually find quite the opposite holds true, for example i have more time/ppl to build my stack off in a 27seat as opposed to 18 seat.

At the end of the day, we play very different styles, i hate playing loose in the early stages, i dont like playing with maniacs i dont have good reads on + too many hands = higher chance of busting out.
 
PokerVic

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I definitely like raising 3xBB with AA and KK. I find a 3xBB raise in the early stages of these SNGs gets reraised more often than not. Idiots assume that any raise less than 10xBB is weak, and they can bluff you off preflop. And once they come over the top, 85% of them are pot committed. That's why it's almost impossible to play loose early on without being willing to coinflip all your chips.
 
jaymfc

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thanks smokin :)
you didn't say what position to do all that from , you said position is key .
does it mean from otb only or last three seats or what .

I think you have to bluff sometimes in position , if no one wants the pot take a shot at it , if someone is slo playing a monster you can still fold .
also if you're playing tight you will have a good hand 99% of the time and they know that.
I would love for them to not believe me more often when I raise otb so it wouldn't be that bad to get caught once in a great while .

the only thing I can see different from the middle stage and the late stage is you added AKo to your raise 4bb and call all in .
in the early stage you say raise with AKo and in the middle stage it's not listed as a playable hand. you say raise AQs in early stage but limp it in middle and late stage ?

to tight is not good , I can tell you from experience , I have more footprints on my back then the welcome mat at walmart.
I like it for people just starting to learn or get good but it needs tweaking .

JMO:)


ok switch I'm defending my blind from you at all times now :) NOT.... but I got ur number and I'm just waiting :)
 
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smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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Position is crucially important but it isnt as major a factor with premium hands, you can play them from any position, majority of my selection consists of premium hands so i didnt elaborate much about position, this is a basic hand selection system to get to the final table of the $5 SNG not a post talking about how to play/what to play from different positions etc. It is best to be playing opposite style to the table so early stage = everyone is playing loose so we tighten up, midstage/latestage = tighter play from opponents so we loosen up

I will post up the post flop stuff i got written up when im back from work (bah!!) didnt sleep much last night :(

fixed:

early stages:
raise - 3xbb - AA KK AKs/AKos
raise - 4xbb - QQ JJ AQs
call/limp - Axs 22 33 44 55 66 77 88 99 1010 + suited connectors
call preflop all in - AA KK

mid stage -
raise 4xbb - AKs AKo AQs AA KK QQ JJ 1010
call/limp - Axs 99 88 77 66 55 44 33 22 + any suited connectors
call preflop all in - AKs/AKo AA KK QQ JJ 1010

late stage (close to final table/final table)-
raise 4xbb - AA KK AKs AKo AQs QQ JJ 1010
call/limp - Axs 99 88 77 66 55 44 33 22 + any suited connectors
call preflop all in - AKs/AKo AA KK QQ JJ 1010
 
TWiTCHaH

TWiTCHaH

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Thanks for the insight/input into the strategy :confused:

Well, there wasn't much to comment on. It's almost the same exact pre-flop strategy as they mention if you clicked on "Strategy article's" towards the top of the page.
 
smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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Also there is no such thing as too tight when it comes to the donkfest micro SNG's, i understand you might have bad experiences with playing tight, but maybe its because you werent aggressive enough, you seem to be comfortable playing looser so i assume its a case of each to their own.

Personally i am not a all-round 24/7 super-tight player, i actually play LAG aswell i usually change around during play, i just prefer playing TAG in SNG's because it truly works the best for me to let the action settle down before i get into my play, all too often i find myself at the final table before i have even made any serious moves :cool:
 
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smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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Well, there wasn't much to comment on. It's almost the same exact pre-flop strategy as they mention if you clicked on "Strategy article's" towards the top of the page.

I dont understand why people still feel the need to write something / spam when
a)they feel there is nothing to contribute
b)they havent read my original post

my orignal post said:
im just posting for personal reference

i made this thread to post my own personal method to get to the end stages of the $5 SNG and with trial/error i will make changes/tweaks for myself/others interested to refer to, why dont you try to make a relative post instead of trolling :confused:
 
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TWiTCHaH

TWiTCHaH

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I see I struck a nerve, that's not what I was trying to do, so I'm sorry.

