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Poker Tournament Satellites and how to play them.

By Mel Judah on October 3rd, 2009.

Playing poker tournament satellites is a good way to gain experience whether you play one or more table satellites, or freerolls. It doesn’t matter how you approach playing a one table satellite because there is only one winner. You can be patient or aggressive from the beginning. It would be preferable to assume a patient approach at a one table satellite if there are three spots in prize money.

In a one table poker tournament shootout, where you are playing for two seats, you should be aggressive at the beginning, especially if none of your opponents are. As the levels go up, position play and stealing the blinds is your goal because you need to obtain half the chips on the table to guarantee you a seat. Generally, the bigger stacks try and attack the smaller stacks, especially three-handed. In this case you can be patient and become aggressive later.

In a super or a mega poker tournament satellite, your aim is to qualify for a seat and your approach should be different. Depending on the buy-in, your aim is to hit a target of chips to guarantee you a seat. Once you have reached this target, do not get involved in too many hands. ie: In a super satellite, if twenty seats are given away and there is 1.4 million in chips in play, your aim is to obtain 70,000 chips which should guarantee you a seat.

In a mega satellite, it is slightly different. If the buy-in is $2,500 and you are playing for a $25,000 seat, and your starting chips is 10,000, you are going to need 100,000 in chips to guarantee you a seat. This works out to one seat for every ten players who enter the tournament.