So, qualifying for the Quarter Million. The thorny issue of how best to get into an $11 tourney...

I started out doing the regular $2.20 satellites, these things run all the time and I think are a good way to practise MTTs for not much money, with the added bonus of getting into another MTT if it all goes okay. 

But, I might be imagining things, but I think these have got harder and longer in the time I've been doing them. I used to have quite a high percentage of wins and used to keep doing them to build up Tourney $ even when I was already in the Quarter Million, and I think they took about an hour. But then I started to feel they were taking longer - 1.5-2 hours and I was qualifying less. The game seems to completely seize up around the bubble, so say 100 play and you've got $2.20/$11 qualifying, whatever that is 20 or so, with say, 25 left the game just grinds to a halt as all the short stacks wait for each other to knock themselves out. Sometimes you can even be, say in the top ten from 25 with 20 qualifying and find yourself out in say 22nd! Then of course, you can say this is your own fault but pushing two hours for $2 into an $11 tourney, its a frustrating way to spend your time so I stopped doing it.

Then I had a phase of doing the $1 double shootouts on Sundays. These are fun I suppose but I think like any shootout, the real difficulty is winning the first table. They are turbos so you get $500 and the blg blind is $50 (and goes up fast) and is all in or pass really. You sometimes see people trying to 'play' but I don't know what that's all about. In then end, I think winning the first table is just too random, plus the occasional hazard of making the second table and still not qualifying (3 from 6 qualify and 4th gets $3). Sometimes you qualify first time, and sometimes you can be there all day!!

More recently I have been using the $3, 6-max satellites on Saturday and Sunday nights (again $500 turbos - but not a shootout just $3/$11 qualifying).  The Saturday satellites are for the $11 satellite into the Sunday Million, but if you qualify here, you can just unregister from the Sunday Million satellite. 

I think I'm all right at these. I have a reasonable knowledge of percentages of different hands and the turbo all in/pass is just about understanding the trade off between hand ranges/position and the difference between shoving and calling and that's really it I think. I think if you know this stuff and apply it properly you will break a few eggs, but ultimately will win more than you lose and these are my suggestion for the best value way in. As long as you qualify more than 3/11 times, you are ahead - and if you add in the times you do actually cash the Quarter Million you are even further ahead.

Also slightly nit-picking, but Poker Stars don't charge you for these, they are $3+$0, so okay it is small stakes and small amounts, but say $0.30 is presumably the going rate and over time, this saving will make a difference too. 

There are also FPP satellites, you can enter for like 1FPP and about 300 play and you have to literally win to get in. I have no idea what sort of person tries to do this, but I suppose its almost free.