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Poker News | Online Poker | News

Online Poker Room Round Up: Why Satellites Make Me All Warm And Fuzzy

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I don't know about you, but I was starting to feel a little, you know, neglected by PokerStars.

I mean it's the biggest Web site out there. It's HUGE. And yet it seemed to be ignoring us North American, online players. I'm sorry, aren't we still the site's cinnamon on its toast and butter?

PokerStars installed a tour for just about every other country out there. There was the Asia Poker Tour, the European Poker Tour, and there was even a poker tour for Australia, which has a bunch of kangaroos, some guys named Dundee and Joe Hachem.

Well, finally, PokerStars released plans for a North American Poker Tour. Sheesh guys. Took you long enough. This one, however, seems worth the wait. The buy-ins are accessible - which, let's be honest, is nice when you compare the World Series of Poker's $10,000 buy-in for the Main Event or the typical $10,000 buy-in for the World Poker Tour - and stops include the Venetian in Las Vegas from Feb. 20-24 and Connecticut. You know, Connecticut, the poker capitol of the world.

Of course, one of the best parts of the new tour is it gives you reason No. 5,786 to play on PokerStars, as you can win satellites that will make those buy-ins even more accessible (as in, free). Those satellites, of course, are running now.

But we know what you're saying. Hey, we don't have time to travel across the country. We've got kids. Twins (maybe that's just me). A spouse. A job. A Volvo. I understand. That's why you play online in the first place, right?

Well, PokerStars is the first site to install a team of online pros. The site sifted through applications from 2,000 players and selected 23 players, 20 men and three women, to join Team PokerStars Online.

The players specialize in all games and stakes. If you weren't one of the 2,000 selected, hey, this gives you something to shoot for. Everyone needs a goal.

Speaking of goals, as in field goals, Absolute Poker and Ultimate Bet are giving away a trio of Super Bowl prize packages valued at $12,000 each. The next Texas Holdem tournament actually starts on Jan. 13, and the last is Jan. 20, and the winner gets two tickets to attend this year's Super Bowl.

The prize package includes $2,000 in cash, four nights in a fancy hotel, limo transport, dinner at a top Miami restaurant, tickets for two and a date with the Colts cheerleaders (actually that last is up to you, but if you win this package, you'll be a balla and will have no problem pulling that off).

Full Tilt lets you feel like a balla on the cheap, and that's probably why its Big Little Tournament has been such a big (not a little) hit. You remember that tournament, right? You can play for a guaranteed $250,000 for just $5 + .50? The next tournament of the four this month is Jan. 17. Sign up now.

If you're a little more of a big-timer - and of course you are, just look at you - Full Tilt's released the schedule for its 27-event FTOPS. Those start Feb. 10 and satellites are running for all events now. And the series is for us small-timers too (no, of course I'm not including YOU in that; I'm just not ashamed to admit it), with its MiniFTOPS that offer events for 1/10th of the buy-in.

We'll talk more about this sweet series as it gets closer, so stay tuned and start entering those satellites, as Full Tilt's also hosting a lot of challenges. You can win extra money and tournament dollars just by winning your way in the satellites. And you thought satellites were just for getting into tournaments on the cheap.

If you're looking for more of a year-round series, with a huge jackpot at the end, SportsBook Poker is putting up a $52,000 cash prize with its 2010 Series Gold Card promotion.

When you play in cash games - fancy that, a promotion for cash games - you'll be awarded random Gold Cards via a random number generator. If the gold card appears among your hole cards while you play, you get the gold, even if it's the 7 in your 7-2 and you fold (though if you fold the best hand in poker, the hammer, shame on you).

Snag enough of those gold cards, and you might be the one to collect the most in the year and win the $52,000. The higher you play, the more your chances of winning increase, as more gold cards are handed out at the higher limits.

OK, OK, we hear you. It's going to be tough to win that prize. True. That's why SportsBook gives you plenty of other chances to cash in those Gold Cards, as there's a daily lottery, a weekly race and cash prize drawings. So stop pouting.

All right, back to tournaments. Titan Poker is sending players to the Les A London Open that takes place this February. The prize packages are awarded to the top players in Titan's weekly satellites. The packages include hotel accommodations and a free breakfast and dinner (so you don't have to blow all your expenses stuffing your face).

But that's not all. Are you already dreaming about this year's World Series of Poker? Hey, we don't blame you. We're talking millions of cash and the WSOP is in the summer. Ah, those warm summers.

Sorry, I was daydreaming a bit. My front lawn's been covered in snow since Thanksgiving. Cut me some slack here.

Anyway, Titan's giving away $13,000 prize packages to the WSOP's Main Event.

OK, Titan’s not just GIVING those away. But it will be fun to earn it. You'll need to do well in two rounds of weekly tournaments in which players from 12 different countries and regions around the world will compete.

The results from those tournaments will be posted so you can see how you compare. The top 200 will qualify for a place among the final eight tournaments. If you battle your way to the top five finishing positions of the Final Leaderboard in those eight tournaments, you've earned yourself a seat to the WSOP's Main Event.

Round 1 tournaments are running now through early March.

It should start getting warm by March, right?

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