Online Poker Freerolls; Different Mindsets, Situations, and, Priorities by Joe Brewton
Why a Good Player May Look Like a Donkey Online
There have been many articles written about the differences between online and live play. One aspect I have not seen addressed often is the time investment and effort required to pull together and/or participate in a live game verses an online game.
Live games put more demands on the player; you have to have a block of time, make yourself presentable, and get to the game. These are things we do almost without thinking about, but all these little investments we make without thinking about all contribute to a different mindset at a live game. In a live game, life at home is on hold, you’re away at a poker game. Not available. This is not always the case playing on your computer at home. Entering a freeroll at home online is much easier. Because of this it is easy to fall into the mentality that since you don’t have much invested into getting into this poker tournament you can jump in with a bit less forethought.
For most of us the reality is that when we are at home sitting on our asses in front of the computer we are “available”, when the phone rings we answer it, When an emergency comes up what are you going to do? Tell the wife your busy playing a poker tournament. Things come up that require your attention. Many times (especially with freerolls) I have entered a tournament knowing that I did not really have the block of uninterrupted time that would be required to complete it. Maybe I have to pick up the kids from school in an hour, or I know the wife expects me at the dinner table at 7PM when I’m starting a tourney at 6.
I’ve entered quite a few freerolls with the mentality that I am either going to run my stack up early with a little luck, or bust out. If I can double or triple up early then I can show up at the dinner table and still have chips left when I return. What the hell, it’s a freeroll! I have nothing but a little time invested. I know that there are a lot of players at the table who don’t like this and must be thinking, another all-in donkey at the table.
I’ve made a few blog posts on this subject. Most of the responses I get on these post are from “serious” players who tell me that its players like me that mess up freerolls for the more serious players. That I should never start a tournament without having the time needed to complete it set aside. Too bad. I’m playing the way I need to at the time. Some players take these freerolls and themselves a little too seriously.
Besides, I think it’s a perfectly valid strategy to try to run up you stack early in these 4 to 6 hour freerolls, then you don’t necessarily have to actively play an extremely boring tournament the entire evening. In many of the freerolls I see the prize pool simply does not justify sitting there and playing for 5 or 6 hours!
I’ve never understood why so many players (online and live) piss and moan so much about donkeys. I love them. In my experience the real donkey is always the one complaining about donkeys.