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Bankroll Builders, Vol. 1: Super Turbo SNGs Part 1


Maybe it happened that night you decided to take a shot at $3/$6 no-limit with only $800 in your account. Or perhaps it came about that one afternoon you felt invincible enough to play $55 heads-up sit-n-go's — then chased your losses at the $109s. It even could have started with a standard downswing that quickly turned into a tilt-feuled spew-fest after your aces were cracked by some Scandi's 4-6 offsuit for the umpteenth time. Busting one’s online poker account is a rite of passage for every player. Heck, even some of the “2 Months. 2 Million.” guys did it on national television. The only difference is that they can call in a bank wire the next day while you’re thinking about whether or not PokerStars takes those prepaid Visa cards they sell down at the 7-11.

Rebuilding an online bankroll can be an arduous task, especially when starting from a small amount, but lucky for you, many of us here at PokerNews have been down that road many (many, many) times before. In this new series of features, we’ll examine some ways to help you take that $50 or $100 sitting in your online account and roll it up into a more workable bankroll. Of course, the easiest way to do this would be to redeposit, but most players don’t have that luxury, especially in this economy. And what kind of challenge would that be anyway?

Pop quiz. What’s the first thing a poker player should look for when deciding on a game? If you answered “fish,” you get a gold star and the first game we’re going to take a look at is chock-full of them. Say hello to the micro-limit super turbo sit-n-go.

What is a super turbo and where can I play one?

Super turbo SNGs are structured exactly the same as regular nine-man turbo SNGs with one exception — players get 300 in starting chips rather than 1,500. The blinds go up at the same rate and in the same increments, and the top three places are paid. Full Tilt Poker is the place to go for your super turbo fix. The lowest buy-in currently available is $3.50+0.30, followed by $7+0.50, and $14+1. Taking about 25 minutes to play out from start to finish, super turbos enable players to get in almost double the games per hour than they might playing regular turbo SNGs. And despite the higher variance involved, the weak fields make them well worth your time.

Where should I start?

With under $100 in your account, start with the $3.80s until you have at least 30 buy-ins for the $7.50s ($225). Continue playing the $7.50s until you have at least 100 buy-ins for the $14+1s. Fifteen to 20 buy-in downswings are not uncommon in the super turbos and 30+ buy-in downswings are, as the Two plus Two crowd would say, “standard.”

How much can I earn?

According to SharkScope, the top microlimit super turbo SNG players on Full Tilt Poker have 2009 earnings in the four- and even five-figure range. Keep in mind, however, that these numbers were achieved via a very high volume of play. We’re talking about tens of thousands of games played 12, 16, or even 18 at a time. The return on investment of these players ranged from as low as 2% to as high as 7%. Higher ROIs are certainly achievable in the short term but don’t expect too much more than 10-12% even at the lowest limits.

Earn rates, of course, depend on one’s skill level and ROI. For example, someone playing the $7.50 games at a 7% ROI can expect to earn $525 after 1,000 games. Playing 16 games per hour, it would take just over 62 hours to complete.

Should I move up?

Move up only if you feel comfortable — plain and simple. Some players feel fine moving up when they have 30 buy-ins at the next limit; others will wait until they have 100-200. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that in super turbo SNGs, the skill level at the $3.80s and the $7.50s is extremely weak but improves markedly at the $14+1 level. At the higher limits, even the best players have very slim ROIs. Our advice? Stick with the weak fields until you have enough bankroll to move on from these games altogether.

Whether you’re busto or robusto, super turbo SNGs can be a quick way to grind up your bankroll. Set a challenge for yourself — play 1,000 games and see how much you can earn. Come back tomorrow for part two where will give you some tips to help you start busting donkeys left and right.

To try your hand at super turbo SNGs, head over to Full Tilt Poker. And hey, why not follow us on Twitter while you're at it?

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