legendary_totoro’s Haven

1000 SNGs

Sunday 3 May 2009 by legendary_totoro

I’m mainly an online player who dwells at Full Tilt Poker and I’ve just crossed the 1000 SNGs line. Here’s some thoughts on nearly 2 years of low limits grinding.


For starters, SNG stands for Sit ’N’ Go which is a single table poker tournament. At Full Tilt Poker, there’s usually 9 players in a SNG and top 3 get rewarded. For as little as $1+0.25 you can sit down and start playing. I’ve settled myself at the $2+0.25 tables for nearly 2 years now and have just reached 1000 games.

This may look like a lot of time to reach it but I’m an occasional and recreational player and I usually load up to 2 tables at the same time when I play.

Beginning the Analysis

To begin with, I’m a tight player. Some may say I’m a weak/tight and I wouldn’t argue too much about it. I’m bad at reading people and I can easily limp instead of raise preflop or fold top pair weak kicker to an aggressive player post flop. This leads to very boring sessions if you want to rail me, and if you did, you will admit I’m a very good folding machine...

Although this play-style has its flaws, it suits my tastes so far since I’m not taking too many risks. But, on the other hand, I never cash big. That’s an uncanny truth : you have to gamble to win. I don’t have Poker Tracker installed right now, but I’m pretty sure I’ve made more 3rd places than 2nd and 1st places altogether...

Anyway despite how awful it may look, I think I’m doing okay at these levels when I look into my profits per game graph (generated with sharkscope) :

First glance at the graph and you can see I’m a winning player. Second glance and I’d say I’m winning small. Like I said previously, I don’t have a good percentage of 1st places overall.

Still, I’m not losing money and that’s already good that way IMO. I know several people that can’t stay above the surface and have drowned themselves in these waters. Winning is important but not losing is the first step towards winning ain’t it ?

Advanced Thoughts

Digging further in the informations, I have a ROI of 8%. ROI stands for "Return Over Investment". That said, you would probably a formula to understand it if you’re not familiar with the concept. For poker, you calculate your ROI by dividing your total profits by the total amounts of your entry fees and transform that into a percentage.

It’s said that in lower limits, you’re a good and winning player if your ROI is over 20%. It’s obvious I don’t fit in that category... This stat confirms what I’ve been saying from the start : If I win, I win small.

Now, let’s try to explain in more details this situation. I don’t win big, because whenever I get In The Money, I’m either Short Stacked and die because of the higher blinds or because I have a decent stack but chicken out and am afraid of raising preflop with a wider range of hands like I don’t know, Q7o ?

My guess about getting ITM in a better shape is to be a little more aggressive in the middle stages. You’d be surprised of many times I could have won a coupe of blinds just by raising with my AT suited in the Cut-Off instead of folding it.

I think I also need to get more aggressive if I get ITM with a decent stack. Overall, I need to lean more towards the tight/aggressive model than the weak/tight style I’m currently playing. It’s easier said than done but I guess it won’t hurt to try it once in a while. Playing too safe won’t get me nowhere near bigger figures.


After 1000 Games I’ve generated a $177 profit which makes it less than 20 cents profit per game. It’s really not much and you could wonder why I don’t switch to something more profitable like cash games. I’ve tried them and couldn’t get positive on a regular basis. On the contrary I’ve lend a couple of buy-ins to the cash game tables instead.

Like my poker buddy said, volume is the key, and recently I’ve started to play 4 tables at the same time which has effectively increased my winnings. Or so it seems at the beginning. Now, I’m about even whenever I play 4 tables.

I need to work on my game, that’s for sure...

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