During this past Labor Day weekend I began to resemble Dagwood Bumstead. I stole every chance to lay on the couch, sit in the hammock, and generally not do anything. I even got hungry at midnight on Saturday and wandered into the kitchen to make myself a midnight sandwich. I also played a lot of poker.
I had wanted to qualify for some events in the World Championship of Online Poker. There are 15 events, all with prize pools that are pretty juicy. While I know I’m an underdog, if I get a little lucky I could do well. However with entries to the lowest level tournaments starting at $215, that seemed a little steep.
So decided to invest $250 into satellites and started trying to qualify. At $29 a pop, I figured, the worst that can happen is that I lose every one and I’ve played a lot of poker. On Monday, it finally happened. After coming in third, fourth, etc, I finally won one and qualified for event #5. I admit, I got lucky with my QJ v AT against my final opponent, but I did win. When I counted up the damage afterwards, I had spent $236 to win a $215 entry. This tournament will be doubly challenging because it’s a "re-buy" tournament, which means that lots of people will play carelessly in the early stages trying to build chip stacks since they can pay another $215 and rebuy. Since I don’t plan on rebuying, I will have to tread carefully during this time.
I think the strategy to surviving a rebuy tournament without rebuy funds is to simply lay low, avoiding getting into a pot with too many people before the flop. You’re either going to flop a really big, hard-to-crack hand, or you’re going to let it go. In a rare case when you push in before the flop, you better have Aces. Top pair isn’t going to make it to the river with 3 or 4 other players seeing every river.
The experience was excellent. I honestly feel that it is much more satisfying to play 8-10 hours of poker for that $236 than to just pay the $215. After all, if I get knocked out in the first hour I won’t feel like it’s been a waste. For me, the tournament started 8-10 hours ago.