Tuesday, October 2, 2007

How to Win Sit-n-Go Tournaments

How to Win Sit-n-Go Tournaments

It's so simple...

And so obvious...

Yet no one seems to get it!

What's this easy-to-use secret for beating Sit and Go tournaments online?

The answer is this:


I know... I know... you were expecting something more, um... "secretive".

But the truth is, winning at Sit and Go's is pretty damn easy. I find them easier than "real" poker games, actually.

And that's why every time I turn on the computer these days I feel like a kid in a candy store... ready to clean out the amateurs at the poker room of my choosing.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

What I want to discuss here is why PATIENCE is so critical for Sit and Go success.

First, let's get back to some basics. There are four types of poker playing styles:

1. Tight-Passive
2. Tight-Aggressive
3. Loose-Passive
4. Loose-Aggressive

Your style should be tight-aggressive.

Don't confuse "styles" with "preferences". If you want to be a good card player, you DON'T get to DECIDE to be tight-aggressive.

You MUST be tight-aggressive in order to be good.


Of course there are DEGREES of each playing style, and that's what accounts for the differences between one pro and another... the DIFFERENT DEGREES of tight-aggressive.

OK, now let me ask you:

What does "tight-aggressive" really MEAN?

Here's the answer:

It means that you play TIGHT in terms of hand selection, but AGGRESSIVE when you enter a pot.

Be careful... "tight" and "aggressive" are not opposites. "Tight" and "loose" are opposites. And so are "aggressive" and "passive".

TIGHT refers to hand selection. AGGRESSIVE refers to betting.

OK... so this is how playing styles relate to Sit and Go's...

The NATURE of Sit and Go's makes them OVERRUN by LOOSE-AGGRESSIVE style players.

The reasons are simple:

1. You can play a Sit and Go virtually anytime, anywhere, and with anyone.

This means there's very low risk in LOSING, since you can easily just move on to the next game. It's not like in "offline" poker when once you get knocked out you're DONE.

2. The money seems less "real".

Let's be honest... We all know the feeling of making a deposit into an online poker account and thinking to ourselves how it doesn't quite feel like REAL MONEY. Am I right?

3. There's no "embarrassment".

Online poker is virtually 100% anonymous. If you make a stupid move, you're not worried about what the other players THINK of you. Who cares?

After all, the other "players" are really just silly little avatars on an animated screen.

OK, so those are three (there are many more) of the reasons why Sit and Go's (and pretty much all of online poker) are dominated by the playing style LOOSE-AGGRESSIVE.

Loose-aggressive is also known as the "manic" playing style. And what's the FASTEST way to beat a manic?

Yep, you guessed it...


The reason is because MANICS are constantly playing many hands (loose) and doing so aggressively.

What happens is that it's difficult to get a READ on them because you never know whether they're bluffing or not... unless you call their bets... which you can't do because you don't have that great a hand.

Has this ever happened to you?

Have you ever been up against a player who seemed to be playing VERY aggressively and you just couldn't figure out if they were bluffing or holding great cards?

And then when you got FED UP with it and DID make a call, he had you beat?

My guess is that it HAS happened to you... just as it's happened for me.

The key thing to know is that THERE ARE certain steps you can take to defend this. (I even wrote an entire chapter about this topic in my book.)

But fortunately in Sit and Go's, this isn't really much of a problem. Because you're usually not up against just one or two manics. You're up against an ENTIRE TABLE of them.

That means you shouldn't be CALLING anyone's bets.

Instead, YOU should push the action when you have a monster hand... and ONLY when you have a monster hand. And that, of course, requires...


It's actually much easier this way. Because with a table full of manics, you can rely on getting action with all your great hands.

(I should point out here that I'm generally referring to Sit and Go's where the entry fee is less than $50. When the stakes are higher the quality of play is usually more intelligent.)

OK, so what I'm about to tell you might take some of the "fun" out of Sit and Go's. But it will increase your profits dramatically...

Here's what your Sit and Go "experience" should look like when the field is from 8 or 10 players down to 4 or 5 players.


If your hole cards are...

A-A, K-K - Go all in pre-flop if you're in early position. If in late position and there was a raise, go all-in. If people were just trying to limp in, make a raise... and then bet very aggressively after the flop.

Q-Q, A-K - If you're in an early position, bet big (but not all-in). If you're in a late position, use your read on the other players to determine whether or not you think you have the best hand. If so, bet huge or go all-in.

All other pocket pairs - Limp-in. If you spike trips, go all-in. If not, fold.

Suited connectors - Limp-in if the blinds are reasonably low. Fold suited connectors under 7-6.

Ace-X suited - Limp-in if possible. Only bet if you hit the flush.

All other hands - Fold.


What you've just seen will be completely different than most "starting hand strategies" out there.

