You may have heard that playing in single table sit and go tournaments requires due patience to wait for solid starting hands. The concept here is that when you do get a big hand – that is when you are going to double up, thus working your way into the money.
If you have played any more than a few sit and go tournaments, you must surely be aware that the above scenario rarely works out to the point where you can consistently make money. If you have one implied overall strategy for all sit and go tables, you will be leaving money on many of those tables for your competitors.
Each sit and go table has its own persona and chemical make-up unlike any other. You could even have the exact same players, sitting in the exact same position at two different tables, and have a remarkably different jive and outcome.
This all begs the question of how to adjust and take into account these different factors. In consequence, it is still prudent to play conservatively during the early rounds, but consider this quiet time as your profiling session. Some software, like can help you with this but you can speed things up as well, by carefully watching each hand, and the hole cards of your opponents. You can do this by checking the hand history, but holdem indicator actually retrieves that information for you automatically.
If you see one player limping in early position with J8s, then calling a late position raiser, you have a fair idea immediately, that he is an elephant or maybe even a monkey. If by the 3rd hand in you have AJos in late position, and the board shows 2h Js 6c and you are heads up against that same player, there is simply no need to be patient here, I would run him to the river trying to get as many of his chips as possible. In this case, a blanket, one-size-fits-all strategy would have cost you opportunity chips as you wouldn’t even have even come in with a hand like AJos in the early rounds.
This doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon a tight strategy, but it does mean that you must use the early rounds to identify opportunities. Opportunities can arise in a number of ways besides hand strength. Where position and profiling are considered, your timing is critical, but the early stages often present cheap flop situations with hands like suited connectors, Ace and King X suited, and 2 paint cards.
When playing hands like these, you should be in late position or at an obvious tight table, and the flop should work well for you. Most importantly, you need the inner strength and patience to get away from the marginal hands in the early stages of a tournament. So getting in cheap is one thing, getting out cheap is quite another. The point here is, keep your options open and look for opportunities outside of any strict formula you have been following.