Wednesday, June 09, 2010

A Guide to Six Max Super Turbo SNGs

What is a Super Turbo SNG
A super turbo SNG is one which you start out with 300 chips. The blinds are 3 minutes each round. So basically you start off short stacked and try to survive to the money.

Is there any Skill?
I think this can be debated. I do think you can use certain skills and tools to make these very profitable especially when your opponents are making big mistakes. I also think that these can improve your MTT end game. Normally in a big MTT once you get to the final table most everyone is short stacked. The blinds are huge. It is pretty much the identical situation as the Super Turbo. So playing in these may improve your end game and get you more comfortable with final table and heads up play. Albeit there are differences most of which revolve around what is actually on the line.

What else are they good for?
In my opinion these REALLY show you quickly what the long term is. In poker your mind should always be on long term results and never on the short term. It is really hard to focus on the long term however. We play a tourney and it takes five hours and all we note is that we lost to a bad beat and did not make the good money. It can be discouraging because we can not see that on our tenth or twentieth tourney we will make a nice score. Playing these quick tourneys you can get in several games an hour just single tabling. You will see streaks where you win a bunch and some where you lose a lot in a row. You will see profit steadily coming into your account though. Through the ups and downs you will see your good play paying off. It kind of compresses the long term into this small area of time and gives you a good outlook.

In theory and I hope this to be true eventually you will take a bad beat and just shrug it off. I certainly need help in this area. I will say it has helped a bit but I still call people morons. Just with a little less steam because I know I have the next game to win. Once I really get the right attitude I will not even think they are morons. I will just chalk it up to variance.

So how do I win these?
The six max format pays out two places. It is my goal to always make sure I get at least second in every single game. My strategy takes this into account.

Every hand you play you are going to jam. Hands like suited connectors lose all value and things like big aces and pairs gain a ton of value. Here is the key though. YOU ARE GOING TO JAM. You will not CALL. The power of some of your hands is the ability to have your opponent fold. If you opponent calls every time then you are looking at a 70-30 or 60-40 race at best. We want our opponents to fold so that we have less variance in our wins.

Position is important here too. With a full table of six people you will jam A3o from later position but not from earlier positions. We really want to get a few people out of the way before we jam a weaker hand like that.

Here are our basic guidelines starting off then:

Do not call min raises at all. We are jamming or folding.
Do not complete your small blind. We are jamming or folding.

Call a Jam with AK-AJ, Pair of Tens or better. Normally you are ahead here. A lot of people are jamming lesser aces and you have a good chance to dominate someone. So normally you are calling with the above hands. Anything else I suggest you fold to someone else going all in.

Stick with the strongest of these hands if two people jammed in front of you. You really do not want to get into a three way race without a really good hand. Chances are your not up against AA and KK here. People have a lot less standards for hands in these out of necessity. Keep to the best hands though I would say probably AK and Jacks or better would be profitable.

In late position you can jam any pair 22 or greater and any Ace-rag hand. Push all in with these hands in late position. In early position I would stay a little tighter and go with pairs 88 or greater and Ace-8 or better.

We need to make some chips before we blind out so that is why your jamming a wide range of hands. If your stack falls below 200 then you need to blow your range wide open. Jam pretty much anything decent from late position. You can not allow yourself to be blinded down to nothing because then your jams lose all their power. Just try to be the one who throws the chips in the middle in this situation but add any big cards, suited cards, whatever to your range when you fall below 200 chips.

Other tips?
Remember we are trying to get second place always. After that we can try and win first. Every single game we want to cash though. Keep this in mind.

Do not be a donk when people can be knocked out. Lets say a guy has 50 chips and he pushes in. You have over 400 chips. You look down and see AT spades. Normally I would suggest you jam. However in this case we want to gang up and knock the shorty out. Let people limp in. If you flop a Ten do not push. Just check down. You may lose the hand to a better hand but as long as you knock the shorty out you have gained value. If you flop a monster hand like a set feel free to jam and close the betting. Anything less than a set you should check down and make sure the short stack gets removed.

