I have never had a BLOG, I have never had an inclination to write a blog, but yet here I find myself, about to put pen to paper, mainly because I feel I have something constructive to say and that others and myself may learn something worthwhile in the process.

My first topic is going to be freeroll sateilllites, specifically German ones, because those are the ones I play in mostly, but I am sure that the observations contained herein, relate to freerolls anywhere within the Pokerstars domain.

I joined Pokerstars in 2007 shortly after I moved to Germany to be with my long suffering girlfriend. I am Irish, btw, and unfortunately, an extreme caricature of everything you would expect an Irishman to be. I drink too much, smoke too much, mess about too much and never take anything too seriously. I am the guy you find comatose behind the sofa, the morning after the party and sometimes I find myself waking in the strangest of places, much to my great alarm. Underneath all the bravado and love of  "the craic", I consider myself to be a decent, honest and honorable person. Oh and I talk way too much as well.

Anyway where was I, freerolls.... In 2007 I played a Hubble tournament, qualifed and still have the ticket to this day. I think it took three attempts. I was too busy to play poker online however, even though I played a lot of poker in Ireland before the Poker boom and I had the positive influence of the woman beside me to start living a more health orientated life.

In the interim, end of 2009, the good lady took a job in Paris and is there Monday to Thursday. Open Sesame, there is the opportunity for me to go buck ****ing mad, drinking and whoring about and generally putting my life in jeopardy. One drunken night late last year I deposited on Pokerstars, won a bundle playing at 3/6 and 5/10 no limit. A few weeks later I played again....won more. Then I lost the lot, deposited again and again.

I cannot be sure of how much I won and lost or deposited because of the stupor I was in most of the time. I looked at my account one evening and there were pennies there and I said to myself I would never deposit again and that is how I got into freerolls. Personally without starting to use PSO I would still be acting likea twerp and not have got my act together, both as far as the gambling and controlling my drinking. I needed a goal, a diversion, an objective and thankfully i have found one.

I think I won my first German tourney six weeks ago, it was a satty to the final for a German TV show and I won 5$. I did not play the final because of other commitments. I am getting to the point now don't worry. It was a major donkfest (I hate that word, I prefer players with different strategies) but I scrambled through. 

Pokerstars run four freerolls every evening for a 200€ shared prize on the German and I can cash fairly comfortably in each one I play. Pennies every time but it supplements my bankroll.

Yesterday, I took part in another German tourney which was a satellite through to a tourney with a 5000€ prizepool. I was playing PSO at the time, which I was concentrating on more, but I was running the clock on the German satty, from about 25 out to the bubble, with a big stack. My chat was on notes at the time as I did not want any German backchat for the tactic.

My PSO ended about 45 minutes later and I turned my attention to the German tourney. Looked at the lobby, saw it was down to two and switched the chat on. Someone said zwei (two) and then it went to one and I said ein (you can work that one out yourselves). As it was going so slow, I glanced through the chat history at my table. My German is not great but basically everyone had openly agreed to slowplay to the money. There were some comments directed about not understanding German etc. I quickly opened some other tables and looked at the chat, blatant collusion from virtually everyone. Bang table goes blank and the tourney is over.

I thought about this for a long time today and I have to admit that self preservation played a role. I had not played many hands and I had entered the word ein in chat when it came to the last player. If I complained about collusion to the authorities, my opponents could quite easily say that I had complied with it, however unknowingly.

I decided to let it go and put my thoughts in this blog which I hope are constructive:
  1. The same thing happens in PSO but for the most part it seems unspoken. People deploy the tactic to ensure getting in the points or in the money.
  2. When there is a tangible monetary incentive, like 5$, collusion simply does not occur in the German tourneys. There is no slowplay at all, except possibly me, who they shout and rant and rave at. LOL
  3. I don't like cheating, whatever form it takes, I am as honest as the day is long, which is why this troubled me so much.
  4. Pokerstars in Germany much be aware this is happening, they must monitor these tournaments, but because it is a win win situation no one is saying anything. Indeed Pokerstars are saying nothing.
  5. I will play one of these again this eveing even though I have qualifed and I will get to near the money and report any collusion I see. If there are counter accusations of collusion I have put my case forward here.
  6. The conclusion I have is that pokerstars should have a monetary prize for the participants who qualify. The problem is that when there is no icentive only to qualify for a tournament where you might make money, primitive herd and survival instinct takes over and the majority complies for fear of losing out. If people cannot make a connection with some recent historical events then I am a voice crying in the wilderness.