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Satellite Poker Tournaments

Satellite Poker Tournaments
by Jason Green of

Satellite poker tournaments are very popular these days and you can see them advertised on many Internet casinos. A satellite poker tournament is a tournament that will get you entry into bigger tournaments. The buy in for a satellite tournament is much smaller that a larger one, which is the predominate reason that many poker players play in them. Most satellite poker tournaments are cheap to play in and give every single player a chance to get into big land-based poker tournaments for a very small investment/risk.

When playing in a satellite tournament what do I need to know?

Satellite tournaments take a significant amount of time to play. They can take from around 4 to 6 hours to complete. It is also very difficult to win satellite poker tournaments, as there are so many players that you are competing against. Even good players that play in satellite tournaments do not have good odds to win. Even though your chances of winning are slim they are still great to play in, as you not only have a chance to get into marquee tournaments but you also will improve your tourney poker play.

Ways to Increase Your Chances of Winning

While satellite poker tournaments are tough to win there are some things you can do to increase your odds of winning. The first aspect is to be aggressive and do not sit back and just watch the action. If you want to watch something, stay home and watch TV. You don't have to be aggressive right off the bat, but you will have to take your chances at some point. The reason for this is that you have to keep a chip stack large enough to keep playing (due to increasing blinds.) Some poker players will be conservative to stay alive while others will be aggressive, which is the way to go. You have to identify the players that play in each style, as it can give you an advantage. The bigger your chip stack is the more you can bully people at the table.

Also, keep in mind that some satellite poker tournaments offer re-buys and they are tourneys that players will have more chances. Therefore, many poker players will go all-in trying to win a significant pot amount. If you are playing in a poker tournament such as this, you can take more chances at the table, as the stacks of chips at the end will be bigger as more people have bought back into the tournament.

Basically, you need to make sure you have enough time to see the tournament through, be aggressive, and identify the players and their styles. If you do these three simple things it can improve your chances to win the tournament.

The Cinderella Story

Professional poker player Chris Moneymaker won a satellite tournament a few years back and then went on to win a cool $2.5 million at the World Series of Poker. Moneymaker played in a mini-satellite poker tournament on PokerStars with only 18 players and won, which gave him entry into a 60-man satellite tournament where the winner earned a seat at the World Series of Poker. Chris played his cards right, literally, and won that tournament as well, which gave him entry into the $10,000 buy-in World Series of Poker event. He played well in the main event and even was matched up against poker pros such as Paul Darden, Howard Lederer and Johnny Chan and he beat them all. In the head to head final match up he went against poker pro Sammy Farha. In the end he flopped a Full House to Farha's pair of Jacks and won it all. From a mini-satellite $39 buy-in tournament to a check for $2.5 million, Moneymaker showed the world that anyone can win, which is why satellite poker tournaments are so popular.


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