Lucky Straights

The ramblings and mumblings of a wannabe poker pro

A Game

Not long after (believing) I was free of my eye infection, I have come down with a cold and a nasty headache so I haven’t sat in any tournaments in 3 days.

Despite still being pretty ill and sensing my eye infection returning, I was sick of my bonus schedule slipping away from me, so I decided I would sit in a game, and earn a point towards my bonus at least. After a long period 4 handed, I would have been happy just to make the money and leave, as I wasn’t feeling too good, but thankfully I hung on and did a little better, taking 2nd.

Here’s some key hands :

After not getting much to work with earlier I found myself in LP with A7s, a hand I would usually fold or limp with to try and flop a flush draw or two pair, but here the blinds where about to go up and I needed to pick up some chips, so I raised enough so that the limper’s would fold and I’ll take it down. Happily I got my wish this time.

The blinds are now at 75/150 and again I needed to pick up some chips. There was a raise in front, but there had been lots of 3xBB raises in short succession, with most ending the action pre-flop. He could hold a marginal ace, a pair or two face cards, and I was going to jam to try and pick up the pot but someone got there before me.

I’m still in need of chips here where I find AJ. I’m facing a raise in front, and its a spot I usually hate, but this guy had picked up lots of pots recently, and was loose enough that he could easily be raising with a weaker ace then mine, so I push all-in expecting a call, but hoping I come out alive. You’ll see why I hate these spots, but I got lucky and doubled up.

Here I held total trash, but the pot was huge, and I could get in for 1/2 price from the BB, so I called, justified by the size of the pot to try and get lucky. Was this reasonable, or should I have saved my chips?

I played this terrible. I held crap for the situation, but didn’t want to had over my blind for free so I limped in fully aware he’ll push me off my hand with my show of weakness. I thought about raising and that would have been better, but folding was the correct move here.

Here I was critically low on chips, so pushed all-in with Q2s, thankfully I got lucky and was still alive.

Here I found pocket 8’s and did my standard raise, looking to pick up the blinds. The flop isn’t good for me, but its also likely to not be any good for my opponent either, so I continue my show of strength and push all-in.

For my final hand I hold pocket 4’s, and make a larger enough raise that my opponent can fold. A similar story as above, the flop didn’t help me, but especially heads-up it was also likely it didn’t help my opponent, although I may have been behind a higher pair already, I push all-in, partly because I know I have a high chance of being ahead, and partly because my cold as started to aggravate me and I needed to either bust out or give myself a shot at 1st place before my concentration wained any further.

Missed out on 1st place, but was happy enough with 2nd considering the circumstances, and I am very happy to get a point towards my bonus.

January 10, 2008 - Posted by | Sit-N-Go's 2 | , ,


  1. Nice job today. I like the way you played most of these hands, the only thing I’d advise is to just push all-in instead of making smaller raises that pot-commit you.

    The Q4 hand I think is a fold if only because unless you flop 2 pair+ you aren’t going to win a big pot, if you flop top pair and the money goes in you are losing.

    Read free I don’t hate the J10 limp, it’s an above average hand for the blinds.

    With an M of 4 push the pocket 8’s you don’t want action with that hand, you need for folk out two overs like KJ and maybe even AJ. Your opponent is an idiot for not re-raising all-in preflop there.

    I’d just push all-in with the 4’s on the last hand, you had an m of like 6 and you don’t want action with the 4’s, if he has an overpair with the blinds as high as they are it’s like set over set, you can’t worry about it.

    GL to you,

    Comment by joseffreedom | January 10, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hi there,

    I think you need to work on your push/fold ranges late in SNGs as I believe that SNGs are all about making +ev pushes and calls. The JT hand is a clear push with the blinds at 100/200, in fact I believe its +ev to push with any two cards in this kind of situation. This may sound absurd, but I would be pushing with T4 in that situation. Pokerwise it may not be the best move, but it is math wise and SNG is all about mathematics. Heres a link to an ICM tool which you can use to evaluate your game :

    Comment by jaypoker | January 11, 2008 | Reply

  3. Yeah I agree with the above. Basically less than 10xBB, from late position, you should be pushing any two cards.

    You shouldn’t be raising to see a flop in these spots, you’re just not deep enough.

    As Jay said, you really need to work on your ICM. SNG’s are a solved game, and it’s just maths. I really recommend you getting the software I recommended in a previous comment (SNG powertools) to study your previous hands and see where you made mistakes. And then to train yourself to get good at making these decisions in the heat of the moment, I recommend this piece of software:

    When I used to play SNG’s, I used this trainer to practise my push/fold strategy. It’ll teach you what spots you should be pushing or folding preflop.

    GL !

    Comment by doublemeup | January 11, 2008 | Reply

  4. I agree with Q4, I would have had to get really lucky to stay in with that, and the pot wasn’t juicy enough.

    I read up a little on ICM, but don’t like it, I hate to base my play on an umbrella formula which is what ICM is to me. Poker is too situational and dynamic for me to play based on a formula, and I feel that utilizing ICM theory is a disadvantage when used against weaker opponents.

    Comment by luckystraights | January 11, 2008 | Reply

  5. Yeah for low-limit SNG’s using ICM is absolutely insane. I was an economics major in college and a prerequisite for nash equilibrium is players who are understand the technicalities of the game they are playing and act rationally. If you use ICM you will completely overestimate your opponents pushing ranges and their calling ranges. ICM is really only applicable against really good SNG players whose play is based on statistical inference.

    The beautiful thing about weak players at low levels is that they have different weaknesses and if you can adjust and exploit each player’s weakness your EV is much greater than ICM will produce. The point of ICM is that against other good players it prevents you from being exploited by them, it does not optimize exploiting bad players.


    Comment by joseffreedom | January 12, 2008 | Reply

  6. You can still use ICM in the low limit SNGs. Just be aware that their pushing range is much tighter and their calling range is much looser.

    Comment by jaypoker | January 13, 2008 | Reply

  7. Agreed, taking into account the villain’s range is part of the ICM calculation and is one of the parameters that can be used in both pieces of software I mentioned.

    Comment by doublemeup | January 14, 2008 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: