Sit N Go Middle Stages
In the middle stages of a Sit-n-Go tournament, blinds begin to increase substantially in value, and it becomes crucial for players to bring in as many chips as possible. By this time, most of the ultra-aggressive players would be out, and you may be down to the last 10 players or so, depending on the size of the tournament. In this stage, roughly between the 4th and 7th blind stages, self-preservation will no longer be a profitable strategy, as it becomes increasingly crucial for players to maintain a deep enough stack to make plays and post blinds.
In the middle stages of a Sit-n-Go tournament, intensive strategies are needed to achieve victory. Instead of just sitting back and playing the best hands, as the blinds increase in value, players are forced to make advanced moves to gain as many chips as possible. In the middle stages, bluffing is a crucial part of any decent player’s strategy.
You don’t, however, want to just throw chips at a pot and hope to come out on top. As with other plays in poker, there’s a right way to bluff, and there’s certainly a wrong way too.
Observation will play a key role in your decision regarding when you should make a move for the pot. In the earlier stages, watch the tendencies of the players at your table. By the time the middle stages roll around, you should have a rough idea of each player’s style. You should know whether they will back down to a large bet, how they play their top cards, and their tendencies of slowplaying and check-raising.
Pick your bluffs wisely. If you notice that you have position on a relatively passive player who has tendencies to back down to pot-sized bets and above, it may be the time to make a move for the pot. In these rounds of a Sit-n-Go tournament, every little bit counts, and it’s necessary for you to pick up as many blinds as possible.
When bluffing, make good use of position. It’s usually never profitable to bluff out of position, as you open yourself to an array of counteractions like raises, re-raises, check-raises, and even smooth calls opening up to later raises. Watch your position and that of your opponents. When both circumstances point in your favor, seize the opportunity.
In this crucial point in the Sit-n-Go, continuation bets can often make or break your game. Once again, the necessity to build your stack is crucial, and any opportunity for you to gain chips that is presented needs to be seized.
A continuation bet, much like a bluff, is made when you have position on your opponent, and you hold a strong hand that may not have connected with the flop. By this time, you need to start playing your big drawing hands aggressively, trying to either pick up the blinds, or get to heads-up on the flop. What do you do if you don’t connect, though?
If it were earlier in the tournament, folding would be your best option. Chips and blinds, however, are now crucial, so folding might not necessarily be an option. Let’s say you raises pre-flop with AQ suited and the big blind called. The flop shows all low-value cards, with one more suit to your flush, giving you a backdoor draw. Your opponent checks in front of you. What do you do?
Your best option is to bet a sizable amount and your objective here is to scare your opponent off. Chances are good that you hold the best hand as it is, as your raise pre-flop should have eliminated any player holding junk. He probably has not paired, and may be holding a lower suited connector than your AQ. A solid bet should scare him off. If not, consider firing another shell on the turn. Remember, chips are crucial at this point. Even if he calls your bets, you still have the outs to make the best hand by the river.
Slowplaying great starting hands in the middle stages of a Sit-n-Go also becomes crucial to your success.
By the middle stages of the tournament, you will notice that players’ styles of play have changed drastically. Players who once made frivolous raises and calls may now be playing quite cautiously, and many of the aggressive players may have been knocked out. In the middle stages of a Sit-n-Go, everyone seems to be tighter with their play, and is just trying to make money.
This is the exact opposite of the condition which existed at the beginning of the tournament, when you combated aggressiveness by tightening up your play and hand selection, and the same strategy must be used in this stage. To defeat a cautious opponent, you need to play aggressively. However, you have to be intelligent too.
Nothing screams of more aggression than the dreaded check-raise. This will become a crucial move in your game strategy and when facing monster hands, slowplaying becomes a necessity to milk them for all they’re worth.
A tournament’s middle stages is all about becoming more and more aggressive. At this point, many players tighten up their play and become more cautious with their betting as they want to make money. To combat the tight play of others, become more aggressive. You’ll take down more uncontested pots, more blinds, and more chips.