About a week ago this blog mentioned that Sportsbook.com, no longer part of the SportingBet PLC (Paradise Poker) was launching its own new poker room with a "Black Friday Freeroll" promotion that would run from now until early January.
Shame on me... for not reading the fine print quite carefully enough. I played one of these on a whim about a week ago, running deep, finally taking down third place for what would have been $35 and a seminfinal seat qualifier. The fine print, though, detailed that one actually had to make a prior deposit to win any cash.
Which means that while I did get the seat qualifuer, no bucks for me. Just three hours wasted while I listened to some online poker webcasts. Nor do I plan on playing the semifinal qualifier. From what I've subsequently read, the site's Black Friday tournament will also offer semifinal seat incentives to a lot of folks who were disposessed of a similar opportunity at Paradise, whch was preempted by the signing of thde UIGEA.
The clincher for me is that one would still have to make a deposit to claim a prize at a later date, something to me which just runs contrary to the concept of what a "beta-test freeroll' --- as it was pitched --- is supposed to be about. Worse, they don't have any cash-game poker action for the time being, meaning the only option would be to just leave money on deposit or do sports betting, neither of which I need to go to this site to do.
Checking around at a few of the sites such as Freeroll Army (freerollarmy.com) showed that the fine print situation was uncovered there in a similar manner. It's not a beta-test, give-us-your-feedback deal at all; it's a way to force in some new depositors' funds, before Sportsbook.com actually has its cash-game setup running. Nice one.
The software was no great shakes, either. No note-taking functionality is in place at the same time, the betting process includes two large buttons that perform the same task, and it all seemed a mite slow. That might improve, but I probably won't be around the site to track it. As the saying goes, fool me once....