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Sit & Go's

Sit & Go’s
By Hank Cashman of

Sit & Go’s have become a major part of the on-line and tournament poker scene. There are a few differences from them and the other game structures. There are also some very good lessons that you can get from the experience of playing these games. There are some multi-table sit & go’s but I am talking mainly about the single table tournaments.

What is a Sit and Go? It could be described best as a short handed tournament consisting of usually either heads up, 6, 9 or 10 players.

They are great to play and get practice at a reducing table. In tournaments and cash games the number of players doesn't vary much. In a tournament you start with a full table. It isn't until the final table that you will play with lessening numbers. In cash games you will play with maybe 4-8 players. If it gets to be less than 4 the table usually gets closed. In a sit & go you start with 8-10 players and finally get to heads-up.

This style of tournament will force you to change your play almost every blind. As the number of players decrease the value of your hand increases. On a full table an A-8 off suit isn't that good of a hand. In a heads up situation it’s a raising hand.

As the number of players decreases, you can play more position poker and a larger variety of hands. Just as it is easier to bluff one player than a whole table it will be easier to play weaker hands. The odds of your opponent having a big hand lessen as the number of players goes.

I have always been a proponent of tight aggressive play. In a sit & go I believe it is absolutely the only way to play. Until you lose half of the table, stay tight. Most sit & go players play very loose in the beginning. They try to get a chip lead early and hope to play as many hands as possible. I recommend getting a read on your opponents before you commit all your chips.

In a normal sit & go there will be 10 players. Some will be “winner takes all” but usually the last 3 cash. That’s not too bad. If you pay in 100 you could win 200, 300 or 500. Not bad for what should be a 45 minute to hour investment.

When you get to the money, go for broke. If you can win third place go for first. The difference in prize money between third and second is very small. But, if you go for first you will more than double up. At this point I suggest being more aggressive to put the other guy out third.

When you get to heads up, cards are now irrelevant. It is less important what is actually in your hand. It is more important to make your opponent think you have a better hand. Here is when aggressive plays and bluffs can really pay off. Vary your play but be in charge of the table. If you are first to act or your opponent didn't raise, raise him.

Play sit & go’s and it will definitely improve your short game. See you there.

Keep the cards and chips flying.


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