When you move all-in preflop with A-K you probably don’t even want to be called. Pocket Aces or Kings, hands that dominate your Big Slick, are the hands that will most likely call you. Even if you can get a call from a smaller pocket pair you’re less than a 50% favorite to win. With online poker becoming increasingly tighter overall, it’s just too unlikely that you’ll get a call from a dominated hand with A-K. While flipping a coin for an early double-up might be an acceptable risk to you the inherent variance simply doesn’t make this a long-term winning strategy.
To summarize, here are several steps to succeeding in the early rounds of Sit and Go tournaments:
-Play conservative in the early rounds. The blinds are low for the first 20-30 minutes of a Sit and Go and there is no pressure to gamble. Worse yet, the reward for doing so is often very low.
-Avoid mediocre trap hands. Even though you may be able to limp in cheaply, mediocre hands can knock your chip stack down in the early rounds when you can’t get away from them.
-Play hands with good “double-up value”, meaning starting cards that would give you a lock hand should you connect and your opponent overplays his holdings. Specific hands include suited Aces and pocket pairs.
-Raise your premium starting hands to at least 5-7x the big blind in the early rounds. Weak opponents will be looking to limp in and see a lot of flops at this point so maintain your dominant position by thinning the field.
-Rarely risk your entire stack preflop with A-K. While it is an extremely prevalent play in smaller Sit and Gos, players looking for consistent wins should avoid overvaluing this drawing hand. The likely callers will already have you dominated.
While these tips will not cover every situation you’ll face in a Sit and Go, they’re useful guidelines to get you past the early rounds of play. Again, the most important tip here is to restrict your play at the onset to premium cards and those that can win you a big pot. Many impatient players are playing Sit and Gos purely for entertainment and will gamble it up early and often. As a result, you can often find yourself close to the money simply by letting the fish filet themselves.