If you find yourself with a large stack you can test the table and stop jamming weaker hands. A lot of times a 3xBB raise will work fine. You need to have a big stack to do this though. Like 900 chips with 40 chip blind. You can try the 3xBB raise instead of jamming. If you find when you do this that you always get jammed then go back to just jamming or folding.

Also if you find yourself with a large stack you should tighten up. Let the other donks knock each other out. You should reduce your A-rag jams and stick with the AK-AJ, TT or better standards.

One exception to this is a really short stack jam. Say you have 900 chips and the SB has 100 chips. You are the BB. If he jams you can widen your calling range here. Because losing will not cripple you and you want to knock people out. Do not call off a significant jam though. In the same situation if he had 200 chips I probably just fold.

As a side note if you play during the day or on the weekend you will encounter an effect called the eurotard effect. It will increase your variance. For example. First hand of the game the other day. I jam AK and get insta-called by some Russian retard with 9To. Some of these morons will just call anything. This makes things harder at times. Just hang in there. You will win but you will run into a lot more losing games.

In Conclusion
Remember to hang in there. Look at the long term. This past week I have had sessions where I win 95% of the games I play. Yesterday I went on a run where I lost ten in a row. It is going to happen. Know what though? I kept at it and at the end of the day I had a modest ten buyin profit. Play a ton of these and watch the results pan out over time. If you notice your not putting together huge strings of cashes then your probably doing something wrong. These things can be very profitable and it is fun not to have to commit hours of time to a game. Just fire up Full Tilt poker and shoot off a few whenever you have a spare moment. I will report later in the week on how good the rakeback on these are. I think it is going to be poor but maybe the volume will make up for it.


Blogger Bayne_S said...

To quote Herm Edwards "You play to win the game"

9:51 AM

Blogger Josie said...


Never played a super turbo, but I'm going to experiment.

Does the size of the buyin change the guidelines? Say $1 buyin vs $10?

10:57 AM

Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I am not sure... but I doubt it. You may get better players in higher brackets so it might be tougher. The difference between 1 and 10 should not be so noticeable though.

11:03 AM

Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Good post. I think I'll try them.

11:46 AM

Blogger Thorn said...

Nice post! I might try them out myself when I'm short on time. Do you use any of the unexploitable pushing charts for when you're heads up or in the small blind? If not, I highly recommend the Sklansky-Chubukov chart (I found it on 2+2, but I'm sure it can be googled). It'd definitely come in handy in these things.

There's also the Nash equilibrium and SAGE for heads up, but I prefer Chubukov. All in all, though, if you've never seen the chart before, you'd be surprised at just how loose it is mathematically correct to push sometimes.

11:54 AM

Blogger Thorn said...

Slight correction for the above post: the charts are for heads up and/or when it's FOLDED to you in the small blind (BvB heads up).

11:55 AM

Blogger SirFWALGMan said...

I think HU that would be useful but not sure how much it would be with like six left. If we want to always cash and a chart says "52% fav to push" so it is technically a +EV push... do we want to do that? Not sure. I will check those out though.

11:57 AM

Blogger HighOnPoker said...

My new love is Matrix Super Turbos. All the fun of Super Turbos with multitables! It's really easy to get a read on player ranges, and once you have that on one table, you have it on four.

11:59 AM

Blogger Thorn said...

I've got the run good skillllz! I started playing the Step tournaments from step 1! Lost first hand with AKs against limped AA (ouch).

Popped up another, took it down. Popped up step 2, took that down. Now I have at least a $26 token tournament for a $6.60 investment. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction, Waffles!

7:02 PM

Blogger 23skidoo said...

What a bunch of horseshit.

10:33 PM

Blogger Schaubs said...

What is this world coming to when people starting looking to Waffles for poker advice?

We are all doomed.

8:03 AM


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