Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

Pokerstars SNG Changes Part 2

Continuing from yesterday, here I’ll list changes to heads-up, multi-table and 180s at Pokerstars… I’ll also address the storm in a teacup a just a little more.If you have not yet read Part #1 then here is the link: First, here is a graph someone posted on 2+2 (hope the creator is ok with me using it, I assumed it was created to share the info), it plots time against blinds and clearly shows (at least for the 1-table games) that the blind changes are not all that marked. Sure, the Multi-table SNGs (180s in particular) will see huge blinds compared to stacks, and the ‘set mining period’ is shorter, however at least the standard SNGs are actually ok.


I’d like to address the $16’s too. Regs loved them, I used to love them. These were a sweet spot for rake and had a nice manageable buy-in level for your recreational players… However, there was a big issue with them – they were (sometimes literally) packed full of regulars, yeah a player who studied the game could manage 8%, 10% or even 12% ROI, though this has been declining over recent years, this profit was usually provided by a couple of recreational players per game and shared among the regs. A recreational player without detailed SNG knowledge would be slaughtered in those games… It does not matter how much volume the regs provided and how much rake they paid, to my mind if we create a ceiling where the inexperienced players literally get crushed, then the health of the SNG economy can (and was!) suffering. Now, 5, 10, 20 simply works better for me, because the recreational players have smoother jumps as their experience level increases. The rake is not hugely different to elsewhere (I personally think that SNG rake has always been ridiculously high for the ‘game’ we are getting, that’s another story all together though!). Pokerstars are trying to introduce a way of keeping the fun players involved for longer, thus playing more games and generating more rake… some regs will suffer in the short-term, since we are no longer forcing the jump straight from the $6.50s into the $16s or $27s… over time I think this will work better, and whatever arguments are put forward for each side… only time will really tell!

Heads-Up SNG Changes At Pokerstars

Following yesterdays format, I’ll list the games available in different types and fees. Since the fees are the same whether it is a simple 2-player match, a 4 player or 16 / 32 player game I have not flagged these separately – the multi-round games start at the $5 level. $1 + 9c (standard), 7c (turbo) $3 + 19c (standard), 16c (turbo) $5 + 25c (standard), 21c (turbo), 11c (hyper-turbo) $10 + 50c (standard), 43c (turbo), $20 + $1 (standard), 85c (turbo) $30 + $1.50c (standard), $1.28c (turbo) $50+ $2.38c (standard), $2.02 (turbo) $100 + $4.50c (standard), $3.83c (turbo) Again, the levels do increase – all the way to $10k (+$127.50c!!)… I’ll leave those out on the grounds that my site and blog is supposed to be for recreational / lower stakes players.

Pokerstars SNG Buy-In Changes – Multi-Table SNGs 12, 18, 45 and 90 Players.

Things can get complex fast here, there are many games and varieties (knockouts + 27 player Omaha Hi-Lo for example). To keep things as useful as possible for the majority of readers I’ll just list the main variations available in NL Holdem and PL Omaha here… There are some really small buy-ins too, 59c 45-mans for example, I’ll leave you to check Stars yourself for those! $1 + 18c (standard, 18, 27, 45, 90), 15c (turbo, 18, 45, 90), 17c (6-max turbo, 12, 18) $3 + 38c (standard, 18, 27, 45, 90), 32c (turbo, 18, 45, 90), 36c (6-max turbo, 12, 18) $5 + 50c (standard, 18, 27, 45, 90), 43c (turbo, 18, 45, 90), 48c (6-max 12, 18) $10 + $1 (standard 18, 27, 45), 85c (turbo, 18, 45, 90), 95c (6-max 12, 18) $20 + $2 (standard 18, 27), $1.70c (turbo, 18, 45), $1.90c (6-max 12, 18) $30 + $3 (standard 18, 27), $2.55c (turbo, 18, 45), $50 + $4.04c (turbo 18, 45, 90) $100 + $7.65c (turbo, 18, 45) $200 + $12.75 (turbo, 18)

Pokerstars SNG Buy-in Changes, The 180s

Thought I’d cover the 180s separately. These are arguably a form of MTT, just with the ‘when full’ SNG strict definition. They also enjoy some good liquidity from their placement on the top of the Main Tournament lobby. These have undergone changes (or really additions) before… the $12’s were huge and the $22 / 180s were around when I was first playing back in ’06. One argument I have seen put forward is that the new 3-minute turbo structure adversely affects the end-game of the 180s. While the new increments balance the early game, we are talking a ‘crap-shoot’ from 4 tables out with the new blinds. Well, that sounds just like they were before to me… I have yet to play any with the new structure, and will do so this week and report back. You always needed a solid push / fold game with the turbo 180s, it will be interesting to see how far this has changed. Anyway, here are the new levels. All of them are on the main tournament lobby except for the $50 + $4.04c, will be interesting to see if this wider choice leads to the individual games filling any slower compared to when we only had 4 to choose from. $1 + 15c (turbo) $3 + 38c (standard), 32c (turbo) $5 + 50c (standard), 43c (turbo) $10 + $1 (standard), 85c (turbo) $20 + $2 (standard), $1.70 (turbo) $30 + $2.55c (turbo) $50 + $4.04 (turbo) Stars SNG Changes – Wrap Up For Part #2 There are more changes, micro buy-in games with 300 players, poker variations like 8-game and so on. If you want to find out more it is all there at Pokerstars. If you hate these changes then what are the alternatives? I’ll have a think about that one and do a ‘part #3’ tomorrow… make sure you bookmark this blog and come back soon! For the 0.01% of players who have yet to discover what makes Stars the biggest and best, please remember my Marketing Code PSP3108 to claim your initial 100% matched bonus while you check out for yourself! My next job is to re-vamp my Pokerstars SNG Review with the new info... Gl at the tables, Mark  

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