Sit’n Go Strategy

Playing in Sit'n Go's is one of the best and most straightforward ways to generate money at the poker table. The structure of the game, the amount and the level of competition as well as the amount of poker rake involved (the registration fee) are all built in a way that gives players the advantage, compared to regular cash games or even MTTs.

Being the peculiar genre of poker that it is, Sit'n Go play also has its own particularities. If you're a good cash-game player, that won't necessarily mean you'll be a good STT player as well. Tournament play will throw challenges at you, that are much different from what you'll encounter at any cash table. The very first thing you need to be aware of is that gambling doesn't pay in the early stages of a tournament. If you are an aggressive and successful cash game player, you'll have a hard time controlling your urges in the opening stages of STTs, but unfortunately, that is exactly what you'll have to do.

Let's see the following example: you're dealt QQ, and raise preflop to restrict the field. One of your opponents however, goes all in, and thus you'll either have to call him or give up your previous raise. This situation will come about in STTs more often that you'd think. Some of the bolder players especially look for a solid player in front of them who raises, so that they can go all in on him. These "predators" know that it'll be a negative EV play to call an all-in early on in the tourney, and they also count on the person who makes the raise knowing about it too. Why exactly is it a EV- play to call an all-in from an A,K on a Q,Q?

Normally, the pot odds would be in favor of the QQ. The problem is, that it would only be a slight edge, the opponent could easily make up for. While at a cash table it would make perfect sense to call the all-in, because it's a mathematical no-brainer, and because it would instantly double up the caller's stack in case of a win, in a tournament, the odds that you get for this call are altogether different. You see, you will not double up your money, even if you do win. All you'd achieve is a competitor less at the table, and a temporary boost to your stack, which doesn't translate into real money in any way. In a word: the right way to tackle this problem is to fold, even though it is an apparently good call.

Remember the odds: they are not in your favor. Besides, risking a bust is something you want to avoid at all cost at this stage of the game. Another STT mistake that many good cash-players make, is to keep things too tight, even in the middle stages of a tourney, and even when they're not short-stacked at all. In this situation, you need to loosen up, and attempt to see as many cheap flops (even if all you have is rags), as possible, especially if you're in a late position.

Why should you loosen up like this? Because, for one thing, the blinds will start escalating soon, and you don't want to suddenly find yourself short-stacked, just when you were beginning to feel safer. The other thing is, catching cheap flops won't cost you that much. If you do get hit by a flop on a hand like 3,6o, you'll probably bust someone out of the game and boost your stack considerably. It is much more difficult for your opponent to correctly assess your hand, when you move to the flop on something like 6,3o.

At showdown, he'll go: "what the hell did he go all the way on 3,6o for?" Of course, once your stack begins to thin, and as the number of blinds you shall be able to afford plummets, your options in this respect will take a serious blow. As the blinds get bigger and bigger, you will be forced to take some chances. Waiting around for the nuts is no longer an option. This is the stage that will have good cash-players with their backs against the wall. You have to master the art slowly going from tight-passive to a maniac. In the heads-up stage, you have to act 110% differently than you did in the beginning. Some people just can't cope with this huge change of pace in a relatively short amount of time.

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