The 45 players sit'n go
A common game that is featured on Full Tilt is the 45 players sit and go. Personally, I enjoy playing 3 different stake levels of this tournament format, ranging from buy-ins of $10 + $1, $24 + $2, and $69 +$6. The interesting thing about discussing these sit'n gos is that the strategy involved in each buy-in level is very similar.
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Back to sit and gos. Before I even begin playing a hand, I try to determine a set of goals that I strive for. From the experience playing these for some time now, there are two goals I try to focus on. First is earning a spot in the final table. My mindset shouldn't be winning the tournament initially, but to be in one of the seats at the final table.
Once you reach the final table, then you start thinking about winning the table or finishing with a money position. This altered mindset can affect the way you play. One way it does this is when you get short stacked, you don't feel as pressured to risk your tournament life on gambles.
The other goal I like to keep in mind is the targeted chip count I would like to have. Every players starts with 1,500 chips, meaning there is 67,500 chips in the whole tournament (15,000 X 45).
The objective chip count I like to focus on is 10,000. If you are able to get your stack up to 10,000 chips with a shot at the final table, you are in good shape. In a final table of 9 players with a total of 67,500, 10,000 chips is a comfortable chip count to have.
How to play Full Tilt 45 players sit and gos
One reason I particularly enjoy Full Tilt Poker 45 players sit and gos is the concept I like to call a safe up. I really believe that if at some point in the tournament you are able to win a big pot, perhaps doubling or tripling up, you have a very solid shot of surviving.
I define a safe up as a significant increase in your chip count that immediately affects your presence at the table, making you an immediate threat to all other players. With a "safe up", you increase your chances of survival dramatically and are in good shape for potential winnings.
A couple pointers to keep in mind during the tournament are blind stealing and bluffing. I strongly favor the idea of stealing blinds to increase your stack count. However, this whole concept seems very ineffective at the beginning of the tournament, because the blinds are so low compared to your overall chip stack.
Risking your stack on a steal seems very unnecessary at this point. Only begin blind stealing when there is a significant amount chips in the pot to steal.
Another point of emphasis is bluffing. You will run into situations where you might feel someone is taking a shot at the pot with nothing or they show signs of weakness. I suggest taking advantage of these opportunities.
Trying to bluff people out of hands at the beginning of the tournament is not too worthwhile. First, usually the pot is not relatively big since the blinds are still low. Secondly, it is simply the beginning of the tournament. How often have you failed to bluff someone out of the pot and become frustrated doing so?
There is no point of increasing your frustration level especially at the beginning when there is still so much more poker to play. Relax, enjoy, and avoid risking your chips right away!