Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | 5 p.m.
ESPN poker writer Bernard Lee offers some sage advice for entry into the World Series of Poker main event via satellite tourneys:
1. Play extremely tight during the first few levels. Early on, some players feel compelled to risk their tournament life on speculative hands like A-10, K-Q or small pairs. In their attempt to double up (and sometimes they are successful), some players are inevitably eliminated in the first few levels. This pattern is very common in Steps 1 thru 3 where the buy-ins are lower. If you can survive the initial carnage, you will quickly be in line to at least get a replay to some level.
3. Turn up the aggression once you get the replay. Once you get a step replay, you at the very least will be playing again without having to buy in. Now, this is the time to turn up the aggression, especially if you are shortstacked. You must utilize your position and remaining fold equity to steal the blinds and antes. Personally, I play very conservatively until I get a same-level replay, and then I become hyper-aggressive.
8. Never give up. I see so many players just give up after taking a bad beat. However, with so few chips in play, you are never really out of the tournament. Since you are only trying to finish in the top two, you do not need to outlast the chip leader, even if he or she has a significant lead. If you are low in chips, look to the second-place chip stack. You are often only one or two double-ups away from being right back in the tournament. Overall, if you have not had success in the multi-table satellites and feel your strength lies in single table sit-and-gos, this step qualifier system might be the satellite for you. Good luck to everyone, and I hope to see you at the 2009 WSOP main event.