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How to Super-Satellite Yourself into the WSOP
With the WSOP starting in less than two weeks, it's probably about time you got off your butt and started trying to qualify for the Main Event.
Unless of course you have a loose $10 grand laying around. Then go back to whatever you were doing before you clicked on this article.
For most of us, however, the $10,000 entrance fee is a little bit out of our price range. Luckily, there are countless ways offered to qualify online.
From steps tournaments to single-table satellites to super-satellites into other super-satellites, you can qualify with a little luck and a little coin in a million different ways.
If multi-table tournaments are your thing though, super-satellites are the obvious choice to invest most of your qualifying time in.
And all of the main online poker sites offer this type of satellite.
Without overstating the obvious, your best bet is to seek out the super-satellites with the highest number of seats available to be won.
The reason I bring this up is simply to differentiate it from the more luck-driven, winner-take-all tournament formats some sites also offer. A multiple-seat satellite still gives you the best chance to win, even if it means having to outlast more players.
Depending on what your buy-in is, it may be just be seats into the next level satellite, or it may be seats for the actual Main Event.
But either way, the more seats up for grabs in a tournament, the easier it'll be to win one of them.
Tight Is Right
The early stages of a super-satellite should be played the same as the early stages of an MTT or sit-and-go. In other words, you should be playing tight.
In a super-satellite there is no need to have all the chips in play to win, so don't put yourself in situations where you risk your stack. Instead, play tight, solid, fundamental poker. By playing tight and in position you can minimize the risk to your stack while still accumulating chips.
Be patient. Just because you are getting no cards does not mean you need to get involved with garbage.
Just as in a regular tournament, when the blinds start going up you can begin to open up your game. You do not need to go Gus Hansen-crazy, stealing with abandon, but you do need to identify the weak players and good situations and accumulate some chips through blind-stealing.
Watch the table: many of the players will be playing tight; others will be loosening it up in an attempt to fatten their stacks by stealing from the tight players. Identify who is playing which style, and use it against them.
If they are playing tight, make moves on their blinds. If they're stealing themselves, then it's okay to resteal against them. They will only be able to call with the very best of their range and will often be forced to fold pre-flop.
The Magic Number
In super-satellite play, if your goal is to earn a seat at the end of the tournament, what size of stack do you need?
Well, it boils down to a magic number. To get that number, calculate the entire number of chips in play (multiply the number of players entered by the amount of the starting stack) and divide the total chips by the number of seats to be awarded.
Once you hit that magic number, it's time to coast. Take that "tight is right" motto and live by it. You should be playing in super-rock mode. There is no reason at all to risk a good portion of your chips.
If the situation is the least bit marginal, just fold. Attempt to maintain this stack by stealing once an orbit just to keep up with the rising blinds.
Regardless of your holdings, don't get involved in a big pot if you have enough chips to win a seat and it's late in the tournament.
If someone shoves in front of you and you have A-K and are way ahead of his range, but calling and losing will put you out of the seat range, fold.
Remember, if you've attained your magic number, you're pretty much golden. Don't sabotage yourself by sheriffing up some cowboy making a run on your table.
And while you're working away at qualifying, look to our live 2011 WSOP coverage to keep you motivated; remember, World Series glory is always just a few good cards away.
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