Thursday, March 31, 2005

SnG strategy

I am a SnG specialist. “Specialist”: noun. “One who can not figure out ring games. See denial.”

Soooooo, Here is how to win Sit N Gos… The idea is avoiding marginal confrontations, multi-way hands, and coin flips until there are 3 people left. You must do this at all costs. It is NOT important to build a chip stack like in a regular tournament, since no one can get that far ahead until there are 3 or 4 players left. Instead, work on only playing hands where you are going to take down the pot (especially big ones, so play pocket pairs for sets and suited aces pre-flop). Play big hands and if 3 or less see the flop, bet out if it’s checked to you (this is your aggression spot until the money). A flush is usually the slow-played hand exclusively, watch for this. But, a lesser flush will never lie down so crush them for everything.

Also of note is that players become unnecessarily concerned about the blinds. They rarely have an impact on YOUR decisions, try to ignore them. Allow others to panic and over play a middle or top pair. Being a pretty good SnG player, I humbly disagree that heading into the final 3 with a big chip stack offers HUGE benefits vs. the risk of this being the goal. Now granted, there are some games where it seems nobody will die and the blinds are now very high, but I have found that to be the exception and not the rule.

NOTE: In a SnG, players establish patterns more consistently than in cash games or tournaments. Watch those patterns so you know when you can push them out, especially when you are down to the final 3. You can OFTEN win as the chip dog by coming back and taking all the chips based on what you learned about them as they got to this point. They will rarely change gears when they get to the final 3 and you are the chip dog. Use this to your advantage.

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