Gaming Satellite Rewards


I’m Rok, also known as sharkdone, online. I’m basically a poker player who is striving to be the best in what he loves to do and I’m here to show you the way I approach the satellites. I’m confident that my advice will help you reach new heights you might never have thought possible. Whether or not that is true, I’ll let you decide for yourself.


Satellites represent the idea that you can turn a small investment into a big payday, but is this really true?

The answer: Yes, if you know what you’re doing.

As we all know, satellites attract a huge number of recreational players that just want a quick fix of an adrenalin rush. I think weak fields of players is reason enough to play any tournament. After all, who can resist playing when you know you have really great odds of winning?


I think a lot of people who play satellites don’t understand just how big the variance can be. You should realize that playing too many satellites can result in both great and terrible situations. Sure, you can start lucky enough to win some satellites and then score a decent amount of money in bigger tournaments, without really investing much. I’m pretty sure that’s the plan everyone has when they decide to start playing. But real life doesn’t work that way and you can also experience a really bad start, but you just keep playing hoping to win something soon and before you know it, your bankroll is hanging by a thread.

And then there are those like me who played and played and got nowhere. All your profit from your normal tournaments goes to satellites and even if you’re lucky enough to win the ticket, the opponents in bigger tournaments are just way out of your league.

I know what you are thinking, why would I listen to this donk’s advice?

Because he's won back to back WSOP Main Event packages via 888poker satellites... just sayin'

Because he's won back to back WSOP Main Event packages via 888poker satellites... just sayin'

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger right? I learned from my mistakes and I’m here to tell you how to avoid them. It starts with this lesson: put way more money towards your normal tournaments than satellites to prevent the same thing happening to you.


The difference between the satellites for online tournaments and satellites for live event packages is ... experience. Yes, I said it! You are basically playing for an opportunity to travel to a place you might have never been before, meet awesome people, play poker, eat, drink, sleep and enjoy this wonderful thing called life.

For a kid like me, that had a crazy goal to play at WSOP Main Event someday, going there was a dream come true. My friend and I had the opportunity to travel to the other side of the world because of poker, and that's something I have never thought would be possible few years back. It felt like I finally accomplished something amazing for the first time in my life.

The whole Las Vegas experience was out of this world. We got to travel by an airplane not once, not twice but three times just to get to Las Vegas. Imagine two chumps running up and down the airport, looking for the right plane like a couple of hyper monkeys. If this picture sounds familiar, it was probably us!

We arrived in Las Vegas at night, but the moment we came outside it was just like we stepped into a hot sauna. And being the cheapskates we are, we didn't use taxi, so we walked from our hotel to the casino Rio every day right before I started playing and let me tell you, it felt like I ordered the sun to cook me "well done" by the time we got there. Those everyday walks are something I'll never forget no matter how much I would like to.

Walks aside, the whole poker experience was great. Day one I had Jake Cody on my right and I'm proud to say that the first timer prevailed. I ended up mincashing and we celebrated with our traditional thing, food at McDonald's! I know right, fast food!? It's just a thing we came up with way back.

Now for the best part, I finally got to meet our poker celebrity Evan Jarvis, whose videos helped me to get where I am today. I even got a picture to prove it!

Now for the best part, I finally got to meet our poker celebrity Evan Jarvis, whose videos helped me to get where I am today. I even got a picture to prove it!


There are seven satellite steps: 1c, 10c, $1, $5, $30, $160, $1,050

The $160 one is running only once a day and the $1050 one is running only once every Sunday.

In case you are not planning to take some shots for WSOP package, you can always just play these satellites for a shot at bigger MTTs. Tickets can be used for the same money amount tournaments. $5 and $30 MTTs with the word FISH are really good to play. Yeah you guessed right: there are a lot of fish in there!


Before you proceed with the play, you have to erase the idea of finishing first from your head. Strange, right? Pride and entitlement comes second to the calm and precise strategy that is needed for not only satellites, but for poker in general.

Let me ask you a simple question: have you ever folded AA pre-flop? Crazy stuff, I know, but in satellites folding is right when you have enough chips to outlast short-stacks and get in the money. I ask you again, would you rather risk an all in with AA and lose where an idiot calls you with 55 and that miracle 5 comes on river right when you need to win the most or fold and get the ticket close to if not 100% of the time? In case it's not obvious enough the right answer is fold. Now, with that in mind let me get to my next point.

You should have a general idea of how many chips you will need to cash (starting chips*players)/places paid. This is just a number to keep in mind as you play, because there will be situations where you have more chips than needed and looking at a potential flipping spot. Should you take it? I think this would be a terrible idea. You should avoid any spot where you would need to risk a lot of your chips and you have a slight edge. There is no point.

If you just steal from weaker players and take a few small pots down, BOOM there is your prize!


As I mentioned, there will be a lot more recreational players that you are used to in satellites. Your job early in the game is to get as many chips as possible from these players, because - let’s face it - bigger numbers look better next to your name.

