How to Play Poker Basics
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Texas Holdem Rules
Texas Hold'em Games
Omaha Poker Scooping
World Poker Tour
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Jennicide's Caribbean Adventure and some more
A satellite is a tournament in which instead of receiving "cash" pay outs, the winners receive a seat into another tournament. The two
main types of satellites are single table satellites and super satellites. Both satellites are smaller buy-in tournaments in comparison to the
main tournament the player is playing to get a seat in. For example, in a $10,000 buy-in tournament a casino may hold single table satellites
for $1,000 plus the entry fee that is paid to the house for holding
the satellite. The players will then play for one seat into the main event. Super satellites, however, are multi-table tournaments scheduled by the
casino and the top 10% of the field entered receives a seat into the main event. Regardless which satellite a player chooses to enter; satellites are
an inexpensive way to play a larger buy-in tournament. If you can win the seat and play for a discount, who can argue with that?
In my recent trip to California, I played in a super satellite at the Commerce's
L.A. Poker Classic on February 17th.
This satellite was for a seat into the $10,000 main event championship starting the next day. Registering for the satellite was comical because
there were two separate lines going out the door. One line was for the registration of the satellite, the other was for
Doyle Brunson's new Super System II book signing. There was some confusion
as to which line was the right one. You would see someone standing in the super satellite registration line holding a Super System II book and
obviously notice they weren't looking to get their book signed by the
cashier. On a side note, this book is definitely added to my list as a must-read.
I picked this book up as soon as it was available in stores and
Jennifer Harman's write up on Limit Hold'em as well as
Daniel Negreanu's section on triple-draw were very well written. The satellite started at 7:00
and we started with 2000 in chips. I took my seat at my table and the blinds started at 25/25. I was able to pick up some pots before break without any
showdowns, however, none were very large. I was thankful to have my headphones at hand because there was a player at my table who was very loud and obnoxious.
I generally have a high tolerance for chatty and obnoxious players at the table but this one made me happy to have music. At the first break, I had about
2,400 in chips and there were already two people out at my table. During break, Chris Savage (brsavage is his online screen name) came over and introduced
himself to me. Chris recently won the World Poker Open Event #14 Limit tournament in Tunica, Mississippi. He's a very respectable player having
won twelve $10,000 seats alone on online satellites into the 2004 Ultimate Bet Aruba tournament. He has also done very well on
PokerStars in the Sunday tournaments.
Windows - Mac
After break, the satellite started back up and things seemed to be running smoothly for me. I was accumulating a nice stack for myself and had about
4,600 while blinds were still 100/200. I was able to double up when I was dealt AKs in mid-position. At this point, I had 2,400 in chips and raised
to 600. The action was folded to the blinds and the sb called my raise. The flop loved me. The flop came Ah 8c 4c, giving me top pair plus the nut
flush draw. The small blind had me covered by only 300 chips and led out for 500 into the pot. There was already 1200 in the pot and so I moved in
for another 1300 for the player to call. The small blind called turning over AQ and the turn came 2c giving me the nut flush and the entire pot.
after I doubled up, new players were moved to my table. I was able to pick up a few smaller more pots pre-flop at my starting table until
finally my table broke and I was moved to a table with all the chips in play, or so it seemed. This table had at least 70,000 chips in play and I
was the shortstack going on with 5,400 while blinds were
going up to 300/600. There were 6 tables left and the blinds were getting heavy in comparison with my stack size so I needed to pick up a hand soon.
Right when I sat at my table, I saw something that was somewhat mind boggling. The chip leader of the table had about 24,000 in chips. He limped in
early position with 2 other limpers, one in late positions and one in mid position. The flop came 986
rainbow. The small blind checked. The big blind bet a pot size amount.
The chip leading, early position limper raised all-in. He got two callers. One of the limpers in mid position called and the big blind called. The chip
leader turned over AA, the mid position limper turned over 88 and the big blind turned over 75. The
board paired tripling up the player in middle position and
crippled the chip leader and the big blind was out. I'm not sure if the chip leader realized they were playing a satellite or maybe they were trying
to win all of the seats.
The biggest mistake I see some people make in satellites is playing a lot of big pots after having a large accumulation of chips, despite the fact
they have the ability to 'coast' into a seat. The former chip leader was out 4 hands later and I am sure they were going to have a seat guaranteed
to them even if they did not play a hand the rest of the tournament since there were approximately 60 people left. I finally pick up KK on the
button and I have about 4,200 left after not having been able to pick up a pot after the blinds hit me last orbit. The player UTG raised to 1800 and
a player in mid position called his raise. I moved in for another 2,400 to call. The player UTG folds and the mid position player calls. I turn over
my Kings, he turns over AJ. The flop was KQ7 rainbow. In a perfect world, it ends there and we pretend we're not playing the best five cards out of
seven. The ten came right off the deck as if the guy
tipped the dealer heavily before dealing the turn and the river did
not pair the board. Ouch! I finished 48th overall and I feel as though I played well but needed that extra luck factor when blinds got steeper. Nevertheless,
whether or not you are able to satellite in the main event, I still think it's a good idea to try to win a seat at least once or twice before buying in.