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Phil Gordon's Little Blue Book
by Phil Gordon
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Valuable sections include Cash Games AND Tournament Play; Sit and Gos; Satellites and Supersatellites. Nicely illustrated with many lessons, examples and analysis, it’s a balanced, smooth-reading textbook, some of which is based on the author's experience. This balance of common sense, strategies, ploys and an honest appraisal of what was going through his mind when he made his moves adds strength to this powerful, positive pack of lessons. One unique approach is to  'improve at poker is not by finding answers. It is by finding questions,' says champion Chris Ferguson in the foreward. This companion book to Gordon's Little Green Book does just that.
Read a review of Phil Gordon's Little Blue Book

Early Stages of a Sit-and-Go Tournament

A sit-and-go is sort of like a poker tournament in miniature. Instead of facing 20 tables with two hundred players, you are usually facing only nine or ten players at a single table. Instead of attemptingMichael GreenbergMike Greenberg is a dedicated poker player who always tries to improve his game. He operates the poker site where you can find his educating articles and thoughts on poker strategy. Mike Greenberg shows that you don’t have to be the best player in the world to make a profit from poker. If you stick to the basics and play solid poker, you can beat the games at reasonably high limits.  Michael's website is  to amass chips for hours, the entire affair from start to finish usually lasts around 40 to 45 minutes. Just like a traditional Texas Hold'em tournament – however, there are different stages to the game, requiring different strategies.

The early stages of a traditional tournament are generally a feeling-out period, where players like to try to assess their opponents without taking too many chances. In a sit-and-go, this is true as well, but to a much lesser extent than in a larger tournament. In a sit-and-go, the blinds usually go up fairly quickly – every fifteen minutes or so. This means that there is not a lot of time for tight play and information gathering before you fight for the pots.

Because of this, you’re going to have to be very observant in the early rounds of the tournament. You’re going to have to gather every bit of information you can, because players will start making moves on pots before you know it. Then, you’re going to have to know what to do.

You’ll give yourself a head start on future sit-and-go games if you watch the opposition closely. If you play on a particular site, you’ll probably encounter these players again. If you can start taking advantage of their tendencies from hand one, you’ll give yourself a real edge over your opponents, provided of course that you know how to play Texas Holdem well.

You shouldn’t be looking to move all your chips in during the early rounds of a sit-and-go, but you shouldn’t be as afraid of it as you might be in a larger tournament. You’re facing eight or nine players all of whom must be eliminated for you to win. You’re only going to cash if you have more chips than all but two of them by the end in a 10-player sit-and-go. Since the blinds are going up fast, you won’t mind winning uncontested pots, you won’t mind being in a "double up or go home" situation provided the odds are favorable to you, and you are a lot more likely to get action when moving in with a big hand.

Keep in mind that while you should use your observations as a guideline, some players may play differently once they reach the middle rounds. Certain players may play tight until a few players are knocked off; others may play maniacally, moving chips in at the slightest provocation. Make careful observations of your opponents’ tendencies at the early stages, but don’t forget to be open to making adjustments to your Texas Holdem strategy as the middle rounds commence.
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