Prior to the 2003 WSOP, nobody outside of his family and friends had even heard of Chris Moneymaker. But as soon as this one-time amateur poker player won the Main Event, he became a household name.
More importantly, his win proved that poker is an equal opportunity game, in which the highly improbable can and does happen. Anyone with with luck, determination, and a modicum of skill can theoretically come out on top.
So can you, and no need to wait for the WSOP. The $800,000 GTD New Jersey Poker Classic (NJPC), hosted by 888 Poker for the second year in a row is right around the corner.
Also, you won’t need to book an expensive trip to Las Vegas or anywhere else. All the action takes place online!
Why you should play the freerolls at 888 Poker NJ
By now you must be thinking this sounds great. But if this is like most big guaranteed tournaments, there are not only a lot of separate events you can enter, but at least some of them have very steep entry fees. You are right on both counts.
In fact, the cost to enter the Main Event alone is a hefty $500 (or maybe more since it’s a rebuy tournament). Obviously, many players cannot afford that kind of money.
But wait — here’s the good news. If you are a registered player on 888 Poker, you can win your way into the Main Event, or other NJ Poker Classic events, if you prefer, simply by participating in daily and weekly freerolls on the site.
Depending on where you finish in a given freeroll, you can win a ticket worth varying amounts that can be used toward NJPC entry fees.
Entry fees at the 2018 NJ Poker Classic
The 2018 NJ Poker Classic is going to be huge. You can take your pick of 57 separate scheduled events, with a total guaranteed prize pool of at least $800,000. Tournament events start on Friday, Feb. 9 and run for 17 consecutive days.
In order to help you plan accordingly, the complete schedule can be found 888 Poker’s website. Look under the Promotions tab on the home page.
The entry fees for individual events vary greatly. Some of the events are very cheap, while others, like the Main Event on Sunday, Feb. 25, are very expensive.
The cheapest event is Event #54, getting underway at 6 p.m. on Feb. 25, only one hour after the Main Event, and costing only $11. There are also multiple $20 events on other days. The Main Event, starting at 5 p.m. on Feb. 25 and costing $500, is the only one with a guaranteed prize pool of $100,000, but it is actually not the most expensive event to enter.
That distinction goes to Event #39, kicking off at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 20, with a guaranteed prize pool of $50,000 and a whopping $1,000 entrance fee!
Is the NJ Poker Classic at 888 Poker a good investment?
Over the course of the year, the number of different poker tournaments open to NJ poker players both online and offline is staggering. So in order to preserve your bankroll, you need to choose wisely. The best tournaments are those that meet all of the following criteria:
- Good blind structure
- Possibility of excellent ROI
- A decent number of participants (but not so many that your chances of finishing in the money are minimized)
Judging by the action in the 2017 New Jersey Poker Classic, these tournaments fulfill the second and third criteria nicely. While the 888 Poker website does include information about the blind structure for the freerolls, no such information was provided for the NJ Poker Clsssic itself, either for last year’s tournaments or for this year’s.
Blind structure can have a huge bearing on deciding the optimum way to play. However, I don’t think you can make any inferences based on the rapidly increasing blinds in the freerolls. I would be very surprised if the NJPC blind structure is not favorable to the player.
Accordingly, if you consider yourself a competitive poker player and enjoy playing online poker tournaments for both fun and profit, the events of the NJ Poker Classic are highly recommended.
It may be one of the best investments of your time and money this year.
Last Year’s 888 Poker NJ Poker Classic
Last year’s NJ Poker Classic included 38 separate events over 11 days and promised a guaranteed prize pool of at least $500,000. This year, as mentioned, the offerings will be bigger and better, with 57 scheduled events taking place over 17 days, and a minimum of $800,000 in guaranteed prizes.
The desire on the part of 888 Poker not only to expand the NJ Poker Classic, but to shorten the waiting period is understandable since the 2017 inaugural events were a huge success. In fact, the winners collected a total of $640,000, significantly exceeding the $500,000 guaranteed prize pool.
The 2017 Main Event drew 156 entrants and 106 re-entries. Furthermore, the prize pool for that tournament was an impressive $123,288, which was likewise well in excess of the $100,000 guaranteed amount.
There is every reason to believe that this year’s events will surpass the expectations and guarantees set for it. Enhancing that likelihood is the fact that 888 Poker is giving players the opportunity to win their tournament seats.
Players who might not otherwise be able to afford the entry fees now have a chance to win their way in via freerolls.
How to win your way into the 2018 NJ Poker Classic
If you’re a registered player on www.us.888poker.com, you already have two freeroll tickets in your account. One of these is for a Daily Freeroll, offering a total of $500 in tournament ticket prizes, and the other is for a Weekly Freeroll, offering $1,000 in tournament ticket prizes.
However, it’s easy to win additional freeroll tickets. Each day that you complete one of the following daily challenges, you will earn another NJPC Daily Freeroll ticket.
- Play a S&G or BLAST tournament with a buy-in of $5 or more.
- Win 10 hands in a cash game with stakes of two cents/five cents or higher.
- Bet at least $5 on 888 Casino games.
In addition, for every three challenges you complete on different days, you will receive an extra NJPC Weekly Freeroll ticket.
When will the freerolls take place?
The Daily Freerolls start at 8 p.m. every day through Tuesday, Feb. 20, and the Weekly Freerolls start at 7 p.m. every Sunday through Feb. 18.
VIP players should check their emails to see if they qualify for even more special offers, including an invitation to the $2,500 VIP Freeroll on Saturday, Feb. 24 at 7 p.m.
All freeroll tickets will be credited to the player’s account within 72 hours. Visit the 888 Poker NJ gambling website for the complete freeroll schedule along with the important terms and conditions and list of prizes you can win.
By the way, if you are not yet signed up with 888 Poker, but would like to play in the NJ Poker Classic, no problem. Every new player will receive two freeroll tickets in addition to the $20 signup bonus.
Beware of the fast tournament structure
Lastly, let me conclude with an important word of warning. Players should note that these freeroll tournaments are lightning fast.
Your starting stack is only $3,000 and the blinds change every 3 minutes. So be prepared to go “all in” almost from the get-go and pray you have the best hand or no one calls you.
I personally would never risk real money on this type of a tournament. It is a pure crapshoot and in no way a meaningful indicator of your poker skills. But because it’s completely free, I suggest you take as many shots at the freeroll prizes as you can and hope you get lucky.
Why the NJ Poker Classic is a great opportunity
The 2018 NJ Poker Classic hosted by 888 Poker promises to be even bigger and better than last year.
The first place winner of the $100,000 Main Event will not only win a huge cash prize but also a coveted gold belt and state bragging rights. In addition, there will be many other winners, both in the Main Event and in the 56 other events.
The guaranteed minimum total prize pool is $800,000, but just like last year, it is highly likely that figure will be surpassed.
Largely due to the opportunity to win your way into these tournaments via Daily and Weekly Freerolls, you can still be a big money winner even if you can’t afford to fork up big entry fees. The NJ Poker Classic also offers many events with a low to moderate admission cost.
Players of all levels and bankrolls will welcome this exciting opportunity to see how their skills and luck pan out in a competitive online environment.