Making a Living Playing Sit-‘n’-Goes
Most Common Way to Make Living at Poker
The sit-‘n’-go tournament, or SNG, is a staple of the online game, where the top pros consistently make around $500,000 a year. Whereas no-limit cash games dominate the live poker scene, the common availability of SNGs online offers another way for a hard-working, better-than-average player to make a living at the game. But grinding SNGs for a living can be just that – a grind – so understanding the format’s nuances and quantity of play required is vital to success.
Every online poker website offers SNG action, so there’s no worry about finding a game. The largest sites, such as PokerStars, Full Tilt and PartyPoker, offer dozens of different buy-in levels at all stakes, for all games, though plain old no-limit hold’em dominates the action on every site.
Making a Living
Few players are good enough on their own to be able to survive playing just a table or two, so multi-table grinders are the rule among the most profitable SNG players, rather than the exception. A typical SNG grinder finds a stakes level where his game is profitable against the average competition, then fires up between five and 20 SNGs at once on the site or sites of their choice, often employing computer-programming scripts to help them eliminate the overhead of opening and closing finished tables and constantly searching out new tournaments, letting the scripts do this for them automatically.
Constant Action, too Much Action?
Many of these players are also prolific HUD (heads-up display users), rendering their computer screens into flowing digital zoos of card and table images, betting percentages, odds, and other game-related info. The problem, if there is one, is that for many players the information flood becomes overwhelming, rendering their poker games into an automatic, play-by-the-numbers form. These players rely on quantity to achieve their needed profits, settling for a relatively low Return on Investment (ROI) per tourney but multiplying that small avrage profit by thousands and thousands of tournaments played.
Hence the Moniker “Grind”
The alternative to quantity? Quality, of course. That is, to practice and study and learn the fine arts of the game, and use one’s knowledge to excel at their chosen stakes. Players able to master this format are able to play fewer SNGs at once, and achieve either a higher ROI per tourney played or are able to move up to higher stakes, thereby achieving the same end. The true masters of the online SNG form find a way to combine both quality and quantity, and achieve far more than just a grinder’s net wage.
However, the online game is only getting tougher, and such excellence above the competition – each player of whom is trying to win just as hard as you are – is rare. It’s not easy to do do, but with hard work, effort, and the willingness to learn, it can be done. Table position and proper poker math skills tend to be the most important aspects to making a living as a Sit n Go pro.