Sit and Go products have evolved over the years. Now, America's Cardroom has innovated yet again with a new variable prize pool and jackpot version of the traditional SNG dubbed SNG 2.0. Professional Rakeback has all of the details within.
Those who play poker online and observe the industry scene have had their eyes trained on the new sit-n-go format announced by Americas Cardroom late last year. Sit & Go 2.0 is now live, and eager participants can take their seats and begin enjoying this new variety of Texas Hold’em poker. It’s available to American poker enthusiasts as well as players from all around the world. The actual rules of gameplay once the tournament begins are identical to those of a normal, nine-handed, turbo sit-n-go. The innovation lies in a new mechanic that fires off at the start of the tourney to determine both the total prize pool and the number of players who will get paid. SNG 2.0 is currently spread at five buyin levels: $5 + $0.50, $10 +$1, $25 + $2.50, $50 + $5 and $100 + $9. You’ll find these tables at Americas Cardroom along with its sister sites on the Winning Poker Network, BlackChip Poker, True Poker and Ya Poker, but they haven’t yet graced the poker lobby at Poker Host.
Before the poker action commences, players get to choose from 20 cards dealt face-down in the middle of the table. These cards are drawn from a standard 52-card deck, divided up evenly between red and green cards. Additionally, there are three special gold cards inserted into the mix. Next, a player is selected randomly to reveal his or her card. If it’s red, then this phase is over and the payout structure is set at the lowest possible value. If, on the other hand, that player turns over a green card, the prizes get larger and the action proceeds left to the next participant. For every green card revealed in this manner, the amount of money up for grabs grows until a single red card appears, which will stop this step of the game and trigger the onset of normal poker action. Whenever a gold card is exposed, the potential exists for the contestants to unlock a jackpot. In order for this to occur, nine green cards and at least one gold card must be unmasked before a red card arrives to ruin the party. Gold cards don’t count as either red or green, so whenever one of them presents itself, the individual to the left of the gold card holder displays his card, and if it’s green, the streak of greens continues uninterrupted. If all nine competitors have green or gold cards in front of them, then the gold card holders draw again from the cards remaining in the center of the table in an attempt to get the final few green cards needed to score the jackpot. There are three separate jackpots available depending on whether one, two or three gold cards are showing:
This jackpot pool constantly grows because a portion of every buyin paid in Sit-and-Go 2.0 events is added onto it. As of this writing, the jackpot sum stands at nearly $80,000, which means that if the Mega Jackpot is hit, the lucky entrants would divvy up a prize pool of nearly $60,000. Unfortunately for small-stakes grinders, only a fraction of the jackpot is offered at the lower levels because these contests don’t contribute as much to the pot as the higher stakes do. In the $5 +$0.50 SNGs, only 20% of the jackpot value is used in calculating the size of any jackpots awarded while at the $10 +$1 tier, the corresponding figure is 40%. Sit-n-gos at the $25 + $2.50, $50 + $5 and $100 + $9 price points are eligible for the full jackpot payments.
If the first player to flip his hidden card over shows red, then the prize pool is set at a paltry seven times the buyin (excluding the fee), and only the top two competitors will receive anything. If a single green card is displayed before a red one is encountered, then the tournament follows the standard SNG prize distribution of nine times the buyin, split up 50/30/20 amongst the top three finishers. As more green cards are revealed, the total prizes awarded get higher and higher. This is achieved by issuing payouts to an increasing contingent of the nine-player field. Only slowly do the prizes for first place increase, and in fact, at certain steps in the progression, the actual cash received by the winner is less than it would have been with a lower number of green cards. If nine green cards are present, then the money at stake is 30 times the buyin, but first place is only worth 7.5 buyins while the ninth place “winner” takes home 1.5 buyins. It’s when the jackpots come into play that the potential for big scores materializes. The winning participant in any jackpot SNG 2.0 will be compensated to the tune of 26% of the prize pool, and even ninth place is worth 5%.
In a thread on popular poker forum twoplustwo.com, opinions on the new game are mixed. The most frequent complaints seem to be centered around the fact that the payouts for the top finisher remain pretty modest even if a large number of green cards are received. Others dislike the layout of the tables, claiming that it’s hard to follow the action and that there are errors with the way the blinds and antes are handled. Professional sharks dislike the lack of compatibility with popular Texas Hold’em tracking software, which makes it difficult for them to evaluate their opponents and access their playing history. This last point, however, actually highlights one of the much lauded benefits of Sit-and-Go 2.0: soft fields. While a few American poker fans in the thread have perhaps gone overboard in comparing the games to pre-Black Friday conditions, most seem to agree that these new SNGs feature a standard of play much inferior to what’s typical in other forms of poker today.
About one-quarter of all SNG 2.0 tourneys come with the usual payouts and thus no adjustments in strategy are necessary. The rest of the time, proper shoving and calling ranges may differ from what experienced sit-and-go grinders would expect particularly in bubble situations. The husband-and-wife team of Collin Moshman and Katie Dozier has released an e-book on Amazon called “Sit & Go 2.0 Strategy,” which explores the changes in strategy needed to achieve success in this new type of sit-and-go. Both authors are highly experienced in the world of poker and are considered experts in profitable SNG play. They were commissioned by Americas Cardroom to write the book in order to promote Sit & Go 2.0.
If you don’t already have an account at a compatible site on the Winning Poker Network, then now’s a fine time to read our Americas Cardroom review and follow the instructions for joining up. We also have detailed overviews available of True Poker, BlackChip Poker and Ya Poker, so you can choose to create your account at whichever of these poker rooms you feel is best. All of them are fine homes for American poker players although you should bear in mind that Ya Poker caters mostly to the Spanish-speaking community. After you sign up for one of these sites, you’ll see “SnG 2.0” listed in its own tab within the poker lobby. You’ll be able to try out this new style of sit-n-go for yourself in just a few minutes, and WPN is also an excellent destination for playing other types of poker online too.