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Sit & Go Tournaments are a very popular option for players looking to get a tournament environment without the time commitment of a regularly scheduled Multi-Table Tournament. Since Sit&Go's (SnGs) start whenever they get enough players, they are attractive for the casual player that doesn't have much time to play. Even more popular than the regular SnGs are the “turbo” variant. In these tournaments, the blinds go up much faster than in normal tournaments, allowing the turbo player to play more tournaments in a shorter amount of time.
PokerStars offers SnGs in many different game formats, from No Limit Hold'em to Pot Limit Omaha to 5-Card Draw and and many other variants. Most games feature turbo variations. While there are multi-table and short-handed games, we'll be focusing on single table Sit & Go turbos here.
In most games, turbo SnGs are 9-handed, although it does depend on the game. For example, Triple Draw 2-7 is 6-handed, and HORSE and mixed Hold'Em are both 8-handed. Upon entering, you pay an entry fee in addition to “the rake”, a small amount that goes to PokerStars for hosting the tournament. For example, there is a $25 + $2 turbo NL Hold'em SnG where $25 goes to the prize pool and $2 is the rake.
Turbo SnGs, like their regular speed brothers, pay out the top 3 spots in a 9-handed tournament. First, second and third pay out 50%, 30%, and 20%, respectively. In the example above with the $27 buyin, the winner would get $112.50, second gets $67.50, and third place nets $45.
Like normal speed tournaments, turbos start out with 1500 chips on PokerStars. Blinds start at 10/20 and increase every 5 minutes, as compared to every 10 minutes with the normal speed SnGs. This table shows the level increases:
Level - Blinds - Ante
1 - 10/20
2 - 15/30
3 - 25/50
4 - 50/100
5 - 75/150
6 - 100/200
7 - 100/200 - 25
8 - 200/400 - 25
9 - 300/600 - 50
10 - 400/800 - 50
Most turbo SnGs are completed by the 200/400 level. They last about 30-45 minutes, sometimes the lower buyin levels finish sooner, with bad players busting out very early. Strategy in the turbos is a hotly debated subject. Some players advocate playing very tight early, conserving chips for the eventual all in move. Most agree that you cannot play speculative hands early, since you are committing chips on a longshot and the blinds go up so fast that you can't justify that play. Tight/aggressive becomes more the mantra, even more so than the normal speed version.
When the blinds get big and the number of remaining players gets short, knowing when to push all-in becomes key. This “push/fold” knowlegde is the cornerstone of good turbo SnG players. Knowing when to shove and when to fold, depending on the stack sizes of the remaining players, is a crucial element in becoming a profitable turbo SnG player. Being able to exert pressure on the short stacks is even more important in the turbo environment as the blinds are going up twice as fast.
Turbos are good for players on limited playing time, as they finish in relatively short order compared to their regular speed cousins. Many players are known to play multiple tables of turbos at the same time, rather than the normal speed SnGs, in order to maximize their hourly rate. Check out the turbo selection in your game on PokerStars today!
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