ROI Improvement - If you are focusing on Sit and Go Poker Tournaments and are taking it seriously then you are looking to get the best return on your investment (ROI) as possible.

Sit n Go Advanced Strategy: Long Term ROI Improvement in SNGs

If you are focusing on Sit and Go Poker Tournaments and are taking it seriously then you are looking to get the best return on your investment (ROI) as possible. Your investment in this case is your buy in to the SNG and the return is obviously any prize money you win. In this lesson we look at how to maximize your ROI.

How to Improve Return on Investment (ROI)

Play to win. That’s the golden rule of Sit and Go tournaments. It sounds simple, but a common human tendency is to get conservative in situations where money is on the line.

The difference between fourth and third is huge, and the difference between third and second is significant, so playing for the next place when it seems so close is very tempting to the average SNG player.

You are not looking to be average! If you are committed to playing these tournaments in the long term, you must look for every way to increase your long term expectation by even small amounts. The approach to the bubble and three handed play is probably the most important way to do this.

Look at this comparison of two scenarios over ten bubble situations (assumes 50-30-20 pay outs):

4th Place
3rd Place
2nd Place
1st Place
Total Win
5 1 1 3 $200
3 5 1 1 $180

Scenario one only has a 50% ITM (in the money) rate, but has a total win of $200. This is a typical scenario for the strategy we have talked about in this guide and the Play to Win strategy.

Scenario two is 70% ITM, but the net win is only $180. These are the kind of results that playing ultra-conservatively on the bubble results in.

There certainly is a fine line to walk between getting some return by getting into the money and getting a long term benefit with fewer cashes but more wins. It can be argued that scenario two, getting into the money eight times, means you have eight chances instead of five to win first place. That is usually incorrect, since by playing so carefully, you will likely be very short stacked with little chance to win.

Bubble Approach to Return on Investment

Middle Stack

On the bubble, it is generally wise to be cautious only if you are one of the middle stacks. Playing conservatively here is smart, because simply surviving one place gives you an almost 100% return on your investment, and you will have at least a fighting chance at one. Getting knocked out by the big stack, or crippled by one of the other short stacks if they wake up with a hand, is devastating. You went from almost +100% ROI to almost (or exactly) -100% ROI in one big hand.

Big Stack & Short Stack

Two players need to be aggressive on the bubble – the short stack and the big stack. The big stack must play aggressively because the natural tendency of average players here is to be too conservative.

The big stack can and should take advantage of this to build a huge lead going into three handed play. Although this may backfire occasionally as another player wakes up with a big hand, it is the best approach for the long term.

There are two reasons the aggressive approach is profitable in the long term:

  1. The payout structure – If you make it into the money, you have your minimum 20% prize locked up. Now you are playing for either ten per cent extra for second, or 30 per cent extra for first. The game is giving you 2-1 odds on the payout, but there is a lot you can do to give yourself better odds, and that is primarily understanding.
  2. The avoidance of risk in the average player – Some players are afraid of going broke in tournaments, even single table ones. If that is you, change your mindset. If you were playing this specific tournament for your life, you would be right to be a little more cautious, but if you play with the proper bankroll, you should have a long term focus.

Playing aggressively is a long term winning strategy. Your play may not seem optimal if you run into a big pair, but J-7 can get calls from 3-3 as well, which puts you in a coin flip situation. Remember that a player will only be dealt a big pair (J-J or better) roughly once in 55 hands. You only have two opponents. You do the math!