I just said I play with 3 or 4 "smoking aces" every day.. I didn't mean any harm in the comment. I'm not sure why it offended you so badly. You then told me you wanted a comment on your post and to be honest I think it's 90% of what the stragegy guide says towards the top of the page.

(shrug) Sorry to make you mad.
 
jaymfc

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you can play them from any position, majority of my selection consists of premium hands so i didnt elaborate much about position,

fixed:

early stages:

call/limp - Axs 22 33 44 55 66 77 88 99 1010 + suited connectors


mid stage -

call/limp - Axs 99 88 77 66 55 44 33 22 + any suited connectors


late stage (close to final table/final table)-

call/limp - Axs 99 88 77 66 55 44 33 22 + any suited connectors

I was asking because many are not considered premium hands by me , I rarely play ace rag even sooooooted and won't play the small Pocket Pair's or suited connectors in early position during the late stage. ( hence the 2tight )

Also there is no such thing as too tight when it comes to the donkfest micro SNG's, i understand you might have bad experiences with playing tight, but maybe its because you werent aggressive enough, you seem to be comfortable playing looser so i assume its a case of each to their own.

Personally i am not a all-round 24/7 super-tight player, i actually play LAG aswell i usually change around during play, i just prefer playing TAG in SNG's because it truly works the best for me to let the action settle down before i get into my play, all too often i find myself at the final table before i have even made any serious moves :cool:

a] you must not be talking to me , if you think I'm comfortable playing loose , then I will enjoy playing with you :)

b] yes I have some notes on you leaning to the lag side :)

c] no such thing as 2tight ? should I change my title ?

d] as stated ... JMO :)



also ..... please use the patience you have for waiting on premium hands , to overlook most posts you don't like or agree with :)
we have 40,000 members you will get many worse responses then a simple statement about your name.
 
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Dr_Dick

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you must be a LAG player if you dont like the idea of folding so many hands, i believe that early stages of SNG is best played conservative and usually your just wasting chips playing heaps of hands there will always be heavy action and i like to stay away.

Its interesting that you think its more likely ill be short stacked going to final table if theres a larger field, i actually find quite the opposite holds true, for example i have more time/ppl to build my stack off in a 27seat as opposed to 18 seat.

At the end of the day, we play very different styles, i hate playing loose in the early stages, i dont like playing with maniacs i dont have good reads on + too many hands = higher chance of busting out.

Actually I'm not LAG. I would say the difference in our styles is I am focusing more on postflop play. So, I loosen up my preflop ranges early and get aggressive if I hit. While I know you stated you have more information and your original post is just a piece of the overall picture, the post is pretty much exclusively on starting hand ranges and an emphasis on being tight. So you are pretty much endorsing a push or fold strategy.

The reason I think you would be shorter stacked the larger the field is because as blinds go up the worst players get eliminated. You don't collect many of the worst players chips as you are folding all but your best hands. Other players are making larger percentage gains, i.e. getting a larger share of the bad players chips. Now as blinds go up you are in essence forced to tighten up. You have no extra chips to really take a shot or two at hitting a flop. The maniacs you are saying exist in the early stages get eliminated...who did those chips go to?

I find your definition of a maniac interesting and that you believe playing against them equals a higher chance of busting out. You should be thinking the exact opposite. With maniacs at the table it is a perfect chance to build your stack. Why sit and wait for premium hands while other skilled players are building their stacks?

I guess it does come down to different styles. If it works for you keep it up. IMO I'm not LAG, just willing to open up hand ranges and play postflop poker.
 
smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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I was asking because many are not considered premium hands by me , I rarely play ace rag even sooooooted and won't play the small Pocket Pair's or suited connectors in early position during the late stage. ( hence the 2tight ).

Lol i do not consider Arag/pocket pairs premium hands, only the AA AKs AQs KK QQ and JJ are premium hands to me, i too will limp with pockets/suited connectors in mid-late position

The reason I think you would be shorter stacked the larger the field is because as blinds go up the worst players get eliminated. You don't collect many of the worst players chips as you are folding all but your best hands. Other players are making larger percentage gains, i.e. getting a larger share of the bad players chips. Now as blinds go up you are in essence forced to tighten up. You have no extra chips to really take a shot or two at hitting a flop. The maniacs you are saying exist in the early stages get eliminated...who did those chips go to?

