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Poker news | Oct 12, 2015

5 Sit and Go Mistakes to Avoid

By RTR Dennis

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Sit and go tournaments are a cheap and quick way to enjoy poker tournament action. And these single-table tourneys can also be an excellent place to win profits, given that the competition is less tough than what you'll see in the average cash game or multi-table tournament. However, there are some common mistakes that you must avoid giving yourself a chance to win on a consistent basis and improve your poker strategy. This being said, here are 5 big SNG mistakes that'll quickly drain your bankroll.

1. Playing Too Aggressively in the Early Going

While you don't want to fold every single hand in the early stages of a sit and go, you also don't want to be playing overly aggressive at this point either. First off, the blinds aren't great enough to force you or other players into any sort of action, this can wait for the big blinds. Secondly, you have plenty of time to sit and wait for better hands to come before putting yourself into a tough spot. If you keep getting great hands in the early going, then by all means go for somebody's starting stack. But just don't risk any more than you have to at such a non-critical juncture.

2. Trying to Survive Until the Money

Oftentimes you'll get into situations late in an SNG where you and 1-2 other players have comparative stacks in the late stages. It's at this point when players start thinking about survival instead of making the best play and going for first place. Just keep in mind that third-place money in a 9-player SNG isn't really going to change your life. So don't be afraid to take risks and make correct plays, even if it means busting out in fourth place.

3. Folding or Limping Too Much as the Short Stack

Nobody wants to be the short Sit and Go player, but this also isn't the time to sit back and wait for that perfect hand that'll help you double up. You're in a disadvantageous position as the short stack, and you need to take some heavy risks to avoid blinding out in the late stages. So, once you're down to 10 blinds or less, this is a good point to either fold or shove - no limping or making small raises!

4. Multi-tabling Before You're Ready

We've all heard about the highly successful, multi-tabling sit and go poker players who make a good living through online poker. However, this is by no means a green light for SNG beginners to start multi-tabling themselves after just a few sessions. A good rule of thumb is that if you can't beat one table, then you definitely shouldn't be playing two or more at the same time. Wait until your win rate is good with one SNG, then gradually increase how many you play at once.

5. Moving up Stakes Too Fast

In the same vein as multi-tabling too quickly is trying to increase your stakes overly fast. Typically, online poker gets tougher as you move up in stakes. And the same definitely reigns true with SNGs, where your chances of winning only decrease as you begin playing $10 SNGs and above. So start small with $1 tournaments, then move up into the bigger SNGs after you continue winning and learning more strategy.