published over 4 years ago
You might have read a book on SNGs, like Collin Moshman's Sit 'n' Go Strategy, or watched SNG training videos at a site like DeucesCracked or others (all great investments, by the way). They all universally advocate a conservative strategy for the early rounds, and an increasingly aggressive blind-stealing strategy toward the end. In general, this strategy is sound for all buyin levels from $1 to $1000. However, many microstakes (below $5) players get frustrated that their late stage shoves get called really lightly ("How did that guy make that call?!"), or that they end up folding a hand like AKo to a strong re-shove early only to watch the raiser double up with a crappy hand all-in preflop on a subsequent hand ("He went all in with THAT?! And the other guy called with even worse?!").
So are there some adjustments you can make to the winning basic strategy of "fold early, push late" so that can you get an even bigger edge on your microstakes opponents? You bet.
The main adjustments you will have to make to play micro-SNGs:
1. In the early levels, pot control goes out the window. You are starting with premium hands preflop and are only 50-75BB deep. If you hit your hand, even if it's only a one pair hand (overpair or top-pair-good-kicker), don't slow down! You will often get three streets of value with pot-sized bets the whole way. Don't get scared that three streets of action means your top-pair hand is in jeopardy: it isn't. Bet and keep on betting until you run out of chips.
2. Be willing to get it all in early with AK. In a higher-stakes SNG, if someone challenges me to get my full stack in the middle preflop in the early stages, I'm often going to concede the pot with AK, JJ and similar strength hands (depending on the action). Don't do this in a micro-SNG! You will be shocked how often you will be up against hands like 77 or AT. So, if you get in a spot where you are unsure if you should get it all in, err on the side of getting it all in.
3. In the early levels, don't bother stabbing at small pots if you miss. These players just aren't going to fold often enough, the immediate reward is too small for what you are risking, and you want to save enough chips for the massive future edges your opponents will offer. So if you raise preflop with AK and miss, just try to get to a cheap showdown and check-fold if you face a bet.
4. In the high-blind phase, respect the implosion factor. Micro-SNG players have a tendency to take really stupid risks for their entire stacks for no apparent reason. Maybe it's lack of knowledge, maybe it's boredom, maybe it's a generalized inability to sustain focus and make rational decisions after 50 or so hands. Whatever it is, it's real and a real factor in your decisions.
So how does it affect you practically speaking? Fold out the bottom (and sometimes middle too!) of your shoving and calling ranges. Survival tactics can often give you a bigger edge than pushing thin chip-accumulation edges. The more hands you get to play, the more time your natural skill advantage has time to express itself in dollar terms.
So hang around to play those extra hands. Try to maneuver yourself into the money. You can hang around for a suprisingly long time with a short stack, and by doing so, you have a substantial chance that one or more of your opponents will utterly and spectacularly implode. So if you've got a marginal push or call decision, tend to err toward folding.
Following guideline #4 might skew your finish distribution a bit more heavily toward 3rds than you might like, but if your bubble opponents will basically hand you 3rd place, I see no reason not to take it. You will often make enough extra 3rds to compensate for the 1sts you might have accumulated (but of course you'll turn some of those 3rds into 1sts too, right?).
5. Bankroll management is stupid. Ok not really. But... even though "proper bankroll management" (the 50-, 75-, 86-, 104-, or whatever. buyin "rule") might tell you that can't afford to play the PokerStars $3.40s with, say, only $100, you really can. The rake is so bad at the $1s (20-25%) and the play so bad at the $3.40s, that it's really a smart gamble. Assuming you have some modicum of skill, you should have a fairly large edge on your opponents, and you simply won't experience those large, long downsings nearly as often as winning players do at the mid- and high-stakes, for which most bankroll advice was formulated.
If you are just beginning, play those $1.20 or $1.25s just to get your bearings, but as soon as you know what you are doing, move the hell up.
I have no doubt that these adjustments will help you destroy micro-SNGs, if you aren't already, and more so if you already are.
Definitley going to try taking your advice on moving up quickly. I currently have 45 buyins for the $2 STT's. Would you still advice moving down to $30 buyins at the $3. I would appreciate some true advice. Please sharkscope me to tell me honestly what you think. Thanks.
The advice about nursing a stack late uis spot on in these low stakes games. I've been building a BR playing 2.20 90 man SNGs. It seems likes most of these beggining players know they need to be stealing late. The problem they run into is that they won't slow down when the player they've been picking on finally makes a stand. I consistently will keep letting a player on my left steal cause I know when I finally play back with a real hand, they will pay me off. It sounds counter intuitive to conciuosly let someone run over you, but the 4 or 5 blinds you give up is easily made up when they don't adjust. You don't need high variance shove's late if the player will pay off no matter how tight you've been playing. Also pay attention who your stealing from. When down to 18 to 20 in these 90 mans, I try not to steal from bottom 5 or top 3. It seems like these guys have the most gamble at this stage. Sounds easy enough, but I'm continually amazed when I see mid- stacks open shove with Ax or SPP and get snapped off. These kinds of plays might be neccessary in bigger buy INS with better players, but down here patience late seems to work better
Taking those early risks is also great advice. After seeing some of the hands prlayers are willing to go with early I won't hesitate to call all in with JJ-AK. I've read some posts where flolks tend to disagree, but I think you need to look at it from a multiple tourney perspective. You will run into hands that have you crushed, but the times you run into coin flips and smaller pairs and double or triple your stack make up for it. If I'm playing 3 90 man SNGs. At the same time andk have AK on the 1st hand at all 3 facing an all-in I'll call. Let's say I'm crushed agaist AA on one, flip agaist QQ on the 2nd and dominating AQs on the third. I'll gladly give the buy in on one for a big stack and a chance for a deep run on the others. If you play these micros enough your head will spin with the chances folks take early trying to luck into a big stack. I played one yesterday with 4 players in on the 2nd hand. In order of the shove: 77 33 AJo and 43s. These players are NOT uncommon at these stakes. If you have the proper BR, you can't be afraid of losing. If you don't take these stacks they'll be in mine when all these players are gone betting on 17 black cause it hasn't come up in 200 spins. It's due right?
Also how manny bb's is a good raise pre with the premium hands which u play? 4bb's?
Almost always 3BB if I'm opening.
Is there any videos that u can watch which someone plays micro SnG's? preferably 6max.
There are a few 6max SNG vids from bones and AMT. Don't know how micro they are.
Hello Mr. vandweller.
I know this is the wrong place to post,but i tried to cantact you with email at firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com and can't reach you.Also i tried to pm you at deucescracked.com and have written at your facebook ''wall'' but still can't seem to reach you.
Please get back at me at firstname.lastname@example.org.Thnak you very much in advance and sorry for any inconvinience caused.
The only thing I wouldn't do is fall in love with a hand like AK or JJ preflop in the early stages IF the person you're stacking off with is playing tight/agressive. I just feel that especially the non-turbo 3.40's on stars are just so easy to float into the money by doing pretty much nothing and knowing when and who to push on when it gets shorthanded.