Just as online casinos offer a convenient way for players who can't readily travel to a brick and mortar casino to enjoy many of the same casino games, online poker sites provide a comparable option for poker players.
Traditional online poker is currently legal in four states: New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, and Pennsylvania. But you can also play in the US (except Washington state) and Canada (except Quebec) at Global Poker.
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Poker sites have cash games (also known as ring games), sit-n-go's, and tournaments. Many online poker sites also offer satellite tournaments.
A satellite poker tournament is an optional qualifying tournament with a relatively small buy-in whereby the winner(s) can gain entry into a tournament with a bigger buy-in.
Even if the player has to enter and win more than one satellite, the net cost is still only a fraction of what the tournament entry fee would be otherwise. Alternatively, players can enter the bigger tournament directly for the regular price.
While satellite tournaments aren't free, their relatively low cost makes them an attractive proposition for players who either cannot afford the higher-priced tournament they want to enter or don't want to risk that much money.
First, a player must choose the satellite they want to enter. This decision is usually determined by the cost of the tournament and what the player wins. Satellites have different buy-ins and the rewards given out will be determined by that buy-in and the number of people entering.
For instance, there are small satellites with $10 with thousands of people. If the reward is an entry into a $100 tournament, that means one seat is rewarded for every 10 entries. Therefore, when a player enters a satellite tournament, they must achieve a certain result to win a seat
Many players with their sights set on the World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event but who don't want to risk the $10,000 buy-in join satellite tournaments to try and win a seat for this prestigious event.
There are also satellites that involve multiple legs. How this works is that a player joins a micro stakes buy-in satellite tournament, which leads to a free entry into a higher buy-in satellite tournament, which may then lead to another satellite event, or perhaps that is the one that gives you the reward you are looking for.
Here are some of the best satellite poker sites in the following states:
If you would like to play online poker, but live in an area where regular legalized online poker is not currently an option, Global Poker is a sweepstakes poker site that allows you to play the game for actual money against real people!
As mentioned earlier, Global Poker is legal in the US (except Washington state). Global Poker is also legal everywhere in Canada except for Quebec.
In order to register for an online satellite poker tournament, you must first be a part of the online poker site that is offering the event you want to join. are open only to registered players at the online poker site offering the tournament. You must not only be registered with one or more state-regulated poker sites or Global Poker, but be physically situated in that state at the time of play.
Assuming that your geolocation qualifies you, if you wish to enter a particular satellite but are not yet registered with the site offering it, the first thing you need to do is join the site. Here are the steps you need to follow.
Check the dropdown menu of upcoming events to see which satellite tournaments the site is or will be offering that interest you, when they will take place, the deadline for registering, entry fee, and other terms and conditions.
Log into your account at the online poker site where you wish to play and visit the events page. Then scroll down the menu to find the satellite or other tournament that interests you.
Some tournaments are open to all players while others are exclusively for players at a certain tier level or higher or are otherwise restricted. Read the terms and conditions carefully to make sure you qualify and can handle the entry fee and that the other terms and conditions are acceptable to you before you sign up.
As noted earlier, satellite tournaments usually base their payout structures (winning a set into a bigger event) by how many people enter the tournament. In order to qualify for a poker tournament, you must outlast your opponents until that benchmark (how many entries or seats the satellite provides for another tournament) is met.
The main difference between satellites and regular poker tournaments is that in satellites, no cash prizes are awarded. All prizes are in the form of a seat to a bigger tournament. Some satellites award only one seat while others award multiple seats. When multiple prizes are awarded, all of the prizes are exactly the same. The first place finisher does not get a bigger prize than the second-place finisher or anyone else who finishes "in the money."
Keep this in mind when playing satellites, as sometimes it is more important to survive than play for the gold.
If you never played in a poker satellite before, you may be wondering if it would be worth your while.
Poker Satellites can be a gateway into a bigger, more expensive tournament with a chance to win many times the cost of the satellite
If you think you play poker well enough to have a shot at finishing in the money in a bigger tournament, satellites can be a very worthwhile investment. You could wind up winning a seat in the tournament of your dreams, pitted against some of the top poker players in the world, and ultimately win many times the cost of your satellite buy-in.
That's exactly what happened to Chris Moneymaker in 2003. He parlayed a win in a $39 online satellite all the way to a seat in the WSOP Main Event and then won that tournament, too!
Poker satellites are also an inexpensive opportunity to improve your poker skills. Even if you don't win a seat to another tournament, the satellite offers you the opportunity to practice and fine-tune your tournament skills at a minimal cost.
Satellites are time-consuming. If your main reason for playing poker is to try to win some extra money quickly with a minimum of time and effort, poker satellites are probably a waste of time.
Because of the huge fields that satellites for major tournaments like the WSOP Main Event command, they can drag on for a prolonged period.
Furthermore, the best you can do in a satellite is to win a ticket to another tournament. That will require you to commit even more time playing competitively before you have any idea whether all of the time and effort you put into this venture will prove worthwhile.
Unless you win again, your run is over, and you will ultimately walk away empty-handed.
There may also be some tough fields in satellites. You will be competing against many other players, and if you're a novice and run into shark-infested waters, you won't have a chance.
The format of a poker satellite may be different from what you're accustomed to in other poker tournaments.
In order to speed up the process, many online poker rooms use a turbo or super turbo format for their satellites. This may be very different from the format of other poker tournaments you have entered. It is also completely different from the early stages of the WSOP Main Event and other big tournaments, wherein the early stages, all players start with a comfortable number of chips in relation to the blind levels.
Those who are accustomed to playing a certain way only and lack the requisite flexibility in their playing style will be doomed from the start.
The goal of a satellite poker tournament is not to win money immediately, but simply to make the cut to earn an entry into a bigger tournament.
As in any poker tournament, the strength of your hand is only one factor that should influence your play. Here are several others:
Keep in mind that in the early stages of the tournament, it will be much easier to take away chips from the poor players than from the surviving probably good players later.
Another useful tip is to know the skill level and playing style of your opponents. Some online poker rooms are tough places to win because they are filled with "grinders." Other online poker rooms are much softer because they are filled with easy-to-read recreational players who gravitate from the site's casino or sportsbook.
In other words, winning a satellite is tough enough, so don't make it tougher by playing in a room where you are a big underdog.
During the course of the tournament, you should be able to pick up on other clues that you can use to your advantage.
Here some satellite strategies to consider:
Anyone who is 21 years of age or older who is able to pay the buy-in can enter.
Each WSOP event has its own buy-in. None of the events are cheap. Prices for individual events start at $500 and go up sharply from there.
The entry fee for the Main Event is $10,000. Some of the WSOP tournaments offer rebuys, but the Main Event isn't one of them. If you lose all of your chips, you're out and will have to wait until next year to try again.
Some lucky players pay much less than $10K for a seat in the Main Event by winning their way in via satellites.
Yes, if you own a currently used version of an iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, you can use it to enter and play in a satellite poker tournament.