Took it upon myself to have a look at the 180 player SNGs over at Pokerstars yesterday evening. Though I have played the occasional game, usually when tired at the end of an evening working, I had done nothing to compare the levels or games. So, 3 hours, 4 games played and several dozen more observed at various stages... and I came up with the following (unscientific) thoughts!Quick note: For a more formal look at beating the games I have a series of articles covering 180 Player Sit N Go Strategy
180s Difference Between Levels
Having played the $2.50, $3.50+Rebuys, $8 and $15 level – and observed one $36 game the difference in skill at these buy-in levels was smaller than I remembered. Discounting the $36 there was an increase in raising aggression as we moved up the levels... that is to say more open shoving / 3 betting all-in (as opposed to more horrible calls at the lower levels). Odd plays such as a 30BB shove UTG (BB=50) at the $15 buy-in and dodgy raise-reraise-overcall hand with Q-Jo (the last to act, calling off a 20BB stack) at the $8 level showed me that these games are still extremely fishy... the $36 game seemed to show more discipline – players actually capable of folding some of their range after they open for a raise!
180s Grinders And Recreational Players
There are now a lot more players grinding these games than a couple of years ago, and many of them are playing 12+ tables. A lot of players had disabled search, so I had to make a couple of assumptions about this. At the $2.50s there were a lot of Russian / Eastern European grinders at the tables, as we moved up these were replaced by German / Dutch / Brit grinders at the $15s, with a mix in the other games. Makes sense based on disposable incomes and relative 'newness' of the online poker boom in different countries. There were also a lot of overlaps between the levels – for example the $8s / $15s saw a lot of grinders playing half and half. Those players with 1 to 3 games were predominantly Westerners... that is to say: while the grinders could come from anywhere – they were relying on recreational players from the richer countries to keep them profitable! Ratios were hard to establish with an unscientific sample. After marking the tables for grinders and 'unknowns' (hidden) it did look as if the number increased as we went up – fewer in the $3.50+R games if anything. With the number of confirmed multi-tablers ranging from 3 to 5 per 9 player table and maybe 2 more unknowns that these games have their fair share of regulars.... however – do see below...
180 SNGs – Is There Still Value?
Undoubtedly a huge YES! It might sound like there were a lot of grinders who might suck up the profits (or at least not lose too much). What you need to know is that many of these players have massive leaks in their games... I saw limp-folding with 6 Bbs, jamming J-10 with no fold equity and all sorts of 'questionable' plays from players I had marked as multi-tabling. Add to this the ongoing attraction for new players and we have the right ingredients for some very soft games indeed! --> If for some reason Pokerstars.com have passed you by then I strongly recommend the 180 SNGs as a great game to build your poker skills and bankroll. Use Pokerstars marketing code PSP3108 to claim your 100% matched welcome bonuses, click this link to visit Pokerstars.com now! GL at the tables, Mark
Submitted by Planet Mark on Thu, 10/20/2011 - 10:25