Online poker satellite tournaments can be quite the good time. They are a way for poor saps like me to find a way into an expensive tournament at a lower price point. They can also be a cool way to make a profit, as they typically require a slightly different strategy, since oftentimes multiple spots earn the exact same prize. Thing is, many participants don’t understand the shift in strategy (I’m not saying I do, but at least I know it exists), so a strong player can find some extra value in the tournaments. But the problem with many satellites is that they frequently lock you into a specific follow-up event should you win. If you end up not being able to play in the next tournament, you’re screwed. That has been the case on partypoker for a while, but beginning on October 27th, that will change, as the poker room is bringing back tournament dollars.
Current system is fine, but limiting
As mentioned, the way it stands now at partypoker is that if you win a satellite, you receive a ticket into the target follow-up tournament. For instance, you might play a $20 satellite to win entry into that weekend’s $320 tournament. If you win that seat, you have to play in that $320 event.
But things happen. Maybe you get sick and aren’t up to playing in the next event. Maybe something comes up for work. Maybe your in-laws drop in for an unexpected visit (eh, you can probably still play). You don’t want to be stuck with a ticket you aren’t going to use.
Tournament dollars add flexibility
With tournament dollars, partypoker will bring back flexibility that many poker players are used to on other sites, like PokerStars. Instead of receiving a $320 ticket for that $20 satellite win, you would receive 320 tournament dollars. These tournament dollars can be used in any tournament at any time.
They can also be broken up or added together. Those $320 tournament dollars don’t have to be used on a $320 tournament. They can be used to enter 64 $5 tournaments if you want. You can also save up and enter a more expensive event.
It doesn’t seem like there are many catches to this new system. Tournament dollars do expire in twelve months, but that shouldn’t be a big deal and is better than how things are now, anyway.
partypoker said that it will still have some satellites that award tickets into specific events, but those will not be as common. Just theorizing here, but those types of satellites could end up being better values than they are currently. I would guess the more serious players would prefer tournament dollar satellites for maximum flexibility, so the fields of satellites with restricted prize tickets could be weaker. I could be wrong, but…I could be right.
This tournament dollar reboot comes a year and a half after partypoker did the same thing with partypoker LIVE $$$. These are flexible credits than can be used to not only buy into partypoker LIVE events, but also pay for travel and expenses.