Sit and go strategy

A question about advanced SNG bubble play

I’m a player from Germany (originally from Finland).

I used to be a part-time player, who put $30 to FullTilt, lost it all, put another $30 to Pokerstars, lost it all, put $50 to PartyPoker and lost it all again. So I was pretty much playing for fun and reloading. Then came a time when I lost a big hand at PokerStars and decided that’s it. Either you learn to play the game or you stop throwing your money away and hoping for miracle draws to take place.

So stumbled onto this website and read the steps. Over and over again. I kept reading these instructions for weeks, maybe months plus many other poker publications and decided to close all other accounts and open only 1 single one at Titan Poker. So I got a nice $200 bonus from my boss for solving a big problem at work. I was not counting with that money so I decided to put it to Titan Poker.

So the last weeks I’ve been playing the $5 SNG (6seated) while learning the game a bit more. Up until now I’m about a break-even player. Actually I’m at +3 dollars at the moment. Not that great a quota, but…by playing the old way, I would have lost all those $100 in less than 2 weeks. BY following your instructions, I’ve managed to become a winning player (not by much, but it’s coming).

Earlier I found it hard to lay down an A10 of clubs when the flop came with 2 clubs. I would push in and end up losing the stack, because some nutcase was gambling his pocket 2’s and hit the set on the turn and I never caught the flush.

I like the way this website has helped me get deeper into the game and how I’m not almost always finishing in the top-3. Still gotta work on my bubble play, but like I said, I can see I’m learning to play the game of poker in a totally different way now.

My only bigger gripe with the “tight is right” system is that if I just keep waiting for premium hands and they don’t come, then by the time we get to bubble play, I’m normally the short stack with about 900-1100 chips and if the blinds are 100/200, I have to push all-in at some point and try to gamble before being blinded out.

Ok, I’ve also had some bad luck and for example yesterday I raised with KK on the button (3 players left). I had 885 chips and the big blind about 3000. He called my raise and the flop came K J 5 rainbow

I went all in and he called…with 10 3 of hearts. What happened next? The turn was a heart and the river was a heart. He got his fucking flush after drawing 2 miracle cards to an impossible flush draw. At those points my blood sometimes starts to boil.

I don’t want to tell you my whole lifestory, because I also wanted to ask you for some tips.

How do you suggest to play when the guy to your left manages to double up early and starts dealing blinds left and right? I mean now he has maybe 4000 chips against my 1350 and the only way to raise him out of hands is to go all-in or to make a ridiculous bet of something like 600. And he’s ready to call, because he has the chips to do that and the will probably always get the right price for the call because of his chip stack. I mean losing 600 isn’t going to hurt this fish that much, but losing 600 would make a serious dent to my stack and would probably mean I would have to go all-in at some point again.

How do I combat that guy if I don’t get any premium hands and he keeps raising 4 or maybe even 5 times the big blind just to bully the table? Can I start raising with let’s say 99 or J 10. I know he’s bluffing and bullying, but I’m not getting any premium hands and I don’t want to gamble with my A 9 against his 4 6, because he will get lucky and hit the flop hard.

Best regards and thanks again for a great website,

Hi Tom, I'm glad we converted you to a winning player!

This is probably one of the most frustrating walls to jump over for SNG players. Getting to the stage where you are nearly always getting it in with the best of it is the major learning point. But the next and more advanced level is starting to mix up your game and knowing when and where are the right spots to do it.

For example when it gets to three handed some players like to raise every hand they get. They figure that because the other two players are playing tight then it's a good opportunity to apply the pressure by keep raising.

What I like to do against these players is move all in and take the play away from them with any two cards. It carries an element of risk of course but ant player that knows you are a tight player will think very hard before looking you up because they know they are going to be behind in any race.

It's a fact that you can't always play a perfect game and sometimes you have to have a bit of luck go your way. Part of the answer lies in how you play and whether or not you want to play for second place or go for the win. For beginners the objective is always to end up in the money but as you get to be a better player you will realise that there are situations where moving all in and trying to take down a pot gives you a better risk/reward ratio than simply hoping you don't get blinded out before you come into any cards.