Super Turbo Sit-n-Go at Full Tilt Poker

Lately I’ve been doing spectacularly lousy at poker.  My bankroll was down to 20% of what I started with.  I was paying $2.00 Sit-n-Gos, and I was losing them more often than not.  I was getting disgusted and bored and tired of the whole thing.

Full Tilt announced Matrix Tournaments, which give you four sit-n-gos for the price of one, with appropriately reduced payouts.  You also accumulate points that go to an extra bonus, but the bonus reduces the tournament payout  even more.  I tried one and thought it pretty much sucked.

I got a call from a friend saying he was making beaucoup bucks playing Super Turbo SnGs on Full Tilt.  I’ve never liked turbo tournaments – they seemed more like roulette than poker.   Super Turbos not only provide rapidly increasing blinds (they go up every three minutes) but also start everyone off with a mere 300 chips instead of the usual 1500, so everyone starts seriously short-stacked.

But he was excited about them.  He’s a much better player than I am, and I trust his judgment, so I signed into one, not expecting much.  I won.  I played a few more, and was hooked.  These are speedy, brutal, and a buttload of fun.  I’ve made it to the money 55% of the time.   I’ve played several hours over the past weekend and my bankroll has gone from 20% to 80%.  More importantly, poker is fun again. 

I wouldn’t recommend these games for beginners, but for players with a good tournament end game they are a gold mine.

The standard strategy in regular SnGs is to wait patiently until you’re down to five or six players before getting aggressive.  In these games that usually happens within the first ten hands.   Half the table will shove with any pair, ace-anything, and often king-anything.  There are a lot of coin flips and suckouts.  And lots of money to be made by a skilled player who has the patience to carefully pick his spots, then attack hard.

Since nearly every hand results in a shoving match, toss away anything that isn’t shove-worthy, or likely to be shove-worthy post flop.  Forget subtle, tricky plays.  And since you’re going to end up shoving nearly every hand, consider starting with a shove pre-flop. 

In early play shove with Ace-Face, Aces, Kings, and maybe Queens.  Toss just about everything else.

Limping is out of the question.  Try it early and you’ll burn through your chips too quickly.  Later on it’s still a losing play since most hands require a shove either pre-flop or post flop.  Those fun drawing hands, like 9-8 suited, are worthless in this contest.  You don’t have time to nurse a draw to the river.

Stay out of multi-way pots with anything less than aces or kings.  You want heads up with premium starting cards.  Just two or three of these hands can put you in the money.

Patience is the key, but you can’t wait too long.  The rapidly escalating blinds mean you’ll have to double up pretty quickly to stay in the game.  Get to a thousand chips and you can sit back and watch the mooks take each other out with low pairs and hands like K-3s.  (“But they were sooooooted!”)  It’s not uncommon to see three and four way all-in pots, which clears the table rapidly. 

You will be the victim of some brutal suck outs, but suckouts go both ways, and will save you as often as they kill you, especially if you’re limiting your shoving to premium hands.  

The action is fast.  Most SnGs take about an hour.  These are over in 15-20 minutes, which means if you’re a winning player you can win three times as much in the same amount of time. 

I know lots of folks like to play with four or six or eight tables.  Two at a time is plenty for me, especially for these puppies.  I folded a hand against five other players at one table, then played a hand at the other table.  When I looked back at the first table I was in the money!   Then the same thing happened on the second table.  Sweet! 

The games are not very clearly marked.  The only thing that distinguishes them other Turbo SnGs on Full Tilt are the odd buy-in amounts.  Look under Sit-n-Go, single table, for buy-ins of $3.50, $7, $14, $28, $70 and $160 (plus the buy in fees). 

I was surprised at how much I liked these, and you may be too.  Give them a try.  And if you don’t have an account at Full Tilt, click on the ad to open one.  You’ll not only get the 100% sign up bonus, I’ll make a few bucks as well. 

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4 Comment(s)

  1. Hi Dave. I’ve enjoyed your fine site as a result of stumbling on to this post.

    I’ve been had a very lousy poker game of late. I had previously tried the super-turbo on Full Tilt and not fared so well. I read your post and figured I had not been disciplined enough the past. So I played a bit. I think I improved a little bit, but still disastrous overall. Lots of 4th and 5th places. I figured that you were exaggerating when you said you placed 55% of the time…or you’re really good…or I’m really, really bad.

    Upon further analysis, it seems like something funny goes on based on the game rate.

    I am 0 for 10 at the $7 game. (0% obviously)
    But I am 4 for 8 at the $14 game. (50% in the money, which is close enough to 55% for me).

    So what gives? Are the $7 players so bad that they throw things off for any average player? Or are there too many average players playing too well thinking it’s easy money when it’s not?

    It might still be random, but I’m only going play $14 tables for now.

    (You might be playing much higher table rates, but do you noticed a difference if you ever alternate?)

    Toasted | Jan 22, 2009 | Reply

  2. I was playing the $3 and $7. The key word here is “was.”

    I did amazingly great for a week, when I wrote this post. Then it leveled down, and then it seemed impossible to win.

    A friend with a much bigger bankroll was playing the $70 and $180 games, and he had pretty much the same experience.

    Luck plays a much bigger factor in these, becuase you don’t either the time or the chips for careful and/or clever play. You shove, or you fold, almost always. In the long run it’s more like craps than poker. And while it can be fun to play craps once in a while, it’s not a game of skill, like poker, and the only long term winner is the house.

    Dave Hitt | Jan 24, 2009 | Reply

  3. hey Toasted,

    to answer your question, you don’t really have a big enough sample size to compare. you’d need dozens if not hundreds of games to really compare rates. good luck,

    BP | Mar 20, 2009 | Reply

  4. Actually, you need a sample size of at least 2k before you can really know if you are a winning super turbo player.

    hotjenny314 | May 1, 2009 | Reply

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