Winning a small sit'n'go today

Only played one game today, a small sit’n’go with 10000 chips buy-in. I “won” 40,000 chips, but the winning is really only 30,000 unless you count 10,000 of my own chips that I won back.

These little tourneys are easy money and often over before 45 minutes are up. The key is to make a good start and then pick your spot.

I whiffed on the first hand of the tournament, then on the second hand. In the big blind with KQ everybody limped, no one bet much on the flop, the turn brought me an open ended draw, so I put in some cash and was called by the player on my right. On the river I hit the nut straight and bet again. To my astonishment the player on my right called and I won a nice pot and he mucked.

Now on the very next hand, this is what happened:

I had 75 off suit in the small blind and limped in and played a pot against the same opponent, and it became apparent that he would limp every hand, call every raise, and call every pot down to the river, and even call bets on the river when he was behind.

These two hands put me in a nice position with a big chip lead, so I was able to ease off and pick my spots.

However, it turned out that the player on my right was not quite so easy to dispose of as it appeared as he was also winning lots of pots and was hard to read as he played every hand exactly the same way. At one point he even seized the chip lead, which I do not like as I prefer to lead from the front.

However I was watching and figured out the best way to play him was to forget about pushing him out of a pot, but just to play down to the river and then put in a big bet if I thought I was ahead. This came in handy on the following hand where I had A9 off suit and took nearly all his chips.

and then on the following hand I had A5 suited and was able to finish him off. Very hard to figure out this player, but I think he just enjoys playing down to the river to see if he can win some big pots without any guile. The trouble is that these kind of players can wipe you out when they make a pair on the turn and another on the river, with no indication from the betting that they missed the flop, or hit the turn or river, and since they play with any two cards, there is no telling.

From that point on I won 6 of the remaining 8 pots and wiped out the other two players.

Here is the final hand:


Nut-hunting can be very successful here. I prefer to build pots to set up the river bet and just accept the variance that comes with it. If a guy wants to overpay for his flush draw (that he can never fold), then I want him to pay for every card. He’ll get there 35% of the time and I’ll take the other 65% happily. I think this is a better long-term approach but maybe I’m wrong here. People do seem to pay off with large bets by calling with really marginal hands.

Congrats on the win. Hope to play you sometime.

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Thanks, the problem with tournament play is that the size of the stacks is often so small that you cannot make someone pay the correct amount for draws without running the risk of putting yourself all in on the river. That is why it is so much better to grab the biggest stack and lead from the front. Players rarely try to bluff you knowing that they could be annihilated if it backfires, and often you can taken pots down at the flop or river with just a small bet when you have nothing. If that doesn’t work, the guy who has AK and misses the flop may think you have nothing at all and call a river bet with Ace high when you have second or third pair or a straight or flush.

Another advantage of the largest stack is that you can make marginal calls to see if you can improve your hand. For example if I have suited cards, and hit third pair on the flop, with just one card of the desired flush suit, if it is cheap to call the flop, I may try for one more card to see if I can get a flush draw for the river. With bottom pair and four cards to the flush coming to the river, you may hit the flush or trips or two pair, so you have about 13 outs. If your cards are low, you should be aware of a possible higher flush.

So if I have the biggest stack on the table, I may pay a little over the odds to see the turn as long as the price is not exorbitant, due to the implied odds if I see a card that I like on the turn.

However, as the biggest stack, you also need to be careful not to donate chips to villains, but ideally should keep building your stack on every round of blinds by stealing blinds and picking up unwanted pots and starving them of chips until the blinds go up and they are forced to turn on each other. There is nothing better than seeing three villains all-in on the same hand fighting over scraps after you fold preflop.

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I don’t see this as a problem but that just may be a difference in strategy. I play mostly SnG’s here and I also play them online for cash at the $3.50-$11 levels. The players here seem to spend the 1st 4 levels limping in and trying to find spots. You can have 6+ people remaining in a game where the average stack is under 10BB. That’s nuts to me. I have never been in a game for cash when that has happened or come close to happening.

At 6 minute blind levels and 67.5-75BB starting stacks, these are set up to be quick events. If people want to lengthen the games and see lots of cheap flops with garbage, my strategy is to take that comfortable option away from them. It took some practice and some study to figure out how to succeed in these games and from everything I’ve read and seen, you shouldn’t have the luxury of taking your time looking for nutted hands in them. You have a few shots and that’s it. You may not have any decent hands so you have to get creative and choose a spot. Risking your tournament life is just a part of the deal when you play these things.

