Originally Posted by Welly
Be prepared to speculate no more than $100 for absolute sure.
Think of it this way:
Suppose your $200 buyin final has Level 1 satellites for $20, and Level 2 satellites for $2.
You could buyin at Level 1, if that was comfortable for you. In which case your aim would be to qualify within 5 attempts, for a maximum of $100.
Or, you could buyin at Level 2, and make up to 5 attempts to reach Level 1, expending up to $10. Having qualified, if you failed to progress to the final you would go back to the beginning and repeat the whole process up to 4 times more. In this case, your maximum outlay would be only $50 total, but you might stand to invest considerably more time.
In both cases, you would hope to qualify in fewer than the maximum number of efforts, which would reduce your expenditure accordingly.
I hope that makes sense. Sounds very complex when written out like this, but the principle is simple. Of course, in the real world, the sums are usually not this straightforward, and there are fees to be considered.