Is playing freeroll really playing poker?

Nah, you always see people shoving 248BB on A4o and being called by J4s. Q3s is a certain call to a 7.5x raise and shoving the draw. You can see the same or worse at any time at any stake if you just look for a few minutes. Heck, one of the forum’s self-proclaimed best players flats 5/2s from the SB to a 3.5x raise over 2 limpers and then butchers the hand from there. I think you can get some decent games with decent players but much of the time its as close to real poker as Madden Football is to the NFL.

I like to think of it this way - take 9 deaf and blind people and have them ring half a basketball court. Give each of them a shotgun and tell them to spin around 3 times and then fire if they want to. Now sometimes someone will actually hit something - that doesn’t make him a marksman any more than 9 people sitting around a table trying to hit flops makes them poker players.

Relax and enjoy it when you get a good game. When you do it can be great fun but the comparisons to cash poker are objectively ridiculous.

Yes…and No.

Poker, not poker? Question - Which tourney game is closer to playing real poker, a game with a unlimited $500 rebuys, a game with unlimited rebuys of $1500, or a game with unlimited $50,000 rebuys? How many rebuys do you see in the $1500 tourney vs. the $500 tourney? How many rebuys do you think a $50,000 tourney would see? How many players with less than 2501 chips in their bankroll do you see in the $1500 tourney v. the $500? How many players with less than 2500 chips do you see at any tourney with a buy in of more than 2500 chips (obviously none)?

The size of a player’s chips bank stack largely determines how loose they play, regardless of the game and/or format, whether they have a monster bank or the daily minimum. It is the players in between these two that experience the greatest frustration at repeated suck-outs. These players try to play poker, while the others are often only playing bingo.

What do the game stats say about all-in bets in bets while rebuys are still permitted, v. after the break when your stack can only be built by taking another player’s chips. What do the ranking numbers of those players who play bingo look like?

I will play, or not, regardless of what format RP presents, because each game has a different strategy and by extension a different challenge factor. Sometimes I just want to play a “regular” game of poker, without all the insane bets and calls. Finding these games on RP is increasingly more difficult, or I suspect, incredibly expensive to buy in to. Personally, I have never played a tourney with a buy in of greater than $50,000, so I am assuming the more expensive the buy in the greater the likelihood such a RP tourney will mimic a real cash tourney.

I have made this suggestion before and will now make it again. On rebuy tourneys RP might consider a gradated scale for rebuys, say after the first three rebuys. The fourth rebuy only gets you 90% of the initial buy-in. The fifth gets you 80%, and so on. You could to it the other way as well. The amount of chips purchased remains the same, but the price goes up with each rebuy. Somebody tried to explain how this suggestion was not ideal, and I can’t remember now who, or why, but the answer given provided no greater sense/logic than allowing bingo re-buys to continue.

One unrelated question - Why can’t one player see another’s play stats?

In the real poker world every player worth his/her salt studies these numbers in an attempt to discern the nature of another player in certain circumstance. And if you do make available such stats to the competition, why not add a couple of categories, such as how often they go all in, and when (pre v. post flop). Those numbers could aid non-bingo players in their games with bingo players. Such stats would also aid RP in correctly labeling “bingo” players and acting accordingly. I know players have been subject to variety of “punishments” for other RP “infractions” (most notably demeaning chat), but I see the same bingo players in the bingo tournaments everyday, often many times in the same day. Such action, or lack thereof, conveys to non-bingo players, that RP accepts such play, despite a written prohibition for same.

The reality is, as one player would say, (paraphrasing) -The rules are the rules. So long as I am within the rules I should not be subject to any punishment for my particular style of play, in ANY given game. I wholeheartedly agree. In essence, the issue really lies with RP, and not ANY single player, so long as they aren’t breaking the rules. Does RP want to make any changes in their application of the rules, or continue to ignore the behaviors they “prohibit”? Makes no sense to me, let alone a difference. I will do my best to adjust accordingly and continue to play, but can we all at least agree to call a spade a spade?

I respectfully dispute your statements. I play live poker, both tournament and cash games and regularly see absurd play.