Now I don’t play much here so I only have a limited amount of experience so far. What I have seen is that the strategy of shortening the game and accepting the higher variance that comes with it works. I played the 5K promotion this past weekend and did all 10 games in quick succession. I placed 2nd even though I made a few huge errors and busted out very early in a few of them. After that was over, I played a few more between 5K and 25K. Of the 7 games I played in after the promotion ended, I won 4 and did not cash 3 times. They were all 9-player games. I’m more than happy with results like that.

I don’t play crazy, I just look at the games differently than how many people here seem to. I’m playing them mostly how I would play the same game for cash. My cousin who brought me here, 1Warlock, told me over and over that format is everything in tournament poker, just like game selection is everything for cash. Almost every tournament on this site is a short-format game. They are not meant to be played passively and players shouldn’t be allowed the chance to see as many flops as they would like to. Find your spots, take your shots and move on or get in another game. Make other players uncomfortable and trust that you will make better decisions in the big hands than they will.

You played more agressive than I, therefore your 4 wins reflect that, while you did exit early a couple times hurting your average. I think you played good solid poker.

I also did my 10 in succession, and also donk’d 2-3, while winning 2 ( I was 4th ). Having an idea on how the players competing would end up, a reasonable goal was 90-100k in t-pts over 10 games. Knowing 2nd place pays 9959, thats a goal of an ave finish of 2nd over those same 10 games. You cannot approach purely like a cash situation, unless that also has a leaderboard that increases potential winnings. I would say I took too many chances early, in the 2-3 that I donk’d out in. The top of that leaderboard was fairly crowded therefore 1 place in 2 or even 1 SnG potentially made a difference. Why take undue risk early, when others will sit there, eventually blind’n out in 5th or better… going out 7-9th really takes a hit, if the Leaderboard is "1st of " AND has a small amount of games. ( 10 or less qualifies )

I agree its a shortened format, I’m sure due to Replay’s analysis of time to complete, and wanting thier SnGs to last a certain average time length. That said, I don’t feel its as bad as you do. The passive play @ times, is kinda expected. You are moving from a cash situation, to a tournament situation, then to a tournament situation +managing a leaderboard. The correct way to play is no different than like if its for cash, and if you make the leaderboard kewl, if not kewl… in practice, its hard to do that. You will always have those who get a leaderboard lead, then sit on it so to speak just like Golf or Football. That cannot be avoided, and actually can be said is smart gameplay. Playing it safe is just another strategy, when used @ the right time, is very successfull. So you do have to temper somewhat your gameplay depending on your overall goal.

It kinda boils down to … are you trying to win the leaderboard, the SnG, or both. Each will have different strategy advantages/limitations, to the style of play you settle on.

When I usted to play SnGs for cash, I’d play 9 ppl tables… expecting to get 3rd or better @ a ratio of 4 outta every 6 played. I was successfull @ fulltilt for cash under those goals.

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That is so true. For example a tournament with 9 players at the table will require a slightly different approach from a table with a maximum of 6 at the table, and a lot of attention needs to be paid to the blinds structure.

Presumably most players do what I do, which is have the tournament lobby open on screen in another window to monitor everything that is going on, including on other tables.

The kind of thing you have to look at is situations like the one in a tournament I was in last night where there were 15 players left in and 10 paid places. There were three tables of 5 players, but the three smallest stacks were all on the same table, which was not my table, and I (with a middle stack) was on a table with the three biggest stacks.

At this stage it all becomes a bit of a crap shoot, so you don’t want to play too many hands, but you need to win one out of every 5 sets of blinds to maintain position.

I was BB with A8 unsuited, checked a call from a limper who was the tournament leader for a “free” look at the flop, and then check raised him all in on the flop when an Ace came and he called the all in with A3 unsuited. I had him beaten all ends up, and our positions would have been switched, except that the board produced a straight and we shared the pot, so it was “as you were”.

I could have reraised him before the flop, but I think the outcome would have been the same, as I doubt whether he would have folded even if I reraised all in.

In big stack’s position, and so close to the bubble, I personally would never have called that all in check raise with such a low kicker and risked relegation to the middle of the pack, but he went on to finish third in a hand in which the winner who had a pair of 5s hit a straight flush to defeat his regular flush.

