One of my poker goals is to be able to play in the PCA at some point in my life. I'm trying to lay out a sensible plan of satellites that can win me a PCA package on Poker Stars.

I have tried to qualify before starting one of the free or low-entry-fee multi-step programs and found it to be difficult to get beyond the first few levels because those initial steps seems to be shove-fests that are basically no more than random luck. So I want to develop a plan that's going to get me to the PCA while still playing in satellites that I can actually use poker skill in, not random luck.

So, if you had $1,000 USD to invest in a series of PCA satellites, which satellites would you do to give yourself a shot at winning a package?

  • 1
    I haven't seen any structures/tournament sizes for the PCA satellites, but are there smaller ones available? If you can afford it, maybe play the more expensive satellites that have less players. Easier to beat say 50 players rather than 20,000.
    – Grinch91
    Jul 4 '16 at 13:41
  • 1
    Good luck. Just to qualify would be a win.
    – paparazzo
    Jul 5 '16 at 3:12

The Official PCA site on How To Qualify hints that:

"The PCA page on the PokerStars Blog page has blog posts from Team PokerStars Pro, which give poker strategy advice that's designed to help you in your qualification campaign."

But when you actually go to the site (Here is the generic .com version but it can depend on your region; as you can see in the first link), it seems less informative on strategy etc. and more based on entertainment.

I would suggest monitor the Satellite events before entering them. This way you can get an idea of which events are shove-fests and which ones people actually start to play more seriously in.

Also, pay attention to the field and the levels to get an idea of pace and duration. It's good to know how many big blinds you can estimate the average stack to be after second break, for example, and from there you can compare the field and see if the final 2 or 200 will be short-stacked <10BB after x amount of time. Knowing a little information about the field and levels of the game will give you a good indication of how the pace and roughly how loose/aggressive/tight the game play might be.

With this, it is then up to you to make an informed judgement call of how much you are willing to invest per satellite/qualifier. If you find it's too fishy, then move up a qualifier. If you find yourself becoming conscious of your investment each game and it affects your play then consider some of the cheaper buy-ins.


Not a directly answer of which satellites

And I know you know poker math but math on shove fest

If you only play AA, KK, and AK you will get that every 47.35 hands
Round it up to 48
In 120 hands (15 orbits) you will get it 3 times (on average)
Against 2 others in shove fest you are 50:50 to win and triple up
If you can survive three coin flips (1/8) you are up 20:1 on your money
3*3*3 = 27 but you will have some of your shovers covered
Then you can start playing some more hands and the field will thin

I get it is boring but play a couple shove fest in the mix and play it super tight.

I don't know how many or increments but if you start at $15 and doubled each tournament you could play 6 tournaments. That is two more than if you just play 4 @ $250.

If they limit the number of players then take size * entry fee and go with the smallest.

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