Differences Between Sit 'n Go's and Multi-Table Tournaments
First, we observe that moneying in a sit 'n go entails about 30 to 75 minutes of time, and has a payout for the top 30 percent or 33.3 percent of the entrants. Moneying in a multi-table tournament, meanwhile, requires about 4 to 8 hours of time, with only 10 to 20 percent of entrants placing in the money. Since sit 'n go's therefore require less time investment and allow you to money with greater frequency, they are lower variance (i.e., have smaller profit-and-loss fluctuations) than multi-table tournaments.
Second, there is more room for personal strategic preference in a multi-table tournament. In the sit 'n go, the enormous jump from 0 to 20 percent of the prize pool at the bubble makes optimal strategy fairly clear: You should play cautious early to ensure survival into the high blinds, then gradually increase to an aggressive game to maximize your chances of finishing first.
But in a multi-table tournament, there is more room for individual variation. Some winning players adapt a sit 'n go-like strategy, simply trying to play tight early and then increase aggression as the blinds increase and players diminish. But many of the top multi-table tournament players also get involved in lots of small pots, willing to take early risks to exploit big-stacked playing opportunities throughout the tournament. These players often rely on the longer structure and generally greater stack-size-to-blind ratio to base their game on outplaying opponents post-flop to a much greater degree than is possible in fast-structure sit 'n go play.
Another difference between sit 'n go's and multi-table tournaments is that sit 'n go's allow you the opportunity to use table selection to increase the expected return on your investments. As we will discuss below, selecting only those tables that offer weak competition will significantly increase your return on investment. And with sit 'n go's this feat of table selection is readily achievable with mental recognition, notes, and/or software. But in a 400-man multi-table tournament, monitoring the quality of your opposition may be difficult, and choosing your specific table is outright impossible. So table selection is one significant advantage that is available in sit 'n go play yet inapplicable to multi-table tournaments.
Next, we have made it a theme in our sit 'n go discussion that you should not be content to coast into the money with a short stack, just glad to be walking away with anything. But in a multi-table tournament, if the prize jumps are significant relative to your bankroll, risk aversion may allow for some "coasting." If moving up one or two rungs in the latter ensures your ability to make profitable future investments, you might reasonably decline a marginally positive equity play.
Lastly, in a multi-table tournament, you will be playing the vast majority against a full table. Indeed, it is only if you make it to the final stages that short-handed play will occur. By contrast, in most of your sit 'n go's, much of your active playing will take place 6-handed or fewer. With the sit 'n go, it is only when you bust out early that you will play entirely at a full table. The same certainly cannot be said about the multi-table tournament.
Consider heads-up play, for instance. An average player will reach heads-up in 20 percent of the 10-man sit 'n go's he enters, whereas the same player will reach heads-up well under 1 percent of the time in a 300-player multi-table tournament. So sit 'n go's favor short-handed skills to a much larger extent than do multi-table tournaments. That is one reason so many of the key hands we examine in this book take place in the context of short-handed play.
There are, therefore, certain fundamental differences between sit 'n go and multi-table tournament play.