Three easy tips for poker freeroll sucess!

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whatsdabet

Guest
People often complain that freerolls are to "hard" or to "long" to ever get your times worth out of them. But the fact of the matter is that a freeroll gives you the chance to win free money--with no strings attached. Its what I think is the best part about freerolls, and it is the reason that I have been an avid player in them since my inception into the poker world I have come to love today! With regards to freerolls, I follow three easy steps as such: Patience, Vigilance, and Understanding or PVU. There the three easy steps to freeroll success!

Patience: One must practice patience throughout the freeroll, including but not limited to; before, during, and after.

Before: Before the tournament commences', the freeroller must maintain a being of patience. Dont rush to conclusions or get to antzie before the tournament starts, or you'll be heading for doom before you can say good game. Keep your cool, and DEFIENETLY dont go ALL IN first hand, this is a common misconception that alot of freerollers have: "If I go all in first hand with my AA I am almost guaranteed to win", this may be true in most circumstances, but not during a freeroll. It is almost guaranteed that another player will call with rags and hit something out of no where (especially on certain sites like 32 red and Dream poker, they have horrible suck outs but thats a whole nother story!).

During: Keeping your patience during the freeroll is vital, whether your big stack or small, maintaining your chip flow during the tournament is key, since this plays right into your chances of making it into the money. Someone who raises, folds, calls and then raises, or raises and the folds to an overbet is someone who cannot "maintain" there chip flow, there everywhere, and someone on the table is bound to catch up eventually. During the freeroll is when I find it the hardest to maintain my patience, especially when I am the big stack. Big stacks feel the pressure of the tournament all on them, as all the other players are trying to feed on them. Maintaining your chip stack when you a the leader in a freeroll is probably the hardest for me, and this is why I try to stay at the average or just above it. This enables me to make it to the final table with a decent enough stack to withstand the blinds, but also the opportunity to become chip leader. Usually the low stack and big stack are the first in the fire line once they reach the final table, unless the big stack can practice vigilance which leads into my next topic.

After: After the tournament is over, patience is the most important. You wouldnt want to go a blow your winnings before you can actually have the feeling of winning. Be patient, and pace your spending. If you've never deposited to the site you are playing on, but want to build your bankroll I reccomend using your freeroll winnings, but PACE! Dont go and find the biggest MTT or SNG you can buy into with your freeroll winnings and hope you hit big, thats a fat chance and the easiest way to blow your winnings, that you just got done putting so much time and effort into!



Vigilance: This is also very important during a freeroll. Keeping your determination during the freeroll should be the most pernant thing in your mind. Just because your low stack doesnt mean that you should just give up and try another freeroll. I see alot of low stackers (like myself) who wait out for a good hand, and dont give up to the first A high hand they see. If your getting a spell of bad hands just keep your cool and stay strong, your bound to hit a good hand eventually. If your the big stack stay strong, and dont let the other players intimidate you, if anything you should be intimidating them, once and awhile show your stack (go all in), but dont show it less you think your hand dominates, which is a given!



Understanding: THE MOST IMPORTANT section in this whole topic is UNDERSTANDING. You have to be able to understand that your hands will not always dominate over those of the others and that even IF THEY DO, it is no guarantee that you are going to win, as described in the patience section of my post. Someone who has nothing to lose will lose it all if they think they have it, but remember just because you havent invested anything in it doesnt mean its not worth it. I mean after all you have invested ONE THING, your time, which alot of people cant do (including myself sometime). Once you get to the final table take it easy and relax, your virtually guaranteed to hit something if your understanding!
 
starfall

starfall

Visionary
I'd disagree with quite a bit of this. There's a very good reason for pushing all-in with the first hand of a freeroll - you're trying to quickly build a stack that you can bