Milestone Satellites for WPT Global Championship: All You Need to Know
Last Updated: January 25, 2024
If you’ve been checking out the schedule for the upcoming WPT Global Championship, you’ve probably noticed a number of Milestone Satellites on the list. These live tournaments will be taking place regularly at the Wynn in the days leading to the big event.
A majority of poker players out there are well aware of how satellites work. In fact, it would be fair to say that these games have helped tremendously make poker as popular as it is today, allowing countless people to take shots in tournaments they couldn’t afford at the full price.
But, over the years, more and more problems started to creep into traditional satellites as players came up with strategies specific to this format, making it less attractive to recreationals. So, the Wynn and the World Poker Tour have set out to fix some of these shortcomings with Milestone Satellites.
These games aren’t all that different from the ones you’re used to, but there are a couple of important aspects you should be aware of before you join one of these. If you’ll be in Vegas these days and are considering taking a shot at the WPT World Championship seat, keep on reading.
A More Player-Friendly Format
Although milestone satellites have been around as a concept for some time now, the Wynn in Las Vegas was the first US venue to fully embrace the format. As they reached the agreement to play host to this year’s World Championship, they were firm on never going back to old-school satellites, and the WPT agreed.
So, how do Milestone Satellites differ from traditional ones? The main difference is that players can win a seat by accumulating a certain number of chips determined at the start of the tournament.
For example, if everyone starts with 20,000 and that number is 150,000 poker chips, the moment you reach that number, you’ve won the seat. You can call the floor person to verify the stack size, and if everything is in order, you’ll be awarded the entry.
Once that happens, the player’s chips are removed from play entirely, regardless of whether their stack was the minimum required or more. The remaining players continue with the tournament until all entries are given away.
In the event that the tournament reaches a stage where the number of players and remaining entries is equal, the satellite will end, and everybody still in the field will receive the entry.
For example, there are seven players remaining and two tickets. One player gets eliminated, but the player winning the hand doesn’t get over the chip threshold. When the next elimination occurs, all remaining five players get tickets regardless of their stack size.
This scenario may not be super-likely, but it can happen depending on the size of the tournament and how many chips are removed during play.
Are Milestone Satellites Better?
Like in any other industry, it’s not always easy to change things in poker, especially when it’s something that’s been around for decades. Players have gotten used to traditional satellites, so the introduction of Milestone Satellites has been a bold move by the Wynn.
However, it seems that the feedback from the players has been largely positive. These games encourage action and force players to keep battling it out instead of sitting on their hands and stalling action, waiting for others to be eliminated.
The format is probably most appealing to aggressive players and those with a cash game background, as winning every pot is important. It gets you one step closer to the threshold.
💺 SEATS GALORE 🛰️
— World Poker Tour (@WPT) November 6, 2023
Performing well in these games does require some changes in poker strategy and overall approach, but the concept is a very sound one. At the end of the day, many players, especially those who play for fun, want fast action and would rather not spend hours playing a tournament that leads to another tournament.
Milestone Satellites help alleviate this concern. You can win your entry much quicker, and very aggressive players can even force the issue. If you’re in a rush to win that ticket and go about your day, you can put a lot of pressure on the rest of the table and take some risks, knowing there is a very tangible reward.
This isn’t the case with old-style satellites, as growing a large stack early on is still not a guarantee you’ll qualify. Plus, even if you have a huge stack, you still have to stay around until the end of the event, potentially spending several more hours just trying to maintain your stack.
Still Time to Grab a Seat
The WPT World Championship is kicking off in a few days’ time, and thanks to Milestone Satellites, you can take more shots at winning the seat.
These tournaments are happening every day at the Wynn, and with the Championship guaranteeing $40,000,000, it’s probably worth your while to give them a try if you happen to be in town.
The casino floor is already buzzing with action after a big Meet-Up Game and the Ladies Championship reaching the final table, but there is much more to come.
If you have plans to join some of the Milestone Satellites and take your shot, just remember that these games reward aggression and adjust accordingly. Capitalize on other players’ mistakes and put yourself in a position where you can lock up that ticket early on and take advantage of those players in the field who might not have a full grasp of the concept!