Another article for PokerNews, on how this year’s November Nine chip leader could guarantee himself $2 million more than he already has.
There was some discussion in the comments on the article about whether this was really a freeroll. Snickering that he’d paid $10K so it wasn’t a freeroll, quibbles about whether it’s “laddering” rather than freerolling, etc.
A “freeroll” is when you don’t have any expectation of loss. A “freeroll tournament” is where you cannot lose any money because the cost is literally free. You’re “freerolling” someone in a poker hand when you will gain chips no matter what the outcome of the board. Many players say they’re “freerolling” a tournament when they’re playing it out of the earnings of another tournament.
McKeehan cannot lose the million dollars he’s already earned for making the November Nine. But he could hit a series of bad hands and go out in fifth, in which case he’d only get another $900K. There’s practically no way he could bust out before that point if he did not play a single hand. That’s freerolling. It’s also laddering, but laddering doesn’t necessarily imply a lack of action as well as freerolling.