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PokerFest is back between March 29 and April 12 and there’s more than $2,400,000 guaranteed across 76 events and it all culminates with the $300,000 guaranteed $200 Main Event on April 12. But you don’t have to break the bank to take a shot at a big payday as satellites are running from just $0.25.

1 Tight Is Right

Unlike a regular tournament in which the payout structure is very top heavy, satellites have a flat payout structure. So in a satellite that awards multiple seats you can qualify with one chip or one million. The point is the player who finishes the satellite with the most chips wins the same as the player who finishes with the least. As such you want to avoid coin-flips and marginal spots whenever possible. Getting AK in against pocket nines for a bunch of chips only benefits the other players in the tournament.

2 Preservation Not Accumulation

If you manage an early double up and find yourself with a decent stack you need to protect it at all costs. You want to look for very low risk spots, there’s very little need to three-bet light or risk a large amount of chips without the goods.

3 Get Your Chips In First 

Since in satellites we’re just trying to win a seat, not the tournament then avoiding showdowns should be one of your primary goals. Simply winning the blinds and antes and keeping our stack on an even keel is great. We therefore want to avoid, wherever possible calling an all-in, even with a hand as strong as A-Q or pairs that are most likely to be up against two overcards.

4 Position, Position, Position

One way to achieve points two and three is to, whenever possible only play hands from late position and fold marginal hands from early position. It’s likely in satelllites that everyone will be in short stack territory as the end game approaches. What this means is that your chances of getting re-shoved on increases as everyone has the right stack to do it. Folding hands like A-Q, A-J and small pairs from early position stops you from getting put in these awkward spots where you’ll often be pot committed. It’s far better to shove from the small blind with a weak hand than open a semi-strong hand from early position.

5 You can blind down far further than you would in a tournament

In a regular tournament any it’s not uncommon for players to simply open shove stacks of 15 big blinds or more. That’s considered a short stack. However, in the mid-stages of a satellite 15 big blinds could mean you’re chip leader! As a result, you can blind down far lower than you would in a tournament and still have fold equity. Your stack of four big blinds can do a lot of damage to most players and given the flat payout structure they usually can’t call without a real hand.

Arm Yourself With Poker Knowledge

if you are planning on playing in the Pokerfest Championship you could do worse for yourself than check out Josef Rantamaki’s excellent poker strategy series. Josef has created some fabulous articles and videos for our customers and each of them will give you more tools with which to help you progress as a poker player, because let’s face it, poker is more fun when you’re winning!

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