Before you stop me by saying that it’s pretty much pointless to figure out how to play against play money players, I assure you that you are right. However, I couldn’t resist profiling them as well as the other types I have so far because I have such a good position to have insight on this type. What is that position? Well, I have very close contact with such a person–in fact, he’s my own father.
Play Money Players: Motivation
Play money players, and I know I’m stating the obvious here, play poker to play the game, to mix it up. It’s exceedingly rare to get a limper to fold pre flop, a drawing hand to fold post flop, or even a high card that whiffed to fold post flop. Of course, not everyone is that reckless with every hand. My father certainly isn’t!
The key distinction, I think, between play money players and people who play freerolls, or play play money some of the time, but also often play real money games, is a desire to be free of the constraints of so much as attempting to “play properly.” I’ve approached my dad about playing real money games, and in a few select cases of live play he’s acquiesced, but never with much enthusiasm. But in the case of even the idea of playing freerolls on some poker client or other, much less–gasp–putting any of his own money into online play, he’s distinctly opposed.
From what I can gather, he reacts to poker in much the way I react to basically any “real time” video game that isn’t a platformer. In games like turn based RPGs and strategy games, I enjoy strategizing, thinking deeply, trying to predict my enemy’s next move and the best route to defeating them. Stick me in a real time game with stuff like Starcraft II, fighting games, or even something like Kingdom Hearts, and I lose my capacity to appreciate stuff like that, just wanting to smash stuff.
My point is, when it comes to poker, I want to strategize, to predict what other people at the table are gonna do–and of course, to win money. My dad just wants to smash up some chips, and in play money it doesn’t matter if those chips are his own so it’s a perfect fit for him.