Monday, 19 February 2007

Sit n Go's My Take on them

Just thought I would write a quick article on sit n go's and how I believe they are best played.

Please do not employ these methods if you are at my table.

Basically when you play at $11 and above the players are moderate players, they are not your micro limit Riff Raff but have some idea of hand value and playing tight so you can employ some tactics that would be considered OPS (Over play syndrome) in a micro limit game.

What do I mean by this?

well you can mess with there heads, they are paying attention they do get reads on you and they know to play tight early and then to loosen up.
They have all read the same books and articles as you and me and they know how to play tight early on, so you shouldn't. I am not talking about bluffing every hand but simply use your position. Position early on in a sit n go can be wielded like a hammer.

Basically I have been employing the following strategy

On the button

call any raise up to 4 times the blind with any 2 cards.
watch for weakness after the flop (i.e a small follow up bet (1/3 to 2/3 the pot) and reraise with a pot size bet, after that use your judgement if called.

on the cut off - raise 2-3 times blind with any 2 cards on any unraised pots. and then bet 2/3 to pot size after flop.

1 off the cut off - same as cut off (this is an even better seat than the cut off because knowledgeable players see the cut off as a steal.

All other positions play tight.

What this gives you is a very early lead and you get paid on all your premium holdings because about 4 blind increases in people start playing back at you. This is when you shut down. Everyone else is opening up but you have a large chip lead already so there is no need to risk it. Then when you get a premium hold they play back at you because they have taken a note saying you are a lag and are looking for any cards to play back with.

All my advise here goes against everything you have been taught but I find it works at 11 22 and 33 dollar games and I am often in the last 4 players with 1/2 the tables chips which means I coast into the final 3.

Try it and if it works for you let me know, if it doesn't don't blame me I am just a micro limit player.

Just remember the following Poker is like the stock market always do the opposite to everybody else and you will make money and since established wisdom is play tight early on and loosen up later on I advocate the opposite, play the player, play poker- don't play cards.

I will add the following warning to this as whilst working on this method I fell foul to the major premium hands calling rather than reraising- be aware that a really good player will spot what you are doing and let you bluff your stack to them - so do not pot commit and watch out for really tight players calling to the river.

Have fun



razor ramon said...

sounds right, espacially at the start with low blinds you can play much more hands .... but still playing position with 72 off i risky i say :)

you are right you can bluff some chips at the start, cause nobody wants to drop out a tourney in the first minutes ! NOBODY :) the only thing is, the number of chips will not be that big

on the other hand, playing loose early gives you a loose image, and playing with that image your later pemium hands you will earn some more chips as well :)

my strat right now is, to build a big stack and then play supertight and wait for the premium hands to attack, cause later when the small stacks face the blinds they really HAVE to play loose, and thats when you take their chips with premium hands ! (unless there are lucky and hit some cards :(((( ) also i let the others play each other to drop out, i mean this really works for sit and gos, too bad it does not for multitable tourneys :)))))

Peter said...

Hi razor sounds like you employ a similar strat to me.

basically poker evolves over time and the online Sit n Go community all play by the book now.

Typical example play was last night I was on the cutoff first hand and had 2 limpers.
I raised 4BB with 47 suited.

flop comes 47 Q and I called an allin raise by an opponent with AQ. I then had the image of a LAG and the stack to bully so I took the table apart.
The start I then used was literally to raise every hand where I was in position with any 2 cards and played back at any aggression where I had caught the flop hard but backed of when I hadn't.

I could read every one else like a book as they were playing premium hands thinking they could catch out the 47 fish while as they were advertising there cards like they were face up.

Basically stop playing cards and play poker.


razor ramon said...

well playing poker and not cards is the next step up ! but its hard, to do that you really need a bankroll, cause at the beginning you will take some hits learning how to do it

it still hard for me to raise a superweak hand in position, cause my thinking is, that i waste my money that i put in a weak hand

nethertheless, so your strat is to raise any cards in position, if you hit on the flop you kep pushing and if not your get out the hand ? right ? i mean

you got 6 J off for example on the button, you raise 4 times bb

flop is A K 6

so what you do it, you push money in the pot hoping that other will fold, and if you were reraised you will fold

but what if you get called ? thats a hard decision then if you should continue to bet facking a pair of aces or kings

and do you also reraise weak hands on the button or late preflop ?

its hard for me to imagine this works, i mean you can easily run into a strong hand that way and then you chipstack is gone unless you build up a big one before, thats why its so hard to belive that this works in the early stage of a tourney

nethertheless i will try this, the only problem i have with it, is how to react to a call after you continue to push post flop ?!

Peter said...

Hi Razor.

Your thinking is correct and this is what I mean by playing Poker and not cards, you are thinking about what the other person holds and acting accordingly.

The situation you mention above the answer s simply, it depends.

That is what type of player called you, what chipstack does he have, what chipstack do you have etc.

But for the sake of argument lets say you both have 2000 chips and you have no read on the opponent.
If he checked I would bet about 2/3 the pot up to 200 chips. I have shown strength preflop and so he has no reason to believe different. That is unless you have been lagging it early on, which you may have done. But you have fold equity here and if you get called you have not damaged your stack too badly and can back down. i.e. get a free card on the next round. If you are reraised fold.

You have then set up this opponent for a later mistake in that he thinks that you are blindly aggressive and in a later hand when you have J6 and the flop comes A66 or AJ6 he will give you his whole stack.

You are right though in taht you cannot play like this all the time you have to change gears and constantly be reassessing the situation. The game with the 47 above was an extreme example of this type of play I got a bit of luck which set me up to then play the table the way I did.

DO NOT and I repeat DO NOT consider this the correct way to play, there is no correct way but there are always situations and when you can spot these and take advantage of them you are on your way to becoming a great player.

I am just learning and so am experimenting with all these methods, but rule 1 is think what are they doiing how can I takle advantage and what method will make me the money in this situation.


razor ramon said...

i just tried it, and it worked, well with a bit of luck too :) i raised 4 6 s (clubs) on the button, one caller

flop was

K 7 (diamonds) 6 spades

i kept pushing he took some time but called

turn showed 10 hearts i think

then i moved all in and he took some time again but called

he showed A 2 diamonds

and the river did not bring a diamond so i won .... well very very lucky

then i had doubled my stack

problem is i kept playing overaggressive then *hehe* an lost all my stack withon the next couple of rounds

i should have slowed down that point and only play spec. hands at the low blind level and premium hands

well maybe i do so next time :)

Peter said...

Hi razor 2 mistakes

1 overcommited (the all in)
2 aggresion once you have the chips is good but you must have overcommited a few times before you lost all your stack.

I read a book recently that put forward the following theory

Paper - Cards
Scissors - position
chips - stone a

so if you have position you can beat any cards (i.e. you don't have to commit)

if you have a lot of chips yopu can beat position (i.e. you don't go up against a chip leader with just position you need cards too.

If you have a lot of chips you can beat position but not cards.

Does this make sense


Peter said...

Hi all

I will leave this article here but issue this health warning.

When this starts to go wrong for you back down play tight again.
Playing like this requires a state of mind which is just right, and if you aren't there you are better off playing by the numbers and loosening up at the button.

I had a bad run of about 5 games and realised I had become slightly too loose and aggressive early on and so I tightened back up and things went OK.

Basically it is a fine line between playing good poker and playing bad poker and sometimes it is hard to spot when you have crossed it.

Keep learning guys and keep an eye on your own game as well as the competition