May 18, 2012

SNG Superstars 2012 (Part 3 - MTTSNGs)

Here is Part 3 of my look at how the top 5 SNG players stack up for the first four months of 2012 in a variety of different formats on PokerStars. This part is focused on Multi-Table SNGs. Use the link below if you missed the earlier parts in the series.

Part 1 - HUSNGS
Part 2 - STTs
Part 3 - MTTSNGs

Multi-Table SNGS, or MTTSNGs (yes, one of the "T"'s in the generally used acronym is somewhat superfluous) have risen in popularity over the last few years. I think this can largely be attributed to 9-man SNGs becoming solved/reg-infested/unbeatable, with players looking for a player-pool with a better fish:reg ratio and higher attainable ROI's. They can also be good for recreational players, as 180-mans especially have some of the attributes of MTTs that can see a massive return on a small investment for winning.

45-mans and 180-mans also have hourly sync breaks so can be mixed in by MTT players. I've been praying multiple times a day for sync breaks to be added to 18-mans, but alas, PokerStars have so far decided not to add them for these games so far.

18-man SNGs
Buy-Ins available: $1.50 - $200
1500 Chips, 5 or 10 Minute Levels

1st  - live@pompeii
'live@pompeii' is American Poker Pro Darren Maroni, who relocated to Mexico in order to grind for Supernova Elite this year where he is sharing a house with another sick SNG grinder, 'jdawg91'. He's not too far behind SNE pace, and is having an extremely consistent year at the 18-mans so far.

18-man results 2012
Interestingly he started out on this year's SNE challenge with just a $1500 bankroll! Maroni, who goes by the screenname 'starting gun' on the 2+2 Forums, is regularly keeping track of his SNE progress in this this thread. He certainly has a solid work ethic! You can also find him on twitter @MaroniPoker


45-man SNGs
Buy-Ins available: $1.50 - $60
1500 Chips, 5 or 10 Minute Levels

1st  - JayPez
'JayPez' is fellow Brit Jon Parsons, and similar to 'live@pompeii' is keeping an interesting thread on 2+2 (here) detailing his progress throughout the year. He has been using 45-mans as a platform, in order to take-shots at bigger MTTs and bigger stakes MTTSNGs, and has been very successful with this approach for the year so far (aside from having to rebuild his bankroll last month!), having earned ~$40k for the year so far.

One interesting thing about JayPez is that he chooses to play on multiple different poker sites as a means of table selection and to get in extra volume. I respect this as personally that would tilt me too hard: I like the smoothness of the PokerStars client and the functionality of TableNinja too much :). Across all sites Jay-Pez has cashed for over $1 million in tournaments.


180-man SNGs
Buy-Ins available: $2.50 - $60
1500 Chips,  5 or 15 Minute Levels

1st  - stimme38
Unfortunately 'stimme38' is the only player I wasn't able to find out too much about. He is a German native and the vast majority of games he has played on PokerStars are 180-mans. He is having his best year by far, and based on his ROI, his game has really improved, as he has earned more in the 11,000 games than he had in the 35,000 games he played before this at similar stakes.

'LilBigKahuna', in 2nd place, won this leaderboard in 2011 with just north of $100k profit, and it looks like stimme38, him and several others are vying for 1st place, and a similar profit, in this leaderboard this year.


...Apologies for taking my time to release this part. I'm thinking I might do a fourth part, with some observations from the series, so look out for that if it happens :)...

*Leaderboards based on January 1st - April 30th 2012 results
*Players who block themselves on Sharkscope aren't included

May 07, 2012

SNG Superstars 2012 (Part 2 - STTs)

Welcome to Part 2 of my look at how the top 5 SNG players stack up for the first four months of 2012 in a variety of different formats. This time I'll be looking at Single Table Tournaments. Use the link below if you missed Part 1.

Part 1 - HUSNGS
Part 2 - STTs
Part 3 - MTTSNGs

Whilst the Turbo 9-man STT was probably the 'original' SNG many years ago, it is gradually dying, and has been for a while. It has become somewhat of a solved game, and under the current rake structure, is barely beatable. The vast majority of high-stakes SNGs played these days are 6-max SNGs, although Hyperturbos have become very popular at the lower stakes since their introduction.

Turbo 6-Max SNGs
Buy-Ins available: $1.50 - $100
1500 Chips, 5 Minute Levels

1st  - WushuTM
WushuTM is Austrian Poker Pro Thomas Muhlocker. Muhlocker is actually more of an MTT and 6-Max Hyper Turbo SNG reg, but has managed to run rather well over a small sample in the high-stakes 6-Max Turbo's he has played this year, presumably with some table selection involved. 

Leaderboard stats on top (left graph), Lifetime stats beneath (right graph)
Muhlocker has earned ~$850k in profit across multiple sites, with his single biggest score being $84k for an outright victory in a $150 MTT on Full Tilt at the beginning of last year.


Hyper-Turbo 6-Max SNGs
Buy-Ins available: $1.50 - $7,140
500 Chips, 2 or 3 Minute Levels

1st  - jellycz

No, you haven't read that wrong. I've double checked it. Twice. 'jellycz', who is Poker Pro Petr Jelenik from the Czech Republic (I did double check this too, I didn't just assume it from his screen-name), has played over 50,000 SNGs already this year. It perhaps won't surprise you that Jelenik is a Supernova Elite player, who last year played an enormous 114,000 SNGs in his quest to become SNE in 2011. Apparently he has managed to avoid burn out as he is on course to play even more than that this year.


