Everyone likes to play poker now and again, and there’s nothing more exciting than being involved in a large tournament.
However, the buy-ins for most poker tournaments are fairly high, which eliminates most average players. People don’t want to risk their hard-earned money in a huge tournament where they know only 1-3 people will win anything back.
Gambling companies began to notice this lack of interest in poker tournaments, so they decided to start having poker freeroll tournaments.
What is a FreeRoll?
Basically, a freeroll poker tournament is a tourney without a buy-in.
Sometimes they’re public and anyone can join, and other times they’re private or invitation-only. Instead of the grand prize being all the buy-in fees, it’s instead made up of sponsorship donations, registration fees, and other revenues produced by the tourney such as broadcasting rights if it’s televised.
Because of this, the prizes are usually a little bit lower with freeroll tournaments. Regardless, they offer all the excitement of a real tournament, without the expensive cost.
There has been some confusion in the gambling industry concerning freeroll tournaments.
People often confuse them with play money tournaments. Play money tournaments are simply tournaments with money that is not real: it’s all just numbers and figures. When you win a play-money tournament, there might be a prize of some sort, but it probably won’t be cash, and even if it is it won’t be much.
Freeroll tournaments, on the other hand, have cash prizes even though it’s free to enter one most of the time. Freeroll tournaments don’t always pay cash prizes, but they’re usually pretty generous.
Some other prizes that people have received are invites to other exclusive tournaments, merchandise, and points or other bonuses. A lot of the time the grand prize is an invite to an exclusive, high-stakes tournament.
The Professional Poker Tour, which you’ve probably seen on TV, is actually a series of freeroll tournaments.
The money to fund these tourneys, as well as the prize money for winning players, comes mostly from revenues from the broadcast of the show. It also comes from admission fees from the audience, as well as pledges from private sponsors.
The players in the Professional Poker Tour do not buy-in to the games. Instead, they are qualified by their skill. Before entering the competition, every applicant is closely reviewed. Officials look at previous winnings and records, as well as individual skill and charisma.
After all, they’re not just producing a poker tourney, they’re producing a television show as well.
It used to be that there were only a few select freeroll tournaments per year. But today, with the increasing popularity of Internet gambling, there is a lot more going on at any given time.
There are a lot available online, so if you’d like to try your hand at one, search the web for opportunities. Be careful, though: not all of these “freeroll” tournaments are actually completely free, as some require a registration fee or other fees/penalties.