Assesses The Changing Poker Environment Which Might Contribute To Observations
That Sit N Goes Are Becoming Tougher… And Suggests Some Common Sense Remedies!
It’s a question that has been asked many times – and will undoubtedly continue to be asked for many years to come: Are Online SNG Tournaments Becoming Tougher?
There are several factors which are usually brought up in these discussions which supposedly contribute to the toughening of the games. We take them one by one assessing them as objectively as possible. While we conclude that the games are not as easy as they once were, there are many ways to ensure that you play in the weaker games. These are covered at the end of this article.
Are Sit N Go Tournaments Harder? Contributing Factors Assessed
1. Training Sites: There are an increasing number of training sites catering for SNG Players. While these vary hugely in quality they will all quickly plug the leaks of losing players and turn them into ‘super-tight early, push-late’ players. We do not know whether these trained players last long at the tables, but they certainly donate less money than their untrained peers. You can read Mark’s reviews of the Best SNG Training Videos for some great insights!
2. Popularity Of ‘Grinding’: Go back a few years and the players with 12 or 16 tables were the exceptions. With improved computers and bigger monitors, learning to grind SNGs for a small profit from many tables is within the reach of more players. While the ‘burn out’ from this form of the game is higher, it only takes a few grinders to soak up the value from a lot of SNG tournaments.
$16 Per Hour SNG Blueprint: My 4-part SNG training course if free to SNG Planet readers. This takes beginning to intermediate players up to at least $16+ per hour from the SNG tables over 4 weekly installments. Feedback has been awsome so far. Find out more in the $16 Per Hour SNG Blueprint Preview + Signup Page now!
3. Books, Forums and Websites: The sheer amount of information aimed at varying experience levels is huge. Again, quality varies and is consumed at the reader’ risk. However, anyone seeking a solid education can find one!
4. Tools, Particularly ICM Calculators: While the original – and now horribly dated – SNG Power Tools was used by the elite few 5 years ago, now you are not considered serious about the game unless you regularly analyze your hand histories in SNG Wiz. Even those who do not use ICM directly understand it – meaning the ‘huge’ bubble mistakes which used to provide much of the cash are fewer (though thankfully still there at the lower to mid limits at least)
Combined these factors have lead to the mid levels ($22 through to $55) at the larger poker sites becoming filled with grinders who are sharing the cash donated by an ever-shrinking pool of less experienced opponents. Fortunately there is still a lot of dead money in the lower limits - my personal belief is that you really only need to start serious table selection at the Pokerstars $27 Turbos and Full Tilt $26's.
Are SNG Tournaments Getting Tougher? The SNG Planet View!
Our view is that the above is partially true, but that the natural turnover of players and ‘market forces’ have actually created a balance – that the games got tougher in the mid 2000’s… but have now reached an equilibrium in which the motivated individual can rise above the competition.
Players burn out from SNGs surprisingly fast, those who stop enjoying online poker are just part of the equation… others move to the challenges of cash and / or MTTs after building a bankroll in 1-table online poker tournaments.
The equilibrium model hypothesizes that ‘too many grinders spoil the game’ and that some will naturally move on to other games or stop playing… which makes the games profitable again – attracting more grinders (and so on). This can result in temporary ‘waves’ of too many grinders, along with easier periods – over time there is a natural balance.
Are SNG Tournaments Becoming Tougher? Some Simple Solutions!
Here is where the profitable players and the rest diverge… talking about a problem is only useful if you plan on considering solutions – and then acting on them. Here are some common-sense solutions for those who believe that the games on their favorite site are becoming tougher.
1. Table Selection: Sharing a SNG with grinders is never going to be as profitable as playing a group of inexperienced opponents. Even if you can beat the grinders it will rarely make up for the positive expectation that they have against the worst players. Simply monitoring the winners, and then actively avoiding them can make a difference to your ROI at the end of the session.
2. Site Selection: We all love Stars and Tilt right? Great software, loads of games and, well, just about every pro SNG grinder out there too! Moving away from the forum herds can be very profitable, with many sites offering growing player bases and much softer games… can find enough games at Cake, Carbon or Red Kings to fill your screen – how about thinking outside of the box and playing at 2 of these simultaneously??
We have created an interactive widget which takes your geo, bankroll and game preferences and then suggests the fishiest poker sites – check it out today!
3. Invest In Software: Many of the poker software tools available give players a large profitable edge at the tables. These work in various ways, such as keeping stats on opponent tendencies, giving you real-time odds information and even by analyzing your hand histories after you play looking for leaks. If you are serious about profits then tools should be seen as an investment, and not an expense! We have a categorized section dedicated to the Best Poker Software Tools – check it out now!
Alternatively why not check out our SNG-focused reviews of some of the more profitable poker sites: