What are Satellite Poker Tournaments?

When you look at the Tournament List in all of the popular poker rooms, you’ll see many different poker tournaments advertised including some which are termed “Satellite Poker Tournaments.”

A brief explanation of these Satellite Poker Tournaments follows for those new to the online poker scene.

The poker rooms want to run large tournaments offering thousands or dollars, pounds or euros to attract new players and also to get the larger players playing on their regular tables where they get a cut of the rake. It also makes their advertising so much more attractive if they can say that a tournament they are running has a prize pot of $250,000. Well, we can all see the attraction there can’t we.

However, entering a game of poker where the winner is going to walk away with a life-changing sum of money is expensive and the costs to buy in can be out of reach of the regular guy, or gal (we’re not sexist here) wanting to play poker. Even the better than average players, generally, can afford or just don’t want to pay such a large amount to play in a poker tournament.

This is where Satellite Poker Tournaments come in.

Satellite Poker Tournaments

To generate enough players and also to give the smaller players a chance at the big money, smaller tournaments lead up to the final poker game.

The winners (normally 1 for every 20 players in the Satellite, although this varies) will win their entry fee into the next round of the competition or the finals. Often there will be two or three satellite rounds before the final so you can win your place for little money – if your good enough!

I’ve listed an example of a tournament with 2 satellite poker tournaments to qualify below :

Satellite Round 1 – $10 Buy In – Winner gets paid into Satellite Round 2 which would normally cost $200

Satellite Round 2 – Winner gets their entry into the Final Round normally a direct buy-in to the final poker game would cost $1000

Final Round – The Winner wins a percentage of the Prize Pot, in this case the prize pot may be around $100,000. The winners percentage is normally between 30 and 40% depending on the amount of players and the tournament set-up.

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