I find your definition of a maniac interesting and that you believe playing against them equals a higher chance of busting out. You should be thinking the exact opposite. With maniacs at the table it is a perfect chance to build your stack. Why sit and wait for premium hands while other skilled players are building their stacks?

Yes as the blinds go up the weaker players are eliminated, but whos to say i wont have any of their chips? just because im folding hands like unsuited connectors/1-2 gappers doesnt mean im not playing in the game with them, im just retreating from preflop action unless im holding a premium hand, postflop i will play any set/flush/straight i limp into aggressively and majority of the time i will get called down by TPTK

Sure a maniac is easy chips for your stack the reason i say that too many hands against them can bust you early is because they give you alot of action (and if you dont have the best hand you will likely lose a lot of chips by becoming too comitted), if the opportunity is right i will limp into a flop with ATC if the person is loose/maniac enough, implied odds that these maniacs give you is something i cannot resist, if i hit i take all their chips if i dont hit i fold.

I think you misunderstand, i do not sit around whole game waiting for AA/KK/QQ, these are not the only cards i play, i play/limp other pockets/suited connectors only difference being i play them passively unless i make a hand after the flop
 
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smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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I see I struck a nerve, that's not what I was trying to do, so I'm sorry.

I just said I play with 3 or 4 "smoking aces" every day.. I didn't mean any harm in the comment. I'm not sure why it offended you so badly. You then told me you wanted a comment on your post and to be honest I think it's 90% of what the stragegy guide says towards the top of the page.

(shrug) Sorry to make you mad.

It wasnt you asking about my name that was offensive, its more the fact you come here and say this post is useless or w/e because it is similar/identical to something under the strategy tab when i have stated this is mostly for personal reference, if i find something working well for me it might not necessarily work well for others, i cannot go under the strategy tab and make tweaks/changes to refer to, sure i could just keep my notes that i have on paper, i just thought it might be interesting/helpful to some that read (and also insight/comments are valuable to me) hence i made this post just to pool my experiences/feelings/thoughts/requirements while getting some feedback.

If this post somehow makes you unhappy because there is something relative to it already, then the solution for you is simple, dont click on the thread!! easy as that

Still at work :( cant wait to go home and knock down some more $5/$10 SNGS!!
 
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TWiTCHaH

TWiTCHaH

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If this post somehow makes you unhappy because there is something relative to it already, then the solution for you is simple, dont click on the thread!! easy as that

Sorry for clicking on your thread.. I'll make sure I'll ignore anything you post in the future.
 
smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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Sorry been really busy and have been to lazy to type up some more stuff, will put up more for you to give me insight on (within the next few days!!)

Sorry for clicking on your thread.. I'll make sure I'll ignore anything you post in the future.

thanks, the less threadjackers the better :)
 
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chispa73

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Thanks

Came in 6th place at .10 Tourney on pokerstars following your advice. Actually went away from it in the later stages or I would have made it further I think. Thanks though. Good advice.
 
smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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No probs, apologies for not putting more on sooner, you can easily make top 3 every game assuming you dont get a horrible beat along the way, anyway here goes:

Already stated hand requirements, as a basic rule of thumb for mid-late stages, loosen up when you are in position, if your in a pot with a bunch of players you have noted as "tight" then dont be scared to raise with weaker hands like: 7-8, 9-10, 10-J, note that the opposite holds true against "loose" players NOTE: with the exception of J 10 dont raise any of these unless their suited, do not attempt to raise any of these hands unless it is mid-late stages on the game and you have a reliable read on your opponents, the reason for this is that it is too dangerous to assume you know a player just from watching his play in the early stages, an advantage to waiting until later stages is that the maniacs/idiots that could give you trouble are either weak stacked our eliminated, if you find maniacs picking up a lot of chips and building up DONT WORRY because this is good for us, let them hold the chips because we can really exploit their weak play at the final table.

In my experience i find a good rule of thumb is to not attempt any aggressive play with medium range hands unless you have to, if you already have a decent stack because of your good hands then there really is no reason to put your stack at risk, only attempt things like this in mid-late stages if you are finding yourself in a position where your not picking anything up and the blinds are eating your stack away. I dont even play a wider range even against short stacks until i had a fairly solid idea of who im up against.

