Day 1

There are two reasons I question my sanity.
Firstly because Mrs. Snowman and myself are currently staying with my mother-in-law and secondly I’ve decided to enter the murky and mind-altering World of online freeroll poker tournaments.

For those of you that don’t know, these modern gladiatorial contests are the equivalent of playing Russian roulette with an automatic pistol…i.e.: an occupation guaranteed to make you lose at least part of your mind.
As the name suggests, “freerolls” are poker tournaments that are entirely free to enter but carry a prize fund of real money. Most of the major online casinos offer such games and for those with the personality of a saint they can be the source of much enjoyment.
Everyone else will be tearing their hair out to a degree where they end up with a head like a porn stars pubes.
Also, freerolls regularly have more then 10,000 entrants and getting to $10 is, therefore, something akin to reaching the final table at the World Series of Poker main event. However, the WSOP tends not to involve that many lunatics whereas these things are littered with more weirdoes than a Halloween party at a Scientology convention and this makes life somewhat infuriating.
Even though I consider myself to be a truly dreadful poker player, I’m a radiant example of poker brilliance in comparison to most of the individuals taking part in these things. Universally known as “donkeys” they generally haven’t got the faintest idea of what they’re doing and rely on a combination of blind luck and stupidity to progress in the competitions…and I’m diving in to join them.

The day started well with the sun rising slowly over Castle Dracula and the only blemish on my otherwise cloudless horizon being a fight for sofa position with the cat. Sometime during the night I must have decided to try my hand at freerolls, which is odd as the only dream I can remember involved Angelina Jolie and a bucket of whipped cream.
However, sexual deviancy with dairy products aside, my premise is simple; start with $0, win $10, use the winnings on low value tables and double-up every day until I’ve got enough to play the higher value ones and eventually convert the whole lot to $10,000.
Easy, eh?
Sadly not, it would be easier to thread a sausage through the eye of a needle, which worryingly invokes images of the previous nights dream.
So, having removed the cat amidst a hail of flying claws and projectile spitting I take my place for the first freeroll of the day and embark on my epic quest.

This is a $250 event with less than 3,000 starters and my strategy is simple: stay out of trouble and only bet on premium starting hands. The game starts and immediately three donkeys stop grazing and go all-in on the first hand. Sure enough, they all have poor hands that didn’t warrant such a wager and two are eliminated. Rather than being an aberration, this is indicative of things to come.
Anyway, I eventually managed to increase my chip stack to a respectable level before I found myself staring at a zero balance after a terrible beat that involved my opponent showing 5-8 off suit and hitting a straight.

I sometimes wonder if these maniacs are part of a care in the community program and only allowed Internet access as part of their therapy, as such I’ve devised a new game that I’m sure they will find therapeutic.
It’s called “Penis Poker”.

The rules are quite simple: every player strips naked and is herded into a large swimming pool. Half have their genitalia smeared with salmon pâté while the rest are given a small fishing net. A school of piranhas are then released into the water. The winner is the first person to get out of the pool with their wedding tackle undamaged.
Maybe not much to do with poker but neither is their method of play.
I don’t know about you but I think every decent player on the planet would pay to watch it. There is also an added bonus; with their organs removed they would be rendered incapable of reproduction and therefore an entire future generation of insane players would be avoided.
If ESPN wants to pick up a two-season option on this exciting new spectator sport, I’m open to offers.

With a remarkable sixth sense the cat (now a dirty, flea bitten, revolting, mangy thing) slinks out to avoid being the object of any retribution leaving me screaming into the laptop.
I resort to a cigarette and a large glass of bourbon.
There’s another game at midnight and with any luck most of the donks will have changed their straw and be safely tucked up in their stables so I’ll have another stab then. In the meantime I’ll let my heartbeat revert to its normal level and rest quietly until registration time.

Oh well, maybe not the most auspicious of starts but at least I can reflect on the commercial possibilities of franchising “Penis Poker”.

Starting bank: $0
Current bank: $0

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