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10 Advantages of Poker Sit N Go Tournaments (SNG)


Sky Matsuhashi

on November 26, 2015

Sit N Go Tournaments are currently how I'm tackling my Poker Bankroll Building Challenge.  They encompass all aspects of poker: 6max, full ring, deep & short stacks, bubble play, in the money play and heads up play.  My poker playing career started off with Sit N Go (SNG) tourneys, and they continue to be my favorite form of poker.

Sit N Go

Sit N Go Advantages

1) They Develop Well-Rounded Poker Players

Because they encompass so many aspects of poker (full-ring and short-handed, big stacked to short stacked play), SNG players are forced to study how play changes as situations change.  They are capable in the early rounds of handling a big 75bb+ sized stack, and deftly handling 10bb stacks on the bubble.  SNG players learn to adapt quickly to short handed play and know how to adjust their ranges as fewer players are dealt into the game.

2) Moving-up the Limits is Simple

Starting at the micros and moving up is simple, but not exactly easy.  Like anything in life, it takes plenty of time and purposeful practice to become skilled.  But once you really understand early game play, ICM implications, targeting FISH, push/fold strategy, bubble play and in the money play, you'll begin crushing the competition at the lower stakes and you'll find your bankroll shooting up, and the stakes you play rising with it.

3) Multi-tabling Helps to Up Your ROI

You need to play as many tables as you can while keeping a high level of focus.  “Volume = da Monies” in SNG's, so you need to be as efficient as you can with the time you play.  You'll make more money by effectively playing 8+ tables vs 4, as long as you're still making the good A-game decisions you're capable of.  More tables also helps to keep variance at bay.

Did you know some of the best SNG players play 24 tables at once?  WHAT?!?  Add tables one at a time and truthfully assess your play after each session.  Did that extra table throw your game off?  Did you time out on too many hands?  What areas of your game can you improve to allow for quicker decisions and more tables played?

4) SNG Structure Allows for Structured Early Game Play

In general, with SNG's the old motto of “tight is right” is still completely valid.  With the set structure of SNG's, they allow you to follow a set range of opening and 3betting hands in the early game, which makes it more likely that you'll get to bubble play most of the time.  Having set ranges also allows for more multi-tabling.  Don't let having set ranges make you feel like you're playing robitically: this is actually sensible and effective poker playing.  It allows you to more frequently get to the later stages where your weaker opponents are prone to making tons of mistakes.

5) You Continually Face Many of the Same (Weak) Opponents ?

You'll find plenty of weak players to exploit across all levels of SNG's.  Your focus is on extracting value from these players.  Learn their tendencies and how to exploit them, and watch your ROI shoot through the roof.  Time spent studying how to exploit the weak players will be more productive and rewarding than studying how other regs are playing.

6) Your Edge Over the Fish Grows as Blinds Increase

As the tourney progresses and the blind increase, your edge over the fish increases as well.  They can often fold away their stack, or start shoving with too wide of a range.  Your adjustments to the changing stages of SNG's will lead to chipping up over your opponents and more wins.

7) Heads Up SNG's Turns You Into an Exploiting Beast ?

Some of the best players in the world are heads up specialists, not just cash but HU SNG's as well.  These force you to adapt your game to one specific opponent: to find his weaknesses and employ strategies that will dominate him.  Purposeful Practice here will allow you to take down 6max and full-ring SNG's more often, as well as help you take down MTT trophies.  And if you ever want to play against the best in the world (think Ike Haxton), heads up experience is absolutely crucial.

8) HUD's are Essential

Using a poker tracking software like PokerTracker 4 is essential for great SNG play.  You'll encounter lots of the same players and your HUD stats will accumulate quickly, allowing for great reads and exploitative play on your part.  Plus, the software will allow you to really dive into your hand histories and study every on the bubble situation and ICM affected hands, helping you to become more adept at these critical junctures.

9) Lots of Formats to Choose From

Most poker sites out there offer straight SNG's, reg/turbo/hyper speeds, KO tourneys, Double-or-Nothing, PLO and multi-table SNG's.  The variety is so great that even the most bored poker player can find something that can quickly peak their interest, and fact that it's a contest as opposed to a never ending cash game helps to stimulate interest as well.

10) There's SOOOOO Much Strategy Content Available

From killer strategy books (like Moshman's Sit ‘n Go Strategy) to whole websites dedicated to SNG strategy, there's a plethora of strategy content to dive into.  You'll never be left in the lurch with nothing to study when you're a SNG Player.

If you haven't gotten into Sit N Go tourneys yet, I highly recommend them to build your bankroll and to improve your poker skills.

This is the first in a series of SNG strategy posts.  The next post is on SNG Early Stage Strategy.  Check it out.

Until next time, study hard and make your next session the best one yet!


Sky Matsuhashi

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