This is a discussion on Tip for tournaments within the online poker forums, in the Tournament Poker section; What advice can you give me to play the free tournaments where between 2000 to 3000 players enter to play, the prize to be distributed
Things can get pretty crazy in these tournaments with players shoving early to try and build a stack. You'll often see 3 or 4 way pots with raises and re-raises as players play aggressively because they think that's what they are supposed to do. Playing against such players is tough. If you sit and wait hoping for a big hand you won't last. So I would suggest that you try to avoid multi-way pots. Steer away from playing against a player with a monster stack....he is more likely to get in the hand with literally any two cards. It's amazing how many times playing like that can result in a winning hand. Try to get into pots when you have position and finally, widen your opening ranges. Don't sit and wait...join the party, loosen up a bit, and have some fun.
As in most freerolls you will want to play tight. A lot of opponents will be very loose and playing a lot of garbage hands. To defend against this play tight, in position as much as possible, refrain from making bluffs and stick to betting for value. These rules will get you pretty far since they will be doing the opposite of most opponents. Be sure to make your value bets larger when you have a strong hand as opponents are likely to call down when they shouldnt.
If possible, you can register about ten minutes late to avoid the really crazy play.
There are three rules for these mega freerolls while in the early stages.
1. Don't bluff.
2. Don't slow play.
3. Play a tight range aggressively.
Once the crazies get knocked out, you should continue to play tight. You can set mine and maybe try some suited connectors, but be willing to fold a flop if you don't have a really good hand. You often need top two pair or better in a multi player pot.
Position matters. Pay attention to what the players on your left are calling with.
When half the field is gone, you can loosen up a bit in late position. By now, you should have a feel for the other players at your table. Bluffing still rarely works past the flop, unless you are willing to go big all three streets. Three betting becomes an effective tool.
At the bubble stage, selectively raise preflop and 3bet shove mid stacks. Watch out for small stacks, because they have little to lose by calling. Watch out for stacks bigger than yours, because they can put your tournament to risk.
For the most part, stick to tight aggressive poker throughout freerolls. When you get under 15BB, shove really good hands and fold everything else.
these are not the best tournaments if you want to earn money.. but if you don't want to pay money to play, there is no better way to play than freerolls.
Wait only for the best hand and go all-in. You need to quickly increase the number of chips to feel comfortable in the middle and late stages of the tournament, I think this is the best strategy. Completely eliminate bluffing, play only the best or good combination. Play very aggressively and greatly increase the pot on the table. Do not play, or put and wait for a draw combination - this is a failure.