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Completed project: 40 x $1 Turbo Sit and Goes

February 11, 2008

I’ve completed the 40 $1 Turbo Sit and Go project that I was running on Full Tilt.

Statistical results first.

  • Cost of buy-ins: $50.00 ( $1.25 x 40)
  • Gross profit: $74.70
  • Net profit: $24.70; average $0.62, so for every $1.25 it cost me to play, I gained .62
  • ROI: 49%
  • ITMs: 24 of 40, or 60.0% (paid 1, 2, 3 places)
  • 1st: 9
  • 2nd: 8
  • 3rd: 7
  • 4th: 4
  • 5th: 5
  • 6th: 1
  • 7th: 4
  • 8th: 2
  • 9th: 0
  • Average finish: 3.43

That last stat is the most meaningless one, though perhaps it’s worth noting that I finished 9th zero times and 8th twice. The first 8th place finish was one of the first tight tables I encountered and it caught me by surprise. That plus being card dead led me to shove 55 with a stack of 770 when the blinds were already 80/160. The other I shoved after waiting for quite a while to pick up cards, after having lost a big portion of my stack much earlier. I had raised AK from UTG and got 4 callers (!). I could have dropped the hand except I picked up a flush draw with my K and called down with 2 others not knowing I was drawing dead with the A7 of the suit already holding the nut flush.

Strategy-wise what I learned is:

  1. In the early rounds (until the blinds get to 50/100 or so) play tight and somewhat passive. Only raise JJ/QQ/KK/AA/AK, and do it from almost any position, and do it when you have limpers ahead (4XBB + 1 for each limper though). Limp AT/AJ/KQ/QJ/66/77/88/99/TT from any position. You might be able to raise some of these second category hands on the rare occassion that you are in late position and no one has limped ahead of you, but that’s going to be very rare. These games are full of limp/callers so unless you have a monster there’s no point raising, and c-bets of missed flops often get called with bottom pair or draws. These players don’t understand pot odds either, so don’t assume they know that you didn’t give them odds to chase.
  2. Basically, try not to play any hands unless you have a monster, are in late position with a drawing hand, or are in the blinds.
  3. Look for players who call preflop raises with weak holdings, and those that call raises often, as well as those who call infrequently. You need to know this the rest of the way to target the non-callers to steal their blinds and avoid the callers.
  4. Look for betting traits. Some bet at any flop that no one has shown any interest in. Some love to slowplay. Some bet/call boards whenever they hold an Ace. Some get very aggressive with top pair/no kicker. Unfortunately the very worst often get knocked out first, although some get lucky and build big stacks for you to target later.
  5. When you catch a flop you may want to shove 2 pair/sets as you will get called by top pair/no kicker or draws. And you may want to shove to a raise of your flop bet with top pair/good kicker as the raise may mean top pair/any kicker. However if you have a draw (OESD or flush draw) don’t think that they won’t look you up with overcards if you bet or even shove even if it’s late and your bet represents all or most of their stack.
  6. Survival is key. If I can get to blinds of 50/100 and I have 850 or more chips, I’m okay ’cause I can outplay the opposition from that point on. Better yet is if I can pick up one or two small pots and cruise into the next phase with 2,000 chips.

Things should change when the blinds get up to 50/100 or so, but most players don’t make adjustments. You can’t keep limping, and if you’re down to 1,000 you have 10X BBs so you should shove any hand that you are going to play unless you are in the blinds. The table has also probably lost a number of players so you are competing against fewer hands so your starting hand requirements should go down, but, since you should be only raising/shoving, your requirements need to adjust. AT/AJ/KQs become big hands that need to be raised (or shoved if you have less than 10 BBs). This is where your earlier analysis on player’s preflop raise call percentages comes into play as you use this information, plus stack sizes, to determine when to shove.

Sometimes it’s amazing how long these players will hang on as the blind sizes become big, and then huge. People still want to limp in even when there are 3 or 4 people left with average stacks of 3,000 but the blinds are 400/800. Or even later with 2 or 3, stacks of 4,000 but the blinds are 500/1000. Some overvalue connectors like JT/78 ect, probably because of talk about their playability, but that playablilty refers to when stacks are big and you’ve got implied odds, not when calling a shove for 3/4 of your chips. People who shove, or worse yet call with these hands don’t understand short table/high blind situations. It’s fine to shove any cards if you think the chance is good that you’re going to collect the blinds, but not into a big stack who has a loose calling range, and you definitely don’t call off a large portion of your stack with them.

And others are reaaallly weak/tight, open limping AJ from the button for example. Or heads up and just calling, hoping to see a flop when the blinds are 20% of both player’s stacks.

Other things to note: there was a definite change in play when the site offerred it’s bonus promotion. The tables became noticably tighter but still beatable. In the very last game one player played no hands until his chips got down to 1,000 and the blinds 100, and then started shoving as his only play, and shoved every orbit or whenever he saw limped pots. I looked him up on Sharkscope. A 9% ROI, 488 games played, but he’s played multiple tables registering every 2-5 minutes for a new one. Quite possibly someone who normally doesn’t play at this level multitabling to earn bonus points, although from what I could see of his recent results he’s only breaking even. I guess if he’s doing it to collect the bonus that still might work out in his favor.

It’s interesting that the ITM rate is better than the bet/raise/fold experiment, but that may be largely a function of the turbo nature more than play money vrs real money, the site difference, or the handcuffing of the bet/raise/fold restriction. Basically the reason I didn’t finish 6th or lower very often is because I waited for people to knock themselves out. The turbo nature, plus possibly the high level play money patience levels might be the primary reason for this. The difference is not great, but I suspect it would have been bigger if the site had not run a promotion during this experiment.

Unfortunately I’m not willing to do a full explanation of how I played these, like my choices of shoving hands or how to play heads up. This blog is written mostly for myself, or for someone who plays at my level who can apply the general concepts themselves.

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