The lure of the bright lights of Las Vegas for the World Series of Poker, Monaco for the European Poker Tour and even Margate for the GUKPT, entices players to invest their cash in satellite tournaments to qualify for the Main Events at each of these stunning locations.
However, possibly you might think about how much value you are getting from your entry, and whether you should be entering qualification events at all.
Let us look at a typical qualifying scenario for a World Series event. The route to the target tournament involves a $50 qualifier, which leads to a $700 eliminator which will then gain you entry to a $10K competition (you have not actually won any money yet!). That $50 could be put into a regular $50 multi-table tournament, which (with ninety players) would yield more than $700 should you finish in the top three, and offers the consolation prize of at least doubling your money if you finish in the top twelve.
If you consider that you are good enough to be playing in the WSOP, you should be able to win a 90 player MTT at 1/200th of the stake you would be playing for in Vegas, which would give you over $1.300 – enough for a $700 entry into the eliminator and a package holiday for you and the family to Florida if you fall at the last hurdle!
Now consider that $700 eliminator. One of the most expensive tournaments on the net is the PokerStars Sunday 500, with $½million guaranteed prize money and a payout to the top 15% of players which is regularly above a minimum of $10.000 – sufficient for your direct buy-in to the Main Event in Las Vegas.
It costs $500 to enter (so you have $200 change from your $700) and should you do better than finish just inside the bubble in the Sunday 500, you could afford to fly to Las Vegas first class, travel through Europe, or even have a weekend in Margate!
The point is that you could enter tournaments that represent far better value than the qualifiers for the big events, and by playing in these satellites – even if you win the tournament and qualify for the next stage – you have no choice about what to do with the money. It is already spent for you.
If you won $10.000 on the lottery this weekend, would you ring up the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas and book your seat? It is unlikely. However, that is exactly what you are doing by entering qualifying competitions when you could be spending your valuable time playing in regular tournaments, that would not only give you the opportunity of winning more money, but also the choice on how you want to spend it!
With all that said you can qualify failry easily for th GUKPT ( Seat Only is Best Value) at www.grosvenorcasinos.com/poker