Howard Lederer is one of the best poker players in the world. He started his career in the dark corners of New York’s pool halls and betting parlors. He is regarded as one the smartest players ever and has taught numerous professionals to be better. In Ledermanufaktur fact, Howard is nicknamed “the professor”. Howard penned an article regarding sit and go strategy, that on premise is quite right, but like a rebel student, I disagree with a major point in it.
The point in question is the comparison of single table sit and go tournaments to the final table of a multi table tournament. Howard Lederer says the sit and go tourneys train you for when you get to a multi-table tournament final table – which you may know can be months in between appearances. He is right in the sense that that they are both tournaments and when someone gets eliminated, no one replaces that player and the table reduces in numbers. It’s about there the similarities end.
Most sit and go tournaments don’t last much more than an hour at a full 9 or 10 seater. By the time you make a final table tournament, you have been playing anywhere from 3 hours to 3 days! The big Sunday tournaments online can last 6 or 7 hours before the final table is seated. You only get a few 5 minute breaks, so you can well imagine not being as “fresh” as you would be sitting down to a single table tournament. In fact, you can be well worn, irritable, and impatient.
Making the final table also means (save for a few select tournaments) that you are not only in the money, but have made a substantial return on your entry fee. Some players let their guard down in that spot and play loosely because they are already ecstatic they made so much money! In most 9 or 10 seated sit and go tournaments only the top 3 pay prize money, and everyone who starts out is intent on getting to that final 3.
The start of a sit and go also means the exact same chip stack for everyone! When was the last final table you made where everyone’s M was exactly the same? In an MTT you are faced with stacks bigger and/or smaller than yours from the very first hand. Sometimes, the stacks of your opponents are much bigger or smaller than yours. This has a huge impact on hand selection and position play right from the first deal. All players at the start of a sit and go have the option of playing very tight, without falling behind or risk of being eliminated or blinded out in the early going.