Satellite SNG Strategy
When signing up for a satellite sit and go, you are looking to win that satellite in order to play in a bigger tournament. This should be the goal you have at all times. How to win satellites is just like how you should play normal sit and goes. The only difference is that instead of receiving money after you win you'll receive a buy-in to a bigger tournament.
If your bankroll is relatively small, and you aren't able to afford the big buy-in tournaments, the satellites could be a great starting point for you to hit a stride and build your bankroll. If you want to take shots in bigger tournaments this could also be a great stepping stone for you. There are plenty of stories of players who have invested small amounts and walked away with big prizes. Chris Moneymaker was one of the first to do so in the main event for only $33, and he ended up winning the tournament. If you are looking to play the bigger tournaments, satellite sit and goes can help you get there.
When first selecting a satellite to play you should keep in mind how big your bankroll is. If your bankroll is still small, you'll want to play satellites that don't risk a big portion of it. Ideally, if you play a satellite you should risk such a small percentage that your bankroll is not fazed by you playing in it. If you risk too much to take a shot at a big buy-in event you could burn through money and end up spending more than what the buy-in for the tournament is. This isn't what you want to happen. What you want to happen is to play one where you have the best chance of winning.
If you play single table satellites, this will give you the best opportunity at success. The reason is because there are fewer players, and with a smaller field to get through, your opportunity for getting a win and moving on to the big tournament is greater. There's nothing better than investing a small amount and having a chance at a very big amount. If you play satellites often times you can have success by investing small amounts and turning big profits.
Varied Blind Structures
With most satellites, the blind structures will be turbo blinds or five minutes, but, some are regular slow ten minute blinds. Sometimes they'll be even less when dealing with super turbo games. Super turbo satellites are basically just gambling when it comes down to it because you'll start off with fewer chips and the blinds will go up at a faster rate. Unless you have the bankroll for them, don't play them. If you sit down at a regular turbo satellite, or five minute blinds, you should look to pick spots where you can accumulate chips.
Frequently, turbo satellites will consist of players who are looking to gamble or players who are on tilt. If you find yourself at one of these tables you can sit back and wait for hands to come. When the hands do come, you can put yourself in a great position to win. If you play a regular or slow blinds satellite the play will vary, and often times the best strategy is to play passive and pick spots later on to move in when the blinds get bigger. If you establish a tight image you are going to have success in the regular blinds structured satellites.
As with all satellites you would like to invest a small amount to win a large amount. If you play satellites frequently you can accumulate more entries to tournaments than you are allowed to play. If you have an ample amount of entries you have qualified for, most sites will give you tournament dollars or money that you can buy-in to other events or tournaments with. Some players will build up a great tournament bankroll just by mastering satellite sit and goes. This is a great skill to have, but, at the same time it isn't translating the dollars earned or entries earned into real money yet. What you have to do next is play tournaments and cash them in to collect on your investment.
Benefits of Satellite SNGs
A number of sites will allow you to play other sit and goes or tournaments if you choose to unregister from the tournament you have qualified for. This is a nice added bonus most of the time, but, if you are playing to have a shot at the big tournament, you should play the big tournament. Every player who plays the smaller tournaments should want to someday play in the big tournaments, because that's where you can win life changing money.
If you sit and play low buy-in tournaments forever you'll make money, but not anything to brag home about. If you satellite into a big tournament like the main event at the world series of poker, then winning is something to be proud of. You can invest a small amount and possibly walk away with ten million dollars. That is certainly a great investment.
You should approach satellites overall by playing tight and then opening up your game to go in for an eventual shot at a victory. If you play too passive throughout or too aggressive throughout it will hurt your chances of gaining an entry into a bigger tournament. Also, what it will do is tell the table what type of player you are. If you open your game up too much you can become an easy target. If you play too passive, then players will run you over for the duration of the satellite. You want to have a mix between a passive and aggressive style to play in satellites.
Most of the time the satellite sit and go will be over quickly because of the amount of gamblers who look to play them. If you want to have success in satellite sit and goes, you'll have success in these. All you need is patience and well-timed aggression.
Author: Jonathan Wanchalk
Updated: March 2015
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