And that chart is NOT for all types of no limit Texas Holdem. We're ONLY talking about games that match these three criteria:

1. Online poker Sit and Go tournaments 2. Low stakes (under $50 entry) 3. While there are more than 4 or 5 players at the table (in an 8-man or 10-man Sit and Go)

DO NOT use that starting hand advice for any other poker games... because that's NOT how you should play your starting hands in general.

So why would Sit and Go's be so much different than "normal" poker play?

Like I said before, the reason is because Sit and Go's are heavily dominated by loose-aggressive players... and THIS is how you beat those guys.

Why exactly does this strategy work?

It works because you're only playing monsters.

Now... if the players at Sit and Go's were SMART, they'd OBSERVE that you're only playing monster hands... and they'd FOLD as soon as you went all-in.

I mean... it only makes logical sense, right?

Indeed, this is how it works in live games. But not online. Because for online poker there's another important factor working to your advantage...


The truth is, many players are either drunk, hungover, stupid, or playing multiple tables at once. Or all of the above!

They're not paying attention to your betting patterns. They're just playing the CARDS, not the PLAYERS.

I call my strategy for patiently waiting for monster hands and then going all-in:

"Tight-Aggressive Squared"

The reason is because my strategy is like the playing style tight-aggressive... but on STEROIDS.

Why go all-in so much?

It's like I said... you WILL get action. Maybe not every single time, but enough times to make it well worth your while.

For Sit and Go's, all you need to do is double-up ONCE before the field gets to 4 or 5 players.

THEN you can start playing aggressively. What will happen is that the 4 or 5 players LEFT IN THE GAME will usually be the smarter ones. And some of them WILL notice by now that you're playing tight.

SO THEN what you do is steal blinds. It's easy.

Everyone tightens up when there are four or five players in a hand because they want to make the money... and they want to be VERY CAREFUL to make it into the top three.

That is when you steal some blinds and add to your chip stack.

Then, after that point you'll be in third place and will be in the money.

I have a ton of strategies for getting you into FIRST place too (after you get down to three players), but I'll have to save those for a different newsletter.

You know, when I first came up with this strategy of "Tight-Aggressive Squared" I wasn't COMPLETELY convinced it was the best way to win at Sit and Go's.

At the time, I had been trying a lot of things. The idea of just being EXTREMELY PATIENT and then going all-in with monster hands seemed a little TOO SIMPLE.


Then one night, I was at a 10-man Sit and Go. I went all-in with a big hand early and doubled up. It was the only hand I got really involved with.

Then... with 9 players still at the table... my Internet shut off. I didn't know what happened. All I know is that the Internet just plain STOPPED WORKING.

I would have called someone... but it was past two in the morning.

I messed with it for like fifteen minutes and then just gave up. Oh well... it's just one Sit and Go.

Anyway... I started working on something else on my computer for awhile until all of the sudden the Internet came BACK on.

I logged into my poker room to see what had happened with the game. Immediately the screen POPPED-UP and the action was to me...

I was still in the game, it wasn't over yet!

Not only that...

But there were only three players left!

I was in third, but still had some remaining chips to play around with.

I immediately went all-in and everyone folded. Then I did it again and everyone folded. And a few hands later I did it AGAIN.

I picked up three enormous sets of blinds and was right back in the game. The reason everyone was folding was because I hadn't played a hand in 25 minutes. They were probably wondering what the hell was going on!

Anyway, as it turned out, I actually WON 1ST for this Sit and Go. First place baby... and my Internet only worked for about 1/5 of the game!

After I was done I started thinking about what had just happened. I realized that by PLAYING in a Sit and Go you can often do MORE DAMAGE THAN GOOD when there are lots of players at the table.

And of course, I became 100% convinced that the "magic equation" for success is:


Your goal for these games should be to place in the money as much as possible. Period. So why risk chips on silly hands early on?

They're just not worth it...

The other thing about this strategy is that it's a HUGE time-saver. Because it doesn't require hardly any work until there are 4-5 players left. It makes it MUCH easier to play multiple tables at once... or do other things while the Sit and Go plays in the background.

OK, so here's your "Tight-Aggressive Squared" Sit and Go strategy:

1. Be patient, be patient, be patient!

Only play the hands I showed you earlier. Only bet before the flop with Aces, Kings, Big Slick, and Queens.

2. When you catch a monster, go all-in. Don't do this if you think someone has you beat (i.e. there's an obvious straight or flush draw on the board).

I'm talking about only playing hands when you know you have the best odds of winning.

3. When the field gets down to four or five players (depending on how high the blinds are and how many all-in showdowns you've won), shift gears completely and STOP using this "Tight-Aggressive Squared" strategy.

That, my friend, is the "secret" to Sit and Go's.

It's obvious... but not-so-obvious.

But it is DEFINITELY simple.

And you can start implementing it IMMEDIATELY...

To get step-by-step advice as you play Sit and Go tournaments online, make sure to download "Sit And Go Shark". This amazing software tool will "take you by the hand" and give you coaching as you play online Sit and Go's.

Free for a limited time. Click this link: CLICK HERE