Speaking of short-stacks you have to be careful with them, there is an illusion that you can easily push these guys around with a stack advantage over them but this is only half true, the other side to this is that they can also put you in a position to calling off their whole stack, this is something you do not want unless calling them if its going to hit your stack hard (obviously if you have a strong holding then call every time).

If you have been sitting around folding all the action and only getting in pots with good holdings unless you are in a position to exploit a player, you should not find it hard to make it to the late stages at this stake, only after finding this out did i start to realise that you can make a small living out of doing this, and you dont even have to be a exceptionally good player, just good enough to be better than almost everyone else playing at this stake and generally speaking this is not hard to achieve.

We have to take note of our stack size as we approach the final table, if you have a large stack its sensible to push around your opponents but once again we look at our notes and also we only do this with the good holdings, dont for a second let your big stack make you think you a privledge to play weak hands, the absolute worst cards i will play with a big stack are J10 Q10 and K10 and even with these im very cautious.

Short stack you MUST be aggressive and push with a much wider range, by this i mean

AA KK AKs AKos QQ JJ 1010 K10 Q10 J10
Axs 99 88 77 66 55 44 33 22 + any suited connectors

If you stack is super low and its getting close to the point where even a double up wont help you then add : Kx Qx Jx

DONT be afraid to put all your chips in the middle of the table, being a short stack means you are not only facing your opponents you are facing the blinds aswell, this impacts greatly on our chance of winning therefore we either establish a decent stack now or we bust and move on.

If we can retain or big stack through wise play or build one now it is too simple to take 1st place, all we have to do is look at our notes to see who we are up against and play accordingly, after doing this multiple times you will get a feel of what works and what doesnt and whether you know it or not, you will be sub-consiousley applying this in your game.
 
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smokin-aces

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First, this is entirely pre-flop strategy. What are your rules postflop, only push with the nuts? You say "position is key" but have nothing in the strategy about position.

I find that at this stake over-thinking your post flop strategy can be your downfall, you really do not have to worry about balancing your play and things like this because 9 times our of 10 there is little to noone that is paying attention, it is far too simple to progress playing a basic pre-flop strategy, generally speaking by this i mean respect strength from tight players and dis-respect strength from loose players, bluff against tight, fold against lag. I could write pages on post-flop strategy but i feel using strategy that you would use against more solid opponents will usually lose money here.

Added info about loosening up your range if you are in position and against the right opponents in relation to your holding

If you raise, x4 bb mid stage with JJ, do you only lead out with an all under flop? If you raise with AK, do you make a continuation bet?

No bluffing until we know our opponents, i will raise with an overpair but will fold to signs of geniune strength (unless i see that the player has been consistently calling strong raises with hands like highest pair on the board).

And why would you only call an all-in preflop in early stages with AA/KK, but then when you are close to the final table (getting in the money) you call with TT or AK?

Like i said before, im playing super-tight but loosening up gradually

You should not be folding as many hands as possible. The blinds are relatively low and pot sizes are less in comparison to your stack. In this environment you need to be looking to build your stack, not sit back waiting for premium hands and the perfect flop

If it works for you then thats great but realize that there are different methods to your one, i have tried the method of playing loose with the low blinds but i find myself out of the money too often, but i generally find it more consistent to play tight early and gradually/slowly loosen up as the blinds increase.

I would guess that when you end up at most final tables you are almost always short stacked and never the chip leader. And, the more tables in your SNG, the more likely the above holds true. What size (number of opponents) is your typical SNG?

typical SNG is 18 players - 27 players, i will not allow my self to get to a final table with a stack that will be weak even after a double up, if this is the scenario i would have either already doubled up or busted out.

I will not lie there are times i end up with a short stack going into the final table, but it is either this or i am in a commanding spot going in, by this i mean 1st, 2nd, or 3rd. I can live with this because it is not hard to sit out some of the battles and allow yourself to get in the money.

A shortstack that has potential to become the average stack with 1 double up is easily recovered from with use of a aggressive push or fold game, whether you get folds and pick up the blinds or you get action from someone hunting for the knockout and calling you with a even wider range than what we are playing with, if we get called off by better cards then so be it we move on, better we get knocked out trying to double up than get blinded out so low that even with good hands we wont be getting anywhere.
 
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