When partypoker’s upcoming MILLIONS Online tournament takes place from November 25 – December 5, its $20 million guarantee will make it the largest online poker tournament in history. The final four players are guaranteed to walk away millionaires and first place is promised a $2.5 million payday.
In order to reach such a lofty guarantee partypoker is going to need roughly 4,000 players to pay the $5,300 entry fee. So, in order to help get players into the lobby, partypoker has been running satellites. Lots of them.
Players can win their way in through the MILLIONS Online feeder satellites which can be bought into for as little as one penny. They are also offering $109 Phase tournaments, $55 Bonus satellites and a series of $530 mega satellites which, over the course of ten days, will award 1000 seats.
In fact, they have not only been running satellites they have been routinely adding seats to MILLIONS Online in various tournaments providing maximum value for those looking to get in on the cheap.
“I’m always looking for added value. partypoker is going crazy with extra promotions and adding seats to different satellites. Whether it’s $1, $20 or $100 most of those phases have five seats added or ten seats added. There’s extra value or overlay in basically every phase,” said tournament pro Mike Leah.
Leah, both a World Series of Poker bracelet winner as well as a World Poker Tour Champion, knows a thing or two about winning his way into larger events. As one of the poker world’s most prolific tournament grinders, Leah will often take shots in satellites to pick up his ticket for the Main Event. He has already won his seat into Day 1A of MILLIONS Online.
“Depending on where you want to start, you can start down in the cent rolls. Myself, I usually start in the $109’s and try to win a $109 into a $500 and then the $500 into the $5K. I’m looking for that extra value for my grinding time.”
For Leah, he picked up his seat in the $109 Phase satellites but with so many types of satellites to choose from, players should play to their strengths.
Jason Koon, partypoker Ambassador and one of the most prolific high rollers in modern poker, feels like even if a player’s current bankroll isn’t what they’d like it to be there are still ways to find themselves in the MILLIONS Online field.
“If you’re grinding a tiny bankroll I would use the incentives that partypoker has in these centrolls where you can buy into these sats for like a penny each. It wasn’t the case for me, but my longest time roommate Nick Rampone started his bankroll from a freeroll tournament and he ran it to over $1 million in about two years so it’s not impossible to do that. If you’re trying to satellite into a tournament that is going to pay multiple millions of dollars for first place – and these things happen once every couple of years, you hear the stories – it’s definitely possible,” Koon said.
Koon does advise some bankroll management when taking those shots though.
“But I would say play within your means. I wouldn’t try to make some heroic satellite entry. Say if you have like a $500 bankroll, I wouldn’t try to just shell $500 into a satellite and try to win the seat. I would play really really small stakes.”
For top-10 ranked PocketFives member Patrick ‘pleno1’ Leonard he recommends yet another route.
“I think the spins [Sit n’ Go Jackpot] way is good. You can win double your winnings that way which is really crazy. Even if you sat in another way, this is surely amazing to try, the value is really sick.”
In one of the many promotions provided by partypoker, if a player wins their seat in a Sit n’ Go Jackpot and wins the entire MILLIONS Online tournament, the site will double the first place prize to $5 million.
Whatever satellite a player decides to pursue, all three pros have a couple things that they like to keep in mind when competing for a seat.
Koon keeps in mind the major differences between satellites and your standard tournaments.
“Satellites are drastically different from tournaments because the late stages of a satellite everyone gets paid the same amount of money, it’s not a tiered payout structure like you would see in a poker tournament. The Independent Chip Model (ICM) effects are much much more drastic and I would try to brush yourself up on how bubbles play,” Koon said.
“I’m sure there tons of different videos out there but the first bit of advice I would give to you is if you think that you’re a big favorite to get the seat you have to be extremely careful about getting your money in. There are spots, say if you’re going to win a seat 85% of the time and you’re dealt two aces and a person shows you pocket deuces and shoves, you have to fold because they are going to bust you 18% of the time. So it’s one of those spots, you’re going to be faced with extreme examples and you have to be careful calling off all your chips when you are close to making them money
“Strategically on the other side of that is, if players are playing well they also have to tight calling off their chips. So if you’re put in a situation where you can shove on an opponent to pick up some chips don’t be afraid to do that because they have to be in the role that you would be in if you were shoved on. So there might be profitable opportunities for you to push all in and steal chips that can’t call off their stacks,” Koon said.
Leonard’s advice for satellite play strikes a similar chord.
“When you’re on the bubble watch the other tables when you’re hand for hand, instead of going on Facebook whilst you’re waiting, scan the stacks and see if there is anybody playing way too loose,” Leonard said. “If you are the short stack and the other short stacks are playing very tight, it’s ok to gamble if you need to get one shove through to cover them.”
Leah agrees that keeping focused on the goal of the tournament is what is paramount in satellites.
“You don’t have to win the tournament, you just have to survive. So changing your strategy and understanding what you are playing is a good tip,” Leah said.
Satellites for partypoker’s $20 millions guaranteed MILLIONS Online are running daily with feeder satellites beginning as low as $0.01.
The massive mega $530 satellites begin on November 25. There are multiple flights daily and a minimum of 25 seats guaranteed for each flight.