Many online poker players don’t have five hours or more to dedicate to an online poker tournament. Others just prefer the excitement behind final table play. That’s one reason that Sit & Go tournaments have become so popular over the years. You can have all the thrill of tournament poker in a game that lasts around an hour to 90 minutes on average.
Like any other form of poker, Sit & Go players want to maximize their ROI. Below we give you five tips to help you make more money at Sit & Go tournaments.
If You Want to Play the Lottery – Go Play Powerball
Some players take the theory that they need to double or triple up in the first few hands to have a chance to win in a Sit & Go. That may be true for players relying solely on luck, but if you’re looking to make money long term, this is not the strategy for you.
Examples of lottery style play include open-shoving in the first couple of rounds regardless of holdings or calling multiple raises ahead of you because the pot is too big to pass. The only time you should be thinking of making these types of calls is with premium holdings.
Tight is Indeed Right During Early Levels
Spinning off of the prior point, it is often right to play tight during the early levels of a Sit & Go, especially low stake games and turbo or hyper-turbo. Let the lottery players knock each other off or pick a few off yourself when you wake up with big hands. While it doesn’t happen as often as the early days of poker, sometimes playing tight in the early levels will nearly get you to the money at a loose table.
Start Opening Up Your Game in Middle Levels / Short Handed
Once you get out of the middle levels, you need to start ramping up the aggression and expanding your range. The most obvious consideration is staying ahead of the blinds. However, there will be times you will also be able to take advantage of the shorter stacks looking to make the money.
The same theory applies once your SNG gets short handed. For full ring-game, we’re talking six-handed and four-handed otherwise. Sometimes you will get short handed in the lower levels that are technically still the “early levels,” and that’s ok. By this point, the remaining players are going to be more serious unless your lottery style player actually got lucky.
Use Your Image to Your Advantage in Later Levels
Once you get to the middle and late levels, you will have an established image and maybe even established betting patterns that your opponents will have committed to memory. This is the time you use that image to your advantage.
I personally stick to a tight image early to the point to where my post flop plays are almost telegraphed. This works for me in the early levels and helps in later levels when opponents believe I am simply a rock waiting for big cards.
Especially in low stakes SNGs, you will be surprised how many times this tactic works to win pots late. You’d think they would adapt their game but it is usually only the better players that will start changing their game plan once they get a certain idea about your image.
Find the Best Game and the Best Time to Play
This is a two-tier tip. First, you need to determine the best style of SNG for you to play based on your ability and the ability of the other players. You may think you know but your results may prove something entirely different.
For example, you may believe that your best Hold’em variant is six-max but discover your results are better at full ring. In this event, you will want to focus more on full ring if you’re looking to maximize your hourly rate. Also, don’t be ashamed to play a lower buy-in SNG if it yields a higher consistent return.
Next, your results can change based on the time of day and sometimes even what day you play. We all believe that the best times to play is during the peak hours, on the weekend, etc. However, your results may speak otherwise.
You may find that you win most often between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. If that is the case, you will want to focus on playing during those times as often as possible.
Remember, poker is just like any other profession or business. You need to position yourself appropriately to maximize your return on investment.