Ask a million poker players how they got started in this game, and the same story will pop off of their lips. They watched Chris Moneymaker, they'll tell you. They watched the World Series of Poker on TV in 2003, they'll tell you. They watched Moneymaker win the WSOP on that thrilling ride and it captivated them so that they took up the game themselves.
For some, it's led to glory and riches, for others just an enjoyable hobby. Many still hold on to that dream, the idea of turning a small satellite win into a place in poker history. Indeed, it's still alive and well. Plenty of seats are available to be won for the 2015 WSOP if you're yearning to play but don't have heaps to spend on a direct buy-in.
One thing to be aware of this year is that Caesars has changed the format of many satellite payouts. In an attempt to make the satellites more flexible and useful for the players, winners of both live and online satellites will usually be awarded lammers worth tournament dollars. This way, players can choose how they distribute their satellite winnings. For example, a player who wins $5,000 in lammers might choose to play a $5,000 event, multiple smaller buy-in events, or put it towards a larger buy-in like the WSOP Main Event.
Maybe you're already in Las Vegas or planning to be. In that case, live satellites aplenty will be running daily at the Rio, home of the WSOP. Satellite action kicks off along with the rest of the Series on May 27 with a $550 satellite for the early $5,000 No-Limit Hold'em event. There's also $75 and $185 turbo mega satellites starting early in the morning that day and running each day until July 3. Starting May 28, $330 mega satellites will run each day at 5 p.m., along with an 8 p.m. satellite at either a $550 or $1,060 price point.
There will even be special satellites to the $25,000 Pot-Limit Omaha High Roller event, the $50,000 Poker Players' Championship, and the $111,111 High Roller for ONE DROP. Those run in the two days leading up to each event.
If you're looking to buckle down one day and focus all your energies on Main Event satellites, circle July 4 on your calendar. That's designated as "Satellite Day" on the WSOP schedule and will be a hub of qualifying throughout the day with satellites of various price points running, which continue through the next few days as the Main Event begins.
Additionally, single table sit-n-go satellites will have open registration every day.
Satellites are also available online if you're looking to qualify for the WSOP from the seat of your couch. WSOP.com in New Jersey and Nevada are your go-to places for WSOP event qualifying, and there are several options currently running that will continue throughout the summer.
Mirroring the live satellites, action kicks off on May 27 and runs every day for the duration of the series. It won't be hard to find the qualifiers you're looking for, as you'll be hard-pressed to find a day without at least three satellites.
Highlights of the schedule include 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. daily satellites to the first ever online bracelet events. At 6 p.m., there will be a satellite to the next day's bracelet event. Fans of the turbo format and night owls will be all over the 10:30 p.m. and 11:30 p.m. turbo satellites for $1,000 in lammers.
The biggest online satellite that will run will be WSOP.com's 25-Seat Scramble. With a buy-in of $200 ($185 plus $15) and reentries allowed, this satellite tournament will take place on WSOP.com on July 5 at 3 p.m. local time in Nevada. An amazing 25 seats are guaranteed, but even more could be given away for every $10,000 in the prize pool.
Furthermore, there are online qualifiers to the $565 Colossus event, the $1,500 Millionaire Maker, the $1,500 Monster Stack, the $1,000 Seniors' Championship, the $10,000 Ladies Championship, and the $1,111 Little One for One Drop.
You can also qualify for the WSOP Main Event via 888poker. Every Sunday and Tuesday, the site runs a "WSOP Las Vegas 2015 Main Event Qualifier" and it could propel you to winning a $13,000 package to the most prestigious poker tournament in the world.
Alternatively, the award-winning PKR Poker is also giving away some good packages to play in the 2015 WSOP for free in the "PKR Vegas Experience" promotion.
Every Monday, PKR runs a special PKR Vegas Experience Final event rewarding the winner with a $4,500 package that includes four nights in a luxury suite at the Palazzo Hotel between June 11-17, $1,500 in cash to cover traveling and other personal expenses, and an entry to the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event kicking off on June 14.
What's even more interesting about PKR's promo, is that the room promises to add an extra 20 percent of any prize money they win (up to a maximum of $50,000) to the PKR online qualifier who lasts longest in the event.
If you are looking for other options, you should be aware that a number of lesser-known sites are offering some interesting packages to play in the WSOP for free.
Players at RedKings Poker and Redbet Poker can qualify online to win packages that include the buy in to the $1,000 No-Limit Hold'em event taking place from June 28-30, an eight-night accommodation at the MGM Grand hotel, and $1,060 in cash to cover their traveling expenses.
Tigergaming.com is also giving its player the opportunity to qualify to the 2015 WSOP Main Event through a special $60 buy-in $25,000 WSOP GT event running on Saturday,
May 30, at 7 p.m. ET.