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

A Rusty Return to the Sit and Go Tables

Lockdown has seen a spike in poker traffic. As hard as I tried to focus on business, the tables tempted me. It has been a while since I fired up a screen full of Sit N Goes. Considering how long it has been since I last played with an ICM calculator, I have not been doing too badly.

There are regs (I’m at Stars), though they are surprisingly mechanical. It feels like those instant button min-raises are super-easy to pick off for a mid-game boost.

Reason for this quick blog post was an entertaining $15 game. A chip and a chair really came into its own.

Returning to the Lockdown Sit N Goes

20 Chips Left at BB20

At the time it seemed like an obvious call. Blind vs Blind, about 3 hands in, an unknown with a sports team badge shoves from the small blind.

I had J-J.

Sure, some people would do that with QQ+, so unlikely though, especially weekend recreational players. They seem terrified that people will fold when they have a premium (often busting after giving half the table a free card).

I put him on a small pair.


He had A-6 off… and spiked an ace.

3 hands in, and I was down to something like 20 chips. Can’t remember the next hand, only that I quadrupled up. There were antes of 3 chips in play, and I found myself with 80-odd chips, then 250… allowing me to fold a few hands.

Aces for the Wi… Ah Never Mind

Somehow picked some spots with 600 chips to get folds, and took one pot down with a C-Bet to make it 1000. People had dropped out by then with 6 left. Magic happened, and I got aces in the BB, think this was 100 BB (playing 6 tables which is why some details are fuzzy). Anyway, I lost to eights, back down to 300-odd chips.

After the epic (lucky) comeback, this felt like a real gut punch.

Somehow, I fought back once more. Back to 1000, then 2000, then the bubble burst.

I really wish I could be writing about how I went on to take it down. Alas no, it was a standard flip ITM against one of the better regs in the $15s.

Still, the old Planet Mark would have simply closed the table after the initial beat (with more chips than 20 quite often). Wanted to pass this little story on, you never know, you might have a come-back waiting for you next time.

A Few Other Lock Down Poker Observations

Aggressive players… a few loose, aggro yet unskilled players must think they have found heaven when they join the SNGs. Tight play, folding to c-bets and only fighting back with the nuts make for ideal opponents for them… Yet these players so rarely seem to cash, let alone win. Its all going dreamily, then boom, their pot sized c-bet is snapped off at BB100, they face an all-in 3-bet or two, their blinds are stolen. You know the story, with no ICM game, the joy soon turns to pain. Lets hope they enjoyed that early game enough to come back for more.

I tried the micro games… feels like there are more grinders at the $7 level (hi Russia, Ukraine and Belarus!) than at the $15 at $30 zone… my theory is that those are the sweet spot for recreational types with a little money.

Nobody chats any more. This makes the few talkative types really obvious. Its not that hard to spot the fish based on bet sizes. Does not help to keep quiet though, just in case.

Careful of people who don’t bet ICM. Their ranges are so different to the regs. Just yesterday there was a 2BB micro-stack and I reshoved on a min-raise from the 2nd biggest stack after the micro folded. Only to be insta-snapped with Ace-Nine off. That is so horrible (even against any 2 from me) that it makes my toes curl. Don’t get me wrong, the mistake was mine in misjudging his range. Poker needs people like this to stay profitable. He won the hand, I bubbled, shit happens, haha.

One more thing, the stop and go… it works again.

Kind of enjoying being back at the tables. At the same time I am feeling a little guilty that my ‘hourly rate’ is low compared to working on my businesses… it’s a life-phases thing, much prefer my recreation time to involve good food, wine and company these days, rather than clicking a mouse. Then again, the WPT Online events at Party look super-tempting!

GL at the tables, Mark

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