How tight do we call on the near satellite bubble?


Dara O’Kearney shares another ICM quiz question, this time to help you brush up on your satellite calling (or folding) ranges.

It’s ICM quiz time again.  You are 2nd in chips in a satellite with 12 big blinds, six players remain, four seats to be won. The chip leader shoves for 30 big blinds, you are on the Button. 

What is the weakest hand you can call with?


AA

KK

AKs

Fold everything

Dara O Kearney

Before you skip to the answer, I polled my Twitter audience and they thought that this was a fold everything spot. 

Weakest hand we call with?


— Dara O’Kearney (@daraokearney) November 15, 2021

This is why satellites are different

The actual answer is that this is a fold everything spot. In fact, if you are an experienced satellite grinder, Aces is an easy fold here. 

Using the excellent ICMIZER 3 you can see how unprofitable every single hand is here, Aces is almost break even but still unprofitable. 

Dara O Kearney These are all the hands and how profitable each is

Why is this? I explained this once before in a previous PokerStrategy article. You have a seat almost locked up here and there is no need to get involved. You don’t need a solver to see this, just remember this simple heuristic:

If you are inside the bubble, if there are more people outside the bubble than there are positions between you and the bubble, you usually are guaranteed a seat.

Spots like this are what make satellites vastly different from any other format in poker, hence I felt the need to write Poker Satellite Strategy to highlight the key adjustments. 

What did you pick? Let us know in the comments:

Dara O'Kearney

Dara O’Kearney

Dara O’Kearney is a Unibet Poker ambassador and the co-host of The Chip Race Podcast. He is the author of Poker Satellite Strategy, PKO Poker Strategy and Endgame Poker Strategy


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