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45 / 90 man SNG strategy

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  • 45 / 90 man SNG strategy

    I've got bored with cash games and have been playing lots more of these lately in an attempt to build my bankroll.

    So far I am being profitable but I feel there are definitely some leaks in my strategy, just not sure where..

    Typically in these I will bust out just before the bubble, ie. with 10 to 20 players left, usually because I find myself short stacked from the mid stages onward (i.e when the blinds go past 75/150) and end up in a push fold situation. When I have made it into the money I've either min cashed, or had a couple of lucky double ups either just before or after the bubble, and then gone on to either win or finish second.

    On the final table if I'm big or mid stack then I feel I play very well and can win many times and exploit the short stacks. But when I'm the short stack it's obviously much harder. It's especially frustrating when there is a LAG / donk player that has become a big stack though early double ups and is now stealing most of the pots.

    This seems to happen both in the 50c turbo and the regular speed 25c ones.

    So how do I stop myself always being short stacked approaching the final table? I feel I'm playing too tight / nitty, and my aggression when I do decide to play hands is leaving me short of chips when I miss flops and end up getting bet off them.

    Does anyone have recommendations for starting hands depending on blind level / stack size / position? I feel like I'm not opening my range enough, in particular i think maybe I fold too many hands when the pot is raised pre flop, maybe I should be flatting them (I still reraise with QQ+ and AK). Any other tips for strategy for these?

  • #2
    Most of your bustouts if you don't cash should be in the 10-20 area. This is the area in the tourney that you want to be taking shots to accumulate chips for a deep run and will be shoving more (and if you lose those hands, you'll bust more).

    If you bust before that, it should be due to a bad beat, otherwise, you're probably playing a bit too loose.

    Most of the time, when you get to a final table in one of these, you'll see a calling station that got lucky, that will be in every hand trying to run over the table. It's almost inevitable that you will find this type of player, as there are a lot of them out there and one of them will get lucky. The way to combat this is to wait until you get a hand, then value bet them so that they will double you by the end of the hand.

    Starting hands will depend largely on stack size and the way the opps at the table are playing. Blind level really won't play into it other than to tell how many BB you have in your stack.

    Early, you want to be playing tight in these, then in the mid stages you will want to start to open up when you are in position (I normally start to do this when I get in the 10-15 BB range).
    That will vary some though, depending on the table dynamics. If a player that has been playing tight gets into a pot before me, then I don't want to open up that hand, as they probably have something.
    Flatting raises will depend greatly on the exact opponents, how they've been playing, the position that you have. The odds that you have with your hand then and what you have to put in vs the pot size will need to be the determining factor for each one of them. There isn't a set rule of thumb for what cards to play or fold, as it will all need to be dependant on the given situation.

    If you're being profitable at them, that is the bottom line that says that you're doing something correct. There are always ways for all of us to improve, but if you're playing them over a large number of samples at a + ROI, then you're well on your way, because it means you're doing something correct.

    6 Time Bracelet Winner


    • #3
      Thanks JWK24, good advice.

      I suppose if I am profitable overall then that's all good. I just feel like I should be doing better.. I think I need to work on loosening up my game a bit in the mid stages, particularly playing more marginal hands in late position when there has been little signs of strength before me. I certainly think I'm playing too tight since I almost always find myself short stacked approaching the bubble, and I think the more laggy players notice and take advantage (of course this occasionally works in my favour when I hit a made hand)

      I think I'll start a thread in the challenges section and start posting my results so I can see if I make any progress..


      • #4
        thread started.

        Results so far for december are here:


        • #5
          Do you use a tracking program?

          It can really be great when you want to look back at your play in a given game.

          Grade b
          I am always ready to learn although I do not always like being taught. ~Winston Churchill

          13 Time Bracelet Winner



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