The weekly PokerStars Sunday million is the biggest online poker tourament by a large margin, the winner receives up to $150,000 with up to 1000 places paid.

Satellites are an increasingly popular way of getting a seat in the ‘main event’ for a small outlay. This article provides a summary of the different types of satellites available. Future articles at Plan3t Gong Poker will look at strategy for each type in turn and then advanced topics such as ICM and Bubble Play. These will be made available over the coming days at:

1) Double Shootouts.

These are 2 SNGs, if you win the first table then you move to the second and can win your seat for getting 1st to 4th (depending on number of entrants) the remaining final tablers often get cash ‘runners up’ prizes. These cost $11.70 and when full (100 players) give 4 seats + $35 for the final table. There are 2 versions, standard with 15 minute blind levels and turbo with 5 minute levels. There are also smaller buy-in ‘Triple Shootouts’ with 6-person tables available.

2) Fixed Buy-In MTT Satellites.

These vary from $10+1 to $39 and have the standard 15 minute blind levels. Expect fields of 200+ (more on Sundays) and the standard of play to be poor. The lower buy-in MTTs may seem cheaper but can actually make it very hard to get a seat due to the poor entrant / seat ratio.

3) Rebuy MTT Satellites.

Will mention the rebuys with standard blind levels (15 mins) separately from the turbo’s, these are $11 or $3 buy-in and the fields fairly large (400+ especially on Sundays). Poor standard as with most sats.

4) Turbo Rebuy MTT Satellites.

The buy ins are $3, $8 or $10 (+10% rake as usual). You get 1000 chips to start and the blinds go up every 5 minutes. There is an add-on break after 30 minutes. By the time the break is over the blinds go up frighteningly fast – after 1 hour of play they are already 1000/2000 so no time to mess around! There is a lot of ‘dead money’ – people who nurse small stacks waiting for aces or do not rebuy at all… there are also a lot of people playing these who really do not understand the dynamics of the bubble, gambling their big stack with another player when folding into the money would be easy. My thought is that these suit my SNG style, identifying spots to steal late and the all important ‘unexploitable pushes’ being a vital part of the game. Entrant numbers vary from 200 to 400 (again more – and worse – players on Sundays!).

5) FPP Satellites

There are also rebuy satellites for Frequent Player Points. Because of the apparent lack of cost these are super-loose. With the right cards it is possible to get a seat in these – but look carefully at the tru ‘cost’ of entry in terms of what you might spend the points on at the FPP store!

Check out Poker Stars right now – you could be on your way to the Sunday Million in no time!!

GL at the tables,


By Mark Holland
SNG Specialist, author of the high quality Poker Blog ( and contributor to many other sites including