main event of the World Series of Poker (Europe) begins this afternoon at 2pm.
Last week I pointed out that the £10,000 buy-in was a little high, and
advised readers to try to win seats in online super- satellites for smaller
It's too late now, of course. But it's worth talking a bit more
about super-satellites, because they are always available online (whether to
win seats into bigger internet tournaments or major live events like the EPT
series) and they require a different approach from "normal" tournaments.
In a normal tournament, you should always
play to win. It is tempting to try to crawl into the money, then crawl up the
money ladder, but the serious player resists this temptation and goes for gold.
In a super-satellite, there is no ladder: you win a seat or you don't. So
there's no need to go for every chip in the game. You just need to keep your
stack above average, and stop gambling when it is. Taking it to extremes: let's
say there are six seats available and seven players left, your stack is three
times average and two players go all-in. This is a situation where you can
actually pass aces before the flop. There's no benefit in taking any risk at
Too few people think about the corollary of this. In a normal
tournament, you attack the small or medium stacks because they are weak, and
because it is psychologically easier to play hard against someone who cannot
knock you out. The big stacks are dangerous because they can afford to gamble.
In a satellite, the big stacks don't need to gamble - not if they are
sufficiently above average to cruise gently towards those equal prizes - so
they are suddenly better targets than the small fry. They have good reason to
play tight, and you can exploit this to stay afloat.