Sunday, February 18, 2007

Guide to Poker Stars Sunday Million Satellites - Part #1

Been enjoying some success with PokerStars Sunday Million Satellites (and Sunday Warm-Up / EPT events / Nightly 150 sats) lately and thought it was about time to write a series of articles on the subject.

Much to discuss, could be 5 or 6 over the coming weeks. Even if you do not wish to play in the 'main event' the great thing about these is that you can un-register and take tournament dollars (T$) instead. These can be used for any tourney, including sit and goes or exchanged for cash at about 80 to 85% value at a number of websites such as Cashman Brian.

Thought a good starting point would be to list the different types of satellites available and note the pros and cons of each. Will then look at strategy considerations for the different types and finally look at the maths / ICM aspect and whether this can help.

One further note - at the end of each month the buy-in for the Sunday Million more than doubles to $530 and thus the prices for the satellites all go up... to keep things simple the list below applies to the regular $200+15 weeks...

So, here are the different types:

1) Double Shootouts.

These are 2 SNGs, if you win the first table then you move to the second and can win your seat for getting 1st to 4th (depending on number of entrants) the remaining final tablers often get cash 'runners up' prizes. These cost $11.70 and when full (100 players) give 4 seats + $35 for the final table. There are 2 versions, standard with 15 minute blind levels and turbo with 5 minute levels. There are also smaller buy-in 'Triple Shootouts' with 6-person tables available.

Pros: Cheap way of getting a seat, horrific standard (make $3 SNGs look like the WSOP!)
Cons: Even a good SNG player can not expect too many 1sts... the bad opponents make these a bit of a minefield.

2) Fixed Buy-In MTT Satellites.

These vary from $10+1 to $39 and have the standard 15 minute blind levels. Expect fields of 200+ (more on Sundays) and the standard of play to be poor. The lower buy-in MTTs may seem cheaper but can actually make it very hard to get a seat due to the poor entrant / seat ratio.

Pros: Fixed outlay (compared to the rebuys), poor standard of play - particularly at the bubble.
Cons: Poor seat / entrant ratio at lower buy-ins.

3) Rebuy MTT Satellites.

Will mention the rebuys with standard blind levels (15 mins) separately from the turbo's, these are $11 or $3 buy-in and the fields fairly large (400+ especially on Sundays). Poor standard as with most sats.

Pros: More time for skill advantages to come into play.
Cons: $3r has poor seat / player ratio.

4) Turbo Rebuy MTT Satellites.

My personal favourite! The buy ins are$3, $8 or $10 (+10% rake as usual). You get 1000 chips to start and the blinds go up every 5 minutes. There is an add-on break after 30 minutes. By the time the break is over the blinds go up frighteningly fast - after 1 hour of play they are already 1000/2000 so no time to mess around! There is a lot of 'dead money' - people who nurse small stacks waiting for aces or do not rebuy at all... there are also a lot of people playing these who really do not understand the dynamics of the bubble, gambling their big stack with another player when folding into the money would be easy. My thought is that these suit my SNG style, identifying spots to steal late and the all important 'unexploitable pushes' being a vital part of the game. Entrant numbers vary from 200 to 400 (again more - and worse - players on Sundays!).

Pros: Dead Money, Poor Standard of play.
Cons: Can become a bit of a crap-shoot, need to win your cion flips late.

There is the summary - next I will look at how to handle the first table of a double shootout (where chip ev = $ ev).

If you do not already play at PokerStars there is a link on the right hand side to check them out.

If you find this (or any other) article useful please spread the word about Plan3t Gong - the envelope icon below lets you mail this article to a friend (thanks!).

Cheers, Mark

1 comment:

Short-Stacked Shamus said...

Thanks, Mark . . . I happened to have lucked into winning one of those FPP satellites and have been sitting on my T$ for some time now while contemplating my next move. Am looking forward to your articles here.