8 Great SNG Tips From A Micro-Limit Sit N Go Player On How To Beat
The Inexperienced Opponents You Find In Low Buy-In Sit and Goes.
Welcome to “Micro–Land” as I like to call it. This is the place were the fish bite! When I first started playing Micro-Limit SNG Tournaments it was a bit of a shock to see the aggressiveness the majority of the tables had. It did not take long to realize that this aggressiveness was usually a (misguided) attempt to mask the fact that they did not know how to play a hand all the way to the river…
When you first start playing micro-limit SNGs you’ll notice that you are playing against a wide range of players. You’ll find players that have never played for real money before, micro limit grinders, the type that play 20-30 games a day just trying to maintain a positive ROI. You will also find higher limit players that move down because of a run of bad luck.
In my opinion the most dangerous player you will find at the micro limit table is the one that understands basic concepts of poker tournaments but not how to apply them. The reason I say they are the most dangerous is they will make the right play for the wrong reasons more than anyone else at your table. They will use aggressive play as an excuse to move all-in holding questionable cards. You will want to cross your fingers and click the button with weak hands like KJo after you have watched some guy double, triple, even quadruple up with weak hands.
For this reason a good player will experience more bad beats in Micro-Land. You see the micro limit players who are playing all kinds of trash, and who go too far with their hands. This will mean that the pots get pretty big relative to the stack sizes in the SNG. It is very easy to get caught up in the moment and start going all in with hands like AJs, A10, KQ, etc. Although this may win you money at that moment you will develop bad habits that will eventually eat into your bank roll.
The following is some rules of thumb that I use while playing Micro-Limit SNGs. These are meant to help the beginner start playing better without over complicating the play with things like ICM.
Beating Micro-Limit SNGs Tip #1 – Keep Things Simple
Do not incorporate something into your game without understanding it completely. This includes applying poker strategy concepts correctly. There is a reason right handed people don’t brush their teeth with their left hand. If you try to apply something you don’t fully understand you’ll windup looking dumb which can lead to tilt which in turn leads to even more money being lost.
Beating Micro-Limit SNGs Tip #2 – Do Not Lose Control
Keeping a level head and control of oneself is the most important rule to this game. It is important to remember that even though it may not seem so, we are not alone when taking our bad beats. Bad beats come and go, we give out bad beats, and we take bad beats. (see our Poker Meta-Game section for more in this important area)
Mark's Rec: Some poker sites are filled with 'small stakes pros' multi-tabling the micro-limits and making the games tougher to beat. I recommend readers build their bankroll (and poker skills) at 888 Poker instead. This big-brand host the easiest Sit N Goes you will find anywhere - and their software is very cool too. Once you see the difference in the games you will wonder why you did not switch to 888 sooner - Check them out for yourself now by clicking this link! (will open up a new tab)
Beating Micro-Limit SNGs Tip #3 – They Are Not Always Bluffing
You can’t keep calling people just because you think they are bluffing. It is a mental barrier that you have to get through if you are going to play poker for any amount of time. Sometimes you are going to lay down the winning hand. It is ok though because the great thing about micro limit SNG players is they get more confident every time they sneak a bluff by you. Eventually they move all in when you flopped the nuts.
Beating Micro-Limit SNGs Tip #4 – Re-Raises Are For Real
In micro land it is very common for a player to make a bet with no hand. However, it is uncommon for them to raise a bet, or re-raise you with little or no hand. Sure sometimes they will be bluffing, but is it worth all your chips to find out if your second pair is good? No it isn’t. Besides why would you make a suspect call with top pair medium kicker when your opponents will play any face card, and two suited cards, and any pair for most of their chips when you do hit a big hand.
Sometimes people will flop top pair but a straight is also on the board. So they make a smallish bet to see were they stand. Only to call when their opponent moves all in. In my opinion there is no purpose to a “feeler bet” if you are then going to call the guy when he screams at you that he has you beat. The common argument I hear is I did not want the guy to think he could push me around. This is a novel idea in a cash game, but in a micro-limit SNG it just does not make sense - because if he has you beat like his bet tells you then you are out or crippled. Plus I learned to use this passive image to my advantage. See if I throw out a small bet three times and each time someone pushes me off my hand. When I flop or turn a monster they will have no idea and bet into me in an attempt to push me off.
Beating Micro-Limit SNGs Tip #6 – Continuation Bets (or C-Bets)
The Continuation bet will usually keep me afloat until I hit a big hand in a SNG. I like to think of it as an investment. Now the thing you have to make sure of is that it is not too small, but make sure it is small enough that you can let it go if someone fights back. Remember your opponent can’t fold if you don’t bet or raise.
Beating Micro-Limit SNGs Tip #7 – Once You Are Caught, Stop!
A big mistake I make and so do many other Micro-limit players is once you are caught you must stop stealing. I mean really what if you saw the same guy walk into the same store everyday and everyday he was caught shoplifting. You would be pretty sure that he came from the shallow end of the gene pool right. Well that’s what you are doing when you get caught stealing and then keep trying to steal hand after hand. I have seen many chip leads dwindle down to nothing doing this.
Beating Micro-Limit SNGs Tip #8 – Letting The Chips Go
Another psychological issue in poker. You’ll constantly hear that guy has “my chips”. Well, they are not your chips anymore they are his. You are not trying to get your chips back. You are trying to get him to give you his chips. Might not sound that much different but the way most players play depending on which one they are doing changes drastically. When they think of it as getting chips back they act like an elementary school bully stealing lunch money, when they are trying to get the guy to give his chips away it is more like the used car salesman trying to sell you a sports car when you want a station wagon.
Which online poker site features the fishiest SNG opponents? Find out in the Best Poker Tournament Sites section my awesome widget which takes your bankroll, location and game preferences and lets you know which the fishiest poker sites are... the legendary Fish-O-Meter!!!.
Quick Reminder: If you have not already found them, there is one site which is a fantastic site for newer poker fans looking to build their bankroll and move up through the buy-in levels. 888 Poker (formerly branded as Pacific Poker) has super-cool software and incentives which include free starter-cash as well as a 100% match on your first deposit there. If you have not yet seen how easy the SNGs at 888 are to beat then I strongly recommend you check them out for yourself - you will be amazed!! Click here to check out 888 Poker for yourself now!