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5 Common Beginner Mistakes in Sit and Go Tournaments (and How to Avoid Them)

Are you a beginner at Sit and Go tournaments?

Do you find yourself making mistakes that are costing you money and causing frustration? Look no further, in this post we’ll highlight common mistakes and help you level up your game.

Sit and Go (SNG) tournaments have become increasingly popular among online poker players, and for good reason.

They provide a fast-paced, action-packed experience that’s perfect for beginners looking to dip their toes into tournament play. But, with the allure of potentially big payouts comes the risk of making costly mistakes.

Here are 5 mistakes that beginners make in SNG tournaments and how to avoid them.

Table of Contents

1. Playing Too Many Hands

Playing too many hands is a common mistake that many beginners make.

Don’t be too eager to get into the action. If you play too many hands, you risk putting yourself in unfavorable situations, leading to unnecessary losses and a dwindling chip stack.

In SNG tournaments, where the blinds increase quickly and the number of players decreases, it's essential to play selectively and only enter pots with strong starting hands. According to Upswing Poker, more than 70% of hands should be folded.

Playing selectively and protecting your chip stack early will be a huge benefit in the later stages.

2. Ignoring Position

Position is an important factor, especially in SNG tournaments where you're playing against a small number of opponents.

In poker, position is where a player sits relative to the dealer.

The dealer, also known as the "button", is in the best position at the table because they act last in each betting round. The player to the right of the button is in the second-best position, and so on around the table.

It’s not just about where you sit at the table—it's about how you use that position to your advantage. It's important to pay attention to your position and adjust your strategy accordingly.

When you're in a late position, you have the advantage of seeing how your opponents act. This can give you valuable information about the strength of their hands, allowing you to make more informed decisions. You can also use your position to steal blinds and make well-timed bluffs.

On the other hand, playing from an early position can be more challenging because you have less information about your opponents' hands. Play tight and focus on premium hands to minimize your losses and increase your chances of winning.

3. Not Adjusting to Table Dynamic

As the table dynamics change, you need to adjust your strategy.

As players are eliminated and blinds increase, your starting hand requirements should change. Don't be afraid to become more aggressive in your play, but make sure it's a calculated risk.

Pay attention to your opponents and how they play. Observing their playing style will help you make informed decisions about when to fold, call, or raise.

If you’re playing against tight players, seize the opportunity to play more aggressively. On the other hand, if you’re playing against aggressive players, wait for premium hands before making your move.

Not adjusting to changing table dynamics can be costly. It's essential to stay aware of the situation and adjust your strategy to maximize your chances of success.

4. Tilting

This can be one of the most frustrating and costly mistakes a poker player can make—and one that even experienced players can fall victim to.

Tilting is when you’re frustrated and you let your emotions take over, causing you to make poor decisions. Tilt can be caused by different factors like a bad beat, a string of losses, or frustration with opponents.

When you’re on tilt, you may start making irrational decisions, such as chasing losses, playing too aggressively or too passively, or making unnecessary bluffs. These decisions can quickly lead to a dwindling chip stack or even going broke.

An important tip is to stay disciplined and focused. This means keeping a positive mindset and making decisions based on logic and strategy, rather than emotion.

If you feel yourself starting to tilt, take a break from the game to clear your head. And, if you find yourself struggling, it can be helpful to talk to other players or a coach about your experiences and strategies for overcoming it.

Another helpful tip is to set realistic goals for yourself. By focusing on the process of playing well rather than the outcome of each individual hand, you can avoid getting caught up in the highs and lows of the game.

By staying disciplined, focused, and in control of your emotions, you can increase your chances of making the right decisions and ultimately coming out on top.

5. Failing to Manage Bankroll

As a poker player, your bankroll is your lifeline.

Without a proper bankroll management strategy, you may find yourself busting early or making costly mistakes.

The recommended bankroll for SNG tournaments is at least 50 buy-ins. This means that if you're playing a $20 Sit and Go, you should have at least $1,000 in your bankroll. Having a sufficient bankroll helps you handle the swings of the game.

Managing your bankroll is crucial for long-term success in poker—and it's not something to be taken lightly.

Level Up Your Game

Check out more articles and tips from our SNG Tournament Beginner’s Guide.

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