Monday, June 16, 2008

Profiting From Beginner Sit and Goes

Now that the BBT3 and Bodonkey Series have completed, I have even less incentive than before to play online poker. I am pretty much done with cash games until the UIGEA is repealed or the games get much softer or both. I like the concept of cash games as I prefer to play shorter sessions, and don’t like the open ended time commitment you get when playing MTTs. I have grinded Sit & Goes in the past with decent success. I could win around 50% as much per hour long term playing S&Gs versus Cash Games so I basically settled on cash games as my game of choice in the pre UIGEA days. What is nice about S&Gs is that although you just can’t quit whenever you want, you have a pretty good idea of how long they will take once you start one. That’s when I stumbled upon the “Beginner Sit & Goes” on Bodog. These look to be an absolute goldmine and potentially much more profitable for my style of play than standard S&Gs.

Bodog Beginner Sit & Goes

Bodog beginner S&Gs are 10-Player single table S&Gs that pay out the top 5 positions in a very flat payout schedule. If you can get through just ½ of the field you win money. With my normal playing style I almost always get through ½ of the field, so in these things it’s just a matter of seeing how much I will be winning when I play one. With a flat payout schedule and top 5 getting paid, the variance is reduced dramatically and you can see in short order your potential for beating them. Bodog currently has 4 Buy-in levels ($2, $8, $16, and $32). All versions payout like shown below:

1st = 3 buyins
2nd = 2.5 buy-ins
3rd = 2 buy-ins
4th = 1.5 buy-ins
5th = 1 buy-in

With the 10/20 starting level at Bodog, the S&G structure is even slower than on FullTilt or PokerStars, making it pretty easy to get into the money before the blinds threaten to knock you out. The other players may be trying to play it safe as well in some cases, so it’s just a matter of if your early MTT or S&G style is better than the others on average. I ran three of them as a warm-up for the Bodonkey TOC and got a 1st, 2nd and 3rd. I ran three last night and got a 3rd, 4th, and a 6th. The bubble out was when I got three outed on the river. The first and third place finishes were in the $32 ones, which so far have been the softest of the bunch. It seems counterintuitive that the games could get easier in the higher dollar buy-ins, but historically my style does a bit better against the higher buy-ins. I think it is because at the middle levels like 22-33, the play is more aggressive, and as a result the eliminations come quicker which is exactly what you want when the top 5 pay. Also my style of play works better against aggressive opponents than a bunch of tight wads. Another great thing about these is that the bubble is 6-handed which is very manageable. With a normal top three payout the bubble is 4-handed. A 4-handed bubble with short stacks that lasts 10-15 minutes is actually quite a crap shoot. In a 6-handed bubble that comes earlier with deeper stacks, your skill advantage becomes much bigger.

So I have played 6, and cashed in 5 for a nice profit so far. Very small sample size, but like I said, the variance is dramatically reduced in these things. You just want to sit tight, and only get involved when you very likely have the best of it. This alone should get you to the money. If you have chips after the bubble breaks, you should continue to sit tight until you get down to 4-handed and have secured a profit. Then at four-handed you start playing for the win. Formulaic and boring I guess, but counting your easy winnings could get boring after a while as well. I plan on playing about 20 of these a week at various levels ($8 to $33), until I can get a good handle on my hourly rates. I am thinking $20-$30+ an hour profit three-tabling them should be a slam dunk. They also fill-up at a decent clip so no problem keeping three going if I plan to play an extended session. If you got S&G skills, you are missing out if you don’t try the beginner S&Gs on Bodog. The funniest thing is the name. The experts will crush these things, while the beginners will suffer. Hopefully the fish can’t tell the difference.

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At 5:25 PM, Blogger Gnome said...

I don't understand why the UIGEA has made you shy away from cash games. They're still good. These people make countless mistakes.

At 5:38 PM, Blogger Blinders said...

I have not played cash lately, but about 6 months the UIGEA passed, I found that I could no longer find the juicy 1/2, and .5/1 NL games on FullTilt as easially as before. I use an exact selection criteria, and will not play unless it is met. I am sure I could find a good table or two from time to time, but I like to multitable cash. Also, once I realized that I would not be playing cash like before, I removed a ton of funds, and now I am under rolled to multi 1/2 NL though I imagine I could build it up quick if the games are realy softening back up. I would have to build the roll online, as I have never had a post UIGEA deposit method, and as long as that law is in effect, I will not be signing up with an expensive ewallet, that can be shut down on a moments notice.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger lightning36 said...

Hmmm ... I thought I was the only one playing the Bodog Beginner SNG's. I have mostly played the $16 ones. Some have had terrible players, but others had decent people playing tight. I'll have to try the $32 ones.

btw - Full Tilt accepts deposits from my Visa debit card.

At 9:05 AM, Blogger RaisingCayne said...

Wow... yet ANOTHER reason for me to get an account on BoDog by now. A 50% payout SnG tourney. Seems like a great way to cut down on the variance involved in SnG play. Thanks for the post.

And yeah, btw, FullTilt seemed to stop requiring an outside EWallet resource some time ago, and are accepting direct deposit options now. I'm confident you could find an acceptably fishy group of cash tables anytime.

At 4:03 AM, Blogger norxcontacts said...

Those beginner tourneys take FOREVER. Everybody waits around to cash for less than a buy-in.

At 12:56 PM, Blogger Blinders said...

I guess I am much better at waiting than the others. See initial results post.


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