There are a number of points in a single table sit n go hold’em tournament when you will have a good indication that something is amiss, or all systems are go, or something important has happened and requires a response. Basically, these indicators help you to recognize when and how to make changes or corrections in your game.
You can think of these control points, as I call them, as performance barometers, or as early warning systems, or simply as signs along the path. The control points mentioned in this article are based upon my observations during 1,000s of sit n go tournaments. And, there is one thing about them that is certain, and that is that they are not for certain. Sometimes they should definitely be heeded, and sometimes they can be ignored. Because, sometimes a player can survive the worst of circumstances. And, sometimes blow the best.
But, it is always good to have a second opinion. And, control points serve that purpose very well. Oftentimes, we will get lost in the game. It is then that the control points can provide that much needed wake up call.
If you will study the mechanics and timing of a Dominoqq tournament, you will find several important points, goals, stages, or events when certain playing responses are warranted. Here are a few of my important control points, they are the ones that I always notice. Whenever any of these alarms sound, I will immediately assess the situation. Then, take whatever action is necessary to assure that my stack is, or becomes, or remains in order.
- Fall to 1,300 chips. Given a starting stack of 1,500 chips, falling to 1,300 chips is the first point, or warning, that something might be wrong with my play. I might be playing too loose, limping too much, or playing too tight. Whatever the reason, the fact remains that my stack is headed in the wrong direction. I need to determine the reason, and begin taking any warranted corrective action.
- Fall to 1,100 chips. If the slide continues to 1,100 chips, then I know that I am in trouble. Likely, I am playing too timidly. If so, I probably need to make some drastic changes. For example, perhaps to adopt a push-or-fold playing style.
- Big blind hits 100 chips. This point, I think, is universally recognized as that point where many players will, and should shift gears. They will begin to fight a little, or a lot harder for the blinds. And, some players, especially the ones with shorter stacks, will begin the ritual of preflop pushing all-in. Anticipating this table mood shift is important to avoiding re-steals and other hyper aggressive actions.
- Start of short table play. This point usually marks the start of all around looser and more aggressive play. The larger, meaningful blinds, plus fewer opponents, account for this natural shift. It is important to determine a correct playing style, and to make any necessary adjustments. For example, an ultra-tight approach might be called for given a very loose table texture. It is also very helpful to arrive at this point with at least a table average stack size.
- Start of bubble play. This point often will see your opponents become very conservative. Your correct response might be to loosen up. In any event, caution should prevail. This is a time to weigh and re-weigh every decision before its execution. Loose on the bubble should not also mean becoming stupid. This is a second point where arrival with at least a table average stack size is an important goal.
- Rise to 3,000 chips. When I have accumulated 3,000 or more chips, this is the point where I will decided whether or not to shift into a big stack protection mode. If so, I will then trim risk-taking to the absolute minimum.
Depending upon the tournament type and your playing style, there are potentially many more control points. Thus, you can use these, or establish your own. Control points are about the business of protecting your tournament life and helping to ensure your victory. So, adopt several and use them liberally.