Sit N Go Strategy


No matter how many Texas Hold em books you have read or how many No Limit Tip Guides you have perused, there are somethings that you cannot prepare for and will not find in most internet poker books. That is, how to deal with some of the really frustrating and unexpected situations you will find yourself in during the course of a Sit n Go tournament.

Last night I was playing a 90 player Sit-n-Go on Full Tilt. Late in the tournament I was in 2nd place with about $42,000 in chips. The leader had $51,000 and the rest of the pack was down in the $20k range. I was in prime position to make a run at winning the tournament with only 21 players left. Most of the short stacks were becoming desperate and I was also on a really nice run of good cards. I hadn’t had any real bad beats and was on cruise control looking to add to my stack.

I was the Big Blind and was dealt pocket K’s. The player on the button had gone all-in each of the last 3 hands, and sure enough, did it again to me and my K’s. He had about $21,500 in chips and I happily called his all-in. He flipped over pocket J’s and I was thrilled to put my K’s up against him with a better than 4:1 advantage. Winning this hand would put me in the lead.

The Flop came 2-8-J rainbow. Neither the Turn nor the River yielded another King and my big chip stack was cut in half just like that. I was pretty unhappy about it this late in the tournament, but sometimes that is the way it goes.

Two hands later, now with about $19,500 in chips, I was rewarded with A-A, pocket rockets on the button! The Big Blind only had about $9500 left, so when the action folded around to me, I made a 3x Big Blind raise, hoping to be re-raised all-in. Sure enough, the Big Blind played right into my Aces and went all-in with J-6 off suit!

Well, I thought, at least I can recoup some of my chip stack as I am looking at a hand that I have an over 86% chance of winning. You can probably see this coming:

The Flop is 6-8-J rainbow. Again, the Turn and River fail to help me out, and my Aces are put down by J-6.

Most players at this point would lose it and go on tilt. As tempting as that was, with my 2nd place big stack now reduced to less than $10k in the space of 3 hands, I kept my cool and played on. This is hard to do, and I am proud to say I did it. Two bad beats at this point in the tournament when you are in a position to win are hard to take, but I was determined to at least make the final table and the money.

It got worse before it got better: I made some all-in plays and took the blinds a couple of times to build back up to about $14,000. When the action got around to me on the button again, I had A-J and the Big Blind was once again short stacked at about $9,000.

Same thing, I got him all in with 5-4! This time for sure, he is going to bust out, right? Wrong.

Flop: J-2-9. Turn 3. River, you guessed it, a 6. Giving him a straight and crippling me down to about $5,000 in chips with still 15 players left. If the previous hands did not push me over the edge, you would think that one would. But, having come this far, I was not going to give up now.

To make a long story short, I made the final table and finished in 5th place, well into the money. My point is, just because the luck goes against you, don’t lose your temper. Time and time again, playing online hold em, I see players lose a hand to a really bad beat and the next hand they push all-in with 9-2 off suit. You don’t have to do that! Take a deep breath, wait a few hands and start playing your best poker again. You can come back, especially late in a tournament and you can still make some money. Hey, if I can stay in the game after those 3 beats with my bad temper, you can too! Just don’t lose your cool.

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