Party Poker Monster Freeroll Tournament
Aug 01, 2006  
2006 Randy Saylor  

The largest poker site (Party Poker) has announced the largest series of freerolls ever - the “Monster”. Between now and June 2007, players will participate in multiple daily qualifiers with the ultimate goal of traveling to South America next June to play the offline finale…with a minimum prize pool of $5 Million.

Many players brave the waters of massive online freerolls every day in an attempt to get what we all want…something for nothing. When asked about freeroll strategy, I usually demur, suggesting something vague about “luck.” When playing a freeroll with 10,000 players, and the top 50 receive a prize, even the very best poker strategists are at the mercy of blind luck.

Dealing with freeroll opponents is always a mixed bag. Some players go all-in with any two cards on the first hand, hoping for a lot of callers and a lot of luck. This is terrible strategy when money is on the line, but considering the price of entry, it may not be a bad play. I’d often rather determine my fate immediately than spend four hours to “win” $3. If I’m able to triple (or better) my stack early on, I’ll take a chance and play some poker.

Freerolls are different, however, when becoming one of the 40,000 players who will share over $20,000,000 is on the line. I can’t tell you how to adjust strategy, because the odds are still very long. But for those few lucky players…


Qualifying - Stage 1

There are four ways to become part of the Monster: Bad beat tables, sit-and-go tournaments, multi-table tournaments, entry-level freerolls and Party Points.

Bad Beat Tables: sitting at any bad beat jackpot table can win you the needed entry. If a bad beat is hit by anyone at your table, you win two entries into any of your choice of the 32 weekly freerolls. All players at the other jackpot tables at the same limit will receive one entry each. Fifteen cents of the extra rake from every Jackpot hand goes to the Monster prize pool.

Party Points: each week, a threshold of points to be earned in that time is set. All players who earn that many Party Points will receive a weekly freeroll entry. Only one entry can be earned per week, regardless of points earned. The Monster jackpot is increased for each player qualifying via this method.

Single Table Tournaments: with buy-ins ranging from $5+1 to $200+15, these are available around the clock. The winner receives an entry into the weekly freeroll and cash. Second and third places also win cash. The prize pool for these SnGs is reduced slightly to contribute to the Monster prize pool.

Multi Table Tournaments: thirty-one daily tournaments, in no limit and fixed limit, with buy-ins from $5+1 to $30+3, send the top three finishers to the weekly. A fixed percentage of the prize pools go to the Monster pool, and the rest is paid out by the normal schedule.

Entry Level Freerolls: every Tuesday and Thursday at 1900 ET, a freeroll qualifier advances the top 1500 players to the weekly tournament.

Weekly Freerolls - Stage 2

Each player who wins an entry to a weekly freeroll can enter for any of the 32 weekly events. Registration for all 32 weekly tournaments is open from the beginning. The weekly tournaments are on Saturdays at 1600 US Eastern time.

The top 2000 finishers automatically qualify for the Monthly freerolls. The top 1000 finishers win cash as well, ranging from $40 up to $12,500. The final table participants win at least $250 for 10th place, $1000 for 7th, $5000 for 3rd. The total weekly prize pool is $100,000.

Monthly Freerolls - Stage 3

On the final Sunday of each month starting in September, all players qualifying via the weekly freerolls will compete for a $1 Million prize pool. The top 1000 finishers of the expected 8000 entrants will win cash and an entry to the June 2007 finale.

Prizes start at $400. The top 100 win at least $1000. The final table pays at least $2500, with $10,000 for seventh, $50,000 for third, and $125,000 for the winner. The top nine will be taken on an expense-paid trip to an exotic vacation destination to play the final table live. These events will be televised.

Online Final - Stage 4

Each of the 1000 monthly winners will start the May 26, 2007 online Monster final. The prize pool is expected to exceed $5 Million, so first prize may approach $1 Million. Play will continue online until six players remain, when play will be paused. The final six players will travel to South America to finish the tournament in front of television cameras on June 16, 2007.

Sure the odds of winning a major prize are long with so many entrants, but the rewards are potentially huge. Since it is easy to qualify for doing something you enjoy anyway, namely playing at Party Poker, you might as well give it a shot! Once you get past the qualifying stage, as many as 1 in 8 players might advance to the next round (and win some money too!)

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