Sit and Go Strategy - ICM and Bubble Play Adjustments for 6-Max SNGs

Only 2 Paying Places There Are Adjustments Needed To Your Push / Fold ICM Strategy In 6-Max SNGs

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Six-Max Sit and Go tournaments are a popular alternative to the standard 9 or 10 handed games. This article looks at Bubble Play in 6-Max Sit n Go Tournaments and highlights some of the strategy adjustments dictated by the different prize structure.

We will assume a basic understanding of ICM, Dollar Equity and Push / Fold Ranges late in SNGs – for more information on these see the our Introduction to ICM for SNGs article.

6-Max SNG Bubble Strategy - Example #1

So here is the first scenario – there are 3 players left in a 6 player SNG, the prize pool structure is 65% for the winner and 35% for 2nd place. Third gets nothing. In our example the blinds are 200 and 400 (no ante) and the stack sizes / current prize pool equity (based on a $100 prize pool) are as follows.

Player 1 – 1500 - $19.17

Player 2 – 3000 - $35.33

Player 3 – 4500 - $45.50

Readers used to looking at prize pool equity calculations for 10 person SNG Bubbles will notice a small difference here. The fact that first prize is 65% of the pool means that there is a slightly larger difference between the chip lead and smallest stack than you might normally see. If you think about how these equity amounts are calculated this makes sense… taking 1st as winning 45% of the time then 2nd 66% of the remaining 55% getting the second spot then calculating the second stack winning 30% of the time and the current big stack getting 2nd 75% etc etc – this logic shows that the smallest stack is actually in slightly worse shape than for 4 people at a 10-handed game bubble.

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6-Max Bubble Play - Doubling The Small Stack

So what is the effect of doubling up for the smallest stack? If we can calculate the reward we are in a position to compare this to his risk and ask the question of what kind of percentage winning chances does he need against the big-stacks range.

So the big and small stack go to war and the small stack doubles (ignoring blinds to keep the numbers simple).

Player 1 – 3000 - $33.33

Player 2 – 3000 - $33.33

Player 3 – 3000 - $33.33

The difference then is $33.33 - $19.17 or  $14.16, that is the small stack must risk his $19.17 equity to gain $14.16 more. He is laying odds against himself of $19.17/$14.16 or approximately 1.3 to 1.

6-Max Bubble Strategy - Using The Math To Create A 'Rule Of Thumb'

For comparison purposes this is often 2/1 or more in a 4 handed bubble with 3 paid places.

So our 6-max strategy adjustment can be defined as ‘Call Slightly Looser At The Bubble’. But how much looser?

In this example laying 1.3 to 1 means that you need 62% winning chances against your opponents range. Here are some examples for opponent ranges and your calling requirements.

• Opponent Pushes 30% (Any pair, Any Ace, K8+, Q9+ and connectors above 98s) – You can call with 88+ Ace-10o+

• Opponent Pushes 50% (As above with K2s+ and Q2s+ J4s+) – You can call with 77+ and A9s+ and JTs+

• Opponent Pushes 100% of hands! – Now you can call with a full 22% of hands, that’s 55+ A2o+ K5s+ and most higher suited connectors.

Ok, that is the calling side of the equation – but what about your pushing requirements? This is – as always – dependant on your opponents range. The significant difference for 6-max games is the relatively larger equity gain for picking up the blinds. This means you should be willing to push lighter (in comparison to your opponents range) than you would for a 10 player 4-person bubble with 50/30/20 prize pool structure.

Working out push / fold ranges is much easier with the help of an ICM Calculator.

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