The start of the 2017 World Series of Poker is right around the corner and for the third straight year, 888poker is an exclusive satellite partner of the world’s richest tournament series. As part of the partnership, 888poker is once again offering qualifiers into the World Series of Poker Main Event with steps starting at just $0.01.
Last year, both Fernando Pons and Griffin Benger reached the final table of the Main Event after qualifying online at 888poker. Pons and Benger qualified for $30 and $160, respectively, but all players have the option of starting at Step 1 and repeating the feat of Tommy Yates. In 2015, Yates managed to climb his way up through all of the tournament steps and ended up cashing for $19,500 in the Main Event, making good on his initial investment of a single cent.
Satellites are currently running for all steps with the $0.01 Step 1 marking the entry point for players to qualify on the smallest of bankrolls. When it comes to qualifying for the minimum, 888poker team pro Sofia Lövgren suggests examining one’s bankroll before deciding what step to enter first.
“To make it easy, I calculate a bankroll of at least 100 times the tournament I try to win a ticket into whatever step I start off with. If you can’t afford it you’re not bankrolled and it’s more like taking a shot. Which could be a very good thing to do every now and then.”
Compared to the later stages of the satellite steps, Step 1 provides a shallower structure and is a more fast-paced event. Based on those variables, Lövgren suggests studying opponents early on and finding weak spots to pick on to chip up as much as possible.
“Study the other players carefully and try to find the weaker opponents which will then be your targets. Play many hands in the beginning without building big pots unless you have a really good hand. You want to see cheap flops with hands like small pairs and suited connectors when all have lots of big blinds. Play small ball poker against less experienced players,” said Lövgren.
“They will often make the mistakes you could exploit and you can even be able to win big pots early in a satellite when they can’t fold their top pair. If you play well these early stages of the satellites you could be the one building the stack you need later.”
Short stack play is also of the essence when playing turbo satellites and fellow 888poker pro, Natalie Hof, recommends players study the Nash push/fold charts or download the SnapShove app to give themselves the maximum advantage.
Most importantly, the key to any satellite is to survive and advance to the next round rather than try to win. Given the how many steps it will take players to reach the WSOP Main Event seat, the saying “one step at a time” is important to be aware of.
Once a player gains a large enough stack, Lövgren recommends coasting to the finish line.
“If you are a big stack close to the bubble in a satellite you’re in a great position. Don’t let your ego keep you fighting for more chips than you need, risking to lose everything. You can always push people around with your stack but since there is nothing to fight for. Let the other people do the mistakes while you surf into one of the positions guaranteeing a prize.”