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Six ways to qualify for WCOOP

This article is by Team Pro Online's André 'acoimbra' Coimbra

For sure you have heard the stories of Chris Moneymaker turning a $39 satellite buy-in at PokerStars into $2.5 Million, or Marat 'maratik' Sharafutdinov from Russia turning 40 FPPs into $1 Million at the PokerStars WCOOP Main Event. Satellites are what make these stories possible. If there is something even better than becoming a big champion,it is doing it with a very small investment. So, now that the WCOOP is almost starting it's a good time to think about the tons of satellites that you can play from which you can get a lot of value. Let's try to be the next Moneymaker!

In this article I will discuss a bit different strategies that you can use to approach different types of satellites and help you prepare for the many opportunities that will be available during the WCOOP at PokerStars to grow your bankroll and achieve your poker dreams.

Andre Coimbra wcoop 2015.jpg

There are many different types of satellites available at PokerStars, for sure you will find the one that you'll enjoy the most. Just remember, not every satellite should be played the same way!

1 Package (Winner takes all)

The satellites that only pay the first place or that have a huge prize difference between the first and the second place are kind of rare nowadays, but you will find some from time to time, so for the sake of completeness I will tell you how to approach these.

The goal is simple... Get all the chips!

You don't have to worry about prize structures, ICM, or any sort of complicated model, just play it as close as possible to a cash game and only deviate whenever the risk of losing a hand costs the opportunity of playing a hand with a higher expected value.

Multiple Packages

These are my favorite to be honest, because since they play fundamentally different than pretty much all other forms of poker. People make huge mistakes and allow the savvy players to cash-out on their opponents' mistakes!
You don't have to win all the chips to win the tournament; you just need to survive. This is fundamental, so let me say it again: The goal here is to survive and not to win all the chips!

As it happens in most forms of tournament poker (re-buys/re-entries excluded), you need to be careful about spots where the risk of losing a hand might cost the opportunity of playing a hand with a higher expected value later, but in this particular format you need to take it even further!

I recommend that if you have to call an all-in or go all-in in a situation without much fold equity to be very sure about the situation and to have a big advantage, because the cost of losing is just too high in these.

On the other hand, if you can put an opponent all-in and you know that he/she is aware of these dynamics, put as much pressure as you can as long as his range is wide or capped without strong hands since very often he will have to muck his hand and you can accumulate chips to put more pressure on your opponents and increase your own chances of surviving until the very end.

A final thought... aces win 85.2% vs a random hand, but what if you are in the bubble of a multiple package tournament and you think that by avoiding getting all your chips with aces you win the package like 90% of the times because there are shorts that need to risk it all before you do?

Sit-n-go Steps

You can find these on the Sit & Go -> Satellite -> Steps lobby. They start on level 1 ($7.50) and go all the way up to level 6 ($2,100) where you can win a WCOOP package, EPT package, PCA package, etc. If you don't have $7.50, you can still play some special satellites starting at 10 FPPs or $1.

On each level you can usually go up or down depending on how high you finish on the sit-n-go and they tend to be the Multiple Package kind of satellites, so you should be able to use the advice I give here.
If you enjoy playing sit-n-gos at your own time and schedule and get multiple opportunities, you should try the Steps!

VIP Satellites

PokerStars usually runs some VIP satellites for their main events and they usually have some exclusive ones for SilverStars+, Supernova+ and Supernova Elite+. You can find them in the Tourney-> VIP lobby and you might be able to find an exclusive opportunity for your VIP Status!

WCOOP Main Event Mega Path

If you have some FPPs you should check these out in the Events->WCOOP->FPP Satellites lobby. They have seven different qualifying rounds and one big final with five seats for the WCOOP Main Event Guaranteed!

Like the Steps, you can start in any round you can afford and the higher the round gets the more expensive the entry. The first round can cost as little as 1 FPP (with re-buys) and the final costs 100K FPPs.

If you like to play a bit every day and enjoy to grind big tournaments, these might be for you!

Deadline Turbos

These usually run a bit before the WCOOP events start and you can find them in the Events->WCOOP->Cash Satellites lobby. The buy-ins vary from $7.50 to $2,100 (for the high rollers), and I love to play these because they give Multiple Packages, but most people don't know how to play this structure very well and end up risking too much very close to the prizes.

If you enjoy the rush of qualifying on the last minute don't miss the Deadline Turbos!


Do you have a small bankroll, but big dreams? Check out all the options I described on this article and choose your path to victory!

If you have a big bankroll, you will also find many opportunities with a big expected value and be able to boost your bankroll even more

Andre Coimbra is a member of Team PokerStars Pro Online
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