ClubWPT Super SATurdays: How to win a discounted shot at life-changing money

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Posted on: March 29, 2024 01:00 PDT

There are two people in a wood, and they run into a bear. The first person gets down on his knees to pray; the second person starts lacing up his boots. The first person asks the second person, “My dear friend, what are you doing? You can’t outrun a bear.” To which the second person responds, “I don’t have to. I only have to outrun you.”

There’s a hard truth that all poker players must reckon with when playing multi-table tournaments: buy-ins aren’t cheap. There are ways to mitigate the expense of entry, however. One of the most effective ways to do that is by qualifying for the event you want to play via a satellite tournament. Satellites are smaller, more affordable tournaments that award seats to a larger event instead of cash prizes. The number of seats awarded in each satellite typically depends on the event’s expected field size. 

ClubWPT Super SATurdays

If you're a poker player working on a budget, look no further than ClubWPT. On ClubWPT, players can win their way into live World Poker Tour events all around the world at a fraction of the cost.

ClubWPT tickets on a poker table

Every Saturday on ClubWPT, players can compete in Super SATurdays to win a WPT Championship Passport. With over 100 Passports up for grabs this year, Super SATurdays is quickly becoming one of the most enjoyable and affordable ways to win a shot at millions of dollars. Check out the upcoming Super SATurdays below:

SATurday, Mar 30 @ 7:00 PM ET

  • 1st Place: $5,000 WPT® Choctaw Championship Passport
  • 2nd-5th: $2,500 WPT® Prime Championship Passport

SATurday, Apr 6 @ 7:00 PM ET

  • 1st-5th Place: $2,500 WPT® Prime Championship Passport

SATurday, Apr 13 @ 7:00 PM ET

  • 1st Place: $5,000 WPT® Montreal Championship Passport
  • 2nd-5th: $2,500 WPT® Prime Championship Passport

SATurday, Apr 20 @ 7:00 PM ET

  • 1st-5th Place: $2,500 WPT® Prime Championship Passport

SATurday, Apr 27 @ 7:00 PM ET

  • 1st Place: $12,000 WPT® World Championship Passport
  • 2nd-5th Place: $2,500 WPT® Prime Championship Passport

Satellite strategy simplified

There are a number of books that cover satellite tournament strategy in depth, but if you want to play them seriously, we'd recommend Dara O’Kearney’s book Poker Satellite Strategy with Barry Carter.

We've come up with some solid basic satellite strategy below to help you get started.  

Satellite tournaments differ from standard MTT tournaments in many ways, but the most important is that everyone is playing for the exact same prize: a seat into the larger event. There are no pay jumps, and no difference between finishing with the most chips or the least. Essentially, it’s the joke about outrunning the bear – in a satellite you don’t have to win, you just need others to lose before you do. 

With this in mind, a tight but aggressive strategywill benefit the majority of players in a satellite format. In the early stages of the tournament, accumulating chips is a priority, but as the blinds increase, certain hands lose their value and become essentially unplayable – no more playing suited connectors and small pairs, no more defending the blinds with subpar holdings because you have favorable odds. At a certain point – as the bubble looms – it becomes prudent to tighten your range even more considerably. 

ClubWPT members and Phil Ivey chat between games

When stack sizes become shallow and the blinds are steep, optimal strategy will see some players open-shove their best hands. By moving all-in rather than raising by 2x or 2.5x, you can avoid having to raise and then fold to a re-shove from a player behind. Having a sizable stack at this point in the tournament becomes key as it increases your fold equity considerably. Other players will have to fold strong hands purely because risking the loss of a sizable pot isn’t worth it in the long run. 

Avoid the call button

This brings us to another key aspect of satellite play: avoiding the call button. This error represents the biggest mistake players will make in satellites. If you call all-ins too wide, your chances of winning a seat drop drastically. The risk premium that applies to other players calling your shoves also applies to you calling theirs. By tightening the range of hands that you call an all-in with, you avoid unnecessary confrontations that would otherwise cripple your stack. 

While it’s important to play a tight range and reduce variance in the later stages of the satellite, it’s equally important to build a stack in the early goings that will enable you to reach the later stages of the tournament. Identifying how many chips you will need to be in a comfortable position as the bubble approaches will help you to dictate how to formulate your strategy throughout. 

Finding the 'lock up' zone

From there, you can also determine the stack size that, once reached, puts you in the ‘lock up’ zone. That number will vary per event, but mostly depends on how many seats are on offer. If there are only a handful of seats up for grabs, five or less, the stack size you need to achieve to put yourself in a ‘lock up’ position increases. In a satellite with fifty seats available, the chips are spread amongst more players and the ‘lock up’ marker drops. As the bubble nears, there’s a simple way to determine whether you are close to a guaranteed seat with the stack size you have: 

If there are fewer people outside the bubble than there are positions between you and the bubble, you are usually guaranteed a seat. 

When you reach this point, the correct and optimal strategy is to fold every single hand you are dealt. The risk of slipping out of the comfort zone by playing hands unnecessarily simply isn’t worth the potential upside. You don’t need any more chips, you only need to wait out the stacks shorter than yours

ClubWPT is a subscription-based online poker room offering free-to-play ring games and tournaments, as well as regular opportunities to qualify for WPT live events and win cash prizes for VIP subscribers. Sign up with the code ‘ORGVIP’ for a free one-month VIP membership and enjoy all the benefits that come with it.

You can also play in our exclusive freeroll to win a $5k package to WPT Choctaw.

Images Courtesy of World Poker Tour