Sunday, April 19, 2009

Do Poker Pros Freeroll Major Events? Is There Collusion?

The countdown to the WSOP continues...

I don't know the answer to these questions, but I am beginning to wonder if the playing field at major poker tournaments are an even playing field.

1. Do Pros Freeroll At Major Events?

I guess I am naive. I knew that the poker pros got sponsored, but I recently read something that I found hard to believe. Are you ready for this?

Poker sites that sponsor pro poker players pay for all their entry fees plus their travel expenses plus the players keeps 100% of their winnings!

Oh my...what a deal! No risk. 100% reward.

Oh wait. I guess the pro has to wear the poker sites logos to get this deal.

But if this is true, it really is bogus! Let me explain how big an edge it is...

A story that happened to me

Many years ago I played at a small card room quite often. It was before tournaments took over, so the game was always limit hold'em. I could beat everyone at this club except for one player. This one player would really outplay me all the time. It was crazy, because it was like he knew my cards. Fortunately, for me, he worked for the card room and he didn't play that often.

About one year later, I was sitting at another card club in the area. I became friendly with the manager and we started talking about poker players. I told him about this player who worked at the other club who I could never beat.

He laughed. He told me the reason he won is because he was actually stealing money from the place he worked. He had an unlimited bankroll! He had no risk, and 100% reward! Sound familiar?

2. Is their Collusion Among the Pros?

Having played at a WSOP table or two, I have noticed that if you have two poker pros at the same table, you will almost never see them playing aggressively against each other. I thought it was because it is easier to take chips from the other less experienced players. But really isn't this just a case of collusion?

It is like when one player is all-in against two opponents at a final table. The players will check the hand down in order to take out the all-in player, and finish higher in the event. This is really collusion, but it is an accepted practice.

In fact, the reason players must turn over their hole cards when they are all-in is to see if someone is sloughing off chips to a friend.

I think this collusion is acceptable behavior and can't be stopped. It should be something you are aware of if you are in the WSOP or a major event.

3. Aren't Making Deals Before the Event Starts a Shady Practice?

Players can make deals among themselves to diversify their risk of the event. Player A takes 10% of Player B, and Player B gets 10% of Player A.

The shady part is that no one else knows about the deal and it may effect decisions when these players are at the same table. I am not saying it does, but it is not difficult to figure it how this can happen.


I am not saying poker pros cheat. I am saying that if the things I mention are true, then they definitely have a big edge against the rest of us. I know I won't make many friends with this post, so please tell me where I am wrong. Hey, I've been wrong before and I can be wrong again.

Let me know what you think. Thanks.


CRICKET357 said...

Amazing! I often wished someone would sponsor me. Thank you for the poker insight and NO! you are not wrong...

Mitchell said...


And I thought you were sponsoring

Angel said...

well about the sponsors paying for all the expenses that's a given. No shocker there.

As to them cheating and not going up against each other...? sure I can see it in the early stages but that would only happen when you get two Pockerstarts against each other.

I think the whole thing changes when you get a Fulltilt player up against a pockerstars player. There is no love lost there I bet.

What's Your Poker IQ?