I have been really fortunate this year. Without spending a dime of my own money I have turned freerolling into almost a “profession.” While I have always satellited my way into even the biggest events I ever played (2k buy-in events at the Series, Foxwoods, Commerce, etc) this time I didn’t even risk one penny.
Some sites have openly criticized what I have been doing. I have been called some nasty names, even outright lied about (one site owner said I have “never” played real money buy-ins/tourneys with the promotional money I have won, which is blatantely untrue, I have played both ring games and buy-in tourneys with “his” money, just not deposited money, so to speak, and I HAVE recycled that freeroll money).
I also picked up a few stalkers. Druggies definitely don’t like it when you play back at them. Scammers and cheaters certainly do not appreciate it when you ask them to stop or point out that they are doing something highly unethical. Natch, I don’t back down. My health is so shot that I have nothing to fear from anyone offering up death threats!
Then again, the type of people who own some of these sites are not the kind of people I would normally associate with anyway.
I started my zero to bankroll challenge a year ago, and won a fifty cent freeroll. I have turned that fifty cents into five figures. Yeah, if I was a world-class player, maybe it could have been six, but I’m not, plus I never really risk enough money to make a big score.
Interestingly, some of the site owners I’ve had to deal with have told me that they are obviously better than me, because they “made more on welfare” than I did playing in a year. Oy, I can’t believe people actually brag about being on welfare.
I’ve played on some pretty shady sites over the last twelve months in my challenge. Most of them have gone under. A couple were so so bad that I didn’t even want to use my own name! I mean, in the end, all I have is the integrity that comes with being FeliciaLee. I’d hate for anyone to think I deposited real money on one of those drug/criminal sites.
There were a few sites that wanted me to associate myself with them, but I didn’t go for the free money. I don’t want my name degraded by these fly-by-night poker sites.
Every once in a while, I would link a new, fledgling online poker room as a favor to them, to try to help them grow. For the most part I really regretted this. They turned out to be pretty scummy. You know a site isn’t going to make it when they offer free money and can’t even get a half dozen player to actually take it! Or when they are trying to recruit a player who is in prison to run some kind of scam using the prison commissary illegally to fund accounts.
Another site asked me to change my nickname because they were more interested in the silk road–illegitimate player base than players who weren’t on drugs and/or didn’t have trouble with the law. Yeah, obviously that site didn’t work out!
Recently, I really tried to help a couple of these sites, but every day I realized more and more that I don’t belong in that type of underground society. One site was so scary that Glenn actually ordered me to leave and withdrew my money. Yeah, the same Glenn who has only ordered me to do something maybe five times in the past 20 years! Poker is sleazy enough as it is. I think if I continue to play poker online, it’s going to be at Stars again. Right now I need to take some time off. I know, I took several months off already. True, I may have only played about six months, but for the most part, during those six months I REALLY played a ton. Sometimes up to 16 hours per day!
One of the hardest things I had to do in 2013 was to become super humble. Playing for 2nd place is a lot tougher for me than playing to win. Most of these drug fueled sites had players who either didn’t know they were allowed to fold a hand, or thought that poker talent was their unwillingness to fold to any bet, any raise. They truly believed that making that final raise with 74o, and forcing someone else to fold was a penis measuring contest. Well, all I can say is, no matter how great, how brilliant and creative a player is, playing for your whole stack constantly with 74o you will go busto.
Somehow these “experts” (their description of themselves, not mine) confused tightness with weakness. They confused trapping, push & pull and fishing with passiveness. And not surprisingly they are the very ones who made my year such a success. They outdrew me a LOT, naturally, but luckily for me, they only remembered those statistically low instances, not the huge majority of the time that I was taking their stack. Again and again. I remember one guy re-deposited TWELVE times in a day. Not re-bought, but re-deposited! Yes, he was a fish, obviously, but because he remembered that time he outdrew me, or those many blinds or re-raises where I “passively” folded, he just kept waiting for the tide to turn as he lost buy-in after buy-in and they were added to my bankroll.
I must confess, I completely encourage their belief system that they are so awesome at poker. In chat rooms and forums, as they brag I commiserate and reaffirm their delusions of grandeur. No, I don’t lie to them at the tables during hands, but when they are just generally bragging about their poker prowess, having made their third deposit of the day and waiting for the money to hit their account, I will tell them how utterly skerred I am of them, and that is why I fold so often against them. I make sure they know that they can outplay me every time.
At times things got so easy for me that I started multi-tasking and not even trying anymore. It just became boring and predictable. So I definitely didn’t win nearly as much as I might have, due to not playing even close to my best, which isn’t that good to begin with! What a lot of people don’t realize is the huge luck factor in poker, and that the very best player in the world rarely even has a 5% advantage over the worst player. My skill-set lies in that I know that. I also know I’m not great, so I am good at picking my spots, picking my opponents, picking my games, picking my limits and in general NOT gambling.
Oddly, on one site I am called a loose maniac and considered hyper-aggressive. On most sites I’m a rock. I just try to adjust to the particular circumstances. But regardless, the one thing I always try to agree with the fish about is that I’m bad at poker and they are so much better than me. Yep, buddy, keep thinking that as your little, passive lamb stacks up all of your chips ;)
All-in-all, it’s been an incredible year. After following Bill’s advice about not depositing real money on ANY site, I have had my most successful run (percentage-wise, working up from a 50 cent freeroll; not dollarwise) EVER.
The one thing I am certain of, is that if I ever do anything like this again, it will not be as FeliciaLee. I cannot associate my good reputation with any of these sleazeballs, no matter what. They don’t want help, that is definitely something I’ve learned over the past year. They want to fail and they will. Nothing I can do or say will prevent them. I guess it’s one of those things like helping the purposely homeless or people on welfare who actually choose that lifestyle. It simply doesn’t work. They don’t want to succeed and will not, no matter how much I try to help them. The same could be said of most players. They are there to lose, and no amount of mentoring or tutoring those who pretend that they want to get better will deter them from their goal of losing every single penny they have. I might as well just tell them to burn their money in the fireplace. Some people I think feel that they are such scum that they need to be punished or something. So they purposely lose. Who knows!
Anyway, here you go, serious poker players, my year in review. I hope you had as much fun following my experiment as I did playing it.