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A New Plan

After a couple months away from the tables, I'm more or less ready to return. However, I still feel that I'm on tilt given my awful month of March at the tables. I guess it's been a little hard dealing with the fact that I'm not quite as good a poker player as I'd hoped after getting so lucky in February. It's hard to settle for mediocre when you've seen how good it can be.

In any case, I'm changing up my game plan yet again. Why? Because I can. Nothing I write for this site is set in stone. Poker and life are both fluid and dynamic; so too are the goals I set for myself. Get while the getting's good and don't be afraid of change when things don't go well.

With that in mind, I'm going to start focusing on a low variance form of poker that requires less study and concentration on my part: the almighty SNG!

I've always had a love/hate relationship with sit-n-gos and multi-table tournaments. When things go well, I win a lot of money. But the amount of time that can pass between wins is maddening. While deciding whether I really wanted to follow the SNG path to semi-victory again, I came up with a list of the pros and cons of sit-n-gos.


  • Mindless and grind-tastic
  • SAGE is fun to use
  • I feel like I've accomplished something when I win a sit-n-go
  • Low variance
  • Don't consume as many brain cycles away from the tables

  • Time-consuming (even the Turbo SNGs)
  • Frustrating
  • Expected returns on investment are insignificant when playing sit-n-gos with buy-ins < $200
Despite these cons, I think I could use a little mindless fun that won't cost me my bankroll. I like the fact that there is (usually) a right move to make at all stages of a sit-n-go. Although you'll hear "it depends" quite a bit when discussing cash games, things are much more black and white when sitting down to a SNG.

My biggest concern is the puny return on investment that can expected while playing a sit-n-go. At the $10 - $20 range, an ROI of 15% is considered quite good. If I average 10 SNGs a week @ $12 a pop, I could expect to make $18 a week in the long run if I'm really on top of my game. That $18 of profit translates to about $3/hour. Yuck.

But I think that focusing on sit-n-gos is a good step for me now. It will allow me to approach poker as a source of fun and not as a frustrating source of secondary income. My winning nights will fill me with purpose, happiness, and should both satisfy my short-term rewards and competitive spirit. And my losing nights shouldn't bother me too much given that I'll rarely be able to play enough sit-n-gos in one session to put a real dent in my bankroll.

I'm still not sure how I'll tackle choosing my stakes. And I'm not yet sure how and when I'll move up and down the buy-in ladder. I'll think about that tonight and get back to all of you tomorrow.

I've been reading and re-reading Moshman's book, Sit 'n Go Strategy, in an effort to brush up on the necessary skills. I'm almost ready to throw my hat in the ring yet again.

It'll feel good to play poker again!


Littleacornman said...

If you're playing sets of 3-4 at a time you'll get in more than 10 per week.

I was a confirmed cash game player until a few months ago.They may be variance hell but if you can stand that ,the turbo sngs are a fish fest.18

Good luck with the new plan!

Klopzi said...

I might try playing three at a time. Four at once might be a little overwhelming right now.

I've noticed that the turbo sngs have done you quite well. If I can manage half of your success, I'll be happy.