A question that I am frequently asked is why do I like Sit-n-Go tournaments so much? There are many aspects of the Sit-n-Go that makes it appealing over just sitting down at a cash game table.
First, Sit-n-Go’s are easy to estimate the amount of time it will take to play one. Once you have played Sit-n-Go’s for a while, you will be able to make a pretty close ball park estimate of how much time it will take you to play certain tournament. Obviously, this factor is affected by the number of entrants in the tournament you have decided to play in.
For example, I like Full Tilt’s knockout 90 player tournaments. These generally take significantly longer to play than a PokerStars 9 player Sit-n-Go. It is easy to see, the more entrants you are playing against, the longer time allotment you need play. I know from having played many of them, that a 9-player Sit-n-Go that costs me $10+$1 to enter will take aprox. 1- 1& 1/2 hours. That 90-player Full Tilt Sit-n-Go will seldom end in less than 2 &1/2 hours.
Also, the dollar amount you spend to enter a Sit-n-Go will greatly affect the time it takes to play. A $3+.30 9-player tourney will take less time than the same 9-player tournament at the $20+$2 level. Why? Because you will find better players playing $22 tournaments that are not as likely to play recklessly and end up out of the tournament early by playing less than premium cards.
For these reasons, when I have an hour or two in which to play poker I choose my Sit-n-Go’s accordingly. A 9-player tournament is a great way to fill up an hour of poker playing when that is all the time I have available. Conversely, I am going to stay away from a larger tournament with 500 entrants if I do not have the time available to spend playing it in . There is nothing worse than being hip deep in a tournament and have your wife yelling at you because it is time to go to your son’s baseball game. That’s the thing about a tournament: once your entry fee is paid, you don’t get that money back unless you win some money in the tournament. For that reason, you need to make sure you have the proper block of time to spend playing. Otherwise you will start making poor poker decisions because you have to get out of the house in the next 15 minutes.
Of course, you can sit down at a cash game for as little time as you want. You can join a table and play 5 hands if you want to, but you are not going to be able to play well doing that if the cards don’t happen to roll your way. Cash games may require a lot of patience in order to wait for cards that you want to play. Plus, you are not forced to play any hands because the blinds always stay the same. Because of the blinds escalating in Sit-n-Go’s you can always pretty much tell how much time you will have to put in. This makes them a great option if you have a set amount of time in which to get your poker “fix”.
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