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What Are Satellite Tournaments and How to Play Them

May 7, 2024
by PokerStars Learn

Satellite tournaments are great if you’re looking to earn a ticket to a bigger poker tournament. Power Path, for instance, awards Bronze, Silver, and Gold Passes, giving you the chance to participate in more prestigious tournaments. Watch the full video to learn more, and maybe you will be able to face Spraggy in no time!

Explainer: What exactly is a Poker Satellite Tournament?

You know those big, glitzy and ultra-cool tournaments that you might otherwise have little chance of playing in? Well, a satellite tournament is your opportunity to be granted access to play in one.

Regular tournaments see players face-off to claim cash prizes depending on how high they finish.

When it comes to satellite tournaments though, the prize is getting entry to play in the bigger, more important tournaments. While there’s no cash prizes at stake, for your small entry fee of say, $10, you could ultimately win the main prize of entry to a $100 tournament.

There are satellites for online tournaments as well as live in-person tournaments. Sometimes you can even win a full travel package including the tournament buy-in, airfare, and hotel!

How Poker Satellites Work

If you win a seat to a specific tournament, you are normally automatically registered for that event.

If you win a ticket for an online tournament, sometimes you can use it for any tournament at that buy-in level for a period.

In satellites, everyone who finishes in the paid places gets the same prize.

Poker Satellite Strategy

The big key in satellites is making it through the “bubble” when there are just a few players left before the paid prizes are reached.

If you are guaranteed a prize already based on your stack size and number of paid entries, the correct play is to fold every single hand, even the best hands like pocket Aces! This avoids any risk of being eliminated and missing out.

Your only goal on the bubble is to protect your tournament life and ticket by playing absolutely no hands.

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