Mid-Game SNG Strategy – The Resteal

Restealing In The Mid Section Of SNG Tournaments Can Be Very Profitable If Executed Correctly.

If you are looking to succeed in sit and go tournaments you will want to learn the principles of re-stealing. A re-steal is when an opponent raises and you re-raise them to try and take the pot down pre-flop. You make money when your opponent folds, and will win the hand some proportion of the time when called. The idea is that you find spots where you expect your opponent to fold often enough to make the move profitable in the long run.

During the mid stages of sit and goes you will often find yourself in the position of having 15 to 25 big blinds quite often. This is the perfect sort of stack for making re-steals, as long as you pick your spots well and do not over-do the move.

Mid-Stage SNG Strategy - The Principle of re-stealing:

Re-stealing works due to the gap theory. This states that poker players will open raise with a wider range of hands than they would be prepared call a raise with. To choose a simplified example, a player might raise with any pair, ace-six or higher, and any picture cards. However when faced with an all-in re-raise she might only call with pairs 10 and higher and Ace-Queen+. Of course some players will call might ‘lighter’ than this, however the principal is that players will usually fold 50% to 80% of the hands that they initially raised with.

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Mid-Stake SNG Strategy - When to re-steal:

Stack Sizes – Re-stealing is appropriate at various times in a poker game. The perfect stack to re-steal with is a 15 to 25 big blind stack, with a 15 to 25 blind stack you can push all in and keep decent fold equity on your opponent. Fold equity is the amount you make each time your opponent folds. If you have more than that you will be risking a significant part of your stack for the re-steal. You can still try to take pots down with a larger stack just reraise a suitable amount and make sure you are committed if a shorter stacked opponent pushes back at you.

If you attempt to re-steal with a less than 15 big blind stack you are likely to get called with a much wider range because opponents will get pot odds on a lot of their raising hands. Remember, restealing can be profitable at the bubble – though you need to work out whether you have enough chips not to ‘force’ your opponent to call (due to huge pot odds) and that you understand this move in terms of prize pool equity (ICM calculations) as well as the number of chips.

Opponent Type – You must pick the opponents you re-steal against. An aggressive opponent that is raising often is the perfect target to re-steal against. If an opponent is raising a lot he has a wider range with his raises which means it is less likely he can call when you re-raise. If you are against a tight opponent who doesn’t raise often they are much more likely to call - because they will be raising with a much smaller / better range. Also try to note the opponents that are ‘calling stations’ and are likely to call you when you re-raise, these are also opponents you want to tighten your re-steal raise with.

Position: In order to re-steal you want to be in a decent position so you know the majority of other opponents have been folded out of the hand. The more opponents left in the hand the more likely you are to get called. Re-stealing on the button, small blind or big blind is usually quite preferable.

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