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US Online Poker, SNG Ranges & Podcast format | Q&A | #37


Sky Matsuhashi

on February 19, 2016

US Online Poker, my SNG opening ranges and this podcast's format are on the docket for today's poker Q&A.

Download and listen to this episode as you follow along below.


US Online Poker, SNG Ranges & Poker Podcast Format | Q&A | #37

The first question is from Tory:

Your podcast has a lot of potential and I appreciate you doing it for free. I'd prefer if you just gave us the info, instead of spending so much time outlining HOW you will give us the info. Don't tell us how you're going to walk thru the 7 steps or 3 questions. Just do it. Spend too much time on podcast structure and not enough on info. Thanks.

Answer: These past 10 episodes about ‘The Course’, I agree that I spent a lot of time covering how I was doing things.  And, one of the things I want to do with this podcast is get to the strategy content as quickly as possible to give you all the biggest bang.  So, I'll work harder to do this in future episodes and skip the fluff.

Next question from Greg:

Thanks for that update, I'm still listening every day and finding the cast useful and entertaining! I'm following the study guide that you have sent and am currently looking at my opening ranges. Is there a pdf that you use or have created for your range?

Thanks buddy.  Keep it up,


Answer:  Greg’s a SNG player, and I used to have these complicated ranges for SNG's that took me from the first two stages to the next two then the late stages, but it got too complicated so I decided to simplify things and now I use the following ranges in the early game (up through the 25/50 level):

  • EP opens: TT+, AQ+ and open limp 22-99 and call w/ the x15 rule (if the effective stacks after my call are at least 15x the amount I have to call, then I have the implied odds to set mine)
  • MP opens: 77+, AJ+, KQ+ and open limp 22-66
  • LP opens: any pp, AT+, KT+, QJs+
  • 3bet/stack off QQ+ and call all other pp's to an open with the x15 rule and AK/AQ

These ranges were created with the “tight is right” concept in mind for early stage SNG play.  But I will occasionally vary the ranges depending on opponents I’m up against.

Now, I want to say that this is the only time I’m open limping in any game.  If this were cash or an MTT, I’d never open limp the 22-99’s but come in for a 3bb open.

Beyond this, the middle game starts at the 50/100 level.  I will keep these same ranges, but do more adjusting based on opp's yet to act, which opponents might have already raised or limped, and the stack sizes.  We're getting to 15bb's or less for the starting stack sizes, so this is where the push/fold game comes into play.

There's a lot of shoving and you can't use the x15 rule any more to call, so you've got to have great hands to call and much worse hands are okay to shove yourself.

Final question from another Greg:


Stumbled across your podcast and am really enjoying it.  It's evident how much time you invest in making it a worthwhile experience.

As a fellow Californian, I had a question regarding HUDs and playing online.   Btw, I grew up in Fresno, yet now live in San Diego.

We obviously can't play poker online in California since ‘Black Friday' short of the free stuff like Zynga, so how valuable is a HUD or where do you use it?   Guessing you do use one, as I hear it referenced in your podcasts.

Keep up the good work.  I'll be listening!


Answer:  I currently play on ACR and use the HUD there.  ACR is open to all US players and they offer rakeback so it’s the best site for me right now.

Up until very recently I was a reg on Carbon Poker.  They’ve made some changes to discourage regs like me from playing, so I’m moving my action off of it to ACR and I’ll start on Bovada soon as well.  Here’s what they’ve done that’s bummed me out:

  • Removed the notes feature within the client so I can’t have easily accessed notes on each player. That’s 4 years of notes up and vanished.
  • You can’t view the open tables, you just select what stake and table type you want to play at and it seats you there, so no looking for good, profitable tables.
  • The hand histories stored in my computer are blank, so the HUD no longer works and I can’t use them to study my play and improve my game anymore.
  • A long time ago they removed all kinds of player rewards systems and they took away rakeback.

It’s a bummer as I really like their software, but these changes have dried up the games a bit as well so there isn’t as much action there.  It’s possible that these changes will force regs to leave like it has me, so staying might be profitable, but I want to play mostly at sites where my HUD works and HH are stored for later review and study.

Podcast Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you for this episode: Send me a question about anything!


Sky Matsuhashi

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