Satellite Tournaments

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Satellite tournaments and played by millions of Poker players online as a means of buying into a tournament with a higher buy in. Satellite tournaments are played in both single and multiple tables best illustrated by an example the World Series of Poker main event. If 100 individual poker players pay entry of $100 each or whether a 10 person satellite is staged at a cost of $1000 buy in per player – the same amount is goes into the pot - $10,000.

Top Poker Rooms for Satellites:

Poker Room Max Bouns  Match Bouns  Ranking  Download
  William Hill Poker  $600  100%  
  Winner Poker  $500  100%  
  Mansion Poker  $500  100%  
  Titan Poker  $200  50%  
  888 Poker  $400  100%  
  Cool Hand Poker  $350  100%  
  Noble Poker  $500  100%  
  Lucky Ace Poker  $400  100%  
  BetWay Poker  $400  100%  
  BetFair Poker  $400  100%  

What is a Satellite Tournament?

A Satellite tournament is a tournament that offers players a less expensive way to enter a big buy-in tournament. Players hoping to win a seat in a big buy-in tournament will play in satellite tournaments attempting to win an entry into a larger tournament at a much lower cost than what the full buy-in is.

Many online poker rooms however offer a wider variety of options, where Satellites to big events like the WSOP can start at a small buy-ins or even free.

How much does it cost to play a Satellite?

Buy-ins for Satellite tournaments can be free (Freerolls) or a few cents up to a few thousand dollars. The cost to enter depends on the type of Satellite and what prizes can be won.

What is a Super Satellite?

Super satellite tournaments are a satellite to a main event where the winner is awarded a seat in the actual event. These satellites award seats according to the number of entrants or re-buys that equal the buy-in amount of the event – often times winning a seat through one of these events is like playing a main event due to the number of entrants.

What are Steps Tournaments?

Step tournaments are a series of sub satellites. In Steps tournaments, the poker room will offer satellite ‘steps’ to win the main prize. For example, to win a seat to a live event, a poker room may offer a Steps satellite promotion that is made up of six (6) Steps. The buy-in for the Step 1 satellite would be the cheapest, say at $1. When a player wins the Step 1 satellite, they win a seat to the Step 2 tournament and so on until they advance to the Main Satellite. They then have to win the Main Satellite to win the prize of a seat in the featured big tournament event. Most poker rooms also offer the option for players to buy-in to the various Steps tournament within the Steps structure, for a specific cash amount or using Frequent Player Points. For example in a 10 Step satellite promotion, a player may be able to opt to buy-in to Step 5 for $100 and skip the first four Steps.

Usually the top three players in a Step tournament are winners, with two moving up to the next step level and the third place player winning a seat in another Step tournament of the same level.

What kind of games are played in Satellites?

Normally the game is No-Limit Texas Hold’em with a specific starting stack and a set amount of time between blind increases. However, the game being played will always be the same as the game in the event you are trying to win a seat in. This means, that if you are trying to win a seat in a Stud event, the satellite will also be a stud event.

Do all Satellites have thousands of players?

No. But generally the smaller the buy-in, the more players there will be. In a $1 Satellite there may be thousands of players because it is so cheap, but in a $500 Satellite there may only be a few because the buy-in is out of reach for many players. Also, many poker rooms limit the amount of players that can register. In the very small buy-in Satellites, more players have to play for the amount of the buy-in to be ‘paid’ to award the seat in the target tournament. Therefore these small buy-in Satellites can have up to 20,000 players. When registering for a Satellite, the maximum number of entrants (if any) will be listed within the tournament information.

Are all Satellites Multi-Table tournaments?

The less expensive and FreeRoll Satellites are usually MTTs (Multi-Table Tournaments) to accommodate more players. Also MTT Satellites have a specific start time and date, which many players prefer. Depending on the buy-in and the prize being offered, poker rooms also hold Satellites in the following formats:

  • Satellite Rebuy Tournaments
  • Sit n Go Satellite Tournaments
  • Freezeout Satellite Tournaments
  • Turbo Satellites