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Selective Shilling

This is only my two cents, and I do not encourage anyone to follow my lead, nor do I look down upon those who do otherwise. But it needs to be said...

I refuse to play in PokerStars WBCOOP or whatever the hell it is called. Why? Because while PokerStars is a fine site, this is a crap offer. Plain and simple. Allow me to elaborate.

For those who aren't bloggers, I'll let you in on one of the not-so-secret-secrets. Blogging can be a gateway to free stuff. Now, I don't think anyone should ever start a blog with that as your goal because you will be sorely disappointed and eventually quit blogging in about 4 months, tops. But it is one of the little perks. I, for instance, have received more than a few free books and even a free videogame. Then there are the freerolls and money added into tournaments. Bodog runs tournaments twice weekly with hundreds of added dollars per week and fields of less than 50 players. FullTilt gave a ton of prizes away during the BBT series (Battle of the Bloggers), including a seat to the WSOP Main Event worth more than $10,000, as well as a slew of lesser, but still considerably expensive, prizes. The amount of players were no more than a few hundred, if that, over the course of weeks of tournaments. No individual tournament broke the 120 mark, if I'm not mistaken.

PokerStars? All they have offered is a freeroll tournament that over the past few years regularly attracted tens of thousands of players. And each year, the only worthwhile prizes went to maybe the top 10 players. Now, before I go into too much detail, I'll add that I don't think an iPod, worth a couple of hundred dollars, qualifies as a significant prize if you have to beat 50,000 over 11 hours. But rather than get bogged down in vague notions of past prizes, lets look at the current prizes offered this year.

At first glance, Stars seems to have made some improvements. Instead of a one-day event with 50,000 players, they arranged for 6 tourneys. Great, right? Wrong. Each tourney is merely a qualifier. Stars isn't giving you a seat in a big tourney. It's giving you a freaking satellite to a big tourney. With no apparent limit on how many qualifiers you can play, essentially, you get a chance to play in six 10,000+ person tournaments, all to win a seat into a final tournament, albeit one with a maximum of 432 players (76 from each of the six qualifiers). If you win a qualifier, you can also get a bit of something extra, but the extras suck. Only the top 9 finishers get anything worth over $100, and only one player gets a prize worth more than $500. That's ridiculous for such a huge field.

Once you make it to the 432 player field, almost one fourth of the field will get something. Unfortunately, out of the 100 paying spots, 55 spots pay a Step 3 ticket, which from what I can tell is worth somewhere around 82$. Whoopee! You don't break that $500 mark again until the top 10 players. For a $1000 prize, you have to make it to 7th. The top prize though, was $14,300.

Now, for the uninitiated, that's a free $15,000 prize, but the reality is that it is anything but free. You can only play if you post a couple of links, text and a pic essentially advertising for PokerStars. So, in reality, PokerStars is buying advertising links. PokerStars claims that its prizes total $100,000. Now, most of the prizes are merely freerolls into PokerStars tournaments, which actually costs Stars $0, but ignoring that reality, let's assume, conservatively, that 25,000 people will play in at least one qualifier event. That boils down to a $4 value per ad. If a site asked me to put up a permanent ad for $4, I'd tell them to go fuck themselves. So, that's what I'm telling Stars (at least in reference to their offer...I still like the site and software).

On a related note, I recently was contacted by people at LockPoker about shilling for their site. I initially accepted the offer only to reject it afterwards. LockPoker was kind enough to offer $x placed into a Locked Poker account so I can play at their site and report back to you. Then I realized that the amount was way below the minimum check withdrawal of $500. In other words, I would have to double my money several times just to be able to withdraw. The original offer was more than $4 in pure dollar signs, but if I cannot access the money, then it's not money to me. Granted, I could work the money up to a withdrawable level, but I don't need the dough badly enough to have to work for it twice, first by putting up a review and second by being forced to play at their site until I win x amount or bust.

Let me be clear: These are all personal decisions, and I do not begrudge anyone who takes advantage of these freebies. Free shit is always good. I just don't see these things as necessarily free and I don't have the desire to work my ass off in a poker tournament or grinding at a new site, merely for the chance to win some money. These are just bad offers and when there are sites out there showing proper regard to the poker blogging community, it leaves a huge site like Stars with no excuse for such a transparently absurd promotion.

Good luck to all those taking their chance with Stars or LockPoker. I hope to see that the Poker Blogging community whoops ass and takes down those top prizes. But it ain't me Stars, it ain't me you're looking for.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 10:37 AM,

30 Comments:

At 1:48 PM, Blogger $mokkee said...

you said it a helluva lot better than i did. vg post.

 
At 2:13 PM, Blogger Champ said...

Nice take! Agreed.

Although I don't "own" a blog anyway.

-Champ

 
At 3:50 PM, Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

I was thinking about entering, but hadn't thought it through. Thx for the post.

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger Schaubs said...

Well said amigo... you've given me something to think about for sure.

