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To Flip or Not To Flip? Jonathan Karamalikis Discusses Strategy for In The Money SNGs

Jonathan Karamalikis

Full Tilt Poker is currently running a unique promo that adds another level of fun — and some strategy — to sit-and-go tournaments. From Feb. 3 through Feb. 9, Full Tilt Poker is giving players the chance to "flip" for free sit-and-go tickets, in addition to their winnings.

How does it work? It's simple. First, players must opt into the In The Money promotion to participate. Then, cash in three or more sit-and-gos and you'll automatically be eligible to enter into exclusive In The Money Flip Freeroll tournaments. Come out on top in an In The Money Flip Freeroll and you’ll be awarded a new sit-and-go ticket, equal to your original buy-in (up to $60).

In The Money Flip Freeroll tickets will be awarded to qualifying players within one hour, and players must use their ticket(s) to self-register for their chosen freeroll by 23:59 ET on Wednesday, Feb. 12th.

Alternatively, players can elect to accumulate their In The Money Flip Freeroll tickets and exchange them for a SNG entry at a rate of ten to one. For example, to receive a $20 sit-and-go tournament ticket, simply collect ten $20 In The Money Flip Freeroll tickets and trade them in.

But here's the question: Is there more value in saving tickets and trading them in, or playing the In The Money Flip Freerolls?

To flip or not to flip?

We weren't sure, so we asked Full Tilt Poker Ambassador Jonathan Karamalikis for his thoughts:

"Don't act like you don't enjoy flipping — everyone should! It’s neutral EV gambling!

The obvious mathematical answer here is to flip - mathematically you are going to win 1/9 times over 1/10 times when you choose to earn.

Yes you may win 0-of-9, however you also have the opportunity to win three or more in a row! However the chances of that happening are 1/729 ... seems tough but how many royal flushes have you seen in your life?

Your free equity on flipping = 11.11%
Your free equity on earning = 10%

However, if you are an above average SNG player and have a high ROI (return on investment), the answer is to earn, as your ROI only has to be over 1.11% for that to be the correct decision.

So do you rate yourself as good? Or lucky? Or both? You may have a decision on your hands.

Let’s be honest though - this fun promotion isn't around for long ... So take the fun route and flip! Regular SNGs will be around forever."

For more information on In The Money Flip Freerolls, visit

"If you find yourself as the chip leader on the bubble ... abuse it."
"If you find yourself as the chip leader on the bubble ... abuse it."

During a break from playing the Aussie Millions Main Event this week, Karamalikis also found time to offer eight tips for playing sit-and-gos which will help you maximize your earnings during this fun promotion:

1. Make sure you don't bleed chips in the early stages of a SNG — stack preservation is important whilst nine-handed.

2. Play your draws similar to your monsters — stay unpredictable.

3. If you’re a confident post-flop player, target the fish early while you’re still deepstacked enough to push a greater edge.

4. If you find yourself as the chip leader on the bubble ... abuse it.

5. Whilst still wanting to abuse everyone as the chip leader on the bubble, it's sometimes good to give walks to the short stack to keep the bubble lasting longer so you can whittle down all the stacks to relatively nothing.

6. If you are second in chips on the bubble and the chip leader is very aggressive. The best way to go about it is counter that with even more aggression. Shove on him with a wide range when he is opening - he doesn't want to call you and your goal is to become the chip leader before the bubble bursts. Playing this way will give you more 4th places than usual ... however you'll find yourself with so many more firsts over finishing 2nd and 3rd.

7. Know your preflop shoving ranges better than you know your mum.

8. ICM plays a big factor when having to call all-ins. Always take ICM into consideration before making your decision.

For more poker strategy, make sure to tune in every week for new episodes of the Strategy with Kristy podcast. Feel free to send in questions, ideas or suggestions for the podcast to Also remember to follow PokerNews on Twitter for up-to-the-minute news.

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