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10/09/2007 No. 41
he Guardian G2 Poker Column
Victoria Coren
Monday Sep 10, 2007

The main event of the World Series of Poker (Europe) begins this afternoon at 2pm. Last week I pointed out that the £10,000 buy-in was a little high, and advised readers to try to win seats in online super- satellites for smaller money.

It's too late now, of course. But it's worth talking a bit more about super-satellites, because they are always available online (whether to win seats into bigger internet tournaments or major live events like the EPT series) and they require a different approach from "normal" tournaments.

In a normal tournament, you should always play to win. It is tempting to try to crawl into the money, then crawl up the money ladder, but the serious player resists this temptation and goes for gold. In a super-satellite, there is no ladder: you win a seat or you don't. So there's no need to go for every chip in the game. You just need to keep your stack above average, and stop gambling when it is. Taking it to extremes: let's say there are six seats available and seven players left, your stack is three times average and two players go all-in. This is a situation where you can actually pass aces before the flop. There's no benefit in taking any risk at all.

Too few people think about the corollary of this. In a normal tournament, you attack the small or medium stacks because they are weak, and because it is psychologically easier to play hard against someone who cannot knock you out. The big stacks are dangerous because they can afford to gamble. In a satellite, the big stacks don't need to gamble - not if they are sufficiently above average to cruise gently towards those equal prizes - so they are suddenly better targets than the small fry. They have good reason to play tight, and you can exploit this to stay afloat.

Your can read more byAnthony Holden at his website
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