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  • December 3, 2020

Satellite Tournament

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A satellite is a tournament that does not award money to the winner, but instead awards an entry to a tournament that has a bigger buy-in cost.
Many casinos run “satellites” prior to and during a tournament series. They do this to increase accessibility of higher buy in events and to generate revenue. A satellite may award a seat, satellite chips, cash, or any combination of the three. If the satellite is part of an ongoing tournament series, satellite chips are most commonly awarded as prizes. Satellite chips are chips that have no cash value at the cashier and cannot be used in the cash games, but can be used to buy into tournaments and other satellites. Even though they can not be cashed at the cage, players will often trade satellite chips amongst themselves as cash. If you do accept a satellite chip, it is a good idea to check it to make sure it is not counterfeit, obsolete or otherwise invalid.
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Satellites are usually spread either nine or ten handed. They may be first come first serve, or they may be run from a waiting list. Usually, they begin as soon as the table fills and run continuously up until the start of the tournament. At major tournaments, satellites may overlap with the day’s main event as well.
Casinos may also run “super satellites” which are multi-table, multi-rebuy tournaments which award seats to large buy-in events and cash to the winners. Like satellites, super satellites will increase accessibility and entrant levels into higher buy-in events. Super satellites can also generate substantial revenue for the house, both from entry fees and crossover gaming.
Sometimes small casino cages are called “satellite cages” or “satellite window.” These cages do not typically handle all the transactions that a normal cage would handle. They often will only be used to exchange chips only.
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