Poker Through the Eyes of an Amateur

February 27, 2006

A New Love

Over this past weekend, I have come to love the single table turbo SNGs. I'm not sure why I didn't like them before. I either was not educated enough (likely), or I just had bad luck when I played them (heh, also likely). I had about an hour of free time left on Saturday before dinner, so I decided to try one and see if they felt any better.

Man, these things are a gold mine.

I think the thing is that a lot of overly patient people (in terms of waiting for hands) play these games because of time constraints. Either that, or they just aren't educated enough yet (probably like I used to be) to play in this blind structure. You can afford to be patient for the first fifteen minutes or so, but once the blinds hit the 25/50 mark, you need to start making some moves. At the very least you need to start stealing when it's 50/100, or the blinds will just eat you up. The thing I've found is that a lot of these players wait for monster hands, rarely steal, and rarely bluff. Unless you get very lucky, I don't think you're going to win a single table turbo game this way.

Aggressiveness, as we all know, is the key to winning poker, but it is much more of a necessity in this structure. I've also found that if you can manage to build up an aggressive image early in the game, people will start to avoid you. When they do call you down or raise, you can be pretty sure they have a monster and play accordingly. I took two first places and one second place out of four attempts this weekend.

If I can win a few more of these, I'll be able to withdraw a bit of my bankroll and start on some new player promotions on other sites. I figure that's a pretty safe way to build the bankroll to a more stable level.


  • Steal, steal, steal. Bet, bet, bet. Put the pressure on the others. Sounds like you've got the right idea. And they are indeed a gold mine. In these turbos, being first to act isn't always a bad thing. It gives you a chance to get your chips in the pot first and force the others to decide. That is gold when you get shorthanded. Good luck!

    Weird, I don't know if it is a sign, but the password for me to leave this comment is:


    No shit. That is crazy

    See you on TV apparently

    By Blogger TripJax, at 2/27/2006 12:52 PM  

  • It must be an omen. Maybe that means I will win a seat to a big WPT or WSOP game and make the final table! Hey, it could happen.

    By Blogger Matt Silverthorn, at 2/27/2006 1:13 PM  

  • how many players are usually in these sng's, and how long do they usually last before they're over?

    By Anonymous eric, at 2/27/2006 1:20 PM  

  • PokerStars has their tables set up for 9 players. A turbo SNG will last for around an hour, while a regularly paced SNG can last anywhere from one to two hours, but usually around an hour and a half. The top three places pay.

    This is at all buy-in levels. The turbos are more expensive (I play $6+$.50) than the regular games ($5+$.50), but that means the prize pool is larger.

    If you wanted to, you could play at a six player table, but those only exist at $12+$1 and up, I believe. Only two places pay in those games.

    By Blogger Matt Silverthorn, at 2/27/2006 1:27 PM  

  • I've been loving these turbo SNGs too. Maybe we can play one together soon. Keep an eye out for me.

    Wow! And my password to leave a comment is mattontoilet....another omen?

    By Blogger HighOnPoker, at 2/27/2006 4:03 PM  

  • You're going to start playing on other sites??

    Anyone want to help me pick out a hobby?

    By Blogger Courtney, at 2/27/2006 4:36 PM  

  • Jordan, I went to the bathroom today. That must be it. I'm 50% for the omens! Let's see if I can make it 100%.

    I'll keep an eye out for you this week to see if we can play an SNG.

    By Blogger Matt Silverthorn, at 2/27/2006 4:51 PM  

  • Courtney, poker is a pretty fun hobby. :-)

    By Blogger Matt Silverthorn, at 2/27/2006 4:54 PM  

  • I also love the turbo SNGs, and you're right on with the blind levels...50/100 is where I start to kick up the aggression. Besides, the 9 player ones are usually down to 7 or so, so people are starting to be more tight, hoping to limp into the money. I've been getting no card love on them recently, but my faves have been the 45 player SNGs on Stars. Top 7 places play and they still take only an hour or so. The other thing that I like about them (but this can work against you, too) is that you'll find the same players in them over and over. Take notes on the players. Watch showdowns and see who flips what over. It is great fun to wind up at a table and see "Note" indicators on over half the table. Then you know who's got a real hand and who's a big stack bully.

    My word verification is rcuzebd. I have no idea what that means, but if you've been on the toilet and you're gonna be on tv, you better figure out how to rcuzeb somebody and quickly.

    By Blogger iamhoff, at 2/27/2006 6:02 PM  

  • I pretty much only play the turbo SNG's at Stars lately. This is my rough game plan:

    If I pick up a premium hand in the first round, make a massive bet. Anything less than 7BB will get multiple callers for some reason. More than half the time you will be re-raised allin by a maniac who is holding two high cards. When this happens I almost always double up. If I double up, I literally sit-out until the 50/100 level. If I manage to get my stack to 3 to 4k, I might even sit out until I'm in the money.

    If I don't pick up any premium hands, I only play from the button and blinds with pairs and drawing hands. I try to see a flop as cheaply as possible but I'll steal if I have passive players on my left.

    If the levels get to 50/100 and I haven't picked up any significant pots I start looking for places to make a move. If I'm down to around 10BB at this level it's usually a matter of luck whether I'll make it any further. I'm fairly patient and I'm happy to lose a few more BB while waiting for a push-worthy hand.

    If it gets to 4-handed I start playing super aggressive. Most players become extremely passive at this point and it's easy to steal from any position.

    Once it gets to this level I have around 40-60 hand stats for each of the players and Pokeroffice can give me a ballpark rating of their playing style. I hammer on the rocks preflop but stay out of the way of the aggressive postflop players unless I've got the nuts.

    By Blogger huma, at 2/27/2006 9:10 PM  

  • I don't know if my game is suited to Turbo SnGs. Maybe I should allocate a block of cash and have a run at a few.

    Weird: my password to comment was mattontvontoilet

    I don't even want to know what that means...

    By Blogger Garthmeister J., at 2/28/2006 2:15 PM  

  • Hmm... yeah that one sounds scary. Maybe I'll just go for 50% on the omens since, after much Googling, I still have no idea how to rcuzebd

    By Blogger Matt Silverthorn, at 2/28/2006 2:54 PM  

  • I scoff at the guy who says he sits out of these tournaments, at any point. So what if you would have been dealt Aces three times during that 20 minute stretch of sitting out? Man that is just unbelievable.

    Anyways Matt, I also enjoy the turbo sng's, in particular when I don't have the time to sit through an entire tournament at regular speed. Lately I've been playing the $25 turbo 1-table sngs on pokerstars, although I am 2-for-2 in getting redickubeat out of them over the past 12 hours or so. AK losing to AQ, 55 losing to 33, stuff like that. Pure filth.

    In general though, I agree with your analysis of the players in those sng's. Except that in my experience, there is usually one (sometimes two if you're lucky) unadulterated maniac at the table, who will be allin sometime during the first round of blinds with a hand like KJo or worse. It's great when you're the guy that mr. donkey donks his chips off to, but kinda annoying when it's to some other guy while you're giving up Queen-high flops when your AK goes up against a donkey's KQ.

    Btw, talk about weird, my password here is "HoyazoWinsWSOP". How can they see into the future like that?

    By Blogger Hammer Player a.k.a Hoyazo, at 3/01/2006 12:02 PM  

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