Also, it helps you greatly when you get a big stack and the only thing you have to worry about is finding the right song to announce your victory to a friend over the phone at 3am. In style. (You can't go wrong with Simple Plan’s Last One Standing, right?)

Now, don't take this as an excuse to go crazy and make -EV plays and then cry about it. What you should do it play as many pots as possible with weaker players with strong ranges and get max value. Remember people like to call too much.

You should also play small pairs a lot more, because when you hit that miracle card you are getting paid a lot more than you are used to in normal tournaments. Do not forget about suited connectors that play really good multi-way. Put yourself in spots where you get to see as many flops as possible with hands that play well multi-way for as cheap as possible and then value bet like there is no tomorrow and see the magic happen when the guy calls you with Ah on a 4 straight board all the way.


In the middle stage the play is pretty much the same as with normal tournaments. If you are short-stacked, you should really try to get stackin’, because the worst thing in satellites is to get to late stages short-stacked and be screaming every time you go all-in: "ONE TIME PLEASE ... AND ONE MORE TIME.”

Basically find players’ weaknesses and exploit them. If your stack is bigger than the number, you should not take unnecessary close spots or flips for big percentage of your stack. Just steal blinds, light 3-bet here and there, pot control and your victory is assured.


There are three ways you should look at the situation before you decide if you should go all-in with AQo here for 20bb and lose a really good opportunity to win at a big satellite. That definitely did not happen to me at all. *Sigh*


The best way to chip up and not risk much of your stack is to find players that play scared. By this point you should have a general idea of how everybody plays and who the players are who will fold to your cheap minraise steals. I find that steals from the SB work so much more often if you raise 2.5x or even 3x. Minraises are starting to get old real fast and people call more often, that's why we have to be one step ahead and raise bigger. Always be careful not to go out of line when you have a crazy player behind. He has no idea how to fold and players like that will be your greatest enemy late game and a huge pain in the ass when you are short-stacked and you have nobody to attack, because the crazy chip leader calls every time.

Note that the bigger the percentage of the stack your opponent has to risk the less likely he is to call your all-ins.


Being a cheap leader with enough chips to cash is one of the easiest things to do. You can either take a nap for half an hour and most likely get in the money or you can put other people into awkward spots and be an asshole about it. But do NOT for any reason risk a big amount of your stack. I don't care if you have AA and you risk only 50% of your stack...FOLD. Don't you dare make me read some stupid bad beat story how AA got cracked and you bubbled the WSOP 2016 package satellite. I warned ya!

Now, if you have a cheap lead but not enough chips to cash, that just means you look for easy cheap blind steals or good 3-bet pressure spots and chip up slowly.

Those in the middle of the pack have it the worst. You can't really play much because bigger stacks will attack your opens with light 3-bets, short-stacks will re-shove on you and this means you are just burning chips and getting slowly to that short-stack level.

When you are middle stack, you should only play hands that can stand heat. It really depends how likely it is that short-stacks will bust before you and whether or not you can get in the money with folding. Sometimes short-stacks just keep doubling up every time and that’s out of your hands. But most likely shorties will bust before you and you can sneak in the money with folding. Find some easy blind steals and try to maintain your chip stack.

If you are short-stack and in the last place by far, there is nothing else to do but to go crazy. And again I don't mean -EV any 2 card all-in like there is no tomorrow; just employ good wider range jams against players who will not call unless they have a premium hand.

When there are a couple people short-stacked like you and you are not sure if you will be able to cash, it's really hard to figure out just how much you can play. The best advice I can give you is to attack shorties and those in the middle of the pack and avoid crazies. Most of the time your move should be all- in, because open/fold is usually a terrible idea when short. All-ins put maximum pressure on your opponents and with that you get maximum fold equity. Keep in mind that open/fold is a really good play if you know when to use it as a short-stack - and that is where the third way to look at the situation comes in...


Chip leaders will usually steal a lot and apply maximum pressure against players in the middle of the pack. You are basically hopeless against their abuse, because risking a big portion or whole stack close to that prize is a disaster. Let the chip leader do what he does and only engage if you absolutely must.

Players in the middle of the pack usually play a little bit tighter and are not willing to call all-ins so close to the money. They are perfect targets to re-shove against but be careful not to attack really nitty players. That will not end well for you.

With two or more players short-stacked and close chip counts, they will try to wait each other out. These are perfect players to steal blinds from.

The person who is last in chips by far has nothing to lose anymore. Do not try to get a cheap steal from this player: you will lose the precious chips you worked so hard to accumulate.

I give you, my trusted reader, full control over this special knowledge I gathered from my not-so-endless, but still lucrative, experience in satellites. And with that let me wish you good luck and maybe I'll see you at the tables, where unfortunately for you I'll be forced to take all of your chips and guarantee myself a WSOP 2016 package!

Photo Credit: Play Among Friends Paf | Flickr

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