Sic semper tyrannis

I eventually fell out in 9th place. My wife had just arrived home and I was in the money, so I raised all in with KJ and was well beaten when A9 flopped 2 pairs and I needed a 10 on the river for a straight, but no such luck.

I never gave this any thought until this event because its the 1st one with a low enough volume that I could even look at. I can’t see playing 20+ of the same game per week or 90+ per month or whatever other volumes are required. This is a place I come for fun once in a while, not a full time job. I saw this one for 10 games and decided I could try it out. I didn’t think about points at all, just about how to win/cash in them as I normally would. I was lucky that my strategy seemed to work out for this one event. I’m sure there are all sorts of strategy modifications needed to do well on the leaderboards. Maybe I’ll look into how to take advantage of people playing leaderboards as opposed to poker at some point? It wouldn’t be hard to figure out how to do that.

It was nice to meet you and have a chance to play together. I enjoyed your unconventional style. I hope we get to tangle it up again sometime.


I have no idea who is playing for leaderboards and who isn’t. Overall, the games don’t play a thing like cash, at least up to the 25K games I’ve been playing. Its mostly a bunch of passive nut-hunters with a few wannabe LAG’s thrown in the mix. It’s a stretch to call it poker. I like the idea of SnG’s so I can just jump in a game whenever I have time but for whatever reason, the games are mostly uninteresting and boring. If that is the effect of the leaderboard, then just ugh. If its that the players are just loose-passive fish, I’ve got to find another game? Any suggestions? If I see one more hour long game of everyone limping in like its a freaking ante, I’ll lose my mind. If I wanted to watch paint dry, I’d have redone the den this weekend.

sitngos are just a short version of a MTT condensed into a final table starting out evenly stacked with starting blinds. in my opinion anyone starting out would learn the most at these games and can track progress on the leader boards for the month or week. if u can master these then u will play rings and MTT much better too. having played all 3 for many years this is my advice and opinion.

Thanks @floridajetski - I play cash SnG’s when I’m not here. Have been playing them for over 5 years online and do pretty well up to $22. Above that I may do ok but the pain my wife would inflict on me isn’t worth finding out. I learned tournament poker by starting on these and I agree they are a great way to figure out tournament dynamics. However, the game played here is not comparable to anything for cash at $3.50 or more. Even the $1 games are far stronger though they have more than their share of crazy bingo players as well.

The goal is to beat the players you are facing and the players here are almost universally passive. You will not find cash games where open limping is the norm and people don’t have a clue about the basic math. That’s just simple reality. Whenever money is on the line and someone somewhere in the world can make enough $ that it matters, the silly goes out the window in a hurry. Yes, you get terrible players at all levels but the regs even at low stakes know what they are doing.

This isn’t meant to be offensive to anyone. Its just reality. This place takes some getting used to and then it takes an adjustment back to play actual poker. This is a video game, period. It can be fun and that’s why I come here but anyone who thinks the game here is remotely similar to cash doesn’t know what they are talking about. In fact, people who come to cash sites from play-chip poker ones are picked up almost instantly by their HUD stats and torn apart until they adjust.

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Yeah… try Haggia Sophia or higher, when no promotions exsist for the tables you play on. I personally find the “closest to cash” games, the regional MTTs. Never tried a 1m SnG here yet tho, or the 5m MTT…

Currently I’m running up against the same problem in reverse… I’m playing for a Leaderboard and everyone else on the table has no clue… thus determines my play to be … well , a whole bunch of words I shouldn’t say around here. Its Rings and NL, you’d think they would welcome a whole bunch of “easy to win” chips… :scream:

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LMAO - I don’t think people pay any attention to anything other than their own cards for the most part. I guess some watch the leaderboards and I’m starting to see how that affects their play. Just sit on the fold button and only come off of it with a premium, which you can then limp to see if you get a good flop or not. Its horrible at the 25K level. I played a game earlier where there were still 9 players remaining at level 7. Average stacks were under 10BB. I think I was the only one who open raised pre flop until people started shoving. Whatever that was, its not poker. If that’s what the leaderboard things do, I’m not a fan so far.

