Freebies (read: freerolls, forums, blogs, advice) are a privilege, not a right

By nature, I am a highly opinionated person. I am also a skeptic, but that is irrelevant to this post. Recently, a hot topic of discussion in the Shark Forum has been freerolls and I decided it’s long since overdue for me to add my +EV (opinion) to the discussion.

For starters, what is a freeroll? A freeroll poker tournament is one in which it costs nothing to enter, and pays out something. There are different types and purposes of freeroll poker tournaments that poker rooms hold. Generally speaking, they are as follows:

1. Strictly Promotional in Nature Freeroll Poker Tournaments - these tournaments are open to the public. Any Tom, Dick, Harry, Sally, Bob, and Carol, and Ted, and Alice can enter, providing they have the common sense required to click, download, and register for a “real money account” at the hosting poker room. These tournaments have no entry fee; have no criteria other than bottom of the barrel at best common sense. A cash prize is usually paid out to the top portion of the field. The purpose of these tournaments is to draw players to the hosting poker room. They are promotional in nature, not designed to build a bankroll from them, just to get a player’s foot in the door.

2. Promotional Incentive Freeroll Poker Tournaments - these tournaments are open to the public, but have some sort of qualification involved. Registration is free in the traditional sense (no direct entry fee) and pays out a prize of some value, generally cash. There is, however, something required in order to gain entry. Make a first time deposit, play x number of raked hands within a specified timeframe, answer a trivia question, refer a friend, etc. These freeroll poker tournaments are generally designed to reward a client base for “supporting the cause.”

3. Private Freeroll poker tournaments - these freerolls may or may not be open to the public. They are generally organized and obtained by a third party group, of which the organizer may set requirements (or choose not to) as he or she sees fit.
CheckRayz and the Shark Poker Tour often hold private events of this nature. The Blogger Poker Tour is also a great example of such a private event.

The third party group maintains the right to place restrictions on these events. The restrictions can be having a blog and being a blogger, or play x number of raked hands, or even make x number of quality posts on the
resident poker forum. These private freeroll poker tournaments are not a right; they are a privilege, which brings me right to the point of my ranting.

Far too many people in this world believe they are entitled to a free lunch. This cannot be further from the truth. Originally, I allowed myself to become very irritated when I announced the private $500 freeroll at Celeb Poker, and placed what I believe to be simple requirements in order to qualify for this event. 50 raked hands at .50/$1 or higher is where I set the bar. I could have set it higher. I chose not to. I could have not even included any requirement. I chose to not go that route either. I could have set the bar anywhere I chose. Why, you ask? Because it is my rules, my $500, I can do whatever I damn well please with it, that’s why!

An individual cited how she did not believe this was fair, citing a reason such as “well, many tournament players are not good at ring games, just like many ring players aren’t good in tournaments, so this rule is not fair!

First, I did not state it is fair. They are my rules, so they’re designed to be fair to me. I put the effort in obtaining a $500 freeroll. If you work with poker rooms to obtain such a freeroll, then you set the rules. I will either not play, if I do not find the rules “fair”… or I will and I will follow your rules without question or complaint. If I do not like the rules, I will not post on it, I will not complain… I will just go away. Fair enough?

Going one step further, in my clarification, let us suppose I did not find the rules “fair.” And let us suppose that I had the exact same opinion that our little lady I speak of had, when she said, “tourney players are not always good cash players, thus this is unfair.” IF I were to post such a thing, first I would privately email them regarding such unfair rules.

I would not stop there though, and I believe it is something like what I am about to say that separates people like me from people like “them.” In my opinion, I do not have the right to complain unless I bring some sort of value to my complaint. In this case, a solution… Following along in the example, and once again assuming I am Ms. Complainer, citing how unfair the rules are, in order for me to “earn” the right to complain, I have to offer a solution or a suggestion as to how I could make it “fair.”

So, to continue, I am she… I cite, “
Your rules are unfair to tournament players such as me who would be willing to support the cause by playing raked hands. I deposit and play regularly. I am not a freeloader by any means. I am, however, afraid that I will break myself by playing 50 raked hands at .50/1 and above. I am, however, willing to do something to gain qualification. Would it be at all possible for me to still “work” for the “right” to play in your tournament, but instead of playing raked hands, could I gain entry by participating in X number of buy-in tournaments and/or sit-n-go’s? I am strictly a tournament player and have no problem playing 10 sit n go’s or tournaments at $x.

I believe this would be fair to both you and me, and give people such as myself the opportunity to qualify. Additionally, you just might find that the number of people who are willing to participate will increase as a direct result of such a qualification process. In the event you do not find my suggestion appropriate, I will understand completely and won’t complain one bit. I do appreciate the hard work you do and all of your efforts. Thank you in advance for considering my suggestion and hearing my concerns

But then again, that would require a complaint coming from someone who is not out shopping around to find that free lunch, now wouldn’t it?