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When You Should Ignore SNG Wizard

SitNGo Wizard is a tool that all SNG grinders should use at some point. It helps you to learn the push/fold aspect of the game which is critical for success. It also indirectly encourages players to play with tools like Poker Stove so that they can become familiar with hand ranges.

The problem with SNG Wiz is that many players live and breathe it. Once they study it and memorize it, it's all they use. What they don't seem to realize is that this program has its faults and their strategies need to be adjusted for those faults. In other words, sometimes it's necessary to ignore what SitNGo Wizard tells you to do.

Reasons Why You Should Ignore Sit and Go Wizard

While SNG Wiz can calculate what hands you should be calling or shoving with based on stack sizes and ranges, it can't calculate what it can't measure. Things that SNG Wiz can't measure include:

  • Fold equity. SNG Wiz can't calculate how much fold equity you have, don't have or that you may lose in the future.
  • Table dynamics. There will be situations where SNG Wiz will tell you to push or fold, but due to things like having your spots taken, stack distribution/placement or meta-game, it would be in your best interest to do the opposite (or something different).

It'll take time though before you're able to recognize these spots fast enough for you to adjust to them. Studying your hand histories after sessions will help you with that.

Situations Where You Might Ignore ICM

It'll probably help if I explain or describe some of the types of situations where you might consider ignoring SNG Wiz.

The situations that involve fold equity are the most important. Without fold equity, you lose your ability to win without showdown. This means you're going to have to run those small edges (flips). It's preferable that you don't.

So, a good example of a situation where you might ignore SNG Wiz in favor of protecting your fold equity would be when you're on the short side and are close to going through the blinds. Say you have 6 big blinds and you're UTG + 2 -- I would shove anything decent here like any aces, suited kings, mid off-suit kings, broadways, suited connectors, pairs, etc. Once you go through the blinds, you'll lose your fold equity. Even with 6 big blinds it's pushing it, especially with antes in play.

Another good example, and something that many SNG grinders miss, is watching for when the blinds going up. I'll push my 5 or 6 big blind range if I currently have 7 or 8 big blinds and the blinds are going up in the 30 seconds or so. A good way to keep track of this is to keep the 'auto refresh info tab for tournaments' checked on if you're using Table Ninja. If you check these shoves in SNG Wiz after your session, they'll have big red 'Xs' next to them -- ignore them.

Various table dynamics will play a role in your decision(s) to ignore SNG Wiz too. There are a few examples of more common situations I can give you.

One situation that you'll find yourself in is when you're short, yet you can't shove. Maybe a maniac is to your right opening every chance he gets or a reg is abusing the bubble pushing ATC. These spots are so frustrating because you're (often) told by SNG Wiz to fold.

If you're dealing with a maniac, you might try one of two things. One, you can reshove and easily assume that you're ahead of his range since he's opening so much. It's hard to say how much fold equity you'll have though given his image. I have found that if it's the first time that you or anyone else has played back at them, they'll generally fold the worst of their hands. It's downhill from there though.

Two, you can make a lighter shove than you normally would when you do have a chance to act first. Say the maniac is in the blinds and you're UTG + 1. You might shove 15% or something in that situation normally. However, since the maniac is taking your spots whenever he can, you should be shoving much wider -- sometimes even more often. You might shove 2-3 hands in a row while you can because once the maniac is able to be one of the first to open, all of your spots will be taken again.

You can deal with a bubble abuser the same way. You can take spots you normally wouldn't since you can't do a lot when the reg is shoving ATC. The other option is to go ahead and make a thin call on the bubble. SNG Wiz will throw a fit, but making a thin call can do a couple of things for you:

  • You're probably ahead of his bubble abusing range. So if you get it in and win, you're either back in it or maybe have a stack that you can do some of abusing of your own with.
  • Sometimes thin calls serve as a silent 'back off' message. If you call the reg light, he might tone his aggression down some.

These are just a few of the many table dynamics that you might adjust for, regardless of what SNG Wiz tells you to do. Another situation that comes to mind is spots where you have history with a player. Maybe this particular player knows you shove wide and is in the big blind. He might have a good price to call verses your range if you shove. So instead, you might shove a hand early or a hand or two later. Those players might not know you as well or at all, so you'll have more fold equity verses them.

Summary of When Not to Use SitNGo Wizard

It can be difficult to stray from what SitNGo Wizard tells you to do -- I've been there, I know. But you need to know how and when to take those negative EV spots so that you can set yourself up for future gains. It will mean the difference between being a good player and a great one. And SNG Wiz can't help you with that.

More Sit and Go Strategy
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