Talking Poker: Satellites
You are buying a chance at an entry into the target tournament. Not only is that far beyond your bankroll, but it's quite a bit more than you'd pay if you bought in directly. That difference is the percent rake you're paying in the satellites. The rake is the commission fee taken by a card room when operating a poker game.
The rake is the card room charging the poker players a fee for hosting the game. It is most commonly taken from each pot, and it usually ranges from percent, with a predetermined cap on the maximum amount. Now, in actuality, your chances of winning a seat in the satellite are probably better than 1-in Let's say that you're so much better than the local competition that you can expect to win a seat in one of every eight satellites you enter.
The problem with satellites is that when you win, they don't pay you in cash, they pay you something that is worth much less than cash to you, which is entry in a different poker tournament. How do we know that entry in this tournament is worth less to you than its face value in cash?
The problem is that, although some winning satellites tickets can be sold or transferred, most require you to play the bigger event. If you're able to sell the seat at face value, as can be done online or at the World Series of Poker , then it's a different story. Technically the tournament lammers used to pay satellite winners at the WSOP are not supposed to be exchanged for cash, but in practice it takes very little effort to sell them for face value. Playing the satellites themselves could be a good idea, though you still wouldn't be advised to enter the target tournament.
Instead, cash out your seat, rinse, and repeat. Finally, remember that satellites require time and money that could be invested elsewhere. Satellites don't create money out of thin air. They are like any other poker tournament except that they structure their payouts in a unique way. If you're dead set on playing a tournament outside of your bankroll, then play it, but don't pretend that winning a satellite turns it into a responsible decision. Be sure to check out Andrew and Nate Meyvis on the Thinking Poker podcast , and for strategy articles, reviews, and more from Andrew, check out the rest of The Thinking Poker website.
In poker environments, satellites serve several different purposes, and a single satellite can serve several functions. The most common usage of a satellite tournament is as a qualifier. If an event's popularity is larger than its capacity, qualification tournaments serve to reduce the entry pool until it is small enough for the main event to facilitate it.
Poker events will also use satellite tournaments to break up the player pool by country or region.