Should You Focus on Satellite Tournaments or Regular Poker Tournaments?

Individuals who are new to poker may wonder whether to focus on satellite poker tournaments or straight-up poker tournaments. There is a little difference between the two, and understanding that difference can help you determine which one would be best for you.


Satellite tournaments and regular poker tournaments have different payouts; with a satellite tournament, a pre-selected number of top players win one specific prize. This prize will be the same for all the top players. However, in a regular poker tournament, the prize will typically increase the higher in place each player lands. For instance, the 3rd place prize might be $215 while the 2nd place prize is $400 and the 1st place prize is $1,000.


Strategies between the games will differ slightly as well. In a satellite tournament, you are going to be focused on landing in one of the top spots; this is known as 'being in the money'. If there are five winners, you only need to go for spot number five. You may not have to play as strategically as you will in regular poker, when you're going to be shooting for 1st place.


The benefits of regular poker are self-explanatory; you win the prize for the place you end in. Satellite tournaments can also be very beneficial, especially those in which the winners receive a buy-in for larger tournaments, like the Sunday Millions. While a regular buy-in for this big tournament might typically cost more than $200, winners of satellite tournaments could get in for as little as a few dollars.

There are benefits to both satellite tournaments and regular poker tournaments, and depending upon what kind of poker player you are, you may appreciate one or the other more.