New Players Guide To Poker Satellites

This Guide Is For Poker Players Who Are Completely New To The World Of Online Poker Satellite Qualifiers


There are many perfectly smart players who might have heard that you can win entries to big poker tournaments and events online – yet have no direct experience of this themselves.

While I was reviewing my ‘Satellites’ section recently it struck me that the articles assumed some prior knowledge of how online qualifiers work and where to play them - and that there are plenty of people who do not know much about this area. In this article I redress the balance, going back to basics for intelligent players who want to understand the nuts and bolts of the online poker satellites.

I’ll divide this article up into 3 sections, first outlining the types of event which satellites are running for. Next how the online games are set-up and how to get involved. Then finally I’ll give 2 places to play online satellites which offer the best choice and value for your money… and some links to some of my strategy articles which outline the nuances of adjusting to satellite play.

New Players Online Poker Satellites Guide – What Can You Qualify For?

This is going to be a long list! Online satellites have grown to cover not only all of the ‘major’ poker tours including the World Series Of Poker, World Poker Tour and European Poker Tour – they now cover a whole raft of smaller one-off events and regional tours like the UK’s IPPT and Irish Winter Festival.

While you are not going to be able to qualify online for the weekend $100 tournament at your local casino – almost all the tour events have an opportunity somewhere online!

Some online poker sites have reached a point where they group their prize packages together, for example you can win a $12,000 entry + expenses prize package to any of the major events at Pokerstars with their ‘Pokerstars Passport’ system of qualifiers. This saves them having to run 10's of smaller super-satellites, one for each event.

In addition to the live events, most of the internet poker sites now offer a chance to play in their ‘big weekend tournaments’ or special events like the Party Summer Millions via satellite qualifiers. Direct buy-ins for these games are in the $200 to $600 range, making the satellites very cheap.

New To Online Poker Satellites Guide – How Are The Qualifier Games Organized?

What most online poker rooms are doing with their satellites is creating funnels to get as many lower bankroll players into these games as possible. This can make the qualifiers schedule seem confusing – though the  fundamentals are really pretty simple.

Sit N Go (1-table) tournaments, and multi-table tournaments share the starting levels. These start with very low buyins, often just a couple of dollars / euros, and feed into sub-qualifiers in the $30 to $70 range. Supersatellites, which are held at pre-specified times in the evenings and at weekends are where the prizes are given out – these tournaments typically cost between $200 and $500 and depending on the business of the poker site and the popularity of upcoming events can give out anywhere from 2 or 3 up to 20 packages.

Some sites offer 1-table tournaments called 'Steps', in which you advance through the levels by placing in the top 2 of each game (with 'try again tokens for 3rd and sometimes 4th). When you reach Step 6 you will be playing for one or more $12k packages!

New To Online Poker Satellites Guide – Which Poker Sites Are Best For Satellites?

Here I will cover two of the bigger sites, each of which push specific events and have their own pros and cons. If you have any doubts or concerns about the safety of online play I will recommend Party Poker – they are listed on the London Stock Exchange and have a 10 year reputation for being a safe and solid poker site!

#1 – XNY - Hosting Some Very Easy Games!

Removed! recently took over the WPT brand and are now the best place to win prize packages to a huge number of events dotted around the globe. These are usually $10k entry tournaments, and Party offer $14k prizes to make sure that your expenses are covered.

Party Poker have the easiest games of any online poker site, with their big brand name attracting first time players. Their satellites ‘funnel’ system is very good too – keeping the supersatellites busy with lower bankroll players who have won a seat. Recommended for  first time online players, a great place to get used to the differences between the live and online games in a safe environment. Claim your 100% matched bonus on first deposit with... 

#2 – - Biggest Online Site With A Huge Choice Of Satellites

Pokerstars are the biggest site by a very large margin, their choice of online qualifiers reflects this. Not only do Pokerstars offer seats in the tours they own (including the EPT, LAPT APPT and more), they send huge numbers of players to Vegas each year for the World Series and you can win seats in regional events in the UK and Europe here too.

Your choice of sub-qualifiers is huge at this site – with Passport events awarding $12k prize packages running daily. Recommended for players wanting to give qualifying for a major event a try. You can claim a 100% matched welcome bonus with Pokerstars Marketing Code PSPsss8 when you register – Click Here Now To Check Out Pokerstars For Yourself.


For More On Satellites, Online Events And Strategy – Check Out These Great Articles:

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