MTT Satellites Are For Suckers?
I don't play MTT satellites. This includes token races, token frenzies or whatever you want to call them. There is a simple reason for this. They are a complete waste of time. I play poker to win cash. I don't care how it comes, but $/Hr longterm is the measuring stick that I use. I have been playing MTTs well lately, but I don't bother with the satellites. The reasoning is painfully simple, but you guys just don't seem to get it. I have seen numerous posts about how great getting a token or satelliting in is. Well here is the problem with the concept.
Are you +EV in the MTT you are trying to satellite in to?
This is a pretty simple question. Can you beat the MTT that you are going to try to satellite into long term? If the answer is yes, then pony up and pay the buy-in. If the answer is no, then find an MTT that you are +EV in or don't bother with MTTs. If you are ready to admit that you can't beat poker for a profit and you play MTTs just for fun, then play all the satellites that you want. When you win a seat, I will be looking to take your chips in an MTT that you should not be playing in based on your skill level.
Lets me explain it a bit further. If you can beat the MTT you are satelliting into for a profit, you need to be playing in that MTT, and not satellites to it. The MTT itself can be used as the satellite. You get a decent score and then use your profit rate to keep you above water and freeroll the MTT indefinitely. Now that's better than playing a satellite where you can't win any cash, right?
Now I already know where you guys will object to this argument, and I am ready with an answer. The variance is very high in MTTs. You can go through quite a roll trying to get that first big score. Satellites let you take your shots for less than the full buy-in. Satellites are the way to go.
Lets take a look at that argument. The variance is too high for that level MTT. This simply means that your bankroll is not big enough. If you use the 100 buy-in rule for a MTT like the 50/50 (50+5 buy-in), you will need a $5,500 roll. So lets say your roll is just $1500 but you want to play anyway. So you play satellites. Do you guys keep track of your ROI in these things? Lets say that you could get a 20% ROI on satellites (I question this big time). So you use $1000 of your roll to win $1200 worth of shots at the 50/50. So you have about 22 buy-ins to the 50/50. You are still facing the variance issue here, and it is very likely that you will blow through all of those entries without a big score. You really have not fixed the variance problem of being under bankrolled for an MTT by satelliting in. You are nearly as likely to go busto satelliting into or just buying into an MTT that you are under bankrolled for.
MTT satellites are bad for you game as well. They use a flat payout structure unlike what MTTs use. You must adjust your game to this payout structure to do well in satellites. These adjustments are very harmful to your MTT game. So satellites are not really good MTT practice. You would be much better off practicing in a lower buy-in MTT than a satellite, and using it as a satellite if you must play a higher buy-in MTT.
The reason satellites are so popular is that most people lose money playing poker. They can't be +EV in the MTT they are trying to get into, but people like to dream of the big score no matter how unlikely. So to limit their losses people play satellites. Lets say your loss rate was $15/Hr in the 50/50 and $2/Hr in satellites. Satellites are the way to go there. You can play for more hours without destroying your bankroll, by playing a game that you lose money less fast. This is why people play satelites. Unfortunately, this puts them in quite a long shot position when they do get thier seat. They will be playing against a bunch of +EV players in an MTT they are -EV in. It will take quite a run of luck to get deep. They keep dreaming though, and that's how good players make money in MTTs. Satellites simply kill your hourly rate.
So what do I suggest?
If you insist on playing MTTs and can't beat the big buy-in ones, learn how to beat the low buy-in ones. Keep records so you will know when it is time to move up. Be honest with yourself, and understand why you play poker. Winning a low dollar buy-in MTT still feels great, and is good experience you can use in the bigger ones. Spending most of your time in satellites is bad for your game and bankroll.