What you need to Know about Sit n Go


When it comes to tournament poker there is no better regimen for starters than the low buy-in sit n go tournaments. That is not to say high rollers are excluded from this action. Most online poker rooms offer sit n go tournaments with buy-ins ranging from as low as $5 to as high as $5,000. Rookies and high rollers are welcome one and all!


In addition to the availability of exceptionally low buy-ins and fees, sit n go tournaments are perfect for those who, maybe, unexpectedly received enough free time for some tournament play, or whos agendas are too chaotic to sign up for scheduled events. Sit n go tournaments start as soon as the requisite number of players sit at a sit n go tournament table. There is no scheduling or lengthy registration. It is impromptu, flexible, and a great way to practice tournament play while adding more cash to your bankroll and respect to your name.


While simply playing in a sit n go tournament or two is a worthwhile activity, if only for the experience, we would be kidding ourselves if we said we did not care whether or not we won. Of course we want to win! That said, are there any tips or tidbits of knowledge particular to sit n go tournament play?


A sit n go tournament can be broken down (roughly) into three phases: early, middle, and endgame. In general the order of activity is as follows, establish chip lead, consolidate and secure chip lead, clean-up.


The majority of your play in the early game of a sit n go tournament should be geared toward stretching your losses and protecting your good pockets. This means if you are holding good cards, like AA, KK, QQ, AK, AQ, and the rest of the top ten pockets, it is not a bad idea to raise aggressively to get skittish competitors away from the pot. Raising the blind 400% is generally enough to narrow the rest of hand down to two or three and this improve your chances at the pot. Remember, the top pocket (AA) will only complete a winning hand around 32% of the time, which means it is up to you to defend it the other 68%. The more you players you can fold the better you are in terms of establishing a chip lead early on. It is also sound advice to play drawing hands against the weaker players in the early game.


Play tends to grow more expensive in the middle game. At this point a player or two may already be eliminated or are at least about to go. Players in better standing will now begin turning their attention to hedging their gains from the early game in order to establish firmer footing when it comes time to duke things out with the main contenders. When the tournament comes down to the final four, three, and heads-up the chip leader will have an enormous advantage. The aim of the game is then consolidation keep as much of what you have as possible; add to your pile in slow and steady increments so that you come out of the middle game with leverage against the other hot shot players. If you have an already large stack, stop playing drawing hands and stick to the top hands. If your stack is of an average size you will need to take a risk here and there to (hopefully) beef up your stack. Other players will also tend to grow tighter at this point, making it possible to take the occasional uncontested pot.


The endgame, of course, grows even more expansive as the last standing players attempt to clean-up the last few suffocating fish or take sizeable chunks from one another. If you are short stacked in the endgame you will need to play a sharp conservative game and hope for the best. If you are the chip leader, or close to it, it is time to play some smash-mouth poker and clean out anyone with half as many chips as you. Now is also the time to bluff a bit (which should work really well if you have avoided this tactic in the early and middle game). Lay traps for aggressive players. Let them undervalue your hand sometimes by checking with monsters. However, your main focus should be on taking pots uncontested. Force people into folds and build that chip base for the heads-up.


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