Strategy For Early Stages of 2, 3 and 5 Table Sit N Go Tournaments:
Multi Table And Single Table Sit N Go Strategy Compared.
You just sat down in a Multi-Table Sit n Go Tournament… the paying places are a long way off at this stage. What should your strategy be? Do you play aggressively right from the start? Sit tight and wait for the blinds to increase? Something in-between?
There are 2 somewhat conflicting objectives at work here. Firstly that the proportion of bad players will never be higher, and secondly that playing pots with these players can be dangerous!! Before we look into this dilemma let us step back and compare Multi-Table Sit N Go strategy with that for a 1-table tournament.
Early Multi-Table SNG Strategy - Primary Goals
In a 1-table tournament one of your objectives is to preserve ‘fold equity’ for the middle-stages. The risk of losing this fold equity outweighs some of the potential gain for winning pots early. While this is not the only strategy for 1-table tournaments, most of the ‘pro’ players employ a ‘premium hands only’ strategy in the early stages. Preserving their stacks for the ‘push / fold’ portion of the game where they have a significant (and profitable) skill edge.
With the bubble so far away this strategy is less effective in a multi-table sit n go tournament. You’ll simply find yourself too far behind the chip leaders when the bubble appears to have any fold equity at all. Super-tight early works in the 1-table environment because the bubble is not too far away – in a Multi-Table Sit N Go you must accumulate chips… or be left behind!
Back to the conflicting objectives – to accumulate chips yet avoid being out-drawn by the inexperienced opponents who will over-play hands, bet inappropriate amounts and generally never fold! How does the thinking player go about adjusting their strategy for this situation?
Early Multi-Table SNG Strategy - Avoid Starting Hands Which Are Easily Dominated
The first adjustment to make is in your SNG starting hand selection. This can be summed up in a single phrase ‘Avoid Hands Which Are Easily Dominated’. Since opponents will often be playing any ace, any 2-face cards and any high suited cards we should select hands which do well against this vulnerable range. These hands can be divided into 2 categories: Strong hands and high ‘implied odds value’ hands.
High-aces go up in value, AK and AQ should generally be pushed hard against loose opponents pre-flop in the early stages of a Multi-Table Sit N Go. You will so often dominate the high-card and medium-ace part of your opponents range that this will balance those times you are in a ‘race’ situation.
The implied-odds hands such as small pairs and suited connectors also go up in value. Particularly when in position with the possibility of seeing a cheap flop. In this case the times you hit a set or a low straight you will have an excellent opportunity to be paid-off. Those same bad opponents who played Ace-seven pre-flop will be more than happy to build a big pot when a seven flops!
The hands above go up in value in this setting – but which hands go down? The answer here is those same hands which weak opponents are playing. Avoid unsuited high-cards and medium aces – it will be difficult to know where you stand after the flop.
Early Multi-Table SNG Strategy - Position Is Key
Position is another key factor in early game Multi-Table Sit N Go Strategy. At this stage you should defend your blinds less often and defend your button more. The button will allow you to take many pots away from opponents who miss with their medium strength holdings.
To summarize, Multi-Table Sit N Go Strategy in the early stages involves a bigger requirement to accumulate chips than in a single table SNG. You will face many terrible opponents in these games and correctly adjusting your hand ranges based on the kind of hands these opponents play will give you an opportunity to build your stack. Playing these hands from good table position will increase this advantage.
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