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LOL Donkaments: Who Will You Meet in 180-Man Turbo Games?

I am happy to introduce a new writer today, Matthew 'Yorkshire Pudding' Pitt has been a blogger and poker journalist for many years, who also plays online poker tournaments. I love his unique style and great sense of humor and have asked him to bring some of his experiences in lower to mid buy-in tournaments to this blog in a new column titled 'LOL Donkaments'. We start off today with a look at the 180 Player Sit N Goes and some categories of opponent you will meet at the tables. If you enjoy this piece, I would appreciate you sharing it!

LOL Donkaments: Who Will You Meet in 180-Man Turbo Games?

I love the 180 player Sit N Goes at PokerStars. I admit that declaring my love for a turbo tournament may be unnerving for some, but when you play thousands of them over the course of a couple of months you too will begin falling in love with this popular variant. Think of it as being like Stockholm Syndrome.

My day job gave me the chance to travel to Las Vegas for the 2013 World Series of Poker, a chance that I instantly snapped up for obvious reasons. Not wanting to scrimp and scrape my way through a month in “Sin City,” I took it upon myself to build a life bankroll by grinding the 180 player SNG with the plan being to withdraw any profit and use it as spending money during my time away. To cut a long story short, after much spilled blood and after many tears cried, I made a decent profit that I then went and blew in Las Vegas! Easy come, easy go.

During my bankroll building quest, I played somewhere around 1,000 of the 180 player SNG at PokerStars, with buy-ins ranging from the $2.50 games up to $15. This gave me an insight into the different players that frequent these games, players that I have categorised into the following groups.

Recreational players / Rank Amateurs

The main players you will come across in the 180 player SNG are recreational players who are, for the most part, losing players. These players are your best friends. You want them in your games because they make many mistakes, mistakes that we profit from. And we like profit!

This may be a sweeping statement, but I’ll say it anyway because I am like that, these players are terrible, especially in the $2.50 and $8 games. Don’t try to bluff them, don’t try anything fancy because they are more interested in checking Facebook and Twitter than figuring out what you are trying to do to them.

Half-Decent Regulars

There are plenty of what I would call half-decent regulars in the 180 player Sit n Goes, although they shouldn’t give you too much trouble. While they will attempt to baffle you with science in the chat box and tell you how awesome they are for being able to play 15 tables at once, in reality most breakeven and are only winning players thanks to PokerStars’ VIP club.

Solid, Winning Regulars

This group of player is not as common as the other two, but can be a real pain if you are unfortunate enough to have two or more of them on your table. Their play is close to mathematical perfection as you can get for low stakes tournaments and they will pounce on any mistakes they see with their eagle eyes. Think of them as a kind of Terminator, sent back in time to rid the low stakes 180 player SNG of recreational players. Actually, scrap that. That’s a tad over the top. They’re good OK, let’s leave it at that.

Over the next few weeks, we will be looking at the different player types and how you can defend yourself from their strong points and how you can pounce like a tiger on their weaknesses.

Quick Addition from Mark: Telling the difference between the winning and bad regulars is important, services like Sharkscope and the awesome Poker Pro Labs allow you to access statistics on your opponen't history.

Good luck!


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