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Darkwolves learns Sit and Go

/Feb/2011

Alas Poor Double or Nothings

By: darkwolves @ 09:15 (EST) / 938 / Comment ( 1 )
For a while now, I have made my bankroll on the micro stakes double or nothing tournaments. I have shown a very steady profit with these games.  This was very important to me, because it was the first time I could reliably make money at poker.  But now, Poker Stars is getting rid of the Double or Nothings in favor of the new Fifty50 format.  So I decided to play this new format and see if it could be as profitable for me as the original Double or Nothings were.

Fifty50s work in a similar way to the Double or Nothings, in that the game stops once 5 of the 10 players are eliminated, and the prizes are awarded.  The original DoN gave a flat payout to the remaining 5, while the fifty50s distribute the payout based on the ending chip stack.  This provides an extra incentive to accumulate chips throughout the tournament, rather than just surviving.

The Good
The blind structure is a little different for the fifty50s.  The blinds increase every 6 minutes, but at a more gradual rate than most single table SNGs (ex, 15/30 to 20/40 to 25/50 etc).   The late  stages where people would have to worry about blinding out are about the same as a standard SNG, but there is much less "Early" game and more emphasis on "Midddle" game.

Another bonus is the "Juice:" or the tournament rake or whatever it is called.  For the micro stakes, the original DoN had a juice of $0.15 while the fifty50 is $0.11.  This small difference can have a big impact on ROI when you are grinding these tournaments.

On last nice thing about these new fifty50s is the amount of time it takes to complete. These tournaments encourage loose play and tend to finish much faster than the standard DoN.  This helps get more games in and improves the $/hour stats.

The Bad
The format encourages loose play.  In the standard DoN, tight/aggressive was key.  You had to survive, so you had to be tight and you could not risk chips on marginal hands; there was just no incentive to take any such risks.  The Fifty50 format requires you to accumulate chips so naturally more risks need to be taken.  This brings out a lot more "Donks."  It also increases the chance that your good hand will get sucked out on.  I have had more bad beats in the first 50 games of fifty50 than I did for my entire run of the standard DoN.

It is harder to make a profit with the new fifty50s.  In micro stakes, I needed to survive past the bubble in order to turn my $1.15 buy in into $2.00.  To do the same in Fifty50, I need to survive the bubble with at least 3000 chips.  So at some point, to get the same profit margins, you need to double up.  Sometimes the tournament is over too fast, sometimes you just don't get the cards, and sometimes you take a risk and lose.  All of these winning scenarios during regular DoN become marginal wins or losses in fifty50.

My Results
How did I do?  Not well.  I started out ok, but was never able to hold a decent ROI.  I played 60 games of fifty50 for my sample size.  In the standard DoN, over the course of all my games, I had an ITM rate of 70.1% and an ROI of 21.2% appx.   In the Fifty50s, I only managed to keep about a 62% ITM.  Also, my stack size was usually below average, so for the $1.11 buy in, my average payout was $1.82.  That, coupled with my lower ITM, gave me a ROI of only 1 or 2%.  I was very close to even when I stopped.

My conclusion is that the fifty50s are not as exploitable as the standard DoN.  While they can be played profitably (although, not very well by me), the loose play and increse of Donks and Suckouts makes it much harder to keep up a slolid ROI.  The only reason I would continue to play this format is to grind FPP, and even that is worse than the DoN as the Juice is $0.04 less per game.
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