It seems Party Poker has a hit on its hands with its new "STEPS" series of sit n go tournaments. The STEPS tournaments are a series of one (or two) table sit n go tournaments which function like a series of satellites, with X number of players going into the next level of tournament.
For example, the one-table STEP one tournaments cost $11 (+ $1 juice). The top two finishers from this ten-person tournament go on to STEP two. You can buy directly into STEP two for $50 (+$5 juice), or qualify in via STEP one. The top two finishers from STEP two go on to STEP three, and so on.
Sit n go tournaments have become one of the most popular features of online card rooms, and since the Party Poker started running the STEPS tournaments, they have become the most popular sit n gos by far. In fact, many Party players have found that since the advent of the STEPS tournaments, regular sit n gos, which used to take minutes to fill up, now take much longer.
Having played a number of these over the past few weeks some observations about the STEPS series of sit n gos
Firstly, depending on your playing style, you may want to consider whether the one table, or two table STEPS tourneys are for you. Its important to note that just like regular one table sit n gos at Party, the blinds go up every 10 hands on the one table. This usually results in a "crapshoot" situation at the end of these tournaments because the blinds escalate so quickly. I recently played in one of the STEP 5 single table tournaments, and with only 10,000 chips in play, and the blinds at 150-300, there were still seven of the ten original players left! The two table STEPS tournaments offer a slightly more reasonable structure, with the blinds going up every ten minutes.
Another thing to note is that I have noticed the play gets much tighter, and much better at the final level of these tournaments. The play at the first four levels of tournaments seems pretty typical of normal Party Poker sit n gos so far, with a slight increase in ability each step up.
If you choose to try to climb the steps with PartyPoker any time soon .Beware! There are sharks at the top of these steps!