Online Poker Satellites & Express Satellites
If you’re a fan of online poker then there’s a very good chance that you’ll have heard of poker satellite tournaments. The thing is, not everyone is entirely sure what these are or why they even exist.
We’re here to take a look at just what you can expect from poker satellites. We’re going to look at how they can help any poker player with a smaller bankroll to make it through to some of the very biggest tournaments that exist. So, if the World Series of Poker appeals to you but you’re not quite a high roller, then this is the article for you.
What are Poker Satellites?
Before we start looking at the poker strategies that can be used in satellite tournaments, it’s worth taking a moment to consider the question “What is a satellite in poker?”. What’s the point of these tournaments for fans of Hold’em and why should you get involved?
The purpose behind poker satellite tournaments is to allow players with smaller bankrolls to win entry into some of the larger events that are around. Rather than going all out with high stakes, a satellite tournament can be seen as a buy-in event that gives access to more if you win.
Here’s a look at how such an event could work:
- You buy in for $10
- There are chances to win entry to a $100 tournament
- Every 10 players that pay the entry fee leads to one $100 ticket being offered as a prize
By the end of the game, it could be that you are just clinging on with short stacks but that doesn’t matter. Come the end, as long as you’re still hanging on, you’re through and get the chance to progress to larger events.
Pros and cons of poker satellite tournaments
Satellite tournaments are certainly attractive but like everything else, they have their pros and cons. Let’s take a look:
- No need to be a high roller to access major events
- Early stages are filled with poor players that allow you to progress
- The strategy is simpler than with other tournaments as you’re just looking to last
- Chances to win millions just as Chris Moneymaker did
- The pros pool will always be limited no matter how big the field is
- Satellite tournaments aren’t the most exciting to play given the specific structure that’s in place
Poker satellite tournaments and strategy
Whether you’re looking to play at the WSOP main event or take your seat at your very first satellite tournament, you’re going to need to have your strategy ready. With satellite tournaments the aim is simple: last longer than other players and do all that you can to get past the bubble.
With poker satellite tournaments, there’s no need for any type of aggressive play to try and build your stack. You need to remember that, rather than a prize pool of money, you’re playing to access larger events. If you’re looking to make it all the way through to the World Series of Poker main event, then you’re going to need to adjust your playing style. Focus on keeping the chips that you have rather than trying to increase these as the game goes on. Remember, you just need to outlast the other players.
The stages of poker satellite tournaments
Satellite tournaments are similar to other poker tournaments in that there are three stages: early, middle and late. However, where they differ from usual freezeouts and rebuys is that no one is fighting for the top position: they simply need to last.
Let’s take a look at the three stages in a little more detail:
The early stages of satellite tournaments are the ones that you’ll always find the easiest. There will be plenty of trust awful players taking part with a misguided hope of making it to the WSOP main event. These are people that soon fall and ensure that you can progress.
Don’t be overly cautious or risk averse in these stages. Remember, you’re not playing for high stakes and so there isn’t much to lose. Play simple string hands and just avoid doing anything stupid. That’s all that there is to the early stages.
The middle stage is perhaps the trickiest of them all. It’s not always easy to judge what you’re going to need to secure your spot.
The big thing here is not to be overly passive in your play with short stacks. Shutting down early isn’t going to do you any favours: you need to be playing for as long as you possibly can.
In this middle stage, every poker player will be weighing up the competition ready for the next stage. It’s wise not to put a target on your back. Try and keep your stacks around the average range and blend in rather than looking as though you pose a threat.
When it comes to poker satellite tournaments, this is the most important stage. Now’s the time to be attacking short stacks. Maybe you’re the one with a short stack and if so you’ll need to carry out some calculations.
At this point, you need to be keeping an eye on other tables. Are there enough other players who are likely to go out before you do? Judging this can be hard but it’s certainly something that you’ll get better with over time.
Introducing Express Satellites
Want a quick and easy way to qualify? Try our Express Satellites! These four exciting games that will get you closer to the tournament action without breaking the bank. It just takes a few minutes to get to the big leagues and the best part is, the buy-ins are low and it’s packed with excitement and fun.
Choose one hand from the three options of hole cards and go straight to showdown.
Race to the finish line when a community card is revealed in this fun and thrilling Omaha satellite.
Flip & Go Satellites
Each player is dealt 3 hole cards. Discard one, keep two, and see if you’re the last one standing.
All-in or Fold Satellites
Choose to go All-in or Fold in this fast, exciting, and simple satellite. Survive and be rewarded.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
If you need more assistance, feel free to contact our friendly support staff who are ready to assist you 24/7.
What are the prizes for satellite tournaments?
A majority of satellite tournaments available at Natural8 offer seats to a higher value target event which means you will be automatically registered into the target tournament. In other cases, you might receive tickets to a target event. Please check the tournament lobby to find out more information about what the prizes are for your selected satellite.
Will I be able to unregister if I was automatically registered into a target tournament?
No. You cannot unregister from the target tournament.
What happens if I win a second seat/ticket to a tournament that I’ve been registered in?
If you win a second and/or subsequent seat to a target tournament for which you are already registered to or that you have used all allowable entries, you will be awarded Tournament Dollars (T$) to the value of the target tournament buy-in amount less the tournament registration fee in lieu of the ticket or seat.
Can I exchange a seat/ticket that I’ve won because I can’t attend the target event?
Unfortunately, all seats/tickets won from satellites are not exchangeable. Players are advised to take note of the date and time of the target event for the satellite as we are unable to compensate, exchange or convert the entry into credit or T$.
Terms & Conditions
- Players must be aged 18 and above to participate in this promotion.
- Please note that tournament prize pool guarantees are subject to change and some amounts listed on this website may not be current. Please check the guarantee amounts listed in the tournament lobby of the Natural8 app for up-to-date prize pool information. Tournament prizes are awarded as per Natural8 standard payout procedure.
- Natural8 reserves the right to investigate any players suspected of fraudulent activity, and take any necessary action. In the event of multi-accounting, bonus hunting, or foul play, Natural8 reserves the right to forfeit any prize amounts that have been paid along with any remaining cash balances, without prior notice.
- Natural8 reserves the right to cancel or modify this offer at any time without prior notice, and at its sole and absolute discretion.
- This promotion is subject to the terms and conditions of the Natural8 website.
- Natural8 is an advocate of safer gambling. If you feel you might have an online gambling problem, do seek further advice or counseling at www.begambleaware.org