WSOP Satellites 2011

wsop satellitesIf you are a poker player, then you at some point have dreamed of playing at the World Series of Poker.  Each year, the WSOP brings in players from around the world to take their shot at a gold bracelet, Millions in prize money, and poker immortality.  Events at the WSOP range from $1,000 all the way to $50,000 with the Main Event having a $10,000 buy-in.  For most, this is an unrealistic amount of money to spend on one tournament.  However, you can win your way into the events via WSOP satellites.  Today, let’s look at how you can satellite your way into a WSOP event.

Casino WSOP Satellites

Starting around March or April, you will see many live casinos start to hold events that pay out a seat to the World Series of Poker.  Some will be smaller events that pay out seats to lower buy-in events such as a $1,000 or a $1,500 NL Event.  Others will pay out seats into the WSOP Main Event.

These satellites customarily range from a $125 buy-in through a $500 buy-in and are multi-table tournaments.  The structure will vary from casino to casino, but do not be surprised to see some of the better players from your local casino in these events.  A combination of fish and tourists makes these events easy money for good players.  However, the structures are usually fast enough to allow anyone a shot to win.

Check the 2011 WSOP Satellite Schedule for the latest satellites.

Online WSOP Satellites

If you are an online player, you will likely find satellites to the WSOP where you play.  The customary satellite for online sites are satellites to the WSOP Main Event.  The great thing about online satellites is that any sized bankroll has a chance to win their way to the Main Event.  Chris Moneymaker parlayed a $40 satellite to a Main Event seat in 2003 and then rode that seat to $2.5 Million.

In today’s online poker world, you can literally win your seat for free.  Many sites will offer freerolls that will pay a seat into a 2nd tournament and from there you play your way to a final tournament that awards out seats based on the number of players.  All the top poker sites have WSOP satellites, if you are in the UK, you should try WSOP Online Poker for a satellite.

One of the more popular options for winning a WSOP seat are step tournaments.  With steps, you play in single table satellites that allow you to step your way up to a seat.  For example, a $3.20 seat may award the top two finishers a seat in an $8 tournament.  The $8 Sit-n-Go awards seats into a $24 table.  You work your way up until you reach the $1k or $2k buy-in table, and from there the top play or top two players earn a seat.  Also, you can buy-in at any level, allowing you to eliminate steps at your discretion.

Satellites at the World Series of Poker

The WSOP offers live Sit-n-Go and multi-table mega satellites to events starting the day before the start of the World Series of Poker.  Single table satellites range from $125 to $1,080 and award one winner tournament chips that can be only used for events at the WSOP.  An $125 satellite will pay a seat to a $1,000 event while a $175 satellite will pay a $1,500 seat.  Those wanting to beat just one table to win a Main Event seat can play for $1,060 and earn their seat after beating 9 players.

Multi-table mega satellites are available for the WSOP Main Event and the $50,000 Poker Players Championship.  The Poker Players Championship will usually command a $2,250.  Expect the Poker Players Championship satellite to be filled with pros and advanced players looking for a cheap way in.  These events pay out seats based on the number of players.  On average, they have paid out 1 to 2 seats per satellite in the past.

Mega-satellites at the WSOP range from a $550 buy-in to $2,080 and pay seats based on prize pool. These are highly popular among players that prefer a multi-table satellite over a Sit-n-Go.  These average anywhere from 5 to 10 seats per satellite, depending on the prize pool.

One new addition for the 2011 WSOP will be a $1,570 satellite to the $25,000 Heads-Up Championship.  These events will pay out seats based on prize pools and will be played in heads-up format.

One note about the live satellites is that the majority will be in NL Hold’em format.  There will be some non-Hold’em satellites offered, but don’t expect them to be offered but on days prior to and the mornings before the non-Hold’em events.  Of course, if you have enough players to fill out a non-Hold’em offering, the floor staff will be happy to setup a new table just for you.

As you can see, there are many options for players looking to earn their way into the World Series of Poker.  Which one you choose will depend on your comfort level and buy-in.  While you may not have the bankroll of Phil Ivey or Doyle Brunson, WSOP satellites will allow you the chance to take your shot with the greats and with any luck, make your dreams of poker immortality become a reality.

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