Ahoy mateys, and welcome to 2015!
It’s a new year, and you all know what that means:
New year, new…poker adventure!

With the PCA starting soon, I am feeling inspired to continue to explore the world of poker!
Even spectators can enjoy this fantastic event by watching PCA Live coverage. This will be my first year of following this event.

Meanwhile, in this post I am going to document my discoveries of my latest poker adventure:
The Spin N Go here at PokerStars, and the Jackpot Sit n Go at Full Tilt! This began with a promotion where they were giving out tickets to participate in these games, and I found it a great opportunity to try more of these.

“By the powers!”

(Nay, I haven’t forgotten about the Open Skills League…that is a never ending voyage!)

Spin N Go Features:

Fast Pace: These Sit N Go games are hyper-turbo! You’ll be swashbucklin’ on the high seas for sure. Personally, I find this format fun because I can play this out and about on mobile too. This game does not exceed ten minutes…!   
3 Players: You only have two opponents, and this is another feature that I like because once the third player is gone, playing Heads Up is the fun part! I find it so much easier to play Heads Up because you can loosen up a little.  
Varying prize pool: For a bit of excitement, there are different prizes you can win. The most common prize I’ve come across is $2 both at PokerStars and at Full Tilt because I only play the $1 buy-in (I don’t want to get too carried away). A couple of times I’ve come across $6 and only once I’ve come across $10 with the $1 buy in. There is a page which displays the probabilities of how many times the buy-in is multiplied by (which I will link at the end of this post).
Winner takes all: There’s no use ending second – you must finish in first place! Even though it is 3-max, you still come across a variety of different players. Some are gentlemen o’ fortune, others are sprogs (untrained recruits, arrrr)! Over all, I found that the Spin n Go/ Jackpot Sit n Go at $1 buy-in are easy to play. Obviously, I don’t win every time! For instance,  out of x20 of these games (11 were tickets, and 9 were $1 buy-in),  I lost 11, won 9. Luckily, I won the $10 at PokerStars, and the $8 at Full Tilt. The rest were $2. The games I lost were mainly $2 prize, with one $6. I think I was quite lucky to get the $10 prize pool at PokerStars and even the $8 at Full Tilt, considering the probabilities. Yet I only came across these once!!  These tournaments are great fun, and could be an interesting way to build a modest bankroll if you don’t exaggerate! Personally, I limit myself to one or two games in one day if I feel like it. I don’t play these every day.


Part of my new 2015 adventure is to start reviewing my play. In the Spin N Go tournaments there are many occasions where there is more luck involved, especially if you call an ‘all-in.’ However, I have looked at my past history for the ones I have played and tried to identify any winning hands and losing hands patterns (not involving ‘all-in’ situations), which may have influenced the outcome. Here, I am going to document my findings so in the future I can come back to this and see if I have improved or if these patterns are determining factors in the long term. 


These are the actions which I seem to be taking on a recurring basis where the outcome has been positive:
Raise or fold more often that check/calling, taking the initiative pre-flop, re-raise an opponent’s min-raise pre-flop in position, being the pre-flop raiser, keep bet sizing pre-flop the same unless I am re-raising a min-raise.


These are the recurring actions I noticed during my reviews where I lost! 

"Ye be walkin' the plank!" 

Folding to river bets after contributing significantly to the pot, check/call more often than bet/raise, folding too much (playing too tight) pre-flop, min-bet then check down to the river, not responding well to my opponent when they take an action which has been unusual, in that particular game.



What I have learned from simply replaying the past hands of these tournaments is that I am generally more successful when I take on an aggressive approach, keeping my open-raises standard with all my selected starting hands (not just the premium ones), avoid being too passive by check/calling too often, avoid blinding down quickly due to folding too much, take a “raise or fold” approach when I have enough big blinds, and responding to my opponents by recognising any changes in their play. Also, widen my own range.

So, there’s another poker discovery! I like these Spin n Go tournaments both here at Poker Stars and at Full Tilt, but they do sometimes become frustrating when you’re sitting at a table where a landlubber raises all-in with a random starting hand and wins. Lol . In terms of profitability, I think that it is worth it if you are lucky enough to hit the higher prize pool, of course! For fun, the $1 buy-in every once in a while is more than reasonable.

Here is the Spin N Go Strategy guide from PSO which has helped me approach this game: 


Aye, aye sir!

Until next time