If you have played at all lately, then you have probably seen the pop-up commercials for Pokerstars’ new sng the Fifty50. It is a standard speed 10 man sng very similar to the Double or Nothing (DoN) games. The only difference being the payout structure. The tourney ends when only five players remain. Half the prize money is split evenly between the remaining 5 players and the other half is distributed based on your chip count.
I played a set of six of these to test them out. I chose the $5.30 buyin level. It is worth noting that the buy in for a standard 9-man sng is $5.50, twenty cents higher. That is a 3,6% improvement to your ROI before you even start the game! These sngs seemed to attract tight players, often tight passive players who just wanted to get itm. This is the opposite of the loose players I found in the Knockout sngs. The games lasted about 45 minutes (70-90 hands) which is quicker than a standard 9-man sng. Furthermore, with 50 dollars in the pot, the top five got $ 5 guaranteed plus 16 cents for every 100 chips in their stack. Obviously, you want to have a big stack at the end of the game, but you will be break even with as little as 200 chips.
I played my usual TAG game. I focused mainly on getting itm, not on having a huge stack at the end. But bubble aggression seemed to work well here. I cashed in 5 out of 6 games and had an average payout of $7.54. This means I had about 1600 chips on average at the end of the tourney. All in all, I averaged 99 cents profit per game for this set. I would be quite happy if I could consistently run with a 19% ROI in these things!
The average payout is low for these games, but getting itm is much easier than in a standard sng. And, you can actually have a decent payout if you get a big stack. This makes them a bit more attractive than the DoNs. I’ll probably play a few more sets of these and see how they go. Once I get 50 or so games played, I'll give you an update. Leave a comment if you have tried them.