How to Beat Micro Limit Turbo Sit n Go Tournaments

I can tell you from experience that playing the micro stakes can make you want to tear your hair out. It did me, at least before I got coaching.

Once I got coaching, and learned the basic strategies to beating turbo sit n go’s, I quickly turned my game around and became a profitable player. I only played maybe 100 to 150 before my coaches moved me up to the $6 games, and in less than 2,000 games I was playing the $16s.

The bottom line is that once I (was taught) figured out the basics, I didn’t spend too long at the micros because they were easy to crush. And in this article I’m going to share some of these tips with you so that maybe you can crush the micros and move up quickly too.

Play Straightforward

This is going to sound cliche, but maybe that’s because it is — my first tip is to play ABC poker. Play as straightforward as you can. This means folding hands when you miss, betting your hands when you don’t and not messing around with some check/raise 3-bet fancy plays.

The thing is — players at the $1, $3 and $6 levels are bad, with the exception of the $6 regs. There are decent players here, with the best moving on to the $16s. Everyone else though will not be good. They won’t fold AK, they’ll go broke with 3rd pair, they’ll call you down with 3rd pair and they’ll push all in preflop with KJo just because.

The players at these levels suck. Repeat that to yourself a couple times.

Ok, so what does straightforward mean for our strategy? Well, it means we go broke with top pair, we bet our sets hard and fast, we don’t steal the blinds unless we’re in the late stages and we hardly ever c-bet the flop. That’s right — c-betting the flop is pretty much ineffective at the lower levels (it works ok at the $6s). And when you’re played back at aggressively, fold your hand.

That’s pretty much it. Stick to this and I think you’ll notice an improvement right out the gate.

Raise Your Big Hands Preflop

Given my last tip, this one should be a no-brainer. Do not, under any circumstance, limp your big pocket pairs. This includes JJs+.

In fact, at the lower stakes you could get away with 4x raises. For example, at 10/20 I would raise to 80 chips, maybe even 100 chips if I thought I could get callers. If you think you can get value, then do it, because these players will frequently call you with much worse.

Although limping your bigger pocket pairs can be an effective strategy at the higher stakes, you’ll just invite way too many players in the pot with you, making your larger hands less valuable. And again, if they’re willing to call a 4-5x raise, then you should take advantage of that.

Limp Your Baby Pocket Pairs

On the opposite side of the spectrum, I recommend limping all of your smaller pocket pairs. This includes 22s through 10s.

The reason for this is because you’ll get so many callers that you’re better off setmining versus trying to raise for value. I don’t recommend c-betting the flop at the lower stakes, so there’s no point in raising since you’ll have a harder time taking down the pot postflop. Not only that, but say you raise to 60 chips preflop at 10/20 and get 5 callers. Already the pot is 330 chips. So it’s expensive to c-bet, let alone the fact that you will hardly ever get folds from 5 players, especially at the micro stakes.

Players at the Lower Stakes Are Much Easily Abused

One of the turning points in my strategy, especially early on was learning the art of exploiting other players. Especially around tense situations such as the bubble. Most of these players are recreational, so they want to cash at all costs, as opposed to trying to play to win at all costs.

Use this to your advantage by shoving and reshoving wide in spots like the bubble, or when there are other players who are extremely short and should clearly bust first. You’ll get a ton of folds, and you’ll build your stack to the point to where it’s real easy for you to run the table over and take the top 2-4 payout spots.

Just keep in mind that some players are either bad or don’t care, and will make what would be seemingly bad calls (especially in terms of ICM). You’ll want to take note of these players and avoid trying to exploit them (as often).

Don’t Isolate Too Wide

My second to last tip is in regards to all-in situations by other short stacks. One thing that you learn pretty quick is that these players don’t shove nearly as wide as they should. What that means for you is that you should avoid isolating these players as wide as you would good (short stacked) players.

For example, a good player will shove hands like KTs or QJo with 6-7 big blinds. So isolating them with a hand like KQs makes sense. However, bad players will often wait until they have a pair, KJ+ or Ax+ before going all in. What this means for you is that you’re almost always behind when you iso them. I made this mistake so many times with KQ, and they almost always showed up with a hand like A5 or A8s. It sucks, and it leaves you tearing your hair out because you know that KQ should be good there, but only against a player who knows what they’re doing.

Be Sure You Have Fold Equity

Similar to above, players just aren’t nearly as wide as you think they are. Or, they’re willing to call with any two cards. In other words, against these players you don’t have any fold equity, or as much as you think you do.

I bring this up because a common move in sit n go’s and tournaments is to reshove. It’s a great way to exploit certain situations, as well as chip up.

However, versus a lot of players at the micros it won’t work, because they’ll call you super wide for no apparent reason. So if you have 3-4 players who limp in, and you think reshoving with A8 is a good idea, you might want to think again. You might find yourself running it versus a hand like JT or KQ. Granted, you are ahead, but most times when you reshove it’s not because you want to race, but rather because you want to take the pot uncontested. That’s easier said than done at the micro stakes, though.