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FT and the BBT

Through Riggstad, I found a great post by Loretta8 which quite astutely explains some of the issues with the BBT payouts. Go read Loretta's post for the details, but he makes some general comments about how unfortunate it is that people do not actually play in the WSOP after winning a seat, instead deciding to keep the cash. Now, I'll tell you right now, I am one of those people, and frankly, that will be the focus of this post. But let me quickly summarize some of Loretta's points first.

The first point is simply that if people do not play the WSOP using the seats won from FullTilt via the BBT, then FullTilt is not getting the intended benefit of the free prizes. Presumably, FT is willing to make such generous offers because they hope to have the winners wear FT gear (as a FT ad) when playing in the WSOP. I don't think this is the sole benefit to FT, since they also get an ass-ton of linkage from blogs, but it's a good point Loretta makes.

Loretta then goes on to explain that it is not necessarily the bloggers' fault, either, since FT did little to help him get to the WSOP when he won his seat via a prior BBT. He had difficulty making the withdrawal and FT pretty much shortchanged him $2,000 (it's more complicated than that, but this is just background). FT also didn't advertise or promote the BBT, which would've been mutually beneficial to blogs in general, the BBT and FT by gaining more players, more rake, more visibility, and more players who are playing to actually get into the WSOP.

But this last one is all mine. If FullTilt wanted to create a series of tournaments for bloggers that would be played to send a blogger or bloggers to the WSOP, they should have done that. Instead, they (reasonably) relied upon the already-established weekly blogger tourneys. That was their mistake, although not an obvious mistake at the time. Here is why:

I play the blogger tourneys, whether they are under the BBT or not. So if I plan on playing in blogger tourneys nearly weekly and then someone says, "Hey weekly tournament, here is some extra stuff," I am not going to suddenly stop playing because of free stuff. It doesn't work that way. On the other hand, if Full Tilt decided to make their own series of tourneys with the express intention that the winner(s) will go to the WSOP, I would choose not to play because I knew I couldn't play in the WSOP.

Let me put it this way: When I first won a TOC seat, I was very glad. When I won another and then a third one, suddenly, I was in contention to actually earn a WSOP $2k package via the BBT. Was I then supposed to stop playing because I knew I couldn't go? I never intended, when I signed up for my first BBT tourney, to go after the WSOP seats. That's why I had played so few tourneys. I was leaving it up to the players who could go. But when it was in my grasp, was I supposed to turn away $2,000? Of course not!

On a side note, there is another simple solution to FT's woes: pay a reduced amount if the money is not used for the WSOP. I don't know how this could be done (perhaps pay out the seat in cash at the WSOP in person to the winners, and if the person no-shows, send them 75 or even 50% into their FT account), but it could be done. And I wouldn't mind it either. That would be FT's perogative, as long as they announce it in advance.

My basic point is this: You can't lead a thirsty horse to water and then force him not to drink.

Of course, FT hasn't really made any statements on the issue, and frankly, they probably don't care. More likely, the BBT is ending because it takes a lot of work for a few people and there isn't any discernible benefit to anyone but the bloggers. I don't have a problem with FT or the BBT, and I certainly don't have any problems with the main organizer of the BBT, AlCantHang. Quite the opposite, I thank them all for their generosity.

Until next time, make mine poker!

posted by Jordan @ 2:54 PM,


At 3:25 PM, Blogger 1Queens Up1 said...

All I'll add is a little Full Tilt promotion goes a long way. Have you ever tried to find the BBT page via Its impossible.
At the very least they could give it some linkage under "Current Promotions". Maybe they are scared everyone would play the BBT and no one would do their bracelet/main event tourneys?

At 3:46 PM, Blogger jjok said...

good points by all around......I am honestly at a loss. I think I just need to sit back and really think all this through.

But for now..... ;)

At 6:36 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

You should go ahead and play a WSOP event, imo. But you are free to do what you want.


At 8:28 PM, Blogger AlCantHang said...

Thank you for explaining exactly why there won't be another BBT. I'll elaborate further on my site but here's the basic idea.

None of this was ever FTP's idea, it was all mine (and Hoy and Mookie) long before I ever started working for them. They gave me the prizes to do with what I wanted. This was driven by myself and not Tilt. I chose to run a series that was open to all whether they had a blog or even intended to use the prizes awarded.

Next year I chose to do something different with those seats.

At 9:13 AM, Blogger Jordan said...

Champ, if I could get off the time to play, I would, but I can't. I don't even have time to make it a weekend trip, since all $1500 donkaments are at least 2 days. If the choice is between playing in a huge-field tournament or keeping my job...well, there is no choice at all.

At 3:05 PM, Blogger Unknown said...

I understand. Nor am I upset. I just think it was a wonderful opportunity given to that I rarely get a taste of getting a small stakes player.

On the other side, I am also a die-hard WSOP fan. To be able to play a donkament would be a dream come true. So it's kinda frustrating in that regards.

You clearly have the talent to do well! Anyway, nice run in the BBT5.


At 5:30 PM, Blogger Jordan said...

And Champ, just to be clear, I understand where you are coming from. I, too, really want to play in the WSOP eventually, and if I could, I'd be there. In fact, I consciously did not play the BBT regularly for the first two months because I never intended to win a seat in the first place, knowing that I could not go. In a way, I'm happy I didn't cash in the TOC because I'd feel a lot worse not using the $10k seat.

At 6:10 PM, Blogger Schaubs said...

A lot worse?

come on!! you won the seat, you can do what you want with it.

No one can force you to go... screw it!

Start your own HOPBT next year and put up the $2000 please.


Al did an aweseom job.


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