Before we get into the main part of this article, let’s discuss what poker satellites are not. If you are thinking about buying more than just a single seat into a big online event such as WSOP, Micro-satellites are probably not the best option for you.

A satellite consists of a lot of different events with only a few of the most important being the Main Event and the other Satellites. A lot of online poker sites will offer satellites for the Main Event and you will always be able to find from them all the schedules for the event.

The reason why satellites are so important is that they often offer the best value in the odds. You can prove this yourself if you only play Multi Table Tournaments (MTT) instead of Single Table Tournaments (STT).

You have to pay a fee to buy into an MTT and the same goes for the affiliate where you obtained the seat. If you are playing an MTT with 35 players, all of whom pay a fee, the odds are 35:1 you are getting the best value in the game.

However, this is not the case in all satellites.

For instance, if you are a member of a satellite poker room that offers a $1,500 bonus in cash to players who acquire 10,000 FPPs, you should expect to pay at least $1,500 in fees in addition to the bonus money. The more FPPs you have in total, the more of an opportunity you have of making a tidy profit.

The flipside is not only do you not get the full bonus, but even if you do earn enough FPPs to pay the fees, the upside potential is so low that it’s unlikely you will be able to earn a tidy profit. If you were to generate 10,000 FPPs at a particular tournament, you would need to pay at least $2,000 in fees just to earn your original $1,500 bonus.

The Final Table Factor

One of the reasons to choose a satellite is that the relationship between the affiliate and the poker room is usually fairly close. The poker site, in turn, is in a position to offer lots of FPPs and the poker room gets a cut of the action. This gives both sides a good leverage.

It is not unusual for a poker site to give an affiliate a 20% share of the rake generated by a number of their games. While this is a loss opportunity, since the rake back is much smaller than the rake you will generate by playing in the satellite, it is still potentially lucrative.

For a period of time, the affiliate and the poker site will be in profitable relationships. The affiliate is able to offer the player a good deal on their services and the poker site receives a good return for the presence of the player in their site.


For a short period, you will be able to accumulate a fairly good stack of chips by winning the satellites. At this stage, it is plausible to win the tournament without the use of a satellite.

If you advance to the money games, you will need to adjust you game and begin playing with pocket or cash games. You will lose the tournament to the same players you were at the money tables.


Some online poker players, including myself, have found single-clock tournaments to be very difficult to play. They struggle because they are reduced to making decisions on their chips without any more information than they have now.

However, you don’t need to be concerned about making mistakes at the single-clock tournaments. There is plenty of time to take the deposits and the small blinds before the consequence of those decisions begins. You just don’t need to make those decisions while you are trialing.

For trialing, you should wait for the action to come to you and play your hand. That means you are going to hold out for a while before seeing any action, then you can start playing.

For single-clock afapoker tournaments, you should start out with a larger bankroll. The larger your bankroll, the more you can afford to spend and the less limping you will make when you encounter a tough situation.

Crest the initial period of a tournament by making large expenditures. Start by playing your stack very aggressively. You may be surprised at how many players will be in the hand against you, but as you have data, you will be able to pick out those you are beat against and those you can flip over.

If you play your hand well, you will likely be a favorite to double up. Just be careful with your stack and don’t let your opponents take yours.