Earn More Money For Your Efforts By Choosing Sites Which Offer SNG Leaderboards
Update: With PokerStars ending the Battle of the Planets, Carbon ending their loyalty scheme and other sites changing over to missions. The number of 'old style' leaderboard contests remaining is now very small. There are plenty of benefits still to be had, these are in the form of point collection schemes and one-off promos these days. You will find a regular monthly promo at Titan Poker, and the 'Sit N Crush' at America's Cardroom - though these are the last of a dying breed. I'll leave the info below in place for now, though if it is rewards for your Sit n Goes you are looking for, then this page, which compares rakeback and loyalty deals, might be ideal for you.
Leaderboards are a great way of boosting your returns from Sit n Goes. What I like best about these payments is that they run in parallel to the normal loyalty rewards, initial bonuses and other promotions run by the rooms – think of them as the icing on the cake!
SNG leaderboards take different formats across different poker sites. Some pay monthly, others weekly, some pay a lot of people a small amount – others are more generous for the star performers. This page compares 4 of the best leaderboards out there, summarizing the pros and cons of each one. I have provided enough information for readers to quickly see which is best suited to their current buy-in levels / number of games played and then links for more information.
My view is that leaderboards are a secondary factor in choosing where to play. First comes the softness of the games / number of grinders compared to recreational players. Second comes the bonuses and ongoing rewards offered. Next the volume and choice of games to meet your needs – and only then do we reach the next set of factors including leaderboards, software, tools compatibility and so on.
Here I look at leaderboards for Titan Poker, Carbon Poker (for US Players), Party Poker and PokerStars. I’ll give my pick at the end of the article as usual.
SNG Leaderboards Compared – Titan Poker’s Sit Win Go
Titan Poker are the leading site on the iPoker Network and have a massive player base pooled together with some very well known sports-betting brands like William Hill and PaddyPower. This keeps the games famously soft.
Their SNG leaderboard is known as ‘Sit Win Go’ and requires that you opt-in via their website. There are 4 boards, for low, mid, high buy-ins with a dedicated one for their double-or-nothing games. Each board pays 50 places, with a total of $10k given away. 1st places pay $200 / $400 and $800 with the lower places paid in Gold Coins – which can be swapped for bonuses in the Titan Treasures loyalty scheme.
Pros: Soft games, lower number of participants (most players do not opt-in) and a separate board for fans of the double-up games.
Cons: Lower payouts compared to other sites.
Other Reasons To Choose Titan: $20 extra free cash for SNG Planet readers on top of your 200% welcome matched bonus. Register with Titan Poker Bonus Code SNGPLANET and deposit $20+ first time, and I will ensure that the extra cash is in your account within 48 hours (usually sooner). Check out those soft Titan Poker games for yourself at TitanPoker.com
SNG Leaderboards Compared – Party Poker SNG Leaderboards
Note: All Change at Party, with new software and new missions and challenges. There is no sign of the old leader board contests, though plenty of challenges involving Sit N Goes which count towards tournament entries and cash bonuses.
Party have 2 SNG and 2 MTT leaderboards, which give away weekly prizes of tournament entries along with monthly prizes in the form of T$ (tournament dollars, which can be used for SNG entries). Their setup is very much volume based, with the accumulated buy-ins counting along with your finish positions. The two SNG leaderboards are divided into high and low buy-in bands.
Payouts for the weekly boards are entries to the quarterly ‘Million’ tournament ($640 value) the weekly $300 guaranteed ($215) and a $1000 weekly special for leaderboard players. The monthly tournament dollar prizes pay T$2500 for 1st and $40 for 100th. These are not too ‘top-heavy’ with some decent payouts in the top 10.
Pros: Easy to multi-table, soft opposition at evenings / weekends, generous rewards scheme in parallel with the leaderboards.
Cons: Software can be a little ‘jumpy’ once you start multi-tabling. Not too many multi-table SNGs.
Other reasons to play at Party: Key here is the big brand name, many first time players head to Party as this is the one site non-players have heard of. This keeps the games soft year after year. The recent merging of player pools with Bwin gave a welcome boost to the player numbers too – consolidating 2nd position overall.
SNG Leaderboards Compared – Carbon Poker SNG leaderboards
All Change at Carbon: No longer accepting US players, and their player base dwindling fast, Carbon has gone from the best US offshore site to looking like they are on the verge of closing down. Shame, I loved the software and the games!
US-Friendly Carbon poker are the biggest site on the Merge Network. With peaks of around 7,000 players you are not going to see the massive volume of pre black-Friday sites, however this does mean that you have a good chance of cashing in their Sit N Go leaderboard.
What I like about this board is there is an additional ‘winning streak’ component to it which rewards you for going on a tear at any time during the month and winning a bunch of games in a row. The main leaderboard is based on buy-in / finish place and pays 25 spots, with $2000 for the top performer. The top 5 winning streaks of the month are also paid, with $750 for top place here. You could easily find yourself featuring in both boards.
Pros: Accept US players and (thanks to a recent cashier move) they are easy to deposit at. Cool software and big bonuses too.
Cons: Smaller site, you are not going to get massive volume without being flexible with your buy-in levels and structures (mixing in a few double-or-nothing or maybe knockout games for example).
Other Reasons To Play At Carbon: Well, their bonus is the biggest of any major poker site, a 100% match on your first deposit up to $1,000 max + $10 in tokens + cool free poker calculator + 1 month of pro training for just 1 player point. Add to this the VIP loyalty scheme and very generous promotions, and you have a great combo – use Carbon Poker coupon code FREESNGPK when you register to claim this great deal.
SNG Leaderboards Compared – PokerStars Battle Of The Planets
November 2014: Battle of the Planets has just been retired, which is a shame - though it did have a great run. Looks like I need to revise this article completely with the new options - come back soon!
PokerStars have the biggest Sit n Go leaderboard system by a long way, whether this is the best for you will depend on your playing style and the volume of games you are prepared to put in. Lets start with the headlines: $3 million in prizes each year and a low + high board for each of 8 different buy-in levels, up to 100 places paid on each of these 16 boards, and a $50,000 triple shootout for the winners of each one on top.
What I like about the PokerStars system is that your standings on the leaderboards is determined by ‘blocks’ of SNG tournaments. In the lower volume board these are blocks of 20 games, your best run of up to 5 blocks is what features on the leaderboard. For the higher volume board these are blocks of 100 games. Remember, there are 2 blocks for each of 8 different buy-in bands!
One word of caution for newer players. Pokerstars is home to a lot of SNG grinders, there are some specialists 16 tabling the games all the way up the levels, meaning you’ll need to identify these people and adjust your play to them. The games can still be beaten, it is just that sitting with other winning players will never be as profitable as sitting at a table full of amateurs.
Pros: Biggest and best leaderboard setup, 8 different buy-ins (planets) and high / low orbit for each based on volume of games played.
Cons: Competitive, you’ll be playing against every SNG grinder and his dog!
Other Reasons To Play: Great software, generous loyalty rewards + some really cool events like the World Championship of Online Poker. This site are biggest and best for many good reasons, and once you play there it is difficult to go back to smaller / slower sites. Use marketing code PSP3108 when you register and bonus code STARS600 when you deposit to claim up to 3 welcome bonuses totaling $600. Find out more at the PokerStars.com website now!
Planet Mark’s Pick: It has to be PokerStars for me, as long as you make sure your game is sharp and you know the bubble push / fold math you will find that this site comes with big rewards for the dedicated SNG grinder!