How to sail through the bubble and coast to victory when playing Battle of Malta satellites
1. Tight is right
Your stack is even more important in a satellite than a normal tournament. Start off by playing tight and tagging the other players on your table. You’ll build up an image that you can exploit later on and you’ll also get a handle on which players you want to be targeting. If you’re playing freerolls or a winner-takes-all it’s important to build a big stack but you don’t need to gamble mindlessly. Play big hands fast and don’t be scared of getting your chips in with a draw.
2. Hang tough
You’re not looking to win the tournament, you’re looking to do just enough to get you through the bubble. Work out what the average stack will be when the bubble bursts – that’s what you’re aiming for in an ideal world. But remember, short stacks are different in satellites. If you’ve got a 20bb stack then you don’t need to go crazy. Can you nurse it over the line? lots of other players could well be sitting on even shorter stacks.
3. Big stack bully
If you manage to build a big stack approaching the bubble you have two options: relax and try to lock it up, or raise every hand. If you keep raising and it keeps getting through then why stop? It’s also fine to just click ‘sit out’ and wait for the bubble to burst. Doing this can actually speed the tournament along as all the other players will now go crazy for your artificial extra big blind! Don’t assume your seat is locked up too early though!
4. Keep an eye on your rivals
When you’re approaching the bubble it’s essential to open up all the other tables in the tournament and see exactly what’s going on. You might be sitting on an ultra-short stack having just played the blinds but you might not need to play another hand. Are there other short stacks who will be all-in on the blinds before they reach you again? If so, sit tight and see what happens before committing the last of your chips.
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