This coming Sunday´s Phase 2 Final Qualifier for the $1 million guaranteed Big Game tournament shows signs of being mostly populated by short-stacked players.
Last month, Party Poker launched its Big Game promotion consisting of a month-end tournament with a guaranteed prize pool of $1 million. The direct buy-in for the tournament is $5,200; and, to encourage players to qualify early for the event, Party Poker is adding $26,000 worth of seats to each of its weekly two-phase satellites – the equivalent of five extra seats in the target event each week.
Possibly due to the PokerStars Players Championship taking place in the Bahamas, the number of players taking part in Phase 1 of the qualifying process this week has been lower than usual. Although a couple of players have done well and are going into Sunday´s Phase 2 Final with healthy chips stacks, the majority of already-qualified players will struggle to keep their short stacks intact.
How the Big Game Qualifying Process Works
This month´s Big Game tournament takes place on the final Sunday of each month at 7:00pm (all times GMT). Each Sunday leading up to the Big Game tournament, there is a Phase 2 Final scheduled for 9:00pm, with a further Phase 2 Final on the day of the Big Game tournament at 4:00pm. Each Phase 2 Final has five extra seats added to the prize pool – so that is twenty seats added in total.
The Phase 2 Finals cannot be bought into directly. Instead players have to qualify for them via five-times-daily Phase 1 satellites that run between 3:00pm and 11:00pm. Each Phase 1 satellite has a buy-in of $109 (feeder sub-satellites start at $3.30) and last for twenty-two 5-minute levels. Players surviving the two hours of action carry their chip stacks forward into the following Sunday´s Phase 2 Final.
What´s Happened So Far This Week
So far this week, fifteen players have qualified for next Sunday´s Phase 2 Final. The average chip stack is 323,000 chips, which is the equivalent of just under 65 Big Blinds when the Phase 2 Final gets underway. However, two players slaughtered their fields in the Phase 1 satellites and have 1,200,000 and 750,000 chips respectively. The next biggest chip stack is 372,718 and only two further players have above-average stacks.
Currently, the buy-ins for the Phase 1 satellites mean there is six seats in the Big Game tournament up for grabs (including the five added seats), plus a cash prize of $4,500 for the player finishing in seventh place. With four days to go until the Phase 2 Final, there is likely to be between twelve and fifteen seats to play for on Sunday, meaning that anybody who qualifies for the Phase 2 Final now with an above-average chip stack is in a very good position to win a seat in the $1 million guaranteed Big Game.
Let´s Discuss the Feeder Sub-Satellites
There are a lot of players out there for whom playing in a satellite with a $109 buy-in is beyond their bankroll, so Party Poker hosts “feeder” sub-satellites guaranteeing a specific number of $109 MTT tickets that can be used to enter Phase 1 satellites. These feeder sub-satellites have buy-ins starting at $3.30, and the number of MTT tickets guaranteed varies depending on the buy-in and time of day. Some of these feeder sub-satellites offer exceptional value. For example:
- A $3.30 buy-in feeder sub-satellite yesterday evening guaranteed ten $109 MTT tickets. 88 players entered, but after re-buys and add-ons are included, the total amount collected in buy-ins amounted to just $669 – an overlay of 39%.
- A $5.50 buy-in feeder a little later in the evening – guaranteeing twenty $109 MTT tickets – attracted 146 players; and, after re-buys and add-ons are taken into account, there was an overlay of $795 – or 27%.
- An $11.00 buy-in hyper-turbo feeder sub-satellite yesterday afternoon with no re-buys or add-ons allowed saw 69 players compete for the ten $109 MTT tickets up for grabs – an overlay of $400 or 37%.
Opportunities to extract value from Party Poker feeder sub-satellites exist around the clock, every day. Therefore, if you have dreamt of playing in an online poker tournament with a seven-figure guarantee – but your bankroll can´t support a four-figure buy-in – head over to Party Poker this week while the Phase 1 satellites are quieter than normal in order to take advantage of these opportunities, and to qualify for Sunday´s Big Game Phase 2 Final with an above-average chip stack. If the cards fall in your favour, you could be playing in the million dollar guaranteed Big Game on Sunday 27th January for as little as $3.30.
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