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Monday, May 3, 2010

Why I Don't Like Double or Nothing Sit n Go Tournaments

A lot of online articles recommend playing double or nothing sit-n-gos to avoid variance and take down easy money since everyone gets paid the same thing if they place in the top 5 which is double your buy-in minus an entry fee. It appealed to me a few times, including last week when I almost lost my bankroll playing them (see Day 3: Turning $74 into $7000 --RUNNING BAD AGAIN!). After several sessions of barely breaking even or a little over, and a session where I lost a 1/3 rd of my bankroll, I'm ready to admit that the Double or Nothing SNGs are a huge rip-off. Let's crunch a few numbers:

It is awfully hard to achieve a 70% win rate at any poker game, let alone double or nothing sit n gos. Ever since the proliferation of these poker tip articles explaining how to beat sngs by playing tight, these double or nothing sngs are too damn tight to collect chips to be in position to place in the top 5. All I see is 9 other people folding until the blinds get so big that you're forced to play crap hands and hope that no one calls your bluff. No way do I want to play all-in poker and leave my chances up to a crapshoot AJ vs K10. Granted there are situations in regular sit n go tournament poker where you might be in a crapshoot hand because you're a short stack trying to survive, but at least you're playing for a lot more than double your money minus the tournament fee, not to mention that there are more chances to collect chips and not have your tournament life depend on outfolding the next person and hoping that the short stack blinds out before you. Anyone who says they're getting a 15% ROI playing double or nothing tournaments is a motherfucking lie. and what if you run bad for an hour or two? If you're playing 20 tables at once like I did, you can be down 30 buy-ins and have to grind for the next day and a half trying to win 85% of your buy-in in every sit n go just to break even. No one wins every double or nothing sit n go so to give you an idea of hard it is to catch back up look at this example:

Double or Nothing Sit n Go $1.00 + $0.15 (entry fee) = $1.15

If you win that sit in go, you get double your money ($1.00), not including the 15 cent entry fee. So if you win the $2.00, your net profit will be $0.85

$2.00 winnings - $1.15 = $0.85

Let's say you start with a $100 bankroll and you lose $23 in two hours. Now your bankroll is $77. Let's see how many sit n gos you would have to win to break even.

$23 divided by $0.85 = 28

In order to bring your bankroll back up to $100 you need to win 28 sit n gos with no losses which is impossible to do.


If you're winning at a 60 and 70% win rate like the 2+2 members are claiming, you'll have to play close to 100 sit n gos JUST TO BREAK EVEN. That's more than half my day! So play the double or nothing sit n gos at your own risk, but if you lose money in it over the long run, don't say that I didn't tell you so.