Sit and Go Poker Article:
Getting Skunked

Sit and Go Poker Article: Getting Skunked: Getting Skunked (or shut out) means you get no playable hands in a Sit-N-Go all the way to the point where you are crippled by the blinds and no longer have any fold-equity on your shoves. This happens rarely in MTTs and occasionally in regular SNGs, but it can happen a lot in Super Turbo SNGs.

What causes it? Getting Skunked is caused by a combination of being dealt a bunch of weak hands and/or by other players entering the pot before the action gets to you, forcing you to fold otherwise playable hands. Early SNG strategy dictates that you play tight. This makes it all the more likely that you'll be shut out. In a Super Turbo, you may only need to fold your first 15 hands before you find yourself with a tiny stack.

What should you do to avoid it? The answer to that is "not much", at least not early. You don't know you're going to get skunked until it's already happened. And you shouldn't make bad plays because you're scared of being shut out. It's rare enough that you don't have to live in fear.

However, the shorter your stack becomes and the closer you are to last place, the smaller the edge you should require before pulling the trigger. And in some situations, this required edge should actually be negative!

Sit and Go Poker Tip:

When Should You Make "Negative EV" pushes or calls? The short answer to that is whenever you need to maintain a stack big enough to have decent fold-equity on future pushes. Also, especially 4 or 3 handed, being in a distant last place will discourage your opponents from mixing it up with each other (and you want them mixing it up with each other), because they will be tempted to play tight against other big stacks while they wait for you to go broke. If making a couple marginal steal attempts gives you a good chance to avoid being soon blinded out or being in a distant last place when it's 4 or 3 handed, then it's probably worth it.

These "Negative EV" plays are negative in the sense that (on average) they will lower your tournament equity according to ICM, but they are executed in an attempt at avoiding being stuck with even worse negative EV situations in the near future (i.e. having no fold equity on future pushes or encouraging your opponents to play in a way you don't want them to by waiting for you to go broke).

Proper Negative EV Plays are kind of like radiation therapy. The therapy is bad for you, but it is administered in an attempt to avoid something else even worse happening in the future (death from cancer).

To see some examples of some proper "negative EV" plays, see this article. Negative EV Plays - When to Ignore ICM

END: Sit and Go Poker Article: Getting Skunked

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