 
At 4:17 PM, Blogger cmitch said...

Go get em Jordan!!!!

 
At 4:49 PM, Blogger WillWonka said...

Nice Post!!!

I had turned Lock Poker as well for similar and other reasons.

I hadn't given much thought to the Pokerstars thing. I'll definitely look a little closer this time around.

 
At 5:03 PM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

Totally disagree.

At more than a few live WPBT events at our gatherings in Vegas PokerStars has thrown in a bunch of extra crap for Bloggers.

You can break down all the numbers and hours played and such...but I remember at our gatherings when we had only a few prizes going and bounties...it was PokerStars who juiced the pot with all kinds of extras and $$$.

Don't get me wrong, Full-Tilt did the same for us when Bill Rini got them to put in some very nice prizes.

In closing, The Rooster is still pissed that StudioGlif snatched his PokerStars jacket...how I didn't win this tournament still dumbfounds me.

 
At 5:14 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Just one point of clarification. I don't hate Stars or think they are ripping anyone off. They made an open offer, but I think it is a poor one. That's all I'm saying. Stars may have given bloggers free stuff a couple of years ago, but it is almost irrelevant. If FT or Bodog offered the same deal as this Stars freeroll, I would turn them down too. This particular freeroll is a bum deal. That is all.

 
At 6:41 PM, Blogger Luckbox said...

The Rooster is right... Stars was a GOOD friend of the blogger from the very beginning. Perhaps it's only us old-timers who remember.

And since you didn't seem to read the instructions, you get a ticket to play in only one qualifier.

Of course it's advertising for them. Just like FTP and Bodog get advertising for their particular blogger events.

You can stay up on your high horse and ignore an opportunity at free stuff. That's your choice. But I'm in!

 
At 10:57 PM, Blogger BWoP said...

Luckbox -

You might want to re-read the registration page.

"3. After the registration process is complete and your blog has been verified, you’ll be given a ticket, which you can use to enter any and all of the daily freeroll qualifiers."

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Luckbox, you may want to re-read my post, too. I don't know where you get off saying that I am on a high horse. I said three times (once at the beginning of the post, once at the end, and once in comments) that I do not begrudge anyone for accepting the deal, and I meant it. Painting me as a bad guy for giving my personal reasons to reject an offer is just a dick move and places YOU on the high horse.

 
At 3:45 PM, Blogger StB said...

The fields are not as big as you claim. Lots of no shows. Sure you need to get through the land mines and donkeys but isn't that what poker bloggers do? Play poker?

 
At 6:54 PM, Blogger Luckbox said...

BWoP: Ah, so apparently it's my reading comprehension that's a problem!

Jordan: We all get to use our blogs to say whatever it is we want. Those who choose to jump on their blog and bash a site for what they perceive as ripping off bloggers are on a high horse, IMO. No one is forcing you to participate.

 
At 8:56 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Do you own stock in PokerStars, Luckbox? I'm bashing a bum offer. I'm playing at PokerStars while I type this and I'm not slamming PokerStars. Why are you taking it so personally? I think the tourney is a crap offer and I'm not taking it. Boo hoo. Shall we move on...

 
At 9:31 AM, Blogger Drizztdj said...

I think entitlement to "blogger freebies" has gone too far if people are claiming the structure (or size of prizes) of a freeroll is a reason to "boycott" it.

 
At 10:00 AM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

This is absurd. Drizz, are you suggesting that I have a sense of entitlement? Fuck that. I don't know what you and Luckbox are reading into this post, but I think you need to look inward, because it isn't in my post.

First off, you get paid for ads, right? So, then, you understand that there is a relative value to links and ads. Is it wrong, then, if you individually turned down an offer to post an ad for, let's just throw out a number, $20 for the year? No. That is your individual choice. As it is mine to turn down an offer of a free tournament in exchange for advertising.

Drizz, I officially request that you place a post with a minimum of 2 links to HighOnPoker.net, as well as a photograph of my banner. Once this has been completed, I will send $20 to your Full Tilt or Stars account. Now that I have made this generous "blogger freebie", I expect that you must accept it or else be deemed "boycotting" my ad due to your sense of entitlement. I will cross-post this on your blog.

 
At 12:10 PM, Blogger Joaquin "The Rooster" Ochoa said...

To all my B-Listers. Yes, that includes you that is reading...because lets be honest, all of you are lower than me and the only one on the high horse is me.

This has gone on too long and is very Jr. High. Yet, if you all want to continue to throw insults at one another over the inter-dweeb-net that is up to you all. Myself, I know that UFC has a training facility in Vegas and we can settle the score there. I have my certification to ref such matches if they take place.

The notion of bloggers getting ripped off for free stuff has always been a topic that has gone back and forth for many years now...it will continue to go back and forth...that is the way it is.

