One of the great things about online poker is that it gives you the chance to win prize packages for major land-based tournaments. For example, if you wanted to play in the WSOP Main Event, you could play for a prize package that would cover your travel expenses and $10k Main Event seat.
Most online poker sites run various “satellites,” which are tournaments that see players try to play their way towards prize packages. Assuming you’re interested in winning a package deal for a major land-based tournament, here are a few online poker satellite tips that will help you out.
Tip #1: Base your Play on the Satellite Structure
One of the first things that you need to do when playing online satellites is think about the structure. Is there one prize package offered? Or are there multiple prize packages given out? Assuming there is only one prize package available, your strategy needs to be extremely aggressive because second place doesn’t mean a thing. So any time you feel that you have an edge, don’t be afraid to shove your stack in to take an opponent’s stack.
When multiple packages are offered, you simply need to survive the bubble and collect your prize. Multiple prize satellites still require a lot of aggressive play, but also realize that you don’t have to take coin flips all of the time just to meet the end goal.
Tip #2: Look to steal often
In the later stages of satellites, you need to look to steal as much as possible. Blind levels usually increase pretty fast in satellites, so you don’t have time to wait around for 20 orbits before playing a hand. When you’re in the cut-off or on the button, you need to consider stealing whenever the opportunity arises. It always helps to have weak-passive players in the blinds when trying to the blinds. But if you don’t have this luxury, just make sure that you attempt to steal with a semi-decent hand in case you’re called.
Tip #3: Realize that Satellites involve lots of Variance
Online poker satellites are quite tough to beat – even for highly-skilled players. The reason why is because the amount of prize packages is very small in relation to the number of players involved. This being the case, keep your expectations realistic, and don’t play overly-tight while hoping to sneak into a package. Instead, take risks when you think you’ve got the advantage, and hope that luck helps you with the rest.