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PokerStars has a wide variety of Sit & Go (SNG) Tournaments available for their players. One of the more popular variations are heads up tournaments, which match the player against a single opponent in a “winner take all” contest. These heads up SNGs come in several varieties themselves, but one format stands out among the others – heads up with no blind increases.
In most SNGs, the blinds increase every few minutes and often include antes at later blind levels. This aspect of tournament play tends to change the pace of the game as the tournament progresses, as well as changing the players strategies along the way. In the heads up SNGs with no blind increases, the dynamics are changed, with more of an emphasis on patient play.
These SNGs are only offered for for NL Hold’em and PL Omaha, with buyins ranging from $5 to $200 plus rake. The basic version starts players with 1,500 chips, with blinds at 15/30 for the duration of the tournament. The victor ends up winning both player’s buyin (less the rake), and the loser goes home with nothing. There is also a deep stacked version for both NL Hold’em and PL Omaha. These feature 2,000 starting chips, with blinds at a very low 5/10 for the entire tournament.
Strategy for these tournaments differ greatly from regular SNGs. Since the blinds never increase, the ratio of player’s stacks to the pot will usually be high, until one player becomes short stacked. This often makes patient play the correct approach, with an emphasis on pot control and developing reads on your opponent. Some have said that the play in these SNGs resembles a heads up cash game, with pots staying generally small until two big hands collide.
The heads up SNGs with no blind increases can be a great way to develop your heads up play or to try out new strategies. Since the blinds never go up, the amount of time that it takes to finish one can vary widely. Some can end very early if both players hit strong hands, while others can last for some time as players battle back and forth trying to gain the upper hand. Be sure to check these out on PokerStars and bring your best heads up game.
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