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Don't Be a Terminator: 3 Major Mistakes to Avoid Playing Mega-Satellites

25 April 2016, By: compncards
One popular option for earning a seat in a large buy-in tournament is a mega-satellite.

In these events, seats are awarded based on the total prize pool.

For example, if the mega-satellite is feeding a $1,000 event and the mega has a prize pool of $12,000, the event will pay out 12 seats.

In these events, the goal is to win a seat into the larger event but some players still like to play like they are trying to win every chip in the event.

This type of mindset can lead to making mistakes that can cost you a seat. Below are three common mistakes made by beginners in mega-satellites.

1. Playing Recklessly With a Big Stack

A common mistake we often see in mega-satellites is when a big stack starts to play recklessly.

For example, a player becomes the chip leader of a mega-satellite at around the halfway point. Instead of slowing down and playing solid poker in order to lock up a seat, they decide that they want to be a terminator.

They start playing too many hands in order to knock out players. More often than not, these players win up being picked off multiple times and go from chip leader with a virtual lock on a seat to a short stack that has to get lucky to get a seat.

2. Tangling With Tight Players Without Solid Hands

Tight players are usually easy to spot in most any poker game and they really stick out in mega-satellites, especially late.

Unfortunately, players will sometimes make the mistake of trying to pick off these tight players with less than premium hands in order to secure the elimination.

Some players like the thrill of crushing the hopes of a tight player, but often you're just going to be the sucker donating to their stack.

Remember, the goal is to win a seat, not stack rocks.

3. Playing Unnecessary Pots on the Bubble

Is there ever a spot where it's smart to fold pocket aces pre-flop? Mega-satellites would be one time where you might consider such a fold.

For example, let's say you're 10th in chips in a mega-satellite paying out 25 seats. There are at least five players that will be all-in within at least one round of blinds.

You look down at pocket aces. What's your play? The smart play here is to fold.

When you're on the bubble the only objective is to win a seat. This is not a time to play unnecessary pots.

This is where you let the short and medium stacks battle it out. If you have a big stack of chips, take a nap. There's no reason to play.

Once I was on the bubble of a mega-satellite paying 20 seats where three players would have been all-in within the next two hands.

At my table, the overall chip leader (who had five times the chips of everyone at the table) was shoving all-in every hand.

For whatever reason, the person that was 9th in chips decided to call the all-in shove. He lost the hand and was the bubble boy. Had he waited two hands, odds are he would have on his seat.

The Goal is to Win a Seat, Not All the Chips

Often, the players that make the above mistakes are those that are still playing with the mentality that they need to win every chip possible.

Instead, you need to position yourself so that you can win a seat into the larger event.

Once you are confident that you are in a position to win a seat without incurring additional risk, it is time to shut it down unless there is a reason to play.

Don't worry about your image or what other players will think. You are trying to win your seat into a larger event and that should be your only focus.

Avoiding the above tips and focusing on the appropriate objective will help you win seats more often in mega-satellites.

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