When many players come into Sit&Go’s, they just have one thing in mind, which is making the money. Many players will just sit there and play hardly any hands, until they actually are in the money. They avoid the action early on unless they have a monster hand. If you notice one of these players, take notes on them (note taking will be discussed in the next chapter) and think about why they may be holding before you commit almost all your chips against them.
Players that play solely for any place in the money typically sit back and watch others knock each other out. Once they get in the money they will start to loosen up, constantly trying to double up often or they will continue to play tight and hope that the other two in the money will knock each other out before the blinds eat them up.
A lot of people ask, “What is the best strategy to use if you’re just trying to make the money?” The answer to this question is to play very tight throughout the Sit&Go tournament. In most Sit&Go’s you will enter, you will play and win just enough hands early on to give you a chip stack to last you throughout the tournament. So it’s wise to play tight until the money and then once you reach the money you should GREATLY loosen up your game. Understand that you are already in the money, so if you can double up once or twice and even knock out a person, then it’s smooth sailing from here to win. Obviously, you can’t be guaranteed first every time. It just AINT gonna happen. Bad beats are a part of poker, being able to not tilt is another.
Here are some more great tips in securing first place in a Sit&Go. When you play for first place you must remember that to become a winning Sit&Go player, you will have to shoot for first place every time rather than just worrying about making the money. Trying to just hold on to make 3rd place and into the money will not cut it if that’s your general outlook on the situation. Clearly, sometimes you will have a huge chip lead over the other players and you have nothing other than first in mind, but what I am talking about is when you’re sitting at the lower to middle end of tournament chips. You must always remember that the house usually takes a pretty big portion of every Sit&Go buy in, 10%, which is kind of ridiculous. If you try making 3rd and that is it, your profits won’t be very much and you will not be able to make a living playing Sit&Go’s with this mindset. You have to mentally prepare yourself for first every time! A first place finish usually pays 2-3 times more than third so just because you make it into the money you CAN’T LET UP!
To win first, you’re going to have to mix in a tight game plan with aggressive play, but still play smart at all times. You need to play tight in the early stages, while still taking chances as well. Since the blinds during this time will be minute, you can take more chances and if you happen to lose a large part of your stack then the blinds still will not threaten your stack.
When I say CHANCES, I mean favourable chances, such as a flush draw with over cards, open ended, etc…
Remember, your goal is to build your chips in the middle stage to prepare for the final stage.
Once you develop a comfortable stack, you can boss around the table and force people out when you’re normally couldn’t. It will be better to go out early than to bubble by trying to hold on until third place. There is nothing wrong with third place, I mean you are still making money; it just takes 3 third place wins to equal the profit of one first place win. Just remember, poker is unpredictable the way the cards fall, and sometimes the hands go your way and sometimes they don’t. You may have to wait until the middle round before you even get a hand to start building your stack for the late stages.