Jelenik has also had reasonable success in the MTTs he has dabbled in, including a win in the $215 Sunday 2nd Chance tournament at the end of 2009 for $46k. When factoring in rakeback, Jelenik has made a about $300k on PokerStars. You can follow him on Twitter @jellycz.


Turbo 9-Man SNGs
Buy-Ins available: $1.50 - $1,000
1500 Chips, 5 Minute Levels

1st  - tonkaaaa
Although from this chart alone it might not seem like it, 'tonkaaaa' has had an incredible 2012. tonkaaaa is Canadian Poker Pro Parker Talbot, and in mid-February he finished 2nd in the $215 Sunday Warm-Up for $88k. In the ~10 weeks since then he has doubled that in the MTTs and SNGs he has played.

Perhaps what makes this more impressive is that Talbot has only been playing professionally for a little less than a year. $300k for a years work doesn't sound too shabby to me! You can read more about Talbot's story, and success, by clicking here.


Hyper-Turbo 9-Man SNGs
Buy-Ins available: $1.50 - $100
500 Chips, 2 Minute Levels

1st  - L.A.Ruseman
Perhaps a bit less glamorous of a leaderboard compared to some of the others, but it definitely includes some sick grinders, with almost 100,000 SNGs played between the top 5 in just four months, with a majority of those games being played at just the $7 level, as that is where most of the traffic lies in these games. Atop them all is Andrew "L.A. Ruseman" Russell. A former Double or Nothing grinder, it seems he has transitioned well into the 9-Man Hyper-Turbos, and has a very consistent graph to show for his efforts.


Fifty50 SNGs
Buy-Ins available: $1.50 - $200
1500 Chips, 3 Minute Levels

Fifty50 SNGs are the bastard offspring of Double or Nothing SNGs, which were discontinued by PokerStars in February 2011 because of their susceptibility to collusion, as was evident when a Chinese cheating ring was uncovered to have stolen $750,000 from the Double or Nothing games. Fifty50's were a direct response by PokerStars to this, and rather than the top 5 out of 10 players doubling their money, half of the prizepool is distributed in relation to the number of chips a player finishes the SNG with.

ICANTSNG is the sick grinder in this category, playing over 25,000 games so far this year. ICANTSNG is from Australia, and achieved Supernova Elite status for the first time last year, and isn't too far behind pace to repeat that feat this year. SNE is worth $100k-$120k, and ICANTSNG seems to have found a somewhat variance free way of getting there, based on his results over his last 75,000 games.

*Leaderboards based on January 1st - April 30th 2012 results
*Players who block themselves on Sharkscope aren't included

May 02, 2012

SNG Superstars 2012 (Part 1 - HUSNGs)

Approximately at this time last year I did a blog post looking at how the Sharkscope leaderboards shaped up for each category of SNG on PokerStars. I thought I would do something similar this year, taking a look at  the first 4 months of the year so far. I'll be breaking it down into 3 separate posts:

Part 1 - HUSNGs
Part 3 - MTTSNGs

I'll post up a chart of the five biggest winners in each format, and then take a more in-depth look at the biggest winner.

First up then is HUSNGs, and there seems to be an incredible amount of money circulating in them.

The top 5 players alone have made a combined $450,000 in Turbo HUSNGs and an incredible $900,000 in Hyper-Turbo HUSNGs. It is evident that there has been a shift over to the Hyper Turbo format since they were introduced on PokerStars in July 2011, and a majority of the Top 20 players in the "Any Game, Any Stakes" list on Sharkscope are Hyper-Turbo HUSNG players.

Turbo Heads Up SNGs
Buy-Ins available: $1.50 - $5,000
1500 Chips, 3 Minute Levels

1st  - Adonis112

'Adonis112' is 31-year-old Poker Pro Olivier Busquet from New York. He is also well known as 'livb112' which was his Full Tilt username. One might surmise that Busquet is pretty good at poker. For a start he has won just shy of $3 million in SNGs and tournaments since he began playing in 2006, mostly in Heads Up SNGs.

Not only that, he has accrued just over $3 million in live cashes, including a victory in the 2009 WPT Borgata Poker Open for $925,000. Also, just a couple of months ago, he finished 2nd place in EPT Campione 2012 for €430,000. 

He's hasn't done too badly online this year either, as he is the biggest winner in the High Stakes Turbo HUSNGs this year. If you are interested in finding out more about Olivier Busquet, his website is here.

Hyper-Turbo Heads Up SNGs
Buy-Ins available: $1.50 - $1,000
500 Chips, 2 Minute Levels

1st  - Serkules
'Serkules' is a 23-year-old Poker-Pro based in Germany. Since September 2009 he has earned $1.25 million between his PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker accounts, mostly in Hyper Turbo HUSNGs.

2012 has also been rather kind to Serkules. Not only is he up $365k in the first 4 months of the year, he also chopped the $2k High Roller event 4-ways in the inaugural TCOOP in January 2012, worth ~$165k. You can read a little more about Serkules here.

*Bear in mind the leaderboards don't include anyone who has blocked their stats.