Sound ambitions, doesn’t it? But just wait until you hear the rest. There are $15,000 packages to WSOP Main Event and anyone can qualify for free. Why not me?
Ever year after the holidays are over, one by one online poker rooms start offering their packages to qualify to the biggest, most famous poker tournament in the world – World Series of Poker Main event. It costs $10.000 to buy-in and is held as part of the whole 60-event series. And qualifying is one of my New Year’s resolutions.
As a side not, I do want to shortly mention goal-setting and New Year’s resolutions. If you play poker you probably heard that setting results-oriented goals is pretty bad because…well, it’s poker. You don’t know when you are going to get hit by a downswing. But I recently read an article about how you should mix results-oriented and process-oriented goals. So, when cards go your way (or simply, don’t go against you) results-oriented goals are a great motivator. But when you are on a downswing, going further and further from your target results might be devastating to your motivation so process-oriented goals about learning are vital in staying positive and not giving up. That is one of the basics on how to play poker.
Let’s move on. So, WSOP satellites. No doubt, WSOP Main Event satellites are crazy popular because every poker player dreams of winning over $8 million first place prize. But I’ve seen that the very first qualifiers have the least amount of participants. And in my own experience, one of the best places to qualify to WSOP is 888Poker. They usually have pretty well structured satellites available for as little as $1. Sometimes even freerolls.
They have not released the details yet so I don’t have an exact plan on how am I going to proceed but I have set aside $200 from my current bankroll to play satellites alone. I know I will never enter finals directly due to my bankroll limitations but I think I will start a couple of steps below, like $15 – $17 satellites with around 50-100 entrants. As I said, 888Poker have not released the full structure yet I my current plan might change. And I’m not saying $200 is my last money. I’m ready to go as far as I need (but probably I’ll invest no more than $500 in total).
Are you getting interested yourself? Yeah, it happens. When you think about it, it’s an amazing opportunity. Unfortunately, I can’t teach you the secrets of playing satellites. I don’t know everything myself. But maybe I can give you a general idea on how to look at satellites. And these general tips should fit to all satellite steps to any tournament you decide to qualify to.
First of all, make sure to check out how many chips do you start with in each step and how long are the blind levels. The structure of each tournament is more often important than who is your opponent at the tables and what cards do you get. Because the structure dictates everything from the pace to your aggression.
Another thing to take a look at is the payouts. Simply focus on the number of players at the tournament and how many of them will advance to the next step (or win packages if it’s the Final). Also, multiply the number of remaining players by an average chip stack at the moment. You’ll get the total chips in play that you should divide by the numbers of payouts. That’s the average chip stack when the play ends. That’s your target. Remember, you are not in the tournament to win all the chips. All you need is to survive with an average chip stack until the payouts. After all, all prizes are the same!
The bigger is the tournament and the package to it, the more players look to playing. If WSOP for you becomes too big of a challenge, look for other satellites. For example, Super Stack events are held in several countries worldwide.
All in all, everything will go down to practice. For you as well as for me. The important thing is to know how much can you spend on the qualifiers and what is the best way to qualify for you. So, try out different steps, note the differences in the amount of players enter and the structure of each tournament and most importantly, don’t give up. I know I won’t. I’ll post an update when 888Poker does release their WSOP satellite schedule. Hopefully, see you soon at the WSOP.