Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A Sunday Morning Routine

It sounds strange, but one of my favourite regular tournaments kicks off at 11:30am EST every Sunday. An unlikely time, to be sure, particularly when the odds dictate that I am probably hungover and/or sleep deprived. Even stranger, this is not a tournament with a large guaranteed payout. Nor is it a crazy rebuy tournament featuring donkeys and lemurs beyond count.

Actually, it's a satellite. You read that correctly.

At 11:30am EST every Sunday, PokerStars features a satellite into the 1 Million Guaranteed tournament that is to be played later that day. It comes in two varieties, depending on whether the Guaranteed tournament is a 200+15 or 500+30. If it's 200+15 the buy in is usually 35+3 and 1 in 6 get seats, while if the buyin for the big tournament is 500+30 the cost of the satellite is 53+5 and 1 in 10 get seats.

Why do I like this tournament? First of all, I like tournaments with a flat structure, as I feel they suit my style... and you don't get much flatter than a satellite. Second of all, despite the fact that "cashing" gives me a buyin to another tournament, PokerStars lets you unregister and keep the buyin as "tournament dollars", good for use as buyins for any other tournaments... tournaments such as WWdNs (when I could actually play them), Mookies, and 180 SnGs. Handy. Thirdly, I truly believe that not only am I a better tournament player than the majority of people in the satellite, but that I have a much better grip on satellite strategy than others. You know, those people who are prepared to go all-in with a decent-sized stack against another decent-sized stack, despite the fact that there are only a few eliminations to go before cashing.

Last Sunday, as per normal, I registered for the satellite(this week a 53+5), changed my IM status accordingly, and pottered about the house. Normally Ido a few chores to clean up the results of my Saturday night, maybe put on some coffee... you know, the usual. I came back to my laptop just before kick-off, noting that SoxLover had also thrown his hat into the ring (Weak_player is often another satellite companion). And we were away.

I'm not going to bore you with too many details: just let me say that I doubled up early, while Sox turned into a card rack and extracted maximum value. As there were 360+ people entered in the satellite it was a marathon, not a sprint... but when it was all said and done I not only played well, but got fantastically lucky on three separate occasions when I needed it. That, plus a little mismanagement by others, was enough to see SoxLover and myself through.

Just in case you needed an example of people misplaying, here's one. When we were down to one elimination required before we won seats (the person eliminated would get some cash in lieu of a seat), there was a micro-stack in the small blind who would be all-in if he completed (though he would be anted out before hitting the blinds again). As we were in hand-by-hand, it was possible to keep an eye on all the tables remaining. The micro-stack was busy squealing about what to do, while on another table someone else went all-in, was called, and then eliminated. Which meant all the micro-stack had to do to grab a seat was fold. Of course, he calls. And then busts. Ensuring that he misses out on a seat.

Cha-ching! That's a way to get your Sunday started right.

Though I have cashed in 35+3 satellites before, I had never done so in a 53+5. I had recently decided that if I ever cashed in a 53+5 that I would buy myself into a 200+15 with some of the tournament dollars.. and it appears that this Sunday's 1 Million Guaranteed tournament is a 200+15. So unless something changes I am planning on playing it. If I do end up doing so I'm looking forward to it, if for no other reason than it's the biggest buyin tournament I have played for quite a while. Not to mention the fact that I like deep stacks.

And if I do end up playing the 1 Million Guaranteed this Sunday, you had better believe I am playing the 11:30am satellite as well. Count on it.


  • Nice job in the sat., If I'm around on Sunday, I'll be sure to sweat you as you make your way to the final table.

    By Blogger mookie99, at 2:27 PM  

  • Good Job and good luck! I like those things too.. I wish they ran more often. I hate the double shootouts.

    By Blogger SirFWALGMan, at 3:23 PM  

  • Congrats! Looking forward to the news that you've won the $1 Mil Guaranteed.

    By Blogger Human Head, at 2:24 AM  

  • Those look like potentially the new token event for me to play in... getting a bit sick and tired of the $8 turbos... slightly bigger stakes are probably what I need to focus my game a bit.

    Good luck in the 1 mill... as a tourney player could you check out my recent blog entry... 6 handed in MTT trying to figure out what to do with top 2 pair... and I am the big stack.

    By Blogger Guin, at 1:00 PM  

  • Good luck in the 1 mil, G! I will probably rail you if I'm online around that time.

    By Blogger Matt Silverthorn, at 4:44 PM  

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