Big sunday satellite strategy
Below is my take on how to play the small satellites for the big sunday games on Pokerstars
. Considering i'm in no way or form a pro or to be considered a knowledge bank on these tournaments, any feedback and advice is highly apreciated.
These MTT's are found in the Tourney / Satellite / Rebuy area of the Pokerstars lobby.
After some trial and error, i have decided to focus on the cheap ones with the steepest reward structure, i.e. the ones with a $2.22 or $3.33 buyin: These pay a ticket to the winners and the remaining price money goes to the next player. The structure in the similar MTT's divide the remaining price money, so that a number of players gets $10 or $12. Guess its a matter of taste, really.
I focus on the cheapest ones available mostly because of my BR. And since i only want to participate in the big sunday games every other week because of my work, i'm mostly playing these to get my hands on the T$'s you get when you cancel your registration.
Why satellites instead of plain old Rebuy Turbo MTT's or the like? I find satellites are softer and although they dont add directly to your BR, they do give you funds (in the form of T$) for further playing normal dollar price MTT's. So it's basically a question of finding a soft BR feeder that has gotten me into these.
Running at 2 x Turbo and having rebuys, you can imagine the action is pretty brisk. And you can actually play these as a complete donkfest, just throwing all your chips in with *random hand #1* till you get enough of a stack to be worth continuing in a more subdued or normal playmode.
I have found that the valuable strategy is a little bit more subtle (though not much). The price of entry to these tourneys is low enough that your normal rule of No Limpers Allowed and the like doesnt really come into play. Frustration will ensue if you play these expecting solid NLHE. (Come to think of it, there are several similarities between this and the Double or Nothing strategies explained elsewehere on CC).
Note that across the various parts of the tourney described below, i will naturally play big pairs hard. Ace + "something" is more tricky and i prefer to limp in with those. In most cases you need to hit something on the board simply because there will be several players in there. Overcards are rarely rewarded untill the very end.
I divide the tourneys into four parts:
1. First half hour.
No antes, blinds end at 100/200. Time for "research" hands, meaning that in this period i will call / limp alot, hoping to make a hand and hitting hard when i do. Aim is to reach at least 10k chips in this time slot. Be prepared to see alot of hands and throw alot away. Keep your stack at around the 4k mark. In this period you get a sense of your opponents range and doing a few shoves on the more vulnerable opponents can be valuable, providing you with that 10k chipstack you need. Depending on your BR, you do actually need to think about it though
Raise - Ace + broadway cards, suited connectors above 7, low pairs.
Limping - Broadway hands with no ace, connected cards, suited cards, A + rag.
2. Second half hour.
Antes are introduced and combined with rising blinds this makes pot stealing viable. Hopefully you are now in a position to select hands more carefully. You will have several 4k base stacks at the table who will be looking to double up or better. So if your stack is healthy, you can now start taking advantage of allins shoved in there with a very wide range of hands.
Raise - Small pairs, Ace + broadway, connected broadway no ace.
Limp - Ace + rag, broadway no ace, suited connectors above 7.
3. After rebuy ends.
Normally 3-4 tables or more playing. A healthy stack still allows you to take advantage of the ones coming into this period with a base stack (now at double rebuy plus addon = 9k). Blinds and antes are now expensive for the shortstacks, so your aim is to stay alive and at minimum pick up a few of the allins from the short stacks.
Raise - Pairs above 7, AK, AQ, AJ, suited broadway hands
Limp - broadway hands, A + rag, small pairs,
4. Final table.
You will be facing stacks from 2-3 BB and upwards. If you're healthy, we are once again in tight aggro mode. Pick your spots to steal the blinds and try to get a read on opponent range. Naturally your range against opponents you have well covered is wider than against the big stacks. Resteal against a bigstack with caution. Because of the structure and speed of these tournaments some players will shove anything right back in your face simply because that is what they have been doing all along.
If your stack at the final table is healthy, stealing blinds and antes helps provoke the small stacks to shove dead hands out of frustration. These situations is our final table bread and butter. Often just limping into a pot and then raising the flop against a shortstack will give you the win.
When the final table is down to 4-5 players, your normal final table rules apply: Any ace is nice, a pair is very nice and an top-pairing the board most often will give the win.
Remember its a question of survival. Theres no price for third place here. Winners get a ticket, second place get the remaining $'s and third place get zip-nada-nothing. So survive and get