The popular MicroMillions festivals on PokerStars were first introduced back in 2012. As the name suggests, they feature low buy-ins typically played by "micro" stakes players, with the huge fields adding up to "millions" in total prize pools every time the festival comes around.
This weekend comes a special "MicroMillions Marathon" on PokerStars, part of the Christmas Festival going on all month. On Sunday, December 11 starting at 6:00 a.m. ET, there will begin 25 MicroMillions events packed into a single day, mostly firing off every half-hour.
Nearly all of the 25 events are no-limit hold'em, with one pot-limit Omaha event thrown in the mix early in the day. Things kick off with a "Hyper-Active" event costing just 11 cents to enter with unlimited rebuys for the first hour. A couple more rebuy events are tossed in before the day is done as well.
Other variations include a couple of "Ultra Deep Stacks" events in which players begin with 50,000 chips (250 big blinds), "Progressive Knockout" tournaments in which half the buy-in goes to a bounty prize pool (and those bounties get bigger and bigger the longer you last in the event), a "Win the Button" tournament and an "Ante Up" one in which the blinds remain at 5/5 throughout while the antes increase each level.
Buy-ins for the majority of the events fall in the $1.10 to $5.50 range, with varying guarantees on the prize pools. Right in the middle of the day comes the $22 buy-in Main Event featuring a huge $1 million guaranteed prize pool with a first prize of at least $100,000.
Here's the full schedule:
|1||6:00||$0.11+R||NL Hold'em (Hyper-Active)||$5,000|
|3||8:00||$2.20||NL Hold'em (Ultra Deep Stacks)||$20,000|
|4||8:30||$1.10||PL Omaha (8-Max)||$10,000|
|5||9:00||$4.40||NL Hold'em (6-Max)||$40,000|
|6||9:30||$5.50||NL Hold'em (Progressive KO)||$50,000|
|8||10:30||$3.30||NL Hold'em (Win the Button)||$20,000|
|9||11:00||$4.40||NL Hold'em (Progressive KO)||$50,000|
|10||11:30||$1.10||NL Hold'em (Bubble Rush)||$10,000|
|12||12:30||$5.50||NL Hold'em (Progressive KO)||$100,000|
|15||14:04||$22||NL Hold'em (Main Event)||$1,000,000|
|16||14:30||$3.30||NL Hold'em (Ultra Deep Stacks)||$50,000|
|18||15:30||$5.50||NL Hold'em (Progressive KO)||$50,000|
|20||16:30||$2.20||NL Hold'em (Ante Up)||$20,000|
|25||20:00||$1.10+R||NL Hold'em (Hyper-Turbo)||$25,000|
These tournaments present great opportunities for micro stakes players looking to spend a little to win a lot. Of course, for that to happen the fields are going to be necessarily large, requiring players to practice sound tournament strategy in order to get through so many opponents and make those deep runs to the big money.
Here are three reminders of areas to focus on when trying to make it through large field online events, especially low buy-in ones.
1. Be Prompt
While most of the tournaments on the MicroMillions Marathon schedule feature standard structures (with 10-minute levels), you'll find it is well worth getting there at the start and being in your seat when the first hand is dealt. Luckily with new events starting every half-hour for most of the day, it shouldn't be hard to accomplish this first step to success.
Why get there on time? For one, that's when the chip-to-blind ratio ensures stacks are at their deepest (relatively speaking), giving you increased room to maneuver postflop which rewards those with a skill edge. The early levels are also a good chance to take advantage of some loose play from less experienced or weaker players — don't wait and late register after others have already grabbed up those chips.
2. Be Patient
This might sound like we're saying to "hurry up and wait," following the advice to be prompt with a suggestion about patience. While the faster-structured "hyper" tournaments necessarily will force you play more starting hands and get involved more frequently, in most of these events you can and should be patient and play your normal, strong range of hands.
Large field, low buy-in online tournaments often feature lots of less patient players going broke with marginal holdings as they can't muster the stamina to sit through long stretches of bad cards. Take advantage of these players by waiting and playing a better range of hands, giving you the edge when you get in hands against them.
A related challenge in these kinds of tournaments is to be able to maintain your focus over long periods of time, since typically they will take many hours to complete. Luckily the MicroMillions Marathon schedule will allow you to multi-table and play several tournaments at once, which can help when it comes to being more patient in each individual tournament.
3. Be Ready to Adapt
Large field events also require being able to adapt to the frequently changing circumstances of tournament play — to "change gears," as it is often put, according to the changing stack sizes (especially your own) and according to the tournament's progress from early to middle to late stages.
Bubble play and afterwards are especially important times to be ready to ramp up the aggression when warranted, particularly when surrounded by opponents who have tightened up in order to reach the money or to ladder up once the tournament has made it to the cash.
For related advice covering the different stages of multi-table tournaments, check out entries in our "10 Multi-Table Tournament Tips" series for specific help:
- Fast vs. Slow Structures
- The Importance of Stack Sizes
- Chip Accumulation vs. Survival
- How to Play the Early Levels
- Middle Stage Strategy
- Approaching the Bubble
- Strategy on the Bubble
- In the Money
- Going for the Win
- Bankroll Management
Look over that MicroMillions Marathon schedule and pick your spots — or play them all — and best of luck this Sunday.
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