Sit n Go’s at Party Poker and Empire Poker are a bit different from the other sites. Here I will try to help you with a strategy to successfully place in the money as much as possible.
For starters, Don’t play the $5 entry Sit n Go’s. The rake (fee) for these tournaments is $1 which amounts to a 20% rake. I don’t care how good you think you are, you should never pay a 20% rake. Move up to the $10 +1 tables and you will get adequate rake fee.
Secondly unless you move up to the $50 buy in level, you will only receive 800 chips to start out with. This is not much, and with the maniacs at Party Poker they can quickly dwindle leaving you in short stack mode which forces you to play badly.
Many think this 800 chip count start is a bad thing. I personally don’t like it, but I have tried to adapt and use it to my advantage. Styles of play are a bit different for “no limit” and “limit”, but in general this is how I play these games.
No Limit Sit n Go’s: I only play huge hands. I wait it out and watch the other maniacs go to town wasting their precious little stack of only 800 chips. Usually before round 3 there is already at least 2 players busted out, (if not more) and the blinds are starting to increase. Once the blinds hit 100, it is a different game and you could get busted in a heartbeat. Hopefully by this time you have gotten one or two big hands that increased your stack above the 1000 mark. If not, you better hope for a monster soon.
If you are lucky enough to hit the nuts,(best hand) or are holding a big hand, you need to yoke as many chips as possible from your opponents. Make sure your big hands pay off. Also, make sure you are able to lay down your AK if the flop comes Q Q 9 and you have bettors coming at you.
As long as you have a few big wins before the blinds hit 200/400 your in good shape. You just have to pick those few precise moments in which you think you are ahead and collect some chips. The ultimate goal is to win, but as long as you finish in 3rd place you will be winning cash.
Don’t risk your stacks on marginal hands. Once you are down to the last 4 or 5 players it will become somewhat of a crap shoot. People will be trying to steal blinds, and going all in with lots of chips. Your tight play previously will prime you to be a tough player and you will have great opportunities to snatch blinds yourself.
Whether playing limit or no limit, this tight style will almost always get you down into 5th place. 5th place makes no money though, so it is up to you to beat out 2 more players. Even the best get beat on the bubble (one out of the money) often, and it is bound to happen to good players. Hopefully more times than not, you will be able to outlast those last 5 players.
Limit Sit n Go’s: I play limit games very similar to the no limit games only playing premium hands. The biggest difference in the limit poker games is that the maniacs can’t bust themselves out of the tournament as quick without the all in factor. I only play great hands, in good position, and I raise, raise, raise, when my hand hits.
Most Party Poker players cannot stand folding lots of hands. This is exactly what you need to do to last in these limit games. Don’t mess around with marginal hands that will quickly diminish your 800 stack to 560.
It is fairly simple to make it to the last 5 in a 10 player tournament, but making it to 3rd is the key. You should be able to make it into the top 3 40% of the time if you want to be a long term winner. If you play tight, and right this should not be a problem.