As far as stakes go…well, you hafta play kinda seriously to accumulate enough chips to get into the bigger games and you hafta play kinda seriously to stay in those games…


“…you hafta play kinda seriously to accumulate enough chips to get into the bigger games…” How “serious” do I have to be in order to purchase enough chips to play in the bigger games? Your statement is at odds with the ability to purchase chips.

Hmmm - that’s interesting. So you say you see absurd play here, when you play live cash and when you play live tournaments? If only there was some common denominator to help explain this mystery :wink:

As to the rest of your statement, lets just say I disagree. You have something like 1.3 million people who have joined this site at one time or another (no idea how many play currently). In a population that large you can have the absolute worst of the worst accumulate chips through sheer variance. Another way to accumulate chips is through playing steady poker for enough time. You do not need to be “serious” nor particularly good - just good enough over enough time.

BTW, I’ve played live 1/2 games and I’ve also played online. Not even close to the same game. Live 1/2 games are super soft compared to even the puny buy-in games I play online (25NL). But even in these games, the amount of absurd play does not come close to what we see here, period. So I’m happy you have found success at this site and at whatever games you are playing live but nothing you said refutes my point. GL to you wherever you play.

Added: Is this the type of “serious poker” you are referring to? 2.5M MTT with 15/30 blinds and you limp/shove 88BB with pocket 5’s: Hand #410800766 · Replay Poker
Are you telling me that this is how you play for cash? Come on man.


@Comicguy, you seem to have good experience in both free sites and live/cash games. You also seem to have credible opinions. Calrify me this. In Replay tournaments after initial 15/20 minutes, after all the loose players are shaken off the game gets to a good standard. I play Omaha and Royal generally. In Texas when the tournament reaches to the last 30% of the people it probably gets better. I always find the tournaments at this stage are good. As good as they can get, in my opinion. Are live/cash games better than this standard.

It seems from your first post your upset because players accumulate chips and login to gain a bigger bankroll, what about the ones who don’t and are trying to learn the game or trying to get better.

Maybe they play outside of their means (sounds like a real gambler to me) and loses it all, it’s a way to keep players coming back

I think it’s fair and believe playing free rolls is really playing poker :wink: Anyway that’s my 2 cents (or daily accumulation of chips worth).

I think PokerStars gives something like 15,000 every 4-8 hrs.

@narench - thank you for calling me credible. I’m printing out that comment to show my wife :slight_smile:

I’m not in any way qualified to give you a good answer here. I played some poker in college and then in Med School but nothing “serious”. My cousin, 1Warlock, started to teach me a little after I invited him to play a charity event with me a while back. I’ve played some 1/2NL live but wasn’t very good - it was mostly for fun with friends when we’d go to a casino for a few hours. Warlock said that if I wanted to learn, I’d need to see more hands so I joined here and created an online cash account and also joined a few training sites.

My experience with online poker was a rude awakening. I knew I wasn’t good but I didn’t know just how bad I was until I found out I couldn’t break even at 10NL. So, I started playing low $ SnG’s and MTTs online, along with playing here every once in a while. I quickly realized that the style I was seeing here just wasn’t going to work in the cash games. How I was playing 1/2 live wasn’t going to work either. Its just a lot more active preflop with much fewer 3+ person pots being played. If you aren’t somewhat balanced, you just can’t compete. You can’t be balanced without knowing ranges and how boards affect equities and all the rest.

Anyway, I’m just learning to be mildly competent at this point. I won’t disparage all the players here or the site and it was never my intention to do so. My sole intention was to point out that the games are just not the same. I saw a lot of silly stuff playing 1/2 live but nothing like what I see here. Online cash is just totally different from both. I don’t see people playing all sorts of nonsense hands all the time, mostly because the better players make the price to play those hands too high. Also you have most people playing more than 1 table at a time so they really can’t get themselves into too many crazy multiway pots all over the place and still expect to win.

Sorry I can’t help more. I think you are right in that the games do get better as they go along. The only problem is that stacks get so shallow so quickly that there isn’t a whole lot of poker left to be played at that point. When the average stack is under 25BB (and sometimes much less than that), the things you can do are very limited. I think playing here can be a lot of fun. I just don’t take it as seriously as some people seem to.

