Whichever poker site you play on, they are full of satellite multi table poker tournaments offering qualification for a major event or large stake game, and there is often the temptation is to enter these on the strength of the potential prize in the target event. However, there are a number of factors that you may want to consider before rushing to enter a qualifier.
The first is whether or not you could actually play in the target event. Some of the games which offer the biggest prizes are timetabled for the US market and a 6.00pm start in The States means a 10.00pm start in the UK. If you seriously want to aim for the final table and win some of the fantastic amounts on offer, you have to consider that you might well be playing deep into the following morning.
The second tip is to enter satellite poker tournaments which actually give you a realistic opportunity of qualifying. There are some very well subscribed qualifiers which may only cost a dollar or two to enter, but only the top 4% or 5% actually qualify for the target event. You may be much better playing in a more expensive qualifier which offers the top 15% – 20% a leg up into the “big game”.
Next, try to avoid qualifiers which have no resemblance to the target event. If you are particularly strong at rebuy or turbo events, there are plenty of satellite events which will suit your style of play, however the target event may well be a freezeout which you could be completely unsuitable for and waste the time and money you have invested in qualifying.
Finally, you should only enter games in which you are confident of making the bubble. If you fail and try again too often, the value of entering the satellite tournaments is wasted and you might as well have bought directly in to the target event in the first place. You should play in satellite multi table poker tournaments that have a buy-in of no more than a twentieth of your bankroll, and only then when you seriously believe that you have a chance of qualifying.
One of the best satellite schedules is for the PokerStars Sunday ¼ million guaranteed event. Even though the buy-in for this tournament is only $10.00, you can qualify through one of their daily satellites for only $2.00, with the top 20% getting through to the target event.
The PokerStars ¼ million is regularly very well subscribed and prize money is often paid out to the top 2.000 places, so if you can qualify at the first attempt, there is a good opportunity that you may multiply your money five or six times over just by hitting the bubble. Of course, you may well progress deep into the tournament and still be playing by breakfast time, but by then, the rewards will be worth it!