I want you to go visit my blog and take note that The Rooster doesn't shill for anyone because I'm in this for the purity of the written word. I'm in it for the friendship and playing cards. Sure there have been some heated debates that I have been a part of but in the end...all of you are just geeks with a blog...wait, that includes me...but my blog is an A-Lister Blog and the only A-Lister Blog.

In closing, once in college I went out with this girl. Before we left her place she wanted to...well...do it. I was like, I don't even have to take you to dinner...it is free of charge. What is my point...anything free is better than paying. Holla!

 
At 1:32 PM, Blogger HighOnPoker said...

Honestly, Rooster, I'd love to put this behind us. I just don't want people villifying me for having an opinion. I'm ready to move on from the argument and have been for a while.

 
At 4:14 PM, Blogger Scott said...

I don't know you, but I am a blogger and in fact never have received free stuff for my blog. It seems a bit disconcerting for someone to complain about being offered a chance to win free stuff.

I personally run free rolls on the military base that I work on. These freerolls attract maybe 100 active duty military members a week.

Yet the last two years pokerstars has sent about 5k worth of prizes for me to give away. Including a seat to an APPT event.

I agree that the fields in recent years have been too large but it seems that stars will inn fact be more stringent about who gets a seat. They specifically state if you dont post regularly then you don't play. I would estimate each freeroll having about 1k ppl.

I hate to introduce myself this way but you do sound like you feel like you are entitled to something. You do kind of sound like your on a high horse. I means its free...Also it is not anymore top heavy then any other tourney on stars or any other online poker site.

 
At 5:10 PM, Blogger Chilly said...

I want my mobney. xfer to Full Tilt: Good43

see link.

http://idsn.blogspot.com/2008/12/high-on-poker-free-roll.html

 
At 7:15 PM, OpenID wwonka said...

Well Said.

I looked at the whole thing From pokerstars and thought it was more work than it is worth.

Peace

the Donkey Show.

 
At 7:45 PM, Blogger DuggleBogey said...

I agree, it's not worth my time to set up their advertisement just for a tourney with thousands of non-poker playing half no-shows.

Blogger tournaments are about fun. That Poker Stars tournament is not fun.

It's great if you'll put yourself through that awful tournament for "free stuff" and any time Poker Stars gives away "free stuff" is great.

I'm of the opinion that this tournament isn't worth my time. If you thought about it, based on its value, it's probably not not worth anyone's.

 
At 10:11 AM, Blogger Rich said...

FYI, I got notice that I wouldn't be allowed to play this year since I hadn't posted enough on my blog. It seems they are being a lot more stringent on who they are letting in this time. It sucks, because I am a micro-stakes player, but just have fell out of the habit of posting on my blog this year, so I won't be able to get a shot at a big score (however remote it may be). I can't fault them for doing it, though. It stings that I've played in every one and been blogging for years now.

 
At 11:59 AM, Blogger ScottMcM said...

Blogs are Ghey

 
At 6:15 PM, Blogger Poker Jones said...

If you have a job that requires you to be somewhere other than in front of your poker/porn machine, you're screwed. But free is free (and all that gift horse in mouth blather). Your willingness to argue the contrarian POV is appreciated. You might consider putting that skill to use someday.

 
At 2:43 PM, Blogger F-Train said...

I'm behind on my blog reading after being Down Under, but --

Everyone knows what this is. Right? I mean, I was under no illusions about it, so I hardly believe that there are any huge revelations in your post. But the chance to qualify for a tournament in this format is worth more to me than what I would get for putting up an ad with a few links for a month. (I do intend to delete the post after the freeroll is concluded).

That's what it comes down to for people who choose to participate or don't -- whether the time investment and format of the tournament, along with the prizes, have a greater value (to the individual blogger) than what they would ordinarily get for one month of advertising.

As for the rest of this nonsense about high horses and whatnot, well that's what it is. Nonsense. Everyone is allowed an opinion.

 
At 5:38 PM, Blogger Bayne_S said...

Suggestion 1:

Find 6 bloggers who received Lock Poker invite, agree to $100 together, find open 6 Max table. Push all in 1st hand. Winner requests check.

Suggestion 2:

If you hate value proposition Poker Stars is offering sign up for WCOOP late, delete blog post shilling it after playing free roll.

 
At 10:05 PM, Blogger . said...

holy shiat 28 comments ??

Awesome.

 
At 12:31 PM, Blogger Chipper Dave said...

The blogger tourney may not be as popular as it used to be. I played in the opening qualifier yesterday and only 450 people entered. It may have something to do with the fact it was an Omaha tournament. I finished 31st and got an entry into the Final. Took me 3.5 hours of time. Wortht the time? Not if every second of your life needs to be compensated, but worth it to me personally as a challenge just to say I could do it. Yes, it's free advertising for PokerStars. Give them credit for thinking up a cheap way to get advertising. Now if only we could match that.

 
At 5:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lock Poker does offer $50 e-wallet withdrawals. Why not take them up on the offer and cash out that way?

 

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