Live Satellite Poker Sites

Satellite Tournament Poker SitesSatellite poker tournaments are a lot like normal tournaments but with one massive difference - the winners do not get paid - at least, not with money. Instead, Satellite tournaments are played in hopes of winning a seat at a live event with a much higher buy-in than the satellite. For example, it costs $10,000 to get a seat at the World Series of Poker. This is out of the reach of most poker players, even the talented ones. Many satellite tournaments, however, only cost $500 - $1,000. From these, one out of every 10-20 players will be able to win a seat. There may be some satellites with buy-ins that are much smaller, but you will be competing with many more players for each of the seats.

When it comes to live tournaments (and satellite poker), everyone automatically thinks of the World Series of Poker but there are tons of live events every year. Some of these have particularly large buy-ins, but most pale in comparison to the largest tournaments, like the World Series of Poker. The other really big ones, beyond the WSOP, are the World Poker Tour, the Asian Poker Tour, and the European Poker Tour. Luckily, nearly all major poker tournaments can be entered by winning an online satellite tournament, and has consistently offered cut-price entry into some of the world's biggest live events, making it our top pick for satellites in 2024.

  • Bag a seat in a major live event on the cheap
  • Qualify for the WSOP, APT or Aussie Millions for just a few bucks
  • Find the best sites with the biggest guaranteed packages

The Different Types of Satellites

In a normal online poker satellite tournament, players all pay the same buy-in, and then play until there is one seat for each remaining player. There are some satellites, though, that allow players to rebuy their way back into the game. Further, there is a kind of satellite tournament, known as a step tournament, which allows players to buy their way into the middle of the tournament! These are actually a series of tournaments, or steps, where players work their way up through multiple levels, each of which has a higher buy in. Starting at the first level is a great way to save money, but if you can afford to buy in later, you may improve your chances and save yourself some time. If you’re really confident in your skills, though, there is nothing wrong with starting these satellite poker tournaments at the very first step.

Finding the Best Sites

Most online poker rooms offer some satellite tournaments, but not all of them make it a real priority.

Most online poker rooms offer some satellite tournaments, but not all of them make it a real priority. You could spend hours searching the web to look for the subtle differences that make some sites much better than others, but now you don’t have to. We have already gone through the top Australian friendly online poker sites for players that are interested in satellite poker. These are the poker sites that have loads of satellite tournaments for a wide variety of poker events. For many of these events, the top poker sites even host freeroll satellites. These tournaments give you a chance to enter major poker tournaments without spending any money at all!

So take a look through our recommended sites to find out where you should sign up for the best online poker satellite tournament action. It may actually be worth signing up at multiple sites to get the maximum variety and to take advantage of as many promotions as possible. And, if you happened to win two or more seats to the same event through multiple online satellite tournaments, you can often trade your seats in or sell them to another player for cash!


What are satellites?

Online satellites are qualifiers where you can win a much larger online or live buy-in for just a few dollars.

How do they work?

Satellites are a series of qualifiers leading up a major online grand final. They may start at the lowest level with a buy-in of just a few player points or dollars.

You can jump in at any level, depending on your bankroll, and you keep progressing to the online final where you'll have a chance to bag a guaranteed package that might include live event buy-in, travel costs and spending money.

You can also play satellites into major ONLINE tournaments too. They work in the same way, but they give players with small bankrolls the chance to qualify for

How can I find them online?

Most poker sites for Australians clearly display satellites under the 'Satellites' or 'Qualifiers' tab. You may also find them at the foot of the screen when you check out a major online tournament's details.

Can anyone enter?

Yes, as long as you have the buy-in. Some satellites start at mere cents, so there's always a qualifier to suit your budget.

How many players win a seat?

It depends on the tournament, but some are more generous than others. A World Series satellite final will usually guarantee one package that includes buy-in and travel, but if a final gets more players, more packages can be offered as prizes.

How often do they run?

Live poker events will have satellites running at least once or twice a day, with micro-qualifiers running each hour. Grand finals may run each fortnight or month prior to a big live tournament.