A Year of Playing Spin and Go's

 photo Puyan: I blog at http://thep-log.blogspot.co.uk/ I tweet at https://twitter.com/TheRealP_YAN
That's so much spinning! What a year!

365 Days of Spins

Literally this date last year I decided to specialise in playing Spin and Go's. I had dabbled learning some 6 max cash when I got a deal to be coached and staked to play them.

I still like the way it is fast and furious, has a lot of recreational players and has the excitement of winning a big multiplier the way reaching a final table of a MTT does... without the 4 hours of getting there! The flexibility it allows reminds me of the days when you could load up games at any hour and still have great traffic. But especially for SNGs you would be lucky to load up half as many tables as before, loading up sets (register for say 18 tables at once!) just isn't a thing anymore you have to register continuous.

I also saw this as an opportunity to be better at playing recreationals. This is a very helpful skill to master, and a lot of poker players brush aside the time spent learning how to maximise your value vs these players. If you had a choice between being good at playing recreationals or regs, the guy who is better vs recreationals would surely make a ton more money.

There is a Casino close by to me which I don't go to enough, but I know there will be some terrible recreational players, some aggressive, others completely clueless, but I do feel a lot more confident in the seemingly stupid spots they put you in because Spins allows you to experience that on the virtual felt! :D

Another reason to try and get good at these is the fact that it seems that the industry is moving towards this direction. Nearly all other of the smaller sites include "Lottery SNGs", so learning these and adjusting to these changes can be a great thing for the future.




The Numbers

I'm not gonna go into too much depth into specific poker stuff as I like to keep this blog still understandable to the average Joe. But I thought it would be interesting to look at how the Pokerstars % numbers fair up vs my reality of hitting the big multipliers;




We can see that over this 20k sample of games, that I'm quite a bit below for what's expected for getting 10x's, a little bit below for 25x's, pretty much spot on for 100x's, and "double" for what is expected for the 200x.

What does this mean? That its reasonably accurate if we substitute how getting an extra 200x should "off weigh" the lower number of 10x's and 25x's. Probably means that I got more!

So what can we learn from this? Absolutely nothing practical at all! =D But its pretty fun to look.

I wont do below 10x multipliers as I haven't been tracking them [manually], and its hard to do it otherwise. Kinda a shame that Hold Em Manager 2 isn't able to tell you what multiplier you had when you don't win it.

Quick Tips for Spins

  • Whats your purpose? - You wanna grind these full time or just play every now and then? Work this out before playing. Playing multiple formats of poker at the same time isn't a good thing to do coz its a lot to learn. Don't be a Jack of all Trades, Master of None. That being said, if you wanna play these recreationally then jump in! You guys have as much chance as us in the big multipliers, I can talk since losing my first 3 big ones to recreationals!
  • Get a Coach/Group - If not at least a study group or something where you guys are chatting in Skype. Its extra important to get a bunch of players who have the same philosophy as you. For example if you like being more mathematical, then have a bunch of guys like that. Maybe you like min raising, super aggressive play, or maybe limping. Whats important is that they're winning players (so they know what they're talking about), and you guys are aligned in your thinking (contradictory advice will mess you up)
  • Big Bankroll Leeway - I'd say 150 buy ins is ok if you cant go busto. Of course if you can refill and are working etc then you can be more aggressive. The variance is rediculous and different amazing regs have seen very different graphs, so be prepared for it!
  • Don't Go Mass Tables - I play 3 tables, and might move up to 4 eventually. I don't see myself playing more then that. These games are 3 handed which means you are forced into playing a lot of hands. You probably should be playing more hands then you should be folding. The reason why you can mass multitable SNGs because you'll be folding a lot. Here max attention is needed for all spots.
  • EV bb/100 or Chip EV Rules All - Pay attention to this number. Move up stakes based more on this number then bankroll. Not that I'm saying ignore bankroll, but this is the best indicator for how well your doing.
  • Prepare for the Variance! - Feel like the unluckiest person in the world? You aint seen nothing yet if you wanna grind out a lot of these! I've lost AA to Q9 and A9 to A3 both for $3k. Its gonna happen. If you rage out, a good tip is to pad out your walls with soft cushions so that when you throw your mouse/keyboard/table/cat/phone they might survive! Bolt down your computer and chairs, make sure there is no glass in the room, and sound proofing might be needed if you like to shout a lot! xD

Spin and Go's are super fun, super crazy and the recreationals are really bad. Like REALLY in capital letters bad. But they will also suck out on you... a lot. Variance is huge in these games, not just in how the cards fall but how the distribution of multipliers work out, and how you run in those make a difference to the money you make in the short term.

Its so important to keep an eye on your ev bb/100 or chip ev per game. This is the best way to have an idea of how well you are playing, since its hard to tell by the games themselves. For sure do not, I repeat not evaluate shit by profit (being results orientated).

I really haven't made that much money at all. The rakeback is nice, but bad timing in that lol. However I would say that my game has improved ten - fold. Especially in the last few months. As a 9 man SNG player it has been so difficult getting out of this "range chart" push/fold mentality and actually think about lines, reads, board textures. I've made some decent money just robotically sticking to a formula, which is plus ev.

The joke about 9 man players is that we're nits and really bad at postflop poker. I think was true for me, and was quite an eye opener! I'm sure a lot of you Spin regs would know my results and say that I'm still bad haha. Well guess what? I've deliberately made my results bad timed perfectly so that when Spinlyzer shuts down, you guys can have bad adjustments vs me! #UltimateLongAssMindgames LOL

Playing Spins is like what I've heard about Heads Up Cash. You're unlikely to make a ton of money, but the amount of learning you get from it is its own value.
Gonna end this post with how psyched I am about Mr Robot season 2 coming out. In my opinion best TV Show of 2015. Check it out! GL at the tables fellow players!
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