Freeroll Tactics


I haven't had a lot of time for poker lately, work always seems to get in the away and is eating up as much "free" time as I can find. In saying that what games I have played I've done quite well, especially on micro stakes limit hold'em where I've doubled my bankroll in a little under 2 weeks.

Poker Stars are running a special at the moment for players in the UK/Ireland, it's a £2000 prize pot freeroll run every night until the 15th of November (get signed up here). Seeing as how I was worn out from work and TV is shit I decided to have a pop last night. Just over 7500 players took part, I took a lot from it.

First of all I noticed how easy it was to get caught up betting too big on a hand where the odds aren't in your favour early doors. How many players join Freerolls just to chuck it all in every hand? I could almost feel the frustration of some of the other players at my first table (9 players per table so not worth taking stupid gambles). Three got picked off by the same Irish lad and his all-in tactics, he was getting lucky each and every time, with hands as bad as J2! I played a very slow game not even thinking about anything lower than a KQ, I didn't gamble at all unless in late position. It worked.

Once we'd got rid of the mugs it came down to about 3500 players. Obviously it was still 9 a table but with that extra little bit of quality about it was possible to start getting a read on who would be prepared to lay down a hand. I'm very much a stats and odds type of player and it served me well. Just over 2 hours and I was sitting top of the pile. Not bad for somebody who only plays once a blue moon? I think what held me in such good stead was being so diligant over position. When you're playing at a big table position is everything. I was more than happy to laydown until I got the right hand in the right position, then I milked it for all its worth. Odds in my favour so to speak. I was baiting people for fun and taking some massive pots, eliminating a lot of players on the way. Hand on heart I can say that I didn't try and steal a single hand. It's way to easy to get called with a shit hand when people aren't spending their own money, I saw that a lot last night.

Pokerstars Freeroll Chip Leader

Coming up to the 2 and a half hour point and I was still ahead but getting very tired by now. Remember I don't play tourny games very often and I was starting to suffer. I decided to let the wife take over (who had been sat chomping at the bit for the last hour). That's where it went down hill 🙂 I eventually bummed out in 158th place, well into the prize money and out of 7500 players a good result. I'm sure I would have got to see the at least the last couple of tables if I would have carried on playing cautious and hammering the big hands.

Poker Stars Freeroll Chip Leader

I might even get some Red Bull in and give it another go tonight.

2 comments on “Freeroll Tactics”

  1. Poker Blog Reply

    Update – I decided to try a change of tack last night. It didn’t go well! I played through 2 big blinds with nothing so then tried to go aggressive. All in suited AJ pre flop from an early position, called with a pair of 4’s. The 4’s held up. Early night.

    Mrs B played the same tournament with the advice of slow and steady ringing in her ears from the previous night and finished well into the prize pool.

  2. Poker Blog Reply

    Update 2 – Slow and steady is definitely the way to go. We’ve been playing every night now and an obvious pattern has emerged.

    I’m forgeting about position (on purpose) and jumping all-in the moment I get a good hand (pocket pairs jacks or better, or AQ+) More often that not it doesn’t turn out too well (2/3). There is a real need to build a decent stack early in these games but you’ve got to strike at the right time.

    Mrs B on the other hand has been playing exactly the way I played the first night. Good hands in good position without trying to take the piss. She’s built up a fair “war chest” to play in cash games over the last 3 nights alone. At this rate I’m going to have to get a laptop with a bigger battery!

    Position is so important in freerolls where you’re likely to get called ‘cos people aren’t playing with their own money.

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