Gettin’ the right spin on satellite tourneys

Feb 4, 2003 5:47 AM

Satellites ”” what are they?

Of course we all know about the moon and Jupiter and Sputnik (do you remember that is was in 1957 that the Russians launched their first sputnik satellite into orbit).

I love etymology, the origin of words, where they come from, how they evolve and how we use them.

But who would have ever guessed that the word satellite would become the name of a preliminary event that preceded a major poker tournament?

A poker satellite is a small one or more table poker tournament that lets players who win these games enter big tournaments at a fraction of the entry price.

I have played in many satellites and have won a few.

My latest satellite win was a $10,000 seat to play in the championship event of the World Series of Poker, scheduled to take place this May at Binion’s Horseshoe Hotel and Casino.

You know I want to tell you about how this process works and how I won the satellite, so here I go.

I played in Bill Guynn’s two-legged championship satellite currently running at Binion’s. It was set up like this.

In the first leg, 10 players paid $125 each to enter the No Limit Hold’em satellite.

Each player would receive $4,000 in satellite tournament chips to begin with. The small and big blinds began with $10 and $15. Each 20 minutes, the blinds increased.

The player who won all the chips would be the winner of the first leg.

This process would be repeated nine more times ”” until there were 10 different winners of a first leg.

The 10 winners of the first leg were not required to pay any more money to play. These winners went on to play the final leg at a later date.

This same format would be repeated at a second leg, or final leg, or the satellite.

So you really only have to put up $125 and beat nine players to win the first leg, and then just beat nine other players who have also won their first leg to win the final leg! Then, you’ve won a $10,000 seat!

Last Saturday, I won this satellite by doing just that, and now I have a $10,000 seat in the World Series of Poker Championship. Now that I’m in, I plan to be the oldest man to ever win the $2 million first place prize. (I have some other firsts in the WSOP, but I will tell you that another day.)

I was playing against some world-class players in this satellite at Binion’s ”” Al, Super Dave, Vincent, George, Billy, The Italian Stallion, Charlie, Jim, Henry, Will, Pete, Jitterbug and of course old Indian Joe.

Buy I just got lucky (remember I try to STAY LUCKY) and I won.

Oh, yes, I have been lucky before and won the first seat in Bill Guynn’s two-legged satellite for a $10,000 seat, but I did not win the first seat last year; it took me a couple of tries, but I did win a seat.

So, you see why I recommend Guynn’s two-legged satellites. For three years in a row I’ve gotten lucky and won a seat.

With all that being said, here’s my satellite tip: If you make a deal in a satellite, hope you are wrong.

I made a deal with "the chip burner Robert Turner (a member of The Seniors World Championship of Poker Players Hall of Fame. The deal with Robert was (when it got down to two of us), if I won I was to give Robert 25 percent of my action in the tournament, and if he won he was to give 33.3 percent of his action in the tournament.

I made a mistake and lost the satellite to Robert. But I got 33.3 percent of Robert’s action in the big tournament. And Robert won the tournament.

I was wrong to make the deal because I had a big chip lead and the percentages were not correct. But I was right to make the deal because Robert won and I took a lot of money home to the bank!