As a bit of odd information, I wasn’t paying attention to the leaderboard because I figured I wouldn’t play 20 games in a week. Suddenly I was at 17 games and realized it was doable. Too late to alter my strategy but did ok considering. I went out 7th and 8th at least 4 times and that can’t help the scores. If I try again, I’ll at least try to avoid worse than 6th. At least the last game I had was a good one, with several people opening and even some 3-betting. It played like a cash game pretty much and was a really nice change of pace. If they mostly played like that, this place could be a lot of fun.

Always remember the difference between " 1st of xxx " and " best of xxx ".

Comic in order to show more accurate long term consistent skill level then u need to really play the 90 games/month leader board if your playing medium. just playing 20 games wont cut it and best of 20 shows nothing. then u need to consistently place top 5 ( better yet ) top 3 for several months in a row, that will prove yourself to move to high stake boards after that. Regardless of the so called bad players,bingo players etc. those players are on every stake and every game on replay, we all have to deal with them so its all fair game for the leader boards having to play with all types of players,good or bad. The real test is how are u able to adapt to these different players and their different styles of play. this is what u have to do to dominate any leader boards consistently, especially when u have great players and bingo players and everything in between on the same tables.You can capitalize on all the different types of players to dominate the boards if u can learn to adapt and change your style of play at any given hand if need be. Best of luck.


Wow, I sure am glad Replay has someone on hand to let players know what they must do in order to prove their poker prowess here. Otherwise simple folk like me would have no clue and wander around aimlessly in search of validation in our lives. We’d be thinking we were having fun on a play money poker site but were actually doing it all wrong. This bit of advice probably save me and all the others hours of wasted time enjoying ourselves. LOL

If you want to take this place seriously, by all means do so. If you want to take yourself as seriously as you seem to, go for it. I wish you all the success you think you deserve. I’m just here to entertain myself and relax. When I want to play seriously, I play for money. When I want to unwind, I’ll play here. From time to time I’ll try something new, like a promotion or get competitive with a friend I’ve made but that’s about as intense as I want my time here to be. Cool with you?

BTW - it takes very little time to figure most players out so far. I’ve met exactly 1 player who had what I would call a dynamic game and a handful of others who were at least somewhat unpredictable. Almost everyone else falls quickly into 1 of 6 major categories I have - all of which are easy to play against. Not saying I will win every game against everyone I play but its not rocket science to figure out how to play against them.

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Sounds like u are the pro here and all set having everything figured out here. sassy and me were just trying to help out since all u talked about was how bad sitngos are and u dont have the leader boards figured out and we have been there done that hundreds of times on those, and everything u mentioned about them was 100% wrong FYI, just like u saying now that u only have 1 player u havnt figured out that played well. Im sure u played against everyone on here at all stakes and all games to isolate that 1 player too. Your negativity on all players, their play, and the site is unreal. Let me know when ur dominating all the boards and crushing the high stake rings then maybe u can give us all tips. But with your ego i doubt if we all will see any of that. Best of luck…

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@Comicguy ,

I just wanna know… 1,2,3,4,5,6 … just which # am I ?

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Sassy, can we please find out what the 6 categories are before he puts u in one? u just might be the 1 dynamic player on replay that is unreadable and not in the categories :wink:

If I told you I had you marked as a 5, would that help? lol There is nothing nefarious about having a classification system. Its the same thing as anyone who uses a HUD has with color coding. My basic categories are: loose and tight, with aggressive and passive options. That’s 4. Then I have situational players and luckboxes/barrel-monkeys. I quickly put people into a category and then try to individualize from there.

@floridajetski - for a guy who has “remember, its free so take a chill pill” as the only thing in their profile, you seem to be incredibly not chill. I’ve said over and over that I don’t take it seriously and don’t care one way or the other how people play here or do whatever they do. I never asked for advice on leaderboards or anything else. I never gave advice on them either, other than saying people should just relax and not take it too seriously. For some reason you keep stepping in to tell me I’m doing it all wrong and trying to prove to me how awesome you are at this game. Didn’t ask and don’t care.

I played on a table with you last night and you seemed like a normal, polite player. Thought it was a quiet enjoyable game. On this thread you have a bug up your butt. I don’t know what that’s about and it doesn’t matter to me. This thread has already taken up more time than I had ever imagined. It went from fun and casual to whatever this is. I’m glad to see you or anyone else on the tables. So long as they aren’t rude, however they play is their business. I’m here to relax and enjoy and with the end of this post, I’m going back to doing exactly that.

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