While playing a small 18 player Sit-n-Go on PokerStars yesterday, I was the chip leader at the final table with 7 players left in the tournament. This was a medium Sit-n-Go, so not a large dollar amount, but not a tiny one either. The prize money is decent in a tournament like that for an hour and a half’s worth of work, if you can get into the money. The top 4 players make the money in these tournaments. Many times I will play multiple tables at this level, but this time I was just playing one tournament at a time.
I was the chip leader with about $6400 in chips, and I noticed a common mistake that many of the shorter stacks were making every round of play. The blinds were still small, only $100-$200 at that point, and no ante. Yet, the small stacks were continually calling pre-flop raises in order to “defend” their blinds. Worse, they would then check/fold post flop if they didn’t hit their hand. Three of the six stacks had $1000-$2000 in chips.
By calling pre-flop raises, all they were doing was accelerating the depletion of their chip stacks. In a situation such as this, where the blinds have not increased to a large level, this is really a silly mistake to make. All these short stacks were doing by calling was playing right into the hands of those of us with big stacks. At the very least, they could have come out with a raise post-flop, but to call raises with poor cards when the blinds are still relatively small, just doesn’t make sense.
Sure enough, those 3 short stack players were the next 3 out of the tournament, leaving the rest of us in the money. I did not maintain my chip lead the entire game, but I did end up winning the tournament. Not a bad wage for the amount of time spent.
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