The Low Stakes No Limit Texas Holdem Strategy Site
Sit-N-Go, A Node Theory Perspective (for Party Poker tournaments)
The BASICS of How "NOT TO LOSE" at the Party Poker Sit-n-Go Tournaments
By Dr. Lonnie W. Manning
physicist, we look for empirical patterns. Now even though I am physicist, I am
human and exhibit all the same psychological fear, maybe more, when confronted
with an aggressive player. But after watching and playing quite a few
tournaments, I had to toss my knowledge of probability and statistics out the
window in lieu of the empirical data I was experiencing.
are Manning’s lemmas for Party Poker:
Note from the Editor::
The following article is for entertainment purposes only. You should be aware that you can always lose your
money if you make bad decisions, or if you suffer some bad beats. This article contains observations
about No Limit Sit-n-Go tournaments experienced by the author, and while very intriguing, should not be
taken as "gospel". That said, after reading the article, watch a few no limit sit-n-go's on Party Poker,
think about what you have read (and what you have seen) and draw your own conclusions. I personnally asked
Dr. Manning to write this article after hearing him explain this theory. I thought it might be interesting
to share. Enjoy! -Greg Mallon, Editor.
Ever sat at one of these tables and watch a guy win hand
after hand with good and bad hands? I first thought this was the predictable
effect of playing extremely aggressive poker; getting “heads up” against a
single opponent and thereby managing/reducing the risk. Then, I became “that
lucky guy”. I’m not an aggressive player by nature, so I can assure that wasn’t
it. Just about anything I threw out there won, and the river always seemed to
prefer my cards.
The pseudo random number generator is flawed
Skewed probability Nodes exist that decrease or increase the win
There are static and cyclic Nodes
Any man-made random event generator is not truly random. My
hypothesis is that it follows some sort of attractor. For example, a dripping
faucet event taken individually appears to be random in time and width. However,
it has been shown, that over time, a pattern evolves. This could explain lemma
A person sitting in a positive static Node will win consistently.
Conversely, a person with pocket Aces in a static negative Node will lose.
Cyclical Nodes: ever wonder why you get pocket Aces/AK suited etc
and you lose? You are in a Cyclical Negative Node. Conversely, if you see you
might have won the last hand had you stayed in with your Q 5 offsuit, play the
next hand to the river, you are in the Cyclical Positive Node which by my
estimates is about 3 hands wide.
I have one other postulate that I can’t decouple from the actual psychology of the
The algorithm is not deterministic for each hand.—the cards are not shuffled ahead
of time but rather dynamically and has a direct feedback to aggressiveness.
Obviously you can’t decouple that without seeing all the cards before they are
dealt and the aggressive betting has its own psychological effect – most of us
Now before I adopted these lemmas, I would randomly win tournaments. Now I can place
at least 3rd and get some of my $s back.
The trick is to figure out if you are in a Maximum Negative Node or a Maximum
positive Node. If you are in Max negative Node, put your settings on post blind
and fold—you’ll do better than playing and you won’t waste your time. Depending
on the other folks, you might actually make it to the money round.
A skeptical friend of mine, actually experienced this phenomena when he got
absolutely nothing to play the entire tournament. I think the highest he had
was a low pair and AK offsuit a few times.
If you have identified the guy in Max Positive Node, hope he is to your right. If he
goes in, fold. More often than not the Node sort of smears itself across a
section of the table. If you find yourself on one side of the table with a low
chip count and all the other guys on the other side, you’ve done well. Wait for
them to make a mistake against each other. As the number of players decrease,
the smearing of the Node might include you. You should be able to make it to 3rd
Other odd things happen so often that its really hard to attribute this to paranoia
How often do you get the same hand back in different suits?
How often do you get the same hand throughout the tournament?
The PP River card we all hear folks complain about would of course fall under lemma 2.
I’ve often wondered if there is a server fail over algorithm so that when it can’t
access the RNG it regurgitates the last hand with suit changes or simply swaps
hole cards from the previous set of hands.
Having said all this, I still think good players will not suffer as bad as poor
players. You are still dealing with probability, skewed as it may be. So if you
manage your risks, you’ll do better than the Node you are in.
Oh yeah, ring games, move to another table.
just be paranoid since a human isn’t dealing and the “Nodes” may simply be
manifestations of that person’s luck that day.
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