WCOOP 2020 is right around the corner. This year there are 75 events on the schedule, all of them held at three buy-in levels to make 225 tournaments. It’s a great time of year for online poker.
Satelliting into WCOOP is a great option for players of all levels.
For newer players, they’re a chance to take a shot at events they may otherwise never play. For those who are looking to stick to a limited bankroll, satellites can be a gateway to higher stakes games. And pros can benefit from a greater ROI by keeping their costs low.
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We’ll be looking to offer as many ways into WCOOP as possible. So here’s a look at how you can enter WCOOP satellites, the different options available, and a bit of advice on how you can win your seat in events of a lifetime.
What satellites are available for WCOOP?
Here are the routes available to satellite into your chosen WCOOP events:
MTT and SNG satellites
These are available for nearly all WCOOP events. Click on “WCOOP 2020” in the lobby and then “MTT Sats” or “Sit & Go Sats” to see the full list. Many more will be added as the Series draws closer, so check back to find the games you want.
To give you an example of the entry prices, there are $5.50 satellites running to the $109 WCOOP 02-L, $11 satellites to the $215 WCOOP 01-H, and $1.10 satellites for the $22 WCOOP 01-M.
Although these satellites follow similar formats to standard tournament poker, there are some key differences you should be aware of if you want to improve your chances of qualifying for WCOOP events. They will be covered below.
Spin N Go
Special edition Spin N Gos are now running. The $4 and $22 games will pay out prizes ranging from twice the buy-in to WCOOP tickets. The highest value prize for both games is a $5,200 WCOOP Main Event-H entry.
Spin N Gos are an awesome option if you’re not too bothered which games you qualify for. If you get lucky with the spin, you could find yourself playing in huge events where even a min cash will change your life.
Click the “Spin N Go” tab in the PokerStars lobby to find these games.
Fast Tracks may well be the cheapest way to gain entry to the WCOOP. There are four rounds to get through and you can buy-in at any round, making them suitable for players of all bankrolls.
The first round costs just $1 to enter. Win this, and you’ll be in the $11 Round 2. Next is $109, and then finally the $1,050 round 4, which has 5 seats guaranteed to the $5,200 Main Event.
Fast Tracks are the perfect choice if you’ve got your heart and mind set on taking on the WCOOP Main Event this year. Click the “WCOOP 2020” tab and then “Fast Track” to find these satellites.
What stakes to play?
The idea of satelliting into an event is usually so that you can pay less on average for your buy-ins. Or so you can take a shot at a tourney that would normally be out of the range of your bankroll.
Playing satellites outside of your bankroll, or playing so many of them that you may as well have bought in for the event directly, kind of defeats the object.
So while there is no hard and fast rule for what stakes to play, you should approach WCOOP satellites with the usual bankroll management strategies in place. Only play what you can afford, and play at a level low enough that you can crash out and still continue to enjoy poker.
How to win a WCOOP satellite
At first glance, it may seem like satellites play the same as any other tourney, but there is one huge difference… in a satellite, you don’t need to win. If there are 50 seats available as prizes, finishing 50th is worth exactly the same as finishing in first.
In a satellite, you’re aiming to survive and to make the cut. This means you should favor a slightly different approach:
In the early stages, you should play the same as you would in any other MTT or SNG. You’re looking to accumulate chips.
In the mid stages, there’s still a long way to go until the bubble, so you can’t afford to just sit and wait it out. If you’ve got a really big stack, you may want to tighten up against other big stacks who can ruin your chances. This comes into play more towards the end of the tourney.
In the late stages of a satellite, the ICM adjustments are huge. If you’re chip stack already guarantees you qualification, then you need to tighten your ranges dramatically. In some cases, it’s even correct to fold Aces to a shove. After all, what’s the point in risking even an 80-20 if you’ve made it through?
If you’re short stacked and won’t make the cut without making more chips, you can make shoves to take advantage of medium and big stack players who have (correctly) tightened up their calling range. Medium stacks will need to find the balance between a tighter range and staying in the game.
This is summarized in these top three tips for playing poker satellites: Tighten up near the bubble with a big stack, don’t tighten up too much with short or medium stacks, exploit opponents who are very tight.
Barry Carter further explains the mechanics of how and when to tighten up in a satellite, as well as offering a neat tip on the potential value of late regging. You can also learn much more about how to win satellites for big events in this article by PokerStars School.
However you get there, we hope to see at the tables for the WCOOP 2020. It’s gonna be a big one!