Monday, April 19, 2010

Steps, Steps Everywhere

It looks like Full Tilt is the last major site to jump into the steps bandwagon. Now them along with Poker Stars and AP/UB have steps to get you to the WSOP or other major events. As most of you know I have always been a fan of the steps. I started playing them on Poker Stars around a year and a half ago. I was able to make it to step 6 (the top level) twice but never able to convert it into anything.

One problem that has happened in the step system is that the sng sharks sit at the top level and buy in directly and take all of the low level players' money once they make it to the top couple of steps. One player I can think of in particular is busto_soon on Poker Stars. He played virtually every step 6 that went off for the 2009 WSOP. Poker Stars did try and help out the situation a little later on last year when they offered a step 6 that paid a seat to 1st and cash to 2nd through 7th (I think) that paid less than the actual buy-in. One thing I would love to see is a step series where you could not buy-in directly to the steps above, you have to start from the bottom and work your way up. I'm sure the problem with that logic is volume. It would take 286 step 1's to go off to generate one step 6 to go. guess I should post that on 2+2.

Since most of the people I know are lazy and I really don't want to watch another minute of cartoons this weekend (thanks Reecey), I have put together a spreadsheet for each of the sites showing each step and the prizes for each level.

Poker Stars Step System
Above is the Poker Stars steps. They offer a few versions of step 6 and I just listed one of them. you can play the steps as regular or turbo all the way up to the top. I did an educated guess for step 6 based on last year. They are not going to offer WSOP step 6's until SCOOP ends in May. If the step 6 cash was different last year post it in the comments for me. In my opinion the hardest step to advance is step 4. With only the top 3 at least getting a redo bouncing around between steps 3 and 4 is a distinct possibility, especially considering the easiest step is step 3. I have spent many step tries bouncing between steps 3 and 4. I am going to try and generate a step 6 ticket on stars this year. It remains to be seen whether I try for a WSOP seat or keep it and try for a LAPT or APPT seat instead.

Full Tilt Step System
I have just dabbled in the steps at Full Tilt since they were recently started. Above is the single table route but they offer a ton of other routes including multi-table steps, 6-max and heads-up. They offer these in regular speed, turbo and hyper-turbo. I watched a hyper-turbo step 6 go off a couple nights ago. Nothing like flipping in a $640 buy-in sng. It remains to be seen how popular these are going to be but I am guessing they will be a huge success. I probably won's invest too much into these cause Full Tilt hates me.

UB/AP Steps System
By far the cheapest (and longest) way to get into the WSOP is through the step system at UB/AP. I really like the way these are structured. Once you reach step 5 all you need to do is finish in the top 4 to get a redo. You can play these regular, turbo ultra-turbo and ultra-turbo with 500 chips. The ultra-turbos are only offered at the low levels. The structures for these are tremendous. Their turbos are equivalent to the regular speed ones on Full Tilt and Poker Stars. I received a free $10 to use on AP the other day and I have been grinding the step 1's. I am surprised at the quality of play considering the buy-in is only $0.11. I have played 13 so far with 6 step 2 tickets and 2 redos. A good start but a long way to go.

There you have it. Plenty of options to get your seat in the WSOP main event for a fraction of the cost. Post it the comments how you are doing. Good luck.

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