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Quite a good post. I see the betting is very significant in cash games. Thanks.

“…You hit the nail on the head " the better players make the price to play those hands too high…” In cash games limping and hoping to suck out becomes so expensive only a fool would continue to play thinking he/she might leave the table with more than he/she started with.

I think the daily 2500 free chips should be limited to first 30 days and then maybe cut it down to 500 or 1000 to keep people logging in daily. At the least, it will limit the bingo player’s to busting out earier than they would w/ their 2500. Win-win.

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If RP’s goal is to create as realistic a pay-poker site as possible, your suggestion would aid in that endeavor.

IMO, the credibility of the site in terms of poker is directly related to the perceived value of the chips in play. The more perceived value, the closer games will mimic cash-play. The less perceived value, the farther removed the games become from poker for stakes. I don’t think there can ever be a perfect replication of cash-play in a free site but this site has come closer than any other I’ve seen.

Unfortunately, I see something that had been brought up long ago picking up steam and diminishing the perceived value of chips: chip inflation. Now you could go about addressing this through limiting daily chips but I think that would turn off a large portion of the player base here. Moreover, I don’t think this is where the real issue is (though I don’t have any hard data). If the site would increase the rake on the higher stake ring games to anything approaching minimum rakes seen in cash play, this would have a huge impact. I think the site could vastly increase the rake without distorting the play at all. Siphoning off these chips would probably help stabilize the number of chips in play and in theory should increase the perceived value of the chips that remain.

Just my 2-cents on the subject but I think this is an important topic and one that should be addressed at some point. I would hate to see this site become like WSOP or some others where the chips have almost no perceived value and the play is absolutely horrendous as a result of that.


I think the nature of the play on RP boils down to a single point which you identified, chip value. I am reminded of Germany after WWI when the country devalued the Mark, making a life’s savings nearly worthless as a result. When I see a RP player with 200,000,000 chips and playing a free-roll, something is wrong. I will not speculate as to exactly what, but something is wrong. You don’t see John Juanda or Gus Hansen showing up in Mesquite and playing a $10 buy-in tourney.

Actually, sometimes you do see"name’ players in small events. I once sat in a low-buy in event, might’ve been at the Mirage but it’s been decades, and I’ve forgotten. At my table were seated Seymour Liebowitz and Hans “Tuna” Lund about a week after Lund had just finished 2nd to Monsour Matloubi in the main event of the WSOP (he won about $250,000). I asked why he was there. He said it made sense to win small events to get more cash to play bigger ones. He also said he was looking for new tricks to learn from the vast sea of players. “Tuna” may have been the biggest fish in the sea, as he frequently joked, but he wasn’t the stupidest one.

I played in a 1/3 cash game with Chris Moneymaker at Harrahs Tunica…

I am telling you that I see absurd play on here and in live games and in live tournaments…for the second time…

I play exactly like that because I don’t have the time to go from one tournament to the other or sign up for tournaments and can’t make the game or forget .but more than that I am tired of playing with bingo players that run to the bank when they need chips now that is someone who doesn’t know how to play and doesn’t care because Replay will keep giving him chips for free and it seems like the bad hand always wins and eventually they build a stack. so when Replay cuts the bank thing and just give the bonus every day and if they loose that they have to come back the next day to play maybe things will be different. As far as chips go I play for the competition my chip count is no where close to the top leaders and never will be and that’s another thing I am not going to buy chips to get to the top or close and I know there are people that do that so I enjoy the game the way I play it.

Even playing tight is not immune to one playing/continuing in a hand that would usually be an easy fold if it was for cash money. A lot of times it’s the Bingo players that bring about this contagion,caused mostly out of sheer frustration. But I’m a big boy and in the end it’s up to me whether to play the hand or not. The problem is the Bingo players do not care if they win or not cause there’s always tomorrow’s free 2500 chips. Again,reducing the daily free stake would limit this behavior for the poker player’s that love and want to improve their game.The FR’s are another story but limiting registration to those who have 2500 chips or more to play is a possible option.

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