Party Poker is scrapping the majority of satellites that feed into specific tournaments and replacing them with satellites in which you win tournament dollars.
In the past, Party Poker has come in for a little criticism about the way the site manages its tournament satellites and only awards tickets for specifically target events with a shelf life of between seven and twenty-eight days. To be fair to the site, it has hardly kept the expiry dates a secret, and targeted satellites help “high risk” events meet their guarantees – which encourages the site to put on more.
However, as part of its quest to “bring poker back to the players” Party Poker has announced it will scrap the majority of targeted satellites and instead replace them with satellites paying out tournament dollars. Furthermore, not only will the site match the current guarantees of targeted satellites (around $1 million per week), tournament dollars won in satellites will have a shelf life of one year.
Tournament Dollars bring More Flexibility to Players
The big advantage of tournament dollars is you can use them as and when you wish. For example, under the current scheme, if you were to enter a $22 buy-in satellite guaranteeing twenty $109 tournament tickets and finished in the top twenty places, you would have to play in a tournament with a $109 buy-in before the tournament ticket expired.
Now you still have the option of playing in a tournament with a $109 buy-in, but also the options of dividing your winnings between multiple tournaments or saving the tournament dollars and adding to them in future satellites – possibly to play in tournaments with higher buy-ins during one of Party Poker´s big tournament series later in the year.
Another advantage is that sometimes you enter a satellite with the intention of playing in the target event; but, due to circumstances beyond your control, you can´t. Whereas previously you will have lost the value of the tournament ticket, you can now unregister from the target tournament (assuming you already registered) and save your tournament dollars for another day.
Not Every Targeted Satellite Will be Scrapped
Speaking on the Party Poker blog, Rob Yong said that the new system will make it harder for Party Poker to know with any degree of confidence how many players will enter which tournaments. The example he gave was of a player using his or her $109 in tournament dollars to play in a hundred tournaments with a $1.10 buy-in rather than in a $109 buy-in event (obviously paying the extra dollar in cash).
The consequences could be significant if players are winning satellites that would previously have awarded a ticket with a value of (say) $530 that would have to be used within a week. Under the current system, Party Poker would know at any point how many tickets are in circulation and how soon they are likely to be used. Under the tournament dollar system, Party Poker loses this visibility.
Because of this loss of visibility, Yong said some targeted satellites will remain in the schedule – most likely those feeding into tournaments with substantial guarantees such as the Gladiator, the Big Game, and the Millions Online. Yong noted that the Live Tournament Dollars system was working well, and he hoped the same system for online tournaments would be equally as well received.
How Will You Use Your Party Poker Tournament Dollars?
We believe the reintroduction of tournament dollars will encourage more players to take advantage of Party Poker´s extensive satellite schedule – possibly with the result that Party Poker increases how much it guarantees the satellites for. Then the only question is, how will you use your tournament dollars? Use them, split them, or save them? You don´t have to make your mind up yet because the new tournament dollar system does not come into effect at Party Poker until next week.