One thing I’m always asked about is tournament selection. Which one’s should I play? which should I avoid, is late reg bad or good? It’s probably one of the most important topic we face as poker players. You need to know where’s the value and once you’re there how to take a shot at a big payday! So here’s 5 tips about satellites plus my thoughts on what you should really consider so you don’t blow it! Good Luck!
1) Know when you can play Texas Fold’em
Sometimes you’ll have the luxury of having a seat to the target tournament locked up and can simply fold to a seat – yes even aces. There’s no one size fits all formula for working out when you’re safe but my rule of thumb is this. If you’re inside the cut-off point by more places than there are players to be eliminated before the satellite ends then you’re safe. For instance if there are 27 players left a satellite that awards 20 seats, if you’re 12/20 or higher then you basically have a seat locked.
2) Know which stacks to attack
As a short stack you want to attack the medium stacks who can’t afford to call you light lest they lose and become a short stack. Big stacks can call you more freely. As a medium stack you want to attack fellow medium stacks and the big stacks who either have a seat locked up or all but do and therefore have to call you super tight because of the risk-reward ratio. Don’t attack the small stacks as they have less to lose. As a big stack you can pick your spots more carefully, if you must play a hand pick on fellow big stacks who have a seat locked.
3) Keep an eye on the other tables
Whilst screen real estate is precious if you’re deep in a satellite you need to have the other tables open so you can follow the action at the other tables.
4) If you must, stall…
If you’ve followed point three and are ‘hugging the bubble’ – as in sweating if you’ll get a seat are not, then if it helps you must stall and use your timebank. In the end game of satellites, where the difference in stacks can be minuscule, stalling so the blinds increase and dent someone else’s stack more severely is not unethical, its smart play.
5) Know your opponents
Of course the above only applies against opponents who realise the difference between a satellite and a regular tournament. So, take note of anything odd – a player calling really light when they have a seat locked for instance – and apply that alongside satellite strategy.
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