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Blog: Let's play one or two, or 200k sngs


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Thought I'd start a blog, first time doing one of these, If you've played a short handed turbo sng, you've probably played me, Since 2010 I've played about 200k of them (a first place to not be proud of).

At 41 I'm ancient by online poker standards, was in biotech industry developing biologic therapeutic drugs for about 15 years. Got bored of that, won a good amount of money playing sngs in my spare time over what, in hindsight, was a very insignificant sample size, quit my job in Belgium, moved back to Cambridge, UK, at the end of 2009 to play professionally and I'm still here and I still love it.

Poker career:
Think I played my first games on party back in 2008, barely knew the rules, lost pretty consistently at 25nl for 6 months, then swapped to sngs on full tilt, broke even for another 6 months. Had a break, read a couple poker books, crushed sngs on pkr/cake/ultimate for about 50% roi playing a couple hours a night, whilst winning every other live low stakes donkament I played, that was enough to convince me to quit my middle management position in science at end of '09. I didn't know much about sample sizes (and I was terrible at poker, but not as bad as everyone else in '09).

Grinded on stars.com as "monkeyheaven", was one of the better regs at $39 6max turbos, wasn't confident I could beat the 100s. Switched to stars.fr (as "singeparadis", geddit) after Black Friday as the .com games became full of Russian rakeback grinders. Played everything that ran, up to 27 tabling a combo of 6m, 9m, 10m F50. Got good at clicking buttons really fast.

After stars.fr blocked uk players, moved around a bit, the hive (colluders), 888 (rake and software purgatory), till I found unibet a couple years ago.

My main aim is to promote how great the games are on unibet, in particular the 5max sngs. Not exactly sure how best to do that, prob include some lol hand histories from the regs, including myself, some free coaching offers, anything else I can think of.

That's enough for now though.


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Nice intro, interesting background you have. Looking forward to following your blog and hear what you have to say about the Unibet SNGs. And I'm secretly hoping to see one of my aliases appear here and get bashed for a hand I played badly 😏

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You'd have to such a monkey to be willing to play over 200k sngs ...oh wait! :geek:

Did you only play turbo sngs on party back in the day? Played a bit of regspeed sngs as well back then when wih tdan89 and the likes when two-figure ROIs were a certainty. Good ole times :*)

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Tillus, never played sngs on party (terrible structure and rake, and no traffic these days). I played almost entirely 6max turbos on stars.com, but did play a few regspeeds everywhere else, and yeah they were really good, could get a better hourly at them than with turbos, but that's a few years ago, regspeeds are dead now as far as I know. 

PaziHalinka, I'll definitely do a more detailed post about the regs at some point.  Yeah I agree, most are worse than on other sites.  There's some good reasons why they might appear to play worse; the lack of HUD and anonymity encourage good players to make some fairly outrageous exploitative adjustments; when you get caught you can look a bit foolish.  

But also, a number have non existent fundamentals, such as poor opening ranges, huge ICM mistakes etc.  This is true all the way up to €50/100 games.  Its much harder to spot and correct these leaks on unibet because of lack of hand history database to study.  Overall, $7 stars regs have a more solid fundamental sng strategy than the higher stakes regs on unibet.  

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FREEROLL: 2% of my Unibet Deepstack open main event, just post in this thread between now and next Wednesday for a chance to win.

So, I'm playing Unibet DSO in Gujan-Mestras, just west of Bordeaux. It's €550 buyin, playing day 1B on Friday 25th, and probably a second bullet in the turbo in the evening if necessary (and I'm not tilted or drunk after 1B).

It looks to be a really great event, winner got €33k last year, and it's a predominately French field (no stereotypes, but there's a reason I played on stars.fr for years).

Next week, I'll announce the freeroll winner, share some recent sng results (god-mode has been activated) and rate my chances in the live tourney (doom-switched).

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@monkeyheaven We can't facilitate transactions between members of Unibet, but here's what we'd like to do:

1) Host a freeroll on Friday at 20:00 CET for the players who's made it know in the thread they'd like to join.

2) If you get a result in the DSO, we'll transfer 2% value of the winnings to the winner of the freeroll, but in poker tickets to be chosen by the winner of the freeroll.

How does that sound? :)


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Weren't able to quite make the freeroll tourney happen, next time.

The winner of the 2% giveaway, chosen randomly, is...

MoreTBC. Good luck us. I play day 1B tomorrow afternoon (and maybe day 1C tomorrow night). I might post an update, particularly if it goes incredibly well or spectacularly badly.

Last couple years I'm playing live events 4-5 times a year, usually £200-£1k buyin, with nothing very exciting to report, 7th in a UKIPT, and lost huge 80/20s for the tourney chiplead deep in two other events in the last year, funtimes with MTTs. Outside of this, I don't play them at all online.

Live, I apply my sng strategy with some adjustments and that works well for me, so I'm sometimes unsure of myself early in tournaments when stacks are deep, and I don't play early positions that well as I'm just not that experienced in full ring. But, I will have a really good understanding of medium and shortstack play, ICM, shorthanded and HU (here's hoping), and I play well postflop for a tourney player.

Just arrived in Bordeaux for a bit of sightseeing, I'll post more on the sngs once I'm back, for now results from first couple of weeks of this month; this is definitely running super hot for me, really nice as the Summer months are usually quieter, most of the games were at the 25s, the 50s whenever they ran (100s were quiet), and fill up with 10s (this is 12 tabling).

Games played=1472
Avg buyin=€18.6

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@monkeyheaven wrote:


most of the games were at the 25s, the 50s whenever they ran (100s were quiet), and fill up with 10s (this is 12 tabling).


I have a question regarding your play at the SNG25s:

If I play 1, 2 3 or 4 of them at the same time, what is your respective bankroll management suggestion?

We're gonna win on so many levels! We're gonna win, win, win. You're gonna get so tired of winning, you're gonna say: "Mr. President please, we don't wanna win anymore, it's too much!" And I'm gonna say: "I'm sorry, we're gonna keep winning because we're gonna make America great again!"
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Well, I'm not gonna be winning this Unibet DSO. Bust out quite early on day 1. Decided to enjoy the rest of the weekend rather than fire again,, we are in a really nice town, so just relaxing here.  
Misplayed the first hand I played; I usually like to play conservatively for 30 minutes or so, settle in and get reads on the players, unfortunately got dealt AA my third hand, got checkraised on a 6 high flop, and villain bombed turn, river went check-check, he had flopped top two, would have folded turn if I'd had better read on player.  

Bustout hand, I 3bet UTG open with AA (I only play aces), bb and utg call. I bet small and call utg checkraise on flop A96dd, turn 2c, villain jams Ad5d, you can guess the rest.  Fun with MTTs. Great tournament though, mostly fun players, well run, big field, hopefully get out to another of these soon.  

WuDu, the numbers of tables you play won't directly affect your bankroll requirements at all. The main factors that are important are your expected ROI (which could change the more tables you play), the tournament structure (I suspect 5max turbos aren't too bad variance wise) and how much risk of ruin you are prepared to take.   There is a calculator out there somewhere think it's called swongsim.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Back to the grind this week. Thought I'd write a little about the potential profitability of the lowstakes 5max sngs on Unibet and how they compare with the competition.

I regularly do research on the profitability of 5/6max turbos to find the best sites. Whether you're a winner or a loser in the games, seems sensible to play where you have the best chance of winning. The question of what is an achievable ROI in a particular game isn't easy to answer, and almost everyone massively overestimates, usually because they look at the player with the best results (who's invariably running over expectation) and an irrelevant sample (usually both too small, and too old).

Heres my €4 5max results on Unibet

Sample size=6840
roi 12.2%
Inc rakeback €0.55/game, roi 13.8%

Here's a sample of a group of leaders at $3.5 6max turbos on stars (I've converted results into € for comparison)

Sample size=16774
ROI 8.3%
Inc rakeback €0.26/game, roi 8.7%

Some caveats, sample sizes are still small, based on other factors I think my true ROI is maybe a few points higher (or maybe not, I quit the 4s at the end of last year, maybe games have got tougher). I've selected players with some of the best results on stars this year, almost certainly their true ROI is lower than this, I've never played that lowstakes on stars, but I don't think I'd do any better than these guys.

So, these results suggest low stakes games on Unibet are more than twice as profitable for the best players (longterm reality is probably even better than that). But whether you're a winner or a loser in the game, you are just much better off putting your money into Unibet than Stars for sngs.

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Nice blog. As I relatively new poker player I find the sngs micros my best chance of any profit, even if it is just a couple bucks here and there. ;)

I feel its time for me to buy some books to study , and after reading this blog more so. 



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KrustyTheClown, oh it's a lot more games than that .  I've played all the stakes that run for the last two years on unibet, i used to fill up with 4s when nothing else was running, I quit them completely at the end of last year as the higher stakes games started to run in greater volume.

Kitch, good luck with the study, it's really hard to find good material for sngs these days, most training sites and forums ignore sngs.  It's a lot easier to find good free material on headsup sngs, but you'll get headsup very often in these games, so it's worth studying and will get you much better at poker in general.  Google "husng ebook" for a good free guide, "kill everyone" is still a decent book that covers everything and has a sng section, and Tiptons "expert hunl" is hard work and advanced but has a lot of relevant stuff for the stack depths you'll find at sngs.

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