Poker players worldwide have been dreaming of sitting at the featured table and winning millions of dollars ever since that big Chris Moneymaker win at the WSOP in 2003, and probably way even way before that.
The WSOP and other major tournaments attract thousands of players every year, so some of you might be wondering how can all these people afford to shell out thousands of dollars to play in these events.
The truth is that some players have massive bankrolls, while others find alternative ways to buy into events and compete at the highest level.
After all, we all play poker for different reasons and have different bankrolls, but the love for the game is the one thing that unites all poker players.
For that reason, I want to share the three ways you can get into tournaments that may normally be too big for you to buy in to without having to save up money and spend it all at once.
Online Satellite Tournaments
One of the easiest ways to get into the bigger tournaments is to play satellites on the best online poker sites to qualify for the event you want to join.
Online poker sites throw qualifiers for all sorts of bigger live events, including those at the WSOP.
The great thing about online satellites is that you can start at the very lowest of levels and potentially qualify for a $10.000 tournament for $1 or less.
Online satellites are the only way to get into big live events so cheap, and while you may only have a small chance of doing so, you can also easily keep playing until you finally qualify.
If you want to go hardcore, you can play the more expensive qualifiers to live events and simply try to build up some extra equity in the event by entering it cheaper than you would if you had to pay the full buy-in.
Remember that satellite tournaments require a slightly different skill set than regular MTTs, so make sure you learn about satellites and how to play them before you jump into these too seriously.
Playing in Home Games
Home game satellites to poker events are especially popular in the USA, but they are also played around the world. Even if you don’t have access to one, you may be able to put a home game like this together yourself.
A home game satellite consists of a group of players looking to play in a certain event, let’s say the WSOP Main Event.
The players can decide to come together just once, each bringing a portion of the buy-in, or many times over a period, buying in for a small portion of the total buy-in each time.
Poker leagues in which the WSOP seats are the main prize are very popular, and players across the USA organize such leagues on a regular basis.
While a poker league won’t let every player competing take a seat in the Main Event, the league’s winner will get their seat, which they could normally not afford.
If you think about it, a group of players could play a simple $20 tournament throughout the year and be able to afford the massive $10.000 seat in the WSOP Main Event for the best player in their group.
Players often even agree that all participants in the league get a small portion of the winnings, should the winner of the league manage to cash in the big tournament. That way, everyone ends up quite happy to rail “their person”, as they’ve all got a vested interest in that person’s success.
Even if you can’t get together with your friends, you can easily organize such events online on most serious sites, many of which offer freerolls, another helpful way to boost your bankroll. Incidentally, here’s where you can learn a bit more about poker freeroll strategy.
Selling Your Action
Another way of getting your bankroll to go and play the bigger live events, especially if you are a serious poker player, is by selling your action to other players, friends, or family.
There are many ways to sell action these days, and more options are open to those who are already proven and successful poker players.
If you are not a known player, you may be restricted to selling action to your friends and people who know you from the poker community. They may be interested in buying a piece of you or staking you altogether, even if just for the fun of it.
As you get more established, new options will start to open up. For starters, the players in your local community may realize that there is value in staking you or buying pieces of your action in the big tournaments.
Furthermore, you may be able to sell action on online poker forums or staking sites dedicated to this type of endeavor.
If you want to play tournaments online, there are plenty of online communities where you may need to prove your skills first but will be able to sell plenty of action once you are a proven poker tournament winner.
As you see, there are plenty of options to participate in your dream event, even if you can’t afford to buy in directly. So brush up your skills, and see you at the tables!