Sit N Go’s work in a very different way to cash games. When you buyin to a $15+1, 10 person SNG, where your $15 is exchanged for $1500 in tournament chips. If you win the sit and go and collect all of the chips, you don’t win 10 x $150, you only win $75 (50% of the prize pool) for first place.
This tells us that, in the standard 3 payout sit n go structure, chips decline in value. The more chips you have the less each chip is worth. Similarly the fewer chips you have the more each individual chip is worth.
This is very different from cash play where every chip you play for is of even value. In sit n goís winning chips is not the same as winning money. Emphasis must be made on maximising your expectation by finishing in the top 3 and not on collecting all the chips. Your decisions should be shaped on maximising your equity in the tournament and not on maximising your chip EV.
Say you have two loose aggressive players who get it allin preflop with Ace King Suited and 77 in the early rounds of a sit n go. The situation is essentially a flip so you would think no money trades hands. However, the real equity is distributed back to the remaining players. Let me explain, when player A and B get it allin, someone is going to get eliminated, the player who doubles there stack doesnít double there buyin, or double there equity in the tournament.
The person who wins the flip may increase there equity in the tournament by 90% and the remaining 10% equity is distributed evenly amongst the remaining players. As more and more players get eliminated, your equity in the tournament increases assuming you have the same stack. Interestingly, if you make it to the bubble, with 4 players remaining and you have the same stack as what you started with, your equity in the tournament is almost double despite not increasing your stack size at all.
In laymanís terms, your equity is not based solely on your chip count but by other players getting eliminated from the tournament.
As soon as you start a SNG poker tournament, you have an expected ROI. Its based on your skill set and the other players around the table. You could be a brilliant, solid tight aggressive poker professional with a high ROI in low stakes games, but play against a field of 10 people better than you at high stakes and have a -ROI. Likewise, you could be a mediocre player at best and play with 9 really bad players and have a huge ROI.
Everything is situational based on your skill set and your opponents skill set. No player knows his exact ROI before going into a SNG tournament, you can get a good idea of your overall ROI against a total field after you play a large sample of tournaments.
Its also worth noting that your ROI is not the same as your hourly rate. Some players can increase there hourly rate by playing more tables and sacrificing a few % to there ROI. Also the stakes you play has an effect on your ROI. For example, a player with 10% ROI at $10 SNG’s only needs a 5% ROI at $20 SNG’s to break even. Assuming you are a good solid winning poker player and have a bankroll, you should be playing as high stakes as possible.
In order to increase your ROI or hourly rate you should either actively look to improve your skill set. This can be done by reading more articles on this site, reading poker books, consuming poker training products and various other ways. Alternatively, you can look for a really soft poker sites and look to play against weaker competition.