If you have not been following my blog recently, I have been playing 6 man Sit n’ Go tournaments at Poker Stars because I had some tournament currency on the site that I wanted to convert to actual $ that I could take to cash games, which are historically my strongest area. To anyone unfamiliar with Poker Stars, tournament currency is earned by qualifying through satellites but then unregistering from the tournament in question (a way of ensuring that the value is returned to Poker Stars).
As mentioned, SNGs are not my strongest area because they require knowledge of the Independent Chip Model to play short stacked poker well and my ICM is limited. There are plenty of resources out there for those that wish to get to grips with ICM and tournament poker maths but I’d recommend beginning with the excellent book ‘Kill Everyone’ by Nelson, Streib and Lee. So my objective wasn’t really to beat the games, but to break even.
Happily, I can report that I have more or less achieved that goal; that my T$ are all converted and that I didn’t lose a great deal in the process, and I have a bankroll of a few hundred $ to play cash games. I intend to continue to play these tournaments now and again as I have learned a little ICM through the process and it would be foolish to waste an opportunity to gain an additional string to the poker bow.
First, sample size. This is a woefully inadequate number of tournaments to glean a meaningful insight into if I’m doing anything right or wrong. Still, I feel that I play better than the average player in the early stages of these games and I probably do well enough at short stacked play, though I believe I could have done better.
One of the main reasons why the graph doesn’t look positive is that I’ve lost most of the heads-up battles I’ve played, so this is definitely an area where I need to improve. Having said that, variance is very likely to be playing a part and I’ve only felt out of depth against a single opponent – who happens also to be on a certain SNG leader board!
PFR 28% (I seem to be calling a very low % of the time which looks like a leak, though it could reflect in part the lower average pre-flop implied odds, will talk more if this trend continues).
Total AF 3.30 (Nice and high, influenced by the second stat above)
BB/100 -0.5 (All-in Adjusted 1.2, primarily down to my poor record when heads-up though I'm probably not beating the games in reality)
Bad Beat Corner
Finally a bit of fun, everyone loves a bad beat story so from time to time I’ll divulge the sickest hand from my recent database history. Here I’m a huge favourite on flop and turn but villain catches a minor miracle on the river. Enjoy my misery!
So now it’s back to cash / Zoom poker. I intend to play a few thousand hands at Full Ring Zoom 25NL in the near future so I’ll see how that goes. It’s easy to forget how quickly the hands accumulate and patterns begin to emerge, so perhaps I can reassess if I’m still in front of the field. I have databases that suggest I beat Zoom at 10NL/25NL at a low rate over several hundred thousand hands but the hands were played a number of years ago when the games were probably juicier.
Good luck at the tables!