I didn't get a lot of poker played last night,however I did discover I had SNGET on my lappy.( a sit n go piece of software) It's mainly for calculating equity using ICM ( Indpendent Chip Model) and also has an excellent interactive quiz to test push/calling skills around the bubble.In all honesty I'm not a maths guy at all.I play about with push/calling ranges on Poker Stove, but I don't spend hours calculating if moves are slightly + or -ev in every situation..I did feel good at getting 17/20 on "hard" mode until I did another quiz and was rated "horrible"!
The good news is that I can see why I scored that way.In one example ( set it up to show 4 players left with top 3 paying) the bigstack ( 9k stack) had folded and I was on the button with 4.5k holding 97o/s.The small blind had aprox 2k and the big blind had a similar stack to mine.I was given the info that the big blind was calling with 20% of hands and the blinds were 600/1200.I chose to shove and obviously if the villain in the big blind is calling as wide as 20% then my move was slightly -ev and my answer was wrong.
I can't argue with that if the big blind is calling with the top 20% of hands on this occasion,however even if his vpip ( the percentage of time he voluntarily enters the pot) is higher than 20%, in a real game that doesn't mean that he's automatically going call with that range in this specific spot.It does mean exactly that in the quiz as it tells you precisely the % the villian calls with in this particular hand.
I think game flow and stack sizes are just as important as cards and ranges.In my usual game with a tight image, if the bb was a calling station donkey I may fold my 97, but if I thought he had any clue,I'd shove here all day, because if the shorty folds, the BB is going to call far tighter than 20% as he knows the shorty will be blinded out soon anyway and he wants to survive.
I hope that makes sense! Another example of a game flow situation came about in the only $22 I played last night.There were still 7 left at 300/600 and I had just over my starting stack having played one hand and with stats of 3% vpip and 3% pfr.I shoved all in UTG ( first to act) with A9c.I did expect not to be called too widely due to my tight image and I wasn't overjoyed at having to shove in this spot,however I was about to lose most of my fold equity and simply couldn't afford to wait for a more +ev spot.Luck is a huge factor too here.I could have run into a better hand and wondered if my shove was rash.As it was I won that pot uncontested and ended up winning the sng.
I'm not rubbishing these tools and software at all.I intend to do plenty more bubble quizes and would highly recommend them to anyone looking to improve their sng end game.The lite version of SNGET is free ( including quizzes) and Poker Stove is free too.
Rosie had recommended the Matrix sng format on Full Tilt and as a wee change I fired up an $11 game to try it out.You play 4 sngs at the same time against the same people.There is still a 1/2/3 payout although some of the prize pool is dedicated to an overall leaderboard for the 4 games.I crashed out of two games early after losing flips and nearly gave up at that point.The games are standard speed ( zzzzzz!)and I didn't hold out much hope.Luckily I managed to win both of the remaining games ( great fun owning the same guys on the bubble of each game!)and gained enough points to win overall too.
I may say I play poker for the money, but winning that $27 was far more satisfying than the quick $100 ( for winning $22) I won earlier!
Ps Go on the sheepshaggers.Aberdeen 4-2 up against the mutants with 3 minutes left.After our win yesterday mayybe this title race isn't over, despite our off-field financial worries....