June 2007
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Putting seats on bums

Welcome to stupidly large World Series of Poker satellite night.

On Poker Stars, 150 seats are guaranteed to be given away and on Full Tilt another 100.  In fact, between the two sites there’s over $4 million dollars in play – enough for 359 ten thousand dollar seats, and a bit of pocket change to the runners up.

I never even thought of playing one of these until today, yet here I am, battling with nearly 7000 others on Poker Stars in Probably The World’s Largest Satellite Poker Tournament Ever.  OK, actually it was ever so slightly bigger last year, but not so much you’d notice.

Let’s rewind a bit.

Turbo satellites are silly.  With the blinds at $1500/$3000, plus a $150 ante, I have little more than one small blind remaining.  Click on the thumbnail to see the full table image.  For Harrington fans, does the fabric of the universe falls apart when you have an M that has to be expressed as a fraction?  It all looks grim, and yet I’m loving it.  Believe it or not, I’m in great shape here.

This was an $80+$8 qualifier to the main satellite.  The lobby called it a "last chance" tournament, but I will argue that it was actually my first and only chance.  One in five got a seat, and it looked like a good way to use up my W$ balance, which has been doing pretty much nothing for as long as I can remember.  Sure I could have sold them for 80% of value, but I figured eventually there’d be a more interesting way to spend them.  This was going to be it.

With 350 players remaining and 317 getting paid, I’d been fortunate enough to get two successive table breaks that landed me in a good seat, just as I was about to be blinded out.  Game of skill my arse.  Cards were irrelevant by that point.  Almost nobody could survive one round of blinds, so all that mattered was hanging on longer than everybody else.  With 38 tables left, 33 players left to be eliminated and the luxury of five free hands before I was forced in on the big blind, I needed 6 or 7 players to go bust for every hand played at my table.  No problem.  I was all set to fold pocket aces.

Two hands later, you could probably hear my woohoos.  I’d got a result in the turbo poker lottery, which from start to finish took just 75 minutes to eliminate 80% of the field.

The main satellite will be somewhat slower, however.  30 minute levels and 6702 players to money.  Could be a late one.