Eureka3 Croatia: Satellites - a decent Moneymaker

Hands up if when you first got into poker you knew what a poker tournament satellite was? Yeah not many of us did, when ironically it's a poker satellite that probably got many of us into poker in the first place.

Eric Drache is credited with inventing the poker satellite - a smaller tournament in which players can win entry to a bigger tournament - when he worked at the World Series of Poker in the 1970s. He saw it as a way to get more people into poker tournaments. Clever man. The poker satellite first hit the headlines in 1983 when Tom McEvoy became the first WSOP main event winner to earn his buy-in through a satellite.

But it wasn't until an incident that happened 10 years ago last week - you know the one I mean - that satellites as a tournament format really exploded. When Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP main event after winning his seat for just $39 in a satellite not only did poker explode but poker satellites got blasted into the stratosphere.

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Yeah but apart from that what has he ever done for poker?!!

Nowadays you can win your way into tournaments both online and live in a variety of formats. Freezeouts, re-buys, 3x turbos, hyper-turbos, one re-buy or add-on and more formats besides play out every day on the client and in live card rooms the world over. Times are tough, edges are smaller and getting in for a fraction of the price is about as big an edge as they come.

And Eureka3 Croatia has had it's fair share of both, roughly 140 players qualified online across PokerStars and Full Tilt and for the last three days they've been running live satellites here in Dubrovnik. On Friday that paid four seat, last night the satellite generated five seats and the €165 one running right now has generated six seats, whilst seventh gets paid €820. Knowing poker players you feel the seventh place finisher might just flick in the extra. There's currently 11 left in that event, so it's very much approaching squeaky bum time.

That's not the only side event action today as a €220 turbo no-limit hold'em event has just started, it's attracted 30 players so far.

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Satellite action - the main event plays on in the background

Tournament Update: The 54 remaining players went on a 15 minute break at the end of level seven during which tournament staff raced off the 25 denomination chips as they're no longer needed. Blinds are now up to 400-800 ante and these fellas have lots of them: Georges Yazbeck (140,000), Kasparas Klezys (94,000), Robert Barsi (72,000) and Slobodan Bjelobrk (70,000). Meanwhile earlier I reported that Full Tilt Poker Ambassador Robert Cezarescu had been eliminated. He must've just been away from the table when I scanned the room for him as he's still very much in and has 22,000.

Nick Wright
@PokerStars in Eureka Poker Tour