Poker in Print: Poker Satellite Strategy (2019)


Some books about poker appeal to the heart, while others appeal to our minds. This week’s poker book for our consideration definitely fits into the second category, but with the application of its methods, you might find your own dreams in the game of poker fulfilled to your heart’s desire.

poker-in-print-poker-satellite-strategy-2019Poker Satellite Strategy came out just a few short months ago and has been in the bestseller lists on Amazon for poker and strategy books ever since. Popular with high rollers, recreational players and regulars at the felt, both virtual and live, the authors, Dara O’Kearney and Barry Carter helped us break down the book’s mass appeal.

“I approached Dara to see if he wanted to work on the book together,” says Carter, who had previously worked with Jared Tendler on The Mental Game of Poker 1 &2. “Many years ago, I wrote a blog post about poker books that hadn’t been written yet, where I identified gaps in the market and satellites were one of them, so last year I decided to finally write it.”

“Writing a book of some sort was on my ‘To Do’ list for years, but below all the actual stuff I had time to do.” Says O’Kearney. “Between the blog, the podcast, the magazine column and free strategy newsletter – and my own playing, studying, commentating and coaching – I just never found the time.”

“I was actually quite good at satellites myself, but Dara really is the undisputed king of them,” says Carter. “I had to partner with him.”

It seems that the respect goes both ways, as O’Kearney was just as keen to work with an author he clearly admired.

“When Barry approached me with the idea, it seemed perfect as he promised to – and did- most of the legwork in terms of getting it down on paper and all the technical stuff around getting it published.”

“Because of his genius on the topic, I genuinely think we have covered everything people know about satellites.” Carter continues. “A new book on satellites does not need writing.”

O’Kearney had already developed a webinar on the major concepts which proved so popular that he had to stop giving it or it ‘could have been every Thursday for the rest of my life’. Instead, he made it available in video form instead and the pair used that as the starting point for the book.

“I started by turning as much of that into useable material,” says Carter. “Then it was a case of me interviewing him and between us gleaning out as much info as possible, again with me doing the bulk of the initial writing. Then we sent it back and forth, refining it until we were done.”

O’Kearney, whose experience in satellites genuinely led to changes in the format over the years on online poker sites, relied on Carter’s impressive CV for bringing cutting edge poker knowledge to the public eye in the form of an entertaining book – a difficult demand with a readership of poker players of various standards.

“It’s fair to say that as much respect for Barry as I had, and I’ve always held him in very high regard since seeing him on Sky TV talking about Mental Game of Poker, I underestimated his usefulness and suitability for the task of collaborator. Barry has almost the perfect level of poker expertise to allow him to act as a proxy for the type of players the book is primarily aimed at: smart recreationals who are quick studies and can quickly learn advanced concepts if they are explained to them properly.”

With Carter the perfect foil, the book came together as easily as poker satellites can be tricky. If you’ve ever had a problem with them, this really is the book to iron out any issues and structure an incredibly solid satellite strategy with which to improve your results.

“Contrary to what some people think, satellites are a very counter intuitive form of the poker requiring very specific skills. Several top professionals told me they lost in satellites for years until they read the book or watched the video, because they played satellites like normal MTTs.”

With the book complete, the release to the poker-playing public saw a phenomenal response to the tome.

“The response has been amazing,” confirms Carter, “It was a book about satellites, but it was also a reminder about why people should play satellites. The most gratifying aspect of the entire process for both of us has been when somebody tweets us to say they are a low stakes player playing in a big MTT because of us. We had a gentleman make the GUKPT Luton final table this month off the back of winning a satellite and a chap called Phil Buttle won $40,000 off the back of a satellite win.”

Just last weekend, Carter himself applied those ‘Gorilla maths’ and satellite tips inside the book he co-wrote and turned a $5 satellite ticket into $14,000. Wow.

“We set out to write the definitive guide to satellites and I feel we managed to do that.” Says O’Kearney. “Most heartening of all has been hearing the success stories of recreational players, who are the life blood of the game.”

O’Kearney believes that players who don’t have the time or inclination to spend thousands of dollars and hours watching training videos can access the same information in what is an ‘easily digestible short cut’ and qualify for big events.

“The most frequent comment I get from is “even though it’s very mathematical and advanced, it’s so well explained I got it”. What has surprised me the most though is the number of pros who have devoured the book. Dietrich Fast bought a copy off me at the Irish Open and sent me a bunch of detailed follow up questions. If a guy like Dietrich who plays High Rollers can learn from the book, that’s very satisfying.”

If you don’t have your copy, then what are you waiting for? It could transform your poker fortunes and at a fraction of the cost of many training packages. We enjoyed the book immensely and those recreational players who are the biggest fanbase for the strategic masterclass are right – the information is detailed yet concise, mathematical yet intuitive. If your instincts are telling you to invest in Poker Satellite Strategy by Dara O’Kearney and Barry Carter, then you should listen to them.