Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Type of Angle Shooting That’s Allowed on PokerStars

I was going to write about trying to satellite into the Macau Poker Cup next month but something came up during a stage 1 satellite for the event today. I think the best way to describe it is a form of angle shooting. It is allowed, but it’s just dirty in my opinion. I plan on sending an e-mail into PokerStars about it this week to see how they respond.

I was registers for a $10+1 satellite into the stage 2 $47 satellite. The structure is a turbo (5 minute blinds) with 1500 to start. Registration is open for the first 60 minutes, which turns out to be very key in the story. In the beginning we had less than two tables to start. When we reached level three we were up to three tables. The number of tables stayed steady for the first 30 minutes or so. When one busted another registered.

When we reached the 45 minute mark the craziness started to happen. Hoards of players started registering. When we started level 12 the blinds were 800/1600/150 and people were registering with less that one big blind. We had around 17 people remaining with 14 or so winning a seat. We ended up getting so many players that 17 seats would be given away and 18th received $31 (83 total registered). When registration closed there were around 30 or so players left.

The Angle

When the late registrants would sign-up they would immediately disconnect. They would stay disconnected until right before the time bank ended. Then they would reconnect and use their whole 60 second time bank before folding. We had two of these players back-to-back so a single hand lasted about one level. With this strategy it was possible for these players to win a satellite seat by never playing a hand if they registered at the right time and got a seat behind the button.

With the blinds getting so high we were losing 2-3 players per hand. I went from an 8k stack and 5th/20 (before the onslaught of late registration occurred) to being in trouble and possibly missing a seat. When we were a couple of seats away I was in the big blind for 3k. After posting the big blind I had enough for the small blind and one more hand after before I would be all in for the ante. We ended up busting a player and the button moved to me so I skipped my small blind. On that hand the bubble burst and I won the seat.

Being able to register and not even play a hand to win a seat is just wrong. That’s not poker. In order to show a profit it has to work once every four times which I think are pretty good odds using that strategy. I think they should cut off registration when the starting stack reaches 10bbs, or 25 minutes and five levels in satellites.

I’m interested to see what PokerStars has to say.

I will get to talking about the Macau Poker Cup tomorrow hopefully.

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