Looking ahead to live poker this Spring/Summer and a new Super Satellite format

Just throwing out some random thoughts today. First, what a Spring and Summer it’s going to be for tournament players or for those who like to follow the action – and who’s winning what – in the poker world. There’s WPT events, two partypoker LIVE MILLIONS events, and of course, the WSOP. Dreams will come true and numerous lives will change for a lot of poker players between now and the end of summer!

March highlights – Barcelona, LA and Rio De Janeiro

The WPT in Barcelona (Mar 11-17) will be a great event. It’s a three million guaranteed prize pool and poker tournaments at Casino Barcelona always do well as it’s a great property and Barcelona is a cool town. I had the privilege to go to Barcelona for the first time last year for a MILLIONS festival and loved it. Sadly for me, schedule complications will prevent me from attending this WPT event but “good luck” to everyone in Barcelona!

I’m currently in LA, CA to play in the WPT event at the Commerce Casino (a charter member of the WPT since its inception). The LAPC has always been one of the premiere poker tournaments in the U.S. and is extremely popular – and for good reason. It’s the only event on the WPT that has never changed its buy-in or format. It’s a $10k buy-in (no re-buys), one starting day, and 8 levels with no dinner break. “Bingo, Bango, Bongo” – simple, pure, and players love it.

Then comes the event that I’m really looking forward to this year. It’s the kick off event of the 2019 partypokerLIVE MILLIONS tour, MILLIONS South America (Mar 15-24) at the spectacular Copacabana Palace Hotel. It will be my first time to Rio and I’m looking forward to meeting many new poker players, checking out a few places where they Samba and Salsa (hey, there’s more to life than poker), and hopefully winning a few quid!

The WSOP Circuit heads to Dusk till Dawn and MILLIONS returns to Playground Poker Club

The WSOP-C UK at Dusk til Dawn (Mar 31 – Apr 14) with a wide variety of buy-ins will be extremely popular for most players. The friendly atmosphere, the first rate tournament staff, and large prize pools should make this a ‘must attend’ festival, especially for those living in the UK.

The partypoker LIVE MILLIONS North America (May 17-26) at the Playground Poker Club in Montreal (perhaps my favorite place in the world to play tournaments) will be a humongous festival. This place knows how to cater to players and without a doubt, has from top to bottom, the best dealers in the world. My advice, put this stop on your schedule.

No need to talk about the WSOP in Las Vegas. It dominates summer poker and where everyone goes. Well, on second thought, I will be talking about it in my next blog. 🙂

A new, innovative idea for Super Satellites

I’ll wrap up this blog by sending out some kudos to Matt Savage and the tournament staff at the Commerce Casino for coming up with what I think is a brilliant idea in running Super Satellites. For those that may not know, Super Satellites are tournaments where you win an entry into a larger tournament (usually into a main event).

On the day before the LAPC Main Event (which starts on March 2nd), they are holding two Super Satellites and guaranteeing 50 entries from each into the $10k championship event the next day. This alone is pretty cool, 100 guaranteed seats in a day, but it’s how they’re doing it that is impressive to me. It’s a new and unique way to eliminate the stalling that goes on as you near the bubble of Super Satellites (which is a huge problem), rewards aggression, and most importantly, eliminates ‘hand for hand’ near the bubble. It also will greatly deter the congestion of everyone lining up at the cage to pick up their entry if/when they win a seat.

Here’s what they’re doing. At certain points in the tournament, the chip leader(s) will be removed from play and awarded their seat.

Let’s assume for simplicity sake that they have 500 entries and are giving out 50 seats. When they get down to 117 players, the chip leader is automatically awarded a seat (and his chips are removed from play). When they get to 108 players, the chip leader is awarded a seat, and after losing each table, another chip leader is awarded a seat until you reach 48 players. (Eight players have won seats at this time.)

You now re-draw to six, eight-handed tables. When one player is eliminated at each table, the other seven players have won their seat. They simply go to the cage to get their entry (after celebrating). As all tables won’t finish at the same time, this will stagger the line of players receiving their entry tickets, eliminate stalling and hand-for-hand play. I’ll be interested to see how players feel about this after trying it. My guess is that players will love it and that venues holding Super Satellites, including the WSOP, will follow suit with this new, innovative idea. Great idea, Matt Savage and Commerce Casino!

Until next time, “good luck” at the tables!

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