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How to play Better SNG’s

I played my first $5 SNG with the loose aggressive style, here’s a quick recap of my view on loose aggressive:

Loose Aggressive

I want to see a lot of hands, and I want to raise a lot of hands, especially with position. When I get in a pot I want to take control and bully my opponents. If I catch a substantial piece or a big draw then I am going to play it like its the nuts. I will not slowplay anything because that will make my big hands all the more obvious. Bet-bet-bet is the strategy and I am calling with overs, suited cards, and inside straight draws, and you will like it!

Well, they liked it alright, I busted in 9th place! I got my stack up to $3000 and quickly back down to $0, haha, here’s how it all went down:

I raised 5x the big blind with 33 under-the-gun on my first hand, one caller. I continuation bet it 3/4 the pot and he folded.

Check from the big blind with J4o and flopped low two pair. I overbet the pot on every turn of the cards, getting one caller. He mucks top pair, kings and I’m up to $3000, the height of my reign.

Next hand played I raised from the small blind with 10-4 suited. The flop was 10-J-K and I bet the pot, bet the pot, bet the pot. Passive caller beat me out of $1800 chips… what gives?

I raised with A10 of diamonds and flopped the nut flush draw. I bet the pot. Turned a straight draw as well and I overbet the pot. Hit my straight, went all in but opponent folded.

The other players have begun talking about how I always raise and how aggressive I am, guess my cover is blown.

I raised with Q9 offsuit and had three callers, they had lost all respect for my bets by this time. The flop came Q 9 A and I bet the pot, one caller. He bet into me on the turn and I went all in. He called and showed AQ, I was down to $700 chips.

Finally from the big blind I had 35 suited in diamonds. A middle position player moves all in with one callers, I reraised all in on top and was called by A2 and 10-10. Unfortunately I didn’t improve and was knocked out in 9th!

Tight Passive

Playing tight passive was very difficult for me, I guess I just care too much. It was really hard for me not reraise a lot of pots and pressure my opponents, but I reminded myself that it was only $5 and hopefully would have some interesting results. Well, I did fare better than in my loose aggressive game by coming in 7th. A few key hands included:

First hand I limped with K10s and flopped top pair (10 7 8 flop). I check called the button twice and he ended up mucking K8 and I won the $240 pot.

The next hand I played I limped with A5o (A 4 7 flop). I check-checked the flop, bet 40 on the turn, and check-checked the river. The one caller mucked K2 (pair of 2s on the turn).

In my big blind I checked with 10-9 offsuit (J 8 4 flop) and I check-called $100 on the flop and turn, check-checked the river when I missed my straight, and my opponent won with 33.

I was back to around $1500 when this hand came up… I limped under-the-gun with AK offsuit when the person directly to my left raised to 300. The button proceded to reraise all-in. I called-all-in and the initial raiser also called. The hands were JJ (button), AJ(initial raiser) and AK (myself). Board was Q 6 7 10 3 and I busted in 7th place!

So far neither of my playing styles have had any real advantages, and I think it would be excedingly hard to consistently make money with either, especially if I can’t even come close the first time. A few stats to sum things up.

Carl “The Dean” Sampson is a poker ambassador and poker player at 888poker

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