It’s not hard to crunch some numbers in a spreadsheet.
When I was gunning for the Astral league promotional bonuses, I used a spreadsheet to track my tournament points. It was helpful to me, because it allowed me to see when it was futile to try to play extra games hoping to improve my Best 20 score that week.
I would finish ITM anywhere from 30-60% of the time in the 9-seat SNG games, and I’d play 20-30/week. In the good weks, I’d win about 4-5 tournaments, which would pay for the games I didn’t win chips out of, and any 2nd or 3rd place finishes would help me break even. After about 30 games, it’s usually a diminishing returns situation with the tournament points, and you’re only really helping yourself if you win, because even 2nd place points don’t improve your Best 20 enough to move you up the weekly leaderboard.
On the monthly leaderboard, after 60 games they switch from sum to average, which basically incentivized me to take a vacation at the end of the month once I hit 60, if I was only playing for the monthly leaderboard position.
If you’re winning enough chips in SNG action that you don’t care about the promotional bonus chips, just play them and win as many chips as you want to, and don’t worry about it. Your position on the leaderboards will take care of itself, as long as you play a full 20+ each week.
After playing SNG for almost 3 years straight, I found that moving over to ring tables is a faster way to earn chips, albeit with a bit more ups and downs. But I can often sit at a ring table for 500/1000 to 2k/4k, and make as many chips in ten minutes as I average from an hour long 9-seat SNG game at 100k-250k buy-in.
They’re different from each other in how they play, so it is good to get experience in each type, and learn how to adjust.
In ring games, you can sit and wait for a hand, and the blinds never change. But every hand you win is chips in your bankroll, so you can play for a big pot whenever it comes. When they come early, you can win a big pot in just a few minutes and then you can either leave or continue. I often leave because after a big quick score I can go two hours dead cards and and futile 2nd best showdowns, and end up bleeding it all back into the table. But I often see hot seat players running up their stack 4-5x in 2 hours. If you lose a significant chunk of your stack, top off so when you hit a big hand you’re not limited to how much you can win with it due to being short.
In SNG tournaments, blinds start tiny and end up huge, there’s no topping off or rebuying, and only the top 3 finishers take chips out, so often it’s best to play a waiting game and outlast the more aggressive opponents who will beat themselves for you. Fold all but premium hands early, and play for small pots unless you happen to have a nut hand, and about 30-40 minutes in or so, you can usually find yourself at the bubble with a 2x starting stack, and from there it’s just a matter of playing an effective short handed, short stack game to finish as deep as possible. Only a 2nd place finish or better is really worthwhile, though, since 3rd is barely over break even, and thus a waste of time from a chips/hr standpoint.