ATLARGE and in charge…plus, the SNG debate

I have registered for ATLARGE 2006 and you should too! Also if you’re a woman and you’re looking for a roomie at the Taj, you should let me know! (Sorry, fellas.) An unacceptable amount of time has passed since my last poker trip, and March 3 seems like a long way off as well. Fortunately, there is some interesting home game action shaping up for this evening which will have to suffice for now. I’ll let you know how it turns out.

In other news, I am trying to decide if I will begin playing one-table sng’s again. They were extremely profitable for me in 2005 and helped me build the bankroll to play the multi-table tournaments I wanted to, leading to three relatively big scores in tourneys at the end of 2005. The problem is that I believe my game has evolved to a point where I have a more well-rounded arsenal of poker skills than I had at the beginning of 2005. At that point, I had a solid one-table sng strategy which had a much higher dependence on luck than I care to have now. I’m not saying by any stretch that I’m “too good” for these sng’s – simply that the luck factor involved negates many of the tools I’ve been honing in recent months, and as well as being less enjoyable than other tourneys (presumably I am playing as a hobby and not to make a living) they also don’t reward the exercising of my poker muscles. They’re basically the only muscles I have, and when I play poker I like to use ’em!!

Yet, there are several arguments for a return (perhaps a brief one) to one-table sng land. The strategy I have developed for these sng’s places me in the money frequently. While not necessarily “guaranteed” money, it is much easier to finish in the top three of a one-table sng than a big tournament, and while the return is not as large, the sng’s go so quickly that I can run several of them in the same amount of time it would take to run a big tourney. While not as “fun” as other tourneys, I could look at it as what it is – a practical way to fund my forays into the bigger tourneys.

This issue has come up because of the way that I keep my poker records. I keep track of wins and losses for each year, and now that it’s 2006 my tournament sheet is squarely in the red. I keep tournament and ring game records separate, so while I am showing a significant profit for the year so far which should make me happy, I get grumpy every time I look at my tourney records. Some readers will probably give me the standard lecture: “It’s all one session.” “Your results are over your lifetime – the 2005/2006 distinction is completely arbitrary.” And of course these readers are absolutely right.

I would be interested to hear how others deal with this scenario. Unless all my readers start the year off winner across the board and have never had to deal with this issue. And if that’s the case, we have things to discuss other than record keeping. ;0)

Bottom line: play one-table sng’s again or not? I can use them to build my tourney bankroll, but at the (significant?) cost of time I could spend playing other types of poker that I enjoy more. Poker is a hobby, so I should enjoy it when I’m doing it. That said, poker is a serious hobby, and I want to keep playing higher stakes and bigger tourneys to improve my game. For that I need a bankroll. The best way to build that bankroll (which I do not fund with savings or income, just the poker earnings themselves) may be to play a type of poker that is not as fun or challenging. While my existing bankroll from previous years has not ceased to exist, I feel pressure to get those numbers into the black for ’06.

Thoughts, advice, and lectures welcome.

And register for ATLARGE 2006!!!

10 replies on “ATLARGE and in charge…plus, the SNG debate”

Jodi –

I’d like to hear your 2005 SNG strategy that you mentioned. Thanks.

– schneid

One other thing…do you think it’s more profitable to play single table qualifiers ($20 buyin) to get into the bigger multis, or to just play STTs for cash?

– schneid

Schneid: I don’t generally play qualifiers, but on a purely academic basis it would seem that sng’s for cash are more profitable, because when you win them you get a profit, whereas in a qualifier you get an entry into a tourney where you will more likely than not win nothing.

David: I fund my MTT’s with the same poker bankroll I use to fund all my play. I do not divide my bankroll into money for tourneys and money for ring games. That might be something to consider doing in the future.

I agree on the cash reward of the sng vs the entry. Personally, i do my own steps in the sng’s, and that builds my bankroll at a nice pace. Start at 25, if I win I move up, if I place 2nd or 3rd I repeat the level. If I lose, I start over. That has taken me all the way to the 1000 sng, which I’ve cashed several times. Good luck!

Jodi: there’s nothing more important early in a poker career than building bankroll. This is true whether it’s a profession or a serious hobby. If you want your bankroll to be self-sustaining and you also want to play eventually move on to bigger games and bigger tourneys, you need to build bankroll now. Play whatever games or sitngos or tourneys make you the most profit for your invested time. Even if in the short run this approach isn’t as fun as playing some other games, the growth in your bankroll will make looking at your records very fun.

But I think you know this already. Go grow your bankroll.

Hi Jodi,

Not sure if you remember me, but we met at FARGO. I was one of the crowd who watched you win the FIHUPT. Congrats on that. While reading another poker blog (, I found another woman who wants a roomie for ATLARGE. Maybe you guys could work it out. Hope to see you at ATLARGE!

Sorry about the late response. I was curious what your strategy was. I read doubleas recently and he laid out his bankroll allocation. It surprised me how far $35k doesn’t go.

Played the $5/$10 at Foxwoods this afternoon. Wow, it was a loose game. You were right. Plus, they can’t jump fast enough to pour money into the kill pots. Unfortunately, the never ending string of bricks K4, T8 off. I won two hands, a small Ax from the BB, and medium size pot when I bluffed two guys with 23o (usually my designated bluff hand).

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