SnG Solver: Use a Special Algorithm for Push-Fold Situations

Date: 2013-02-11
Author: Jason Glatzer

Many chess players, Magic: The Gathering enthusiasts, and video game gurus have found great success in the poker world.  Jason Keeney is an expert on programming video games and last year developed SnG Solver.

SnG Solver is a program that allows you to analyze your push-fold game for sit and gos and final tables.  While you can’t use it while playing according to the terms of use on several major poker sites, it is a great practice tool to refine your game.

If you have ever questioned after the fact whether you should have shoved or folded in a hand, this software is worth checking out.

There are a few similar programs that analyze your hand based off ICM or Chip EV.  While this might give you a good idea in a vacuum, SnG Solver takes it one step further and also looks at what is coming up.

For example, if the blinds are 400/800 with no antes and you are in the small blind with 500 in chips, most, if not all, other programs will tell you to call with any two cards.

However, let's take this example one step further with the pay structure of 70% and 30% for first and second.  By calling, you will bubble.  In most cases, this will still be a call.  However, if the button is sitting with 800 chips and the big blind is sitting with a huge stack of 7,700 chips, should you still call knowing that the button will have to be all-in the following hand?

SnG solver will look at this scenario and tell you that some hands are a "fold" here, knowing that you have a better chance of cashing since it is not analyzing this hand in a vacuum.

SnG Solver does not work off of ICM or Chip EV.  Its developers have created an algorithm called the Predictive Simulation Model, which considers future possibilities and blind positions of your opponents.  According to Keeney, this simulation goes through millions of future possibilities per hand to provide you with a superior view on how it should be played when compared to its competitors, which base the "correct" decision on ICM or Chip EV.

As a former sit and go grinder myself, I have many people ask me whether they should have shoved or folded in a certain spot.  I can pull out all of the push-fold charts in the world or run the scenario through a program like PokerStove and still not come up with as a good of an answer as if I had used SnG Solver.  While push-fold charts are ideal for general study, they only work when your opponent has an ideal push-fold range and do not take into account other variables such as future hands to be played.

SnG Solver allows you to import either a specific hand from a sit and go or final table or you can import and entire hand history to analyze.  If you find a poker room that isn’t supported by SnG Solver, you can email the program's support and they will work on getting it resolved in a future update.  SnG Solver has a support thread on the 2+2 forums, where Kenney takes time listening to recommendations and problems from the community and works at getting people what they want and need.

SnG Solver comes with a 30-day free trial.  After that, it costs $99 to purchase.  While this might seem steeper than their competitors, if you want to take your analysis and game improvement one step further, SnG Solver is worth checking out.

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