Step SNG

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Mark | Poker Articles, Poker Strategy, Poker Tournament

This article belongs to the Poker Tournament series.

I recently stumbled upon the step SNG concept through an article I read on a Danish news website. Here a Danish SNG expert, Allan ‘Sifosis’ Bække, wrote some good tips on winning plays to beat the SNG steps. After investigating the step SNG system in more detail I decided to write a small review about it and include some of Allan ‘Sifosis’ Bække’s tips on how to beat the SNG steps. 

After reading about the step SNG concept I came to realize that it is very similar to the cash table limit rush which I have mentioned in another article. Typically there are 6 steps in step SNG systems with each successive step having a higher buyin. You can buy in directly to any step you want and then proceed to play a 10 person SNG. The top finishes (usually top 2 or 3 depending on the step and poker site you are playing on, see tables below for more details) receive a ticket to the next step and lower finishes receive tickets to play another SNG on the same or lower steps. 

The similarity between the cash table limit rush and the step SNG system is that you can start with a very low buyin and have a chance of winning big. The things I like better when comparing the cash table limit rush to the step SNG concept are for one that there’s no cash game play (I suck at this) and secondly that you get another chance at the same or lower steps if you don’t win and therefore potentially a lot more play for your initial buyin.

I have found the SNG step system on two poker sites so far (mind you I haven’t spent a lot of time searching so I’m sure you will be able to find more poker sites offering step SNG’s ) namely on Party Poker and Pokerstars. On Party Poker you win 2000$ cash for a 1st place finish on the final step whereas on Pokerstars you win a WSOP package worth 12500$.

The rake you pay for the Party Poker step SNG’s is reasonable compared to the regular SNG rakes whereas on Poker Starts the rake is somewhat higher than the regular SNG rake (see below for more info).

I have gathered together all the information you will need regarding Party poker and Pokerstars SNG step structure, prize pool distribution and rake in the two tables shown below.

Party poker step SNG structure

Step

 

Buyin/players

Prizes

Total Prize pool/rake

1

3$/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

Entry to step 2

Entry to step 2

Entry to step 1

Entry to step 1

 

26$/4$

(0,4$ pr. buyin (13%))

2

10$/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

5. place

6. place

7.place

Entry to step 3

Entry to step 3

Entry to step 2

Entry to step 2

Entry to step 1

Entry to step 1

Entry to step 1

 

89$/11$

(1,1$ pr. buyin (11%))

3

30$/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

5. place

6. place

7.place

Entry to step 4

Entry to step 4

Entry to step 4

Entry to step 3

Entry to step 2

Entry to step 2

Entry to step 2

 

270$/30$

(3$ pr. buyin (10%))

4

70$/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

5. place

Entry to step 5

Entry to step 5

Entry to step 5

Entry to step 4

Entry to step 3

 

630$/70$

(7$ pr. buyin (10%))

5

170$/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

5. place

6. place

Entry to step 6

Entry to step 6

Entry to step 5

Entry to step 5

Entry to step 4

Entry to step 4

 

1540$/160$

(16$ pr. buyin (9,4%))

6

500$/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

5. place

2000$

1000$

700$

500$

500$

4700$/300$

(30$ pr. buyin (6%))

The regular rake percentages for Party Poker SNG’s vary from 20-25% for low buyin SNG’s (<10$), 10% for medium buyin SNG’s (<100$) and down to 0,2% for high buyin SNG’s (over 100$).   

Pokerstars WSOP qualifier step SNG structure

Step

 

Buyin/players

Prizes

Total Prize pool/rake

1

7,5$ or 500FPP

/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

Entry to step 2

Entry to step 2

Entry to step 1

1,5$

 

63$/12$

(1,2$ pr. buyin (16%))

2

27$ or 1750FPP

/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

5. place

 

Entry to step 3

Entry to step 3

Entry to step 2

Entry to step 2

Entry to step 1

 

225,5$/44,5$

(4,45$ pr. buyin (16%))

3

82$ or 5125FPP

/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

5. place

 

Entry to step 4

Entry to step 4

Entry to step 3

Entry to step 3

Entry to step 3

 

676$/144$

(14,4$ pr. buyin (18%))

4

215$ or 13500FPP

/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

5. place

6. place

Entry to step 5

Entry to step 5

Entry to step 4

Entry to step 3

Entry to step 3

Entry to step 2

 

1806$/344$

(34,4$ pr. buyin (16%))

5

700$/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

5. place

6. place

Entry to step 6

Entry to step 6

Entry to step 5

Entry to step 5

Entry to step 4

Entry to step 4

 

6030$/970$

(97$ pr. buyin (14%))

6

2100$/10

1. place

2. place

3. place

4. place

5. place

6. place

12500$

1500$

1500$

1000$

1000$

500$

18000$/3000$

(300$ pr. buyin (14%))

At Pokerstars the regular rake percentages are similar to those at Partypoker and vary from 20-25% for low buyin SNG’s (<10$), 10% for medium buyin SNG’s (<100$) and down to 0,2% for high buyin SNG’s (over 100$).

As promised here are some tips from Allan ‘Sifosis’ bække on how to beat the Pokerstars step SNG’s:

Steps 1-3

  • Play tight aggressive; don’t get into trouble with marginal hands and play your premium hands hard. Don’t be afraid to overbet the pot, there are plenty of fish on these levels who will call you.
  • Play tight on the bubbles if you have a small stack that is still larger than 10BB.
  • Start pushing with more marginal hands if you have less than 10BB but adjust your pushing range to your position and the previous action on the table.
  • If you have a big stack on the bubble put pressure on your opponents.

Steps 4-5

  • The basic approach from level 1-3 still applies here.
  • However, at these levels the quality of your opponents will increase, therefore it is very important to identify the weaker players at your table and play some hands against them. The chips you accumulate here will be their weight worth in gold later in the SNG to put pressure on your other opponents.
  • Select your tables carefully. Find out who plays the higher steps regularly and try to avoid tables with many regulars.

Step 6

  • Doubling up early is the key to winning step 6 especially if you choose a table without too many regulars. In this case many of your opponents will be money scared and thus easy to bully if you are the chip leader at the table. You should play your opponents more than your cards on this level.

Good luck on the steps…let me know how you do:-)

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7 Comments to Step SNG

Poker Sit and go bonus
February 8, 2009

Interesting subject!

I have been playing the Party Poker SNG steps a couple of times. I experienced that, while the competition at the lower limits were extremely easy, the highly limits were tough and therefore very difficult to win for the inexperienced SNG player as myself;)

What are your thoughts on this?

Mark
February 8, 2009

Hi WOSB:-)

I think practice and table selection will get you a long way. The strategies applied to beat the first levels should also apply to the higher levels.
How far did you manage to get?

Regards

Mark

Mark’s last blog post..List of all online poker sites

McTap03
February 8, 2009

I like this strategy. My buddy JGiles likes playing something to this on Titan and has made it up to the medium stakes several times. I think I will try it out and let you know how I do (on the forums).

McTap03’s last blog post..Finally!

Poker Sit and go bonus
February 8, 2009

There was quite easy to get from step 1 to 3. I did not proceed beyond this. As you can notice in the Party Poker table you do have a few chances to proceed to the next level, by either staying at the current level or moving back one level. Therefore these SNG Steps are great for new poker players, as you will get a lot of action for a rather small buy in.

Mark
February 9, 2009

Hi McTap

As far as I can see, Titan poker doesn’t have step SNG’s. Am I mistaken?

Regards

Mark

Mark’s last blog post..Embracing the risk in the game

Poker Sit and go bonus
February 9, 2009

We have put together a near to complete list of all sng at Titan. We have not registered any steps SNG´s at Titan. Might be because it is not possible to structure step SNG at poker networks (poker rooms sharing the same tables). Follow the link below:

Titan Poker SNG

McTap03
February 9, 2009

I said it was something similar to this, where he (JGiles) played in a 6 person SNG and if he won, he moved up a level, if he finished ITM he would play the same level again, and if he didn’t make the money he moved down a level. It is similar but not a specific step program. In JGiles case, he started at the $10 level, won it, played the $20 level, won, played the $30 level, won it and then played the $50 level and went out on the bubble. He ended up profiting over $200 on his initial $10 buy-in. Sorry for the confusion.

McTap03’s last blog post..Finally!

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