Sit and go strategy

I tried to play with your strategy a few times now, but lately its getting pretty bad

for example today, I only played the cards u said like AK,AQ,AJ and a high pair

for the whole SNG i only had 2 of them. Once i had QQ, then i raised like it says in the guide. some1 called. then an A came on the flop and he did a bet. so i folded. (maybe that was wrong?)
and then later again i had AQ, i raised again, but then some1 else went all-in, so i folded. that all was still when there were 6 people left. i never had any other good hand then anymore. and it ended up until i was forced to go all-in with 8 10 in the end and i was 5th.

sorry if it was too much text, but maybe you can still tell me what i did wrong.

Hi Mike.

Playing a tight game is not as easy as it sounds! Waiting for good cards and then overplaying them when you do get them is a common leak. Let's try and help you along the way.

For the first two or three blind levels you have no need of playing a hand. It's in these levels that you hope to catch AA or KK or AK and get paid off. Sometimes you meet resistance when you miss the flop with AK and so you need to fold early to maintain your stack. You certainly don't want to be calling down with AK as just overcards.

In the first case of QQ, this really depends on how many chips you have, what the blind level is and what position you have. I can't over emphasize how important all of this information is to the game.

In an SNG every scrap of information is useful to help you make decisions.

Let's take it that you have 1300 chips and QQ is the first decent hand you have seen. Remember that you would also have had several good opportunities to play on the big blind.

Raising and how much to raise depends on the game and your position. This is why it is not a definite science. Being good does not just mean following some simple rules and crushing the game.

If you are first to go then I would be raising it up a good 400 chips. Leaving 900 left behind. This is why you do not want callers because every hand you play can eliminate you.

If you get called and they bet then either you checked the Ace high flop or they bet first from the big blind.

In the first case where an Ace hits the flop and you have an underpair let me say that this is one of the hardest plays in poker to make.

However, in this game you should generally consider that you are beat. Bluffers abound and so you don't know. The prudent player makes the fold like you did. You have to consider that other players must have seen you play few hands and know you are a genuine raiser. So I think this is a good fold. The odds are that the caller has an Ace.

What you now have to consider is your chip stack relative to the blinds and how much risk you need to take. Being as you have lost your opening hand and around 25% of your chip stack you need to re evaluate your position.

You are no longer in a situation where you can just wait for another great hand. Sure they may come and in a rush even. But if they don't you are going to be constantly losing your blind.

This is where the skill is in the sixhanded SNG. If it wasn't a skill game and simply a game played by fixed rules then everybody could win.

It isn't.

It is a skill game where some people understand that the rising blinds mean that they have to take risks consummate with the amount of their stack relative to the blinds.

If you've folded QQ early on when the Ace hits the flop then you have made a good fold.

Your job now is to use some sub premium hands to try and stabilise and retrieve your stack.

When and where you do this is the skill bit. Sure there is luck involved but stealing the blinds is a very necessary component of the game.

What you are looking to do is to maintain your stack with the occasional steal whilst waiting for a decent hand to take an opponents chips who is also trying to steal.

Spotting when you are beat and re raising a stealer are all core parts of the game.

Moving all in to try and steal the blinds is also a viable play. It carries risk which has to be weighed up against your chances of winning the SN. It goes against all of the "rules" but sometimes you have to make these plays. (Just don't make a habit of it or over use it). Occasionally you'll get caught but hopefully you have a good enough hand to make a race of it.

Where most six handed players go wrong is in committing to a pot where they are way behind (because they perceive that they have too few big blinds to work with.). You obviously have that bit sorted out so your next stage of development is to start working with lesser hands to maintain your stack.

Being passive in the opening means that when you do eventually raise you should get respect. But often you just get moved all in because they were multi tabling or paying no attention, can't be helped I am afraid.

You can't sit and wait for premium hands all through the game. At some point you have to take a risk if you are not getting the hands you need and that is what makes a good SNG player.

It is this understanding of position that you need to work on. In a shorthanded SNG position is everything and this is the next discipline you need to work on.