Planet Mark's Blog. Thoughts, News And Strategy For Poker Tournaments Of All Size

Micro Millions Preview – Are Super-Long Tournaments Worth The Effort?

micro-millionsWith the Micro Millions about to start again I thought it was a good time to examine the question of whether 10 hour tournaments with 10k+ fields were actually worth the effort… and if so should you change your strategy in any way for this size of game? Surely there is nothing more depressing in poker than playing for 6 hours in a big game only to bust for a mini-cash. In the Micro-Millions this could be $5 profit on the game… less than a buck per hour played! Here are some thoughts on different ways of looking at these games + a chance (if you are quick) to claim an extra $3.30 entry token for both new and existing PokerStars players!

Micro Millions Preview – The Pros and Cons

This blog post started off a little gloomy, so I’ll cheer things up with some of the good reasons to play in the micro millions tournaments.

-          The key one is that a lot of small stakes players are going to walk away with 5 figure payouts (that’s 10k+) and even more with decent 4 figure days ($1k+)

-          We can add to this that the games will be a lot of fun, the fields super-soft (if you can get any softer than a regular $3 tournament?) and you might even get to play against the odd Pokerstars pro or two!

-          A $1 Million Guaranteed Main event which costs just $22 to enter (satellites available too!)

The big negative for me is the size of the fields. 10k+ opponents is just silly large, though to be fair a lot of people do enjoy these size of games (the Sunday Storm is a great example). With the real big money at the final table I have to wonder whether it is even worth playing?

My thinking involves the opportunity cost of your time.

Whether you like it or not, the chances of you not being the ‘majority’ who play for hours for nothing or a mini-cash are pretty slim. Over an infinite time frame it might be a +ev move to go for the one huge win. For the average recreational player the number of tournaments required to take this advantage in huge field games (20,000+?) will likely never be reached. If your goal is to enjoy poker and build a bankroll I believe a better alternative would be to stick with your regular games (cash / SNGs for example), or play a number of smaller tournaments in which you have a more realistic chance of reaching the final table for a reasonable score some amount of the time. Oh and by the way, don’t do this at Pokerstars where every serious player and his dog are based… head over to 888 Poker (for example) where the difference really is like night and day! The time you spend for that (at best) inevitable min-cash could be spent with a real profitable edge in your regular game… ask yourself whether it is worth giving this up for that minute chance of reaching the final table?

Alright… maybe the enthusiasm for those big fields is higher for newer players – maybe working with my poker sites every day has made me jaded!

So, You Decided To Play – How About Some Strategy Considerations?

Here is an idea, how about adjusting your strategy early in a similar way that many cash game pros do in the big live events. I have heard many times that the likes of Ivey would prefer to either get a big stack (and a realistic chance of a bracelet) or bust – rather than treading that cautious middle ground… Could we do the same in the Micro-Millions? It makes some sense! I would not necessarily want to take the worst of it, but when there are my usual games to return to (with a real edge!) then why not risk those chips to accumulate a stack early. The other side of this argument is that with so many fish at these stakes, you should play small-ball until you hit a monster – since losing your chips stops with a 55 / 45 (for example) would stop you taking many better spots later. This is the reasoning that the likes of Phil Helmuth uses early in big tournaments, and it is good logic. Accumulation works best for me when there is a realistic chance of a worthwhile prize. When the majority of the time the outcome is a small prize after many hours of dodging the minefield of small stakes players, then my preference would be to go for the big stack or bust. Again, busting is not that bad – I get to forget about tournaments for a while and play in my favorite (profitable) games!

Micro-Millions Your Token ($3.30c Entry For Free!) There is an extra token available until midnight tomorrow (Wednesday). This is a $3.30c entry to a micro-millions event and only requires a re-deposit of $20 with bonus code MICRO for existing players. If you are the last player out there in the world without a PokerStars account then claim your 100% deposit bonus first by registering (use Marketing Code PSP3108 ) and depositing with bonus code STARS600. I’ll see you in the Micro-Millions, though maybe not for too long!! GL at the tables, Mark


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