Mon, Mar 13, 4:21pm by Poker Guru
On Pokerstars they are called Spin & Go’s, on Party they are called Sit & Go Hero, on iPoker they are called Twister, but they are basically the same thing. They are all carbon copies of a tournament format invented by French poker operator Winamax a few years ago. It is a very fast and fun sit’n’go format for 3-4 players where the first prize varies.
The guaranteed first prize is small (usually around two thirds of the buy-ins) but occasionally the first prize is very big, even up to 1,000 the buy-in! It is a hybrid between poker and lottery, or poker and a casino game. You still have to win the sit’n’go to win the prize and I like this mix of skill and luck.
Say you have 10 minutes and $20 and want to have some poker fun. Then these sit’n’go’s are ideal and if you are lucky you could win $20,000 only beating two other players.
What is optimal strategy then? You are playing short-handed and will soon be short-stacked (starting stack can be as low as 25 big blinds) with a fast format so the answer is easy: you need to be aggressive and take chances. Going all-in on every hand is not a great strategy but not terrible either.
You should probably close to 50% of the hands when three-handed and you need to raise with a lot of hands, you also need to reraise with many hands, and you need to call all-in bets with many hands. No wonder these tournament’s have become popular!
Are they all really the same? Actually, Party Poker has tried to do something different. Instead of a 3-handed sit’n’go Party’s format is 4-handed and 25% of the prize pool is awarded as a bounty on a random player. The problem with this is that the first prize is only guaranteed to be 1.5 x buy-in plus 0.5 x buy-in as a bounty. That is not enough, I think. In an attempt to be different, they have actually created something much worse.
When I read my first poker book I remember that players were categorised in tight-aggressive, loose-aggressive, tight-passive and loose-passive. The standard advice is that you want to be tight-aggressive but as every reader of this column knows there is rarely a simple right or wrong in poker.
There are actually situations or game formats where all these four strategies are correct. In Spin & Go’s you definitely want to be loose-aggressive since the stacks are too short for a tight strategy.
But how about loose-passive? That cannot ever be right, or? Yes, in heads-up play against an overaggressive player that is a good strategy. Some people think that a loose-passive player is the same as a calling station but that is not the case.
I will write a separate column about this someday. Until then, good luck at the tables.
Like millions of Australians, a woman in Canberra looked at her regular lotto ticket in passing ahead of the Oz Lotto drawing…
The days of online gamblers being offered lines of credit to bet with are numbered as the major clampdown on the online…
The proposed Tabcorp-Tatts super merger is set to progress after Tatts, for the second time in four months – rejected an offer…