PokerStars Sit And Gos – Heads Up
posted in Heads Up, Poker Strategy, SNG on 7 August 2017 by

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A popular format of Sit And Gos at PokerStars is their Heads-Up Format. In these games players compete against only one other person, in a winner-takes-all format. There are many different games offered at a large variety of buy-in levels.

There are four different blind structures on PokerStars: turbo, regular, no-blind-increases, and deep-no-blind-increases. Players can choose from many different styles of games including: NL Hold’em, Limit Hold’em, Pot-Limit Omaha, PL Omaha H/L, Limit Omaha H/L, 7C Stud, 7C Stud H/L, Razz, and HORSE.

PokerStars offered a large range of buy-in levels, from micro-stakes all the way to high-stakes. HU SnG’s start as low a $2+$.20 and can be played as high as $5500+$100. The higher the buy-in the lower the rake is in % of the total buy-in.

The format of a heads-up SnG is extremely important in determining the best way to play. The turbo’s have a fast format, escalating the blinds every five minutes until the tournament is over. Each player starts with 1500 tournament chips and the blinds increases every five minutes as shown below:

10/20

15/30

25/50

50/100

100/200

100/200 Ante: 25

200/400 Ante: 25

300/600 Ante: 25

400/800 Ante: 50

The regular format is better for those who might feel more comfortable playing longer and not having to get into push/fold mode so early in the match. In these matches the blinds escalate the same but do so every 10 minutes:

10/20

15/30

25/50

50/100

100/200

100/200 Ante: 25

200/400 Ante: 25

300/600 Ante: 25

400/800 Ante: 50

The next format is PokerStars newly introduced No-Blind-Increases SnG’s. There are two styles of these, one starts with 1500 chips and 15/30 blinds and the other stars with 2000 chips and 5/10 blinds. The blinds never go up, so these two will play as closely to a cash game as a SnG can get.

The turbo format will typically take less time to complete than the others; however, since it is one-on-one play, there is no way to know how long. Some SnG’s will be over very quickly, while others could take some time, it is all very dependent on you and your opponent. The No-Blind-Increases can take a very long time, especially if your opponent chooses to play cautiously. One note to make on the NBE formats is that their rake is actually lower than the turbo/regular SnG’s in % of buy-in. For example, at the $5 level these are your options

NL Hold’em $5+.25—Turbo

NL Hold’em $5+.25—Regular

NL Hold’em $5.25+.25—No-Blind-Increases

NL Hold’em $5.50+.25—No-Blind-Increases-Deep

There is certainly some basic strategy that can be applied to all the games to help you improve your winrate and your ROI (Return on Investment). The biggest leak I see is players playing too passively once to blinds start to represent a large % of their stack. Once the big blind represents 10% of more your stack you should be going all-in a lot PF. The reason behind this is that there is a lot of money to be won PF, your opponent must find at the very least a decent hand to call you with (approximately 20% of the time) and even if you are called you still have a chance to win the pot.

Identifying what type of opponent you are up against is also very important. If your opponent is aggressive and likes to bluff a lot, then let them! Slowplay bigger hands and watch them bluff all of their chips off to you. If your opponent never seems to fold then try to value bet your made-hands and never bluff. The faster you are able to identify the type of opponent you are playing the easier it will be to adjust to them.

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