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The $22 Rebuy EPT qualifier on PokerStars is a tricky tournament as there is only one or two EPT seats available.
The goal with this article is to give you the best chance for a return on your investment.
Step 1: Understand the Different Parts of the Tournament
First step: Distinguish the two completely different parts of the tournament.
Part A: The Re-Buy Period
The objective in the re-buy stage is to survive as economically as possible while at the same time building a stack, little by little, to have enough chips for the increasing blinds.
The last 10 minutes before the add-on period, in fact, can be quite expensive given how fast the blinds are rising.
At the beginning of the re-buy period, you can do a double re-buy to truly double your stack up to a full 20,000 if you have the chance.
Get to the rebuy and half the field is gone.
But, during this period, you have to play very economically – meaning no flips for 5,000 or 6,000 chips.
These won’t increase your chances of qualifying.
The only goal – never to lose sight of – is to get to the add-on period without spending too much.
This is achieved by going into a mode of play that’s a bit unusual – essentially you don’t “play” poker during this period.
You “survive economically,” see very few flops and maximize your return if there's an opportunity.
When you’re in the pre-add-on period, you must only do one re-buy at a time … and then try to survive until you find a flop that can quadruple you up.
First Benefit of the Add-On Stage: Fewer Players to Share the Money
You’ve made it to the add-on stage, where 50% of the players who started the tournament have already dropped out.
This is the first benefit of this type of qualifying tournament: the prize money is now divided up between a much smaller group of players.
In the long run, we can have a very good ROI in this tournament if we play into the add-on period every time.
In fact the real tournament doesn’t even begin until the add-on stage - and the number one advantage is that fewer players will share the overall prize money.
Part B: The Add-On Stage
The add-on is 50,000 chips and each player now starts a new tournament where everyone has virtually the same stack - between 55,000 and 100,000+.
Get the seat and Boeree awaits.
Also of note here: there is often a few payout spots of €500 in these tournaments on top of the sole winner of the qualifier.
So for a good return, watch out for this bubble before taking the risks you need to win the “winner takes all” part of the tournament.
Basically there are three parts to the $22 re-buy tournaments:
1) The first part, where the objective is to arrive at the add-on stage, absolutely, but to get there as cheaply as possible.
2) The second part is between the add-on stage and the money bubble (if there are extra payout spots) where you can look to get a small return on your investment
3) The “winner takes all” stage once the payouts are reached where the real battle for qualification begins
These require three different strategies altogether depending on the period.
If your average re-buy cost stays around €240, this tournament is very profitable if you win one in 12.
More in the How to Qualify for the EPT Series:
About the Author:
Pierre Neuville is known across Europe as the "Serial PokerStars Qualifier" for his incredible run of qualifying for 23 consecutive European Poker Tour main events via online satellite. Read more about Pierre Neuville on his author page.
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