Since Chris Moneymaker won the 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event for $2,500,000 after qualifying on PokerStars in a $39 satellite, the poker world hasn’t been the same.
A 28 year-old accountant at the time, Moneymaker represented the average person and proved that anyone could qualify online and become a world champion. His return on investment would have to be one of the greatest in history, and inspired a new generation of poker players.
Satellites like the one Moneymaker won offer an opportunity to those who may not otherwise have it, and great value to already established players. Many big tournaments these days have substantial portions of their fields made up of satellite qualifiers, and this week’s APPT9 Seoul Main Event is no exception.
Of the 116 players to pull up a seat today for Day 1A, 52 of those won their ticket either online through PokerStars or in a live satellite here at Paradise Walkerhill Casino. That number accounts for almost half the field, and it makes sense that players would try to win their way into a tournament for a fraction of the cost, to minimise their losses and maximize their return on investment.
For players who couldn’t otherwise afford a KRW3,000,000 (US$2,700) Main Event ticket, satellites provide the perfect platform to be a part of the action. PokerStars run regular satellites with an array of buy-ins for APPT events, some as low as a couple of dollars. The host casino in Seoul this week, the Paradise Walkerhill, had satellites with a phase format, with the first under $100.
And it’s not just players who can’t take part financially that are opting to play satellites. Many pros and established regulars are utilizing the opportunity for value, with some continuing to grind after winning their initial ticket and taking advantage of the softer fields.
Australia’s Edison Nguyen, who won the ANZPT Melbourne Main Event last year for $203,410, was one of the PokerStars qualifiers for this leg of the APPT. David Vamplew from the United Kingdom, was another who qualified online, and he’s first on Scotland’s all-time money list with over $5 million in total earnings.
Time will tell if it’s a satellite qualifier who claims the Main Event title here at APPT9 Seoul. We’ll be here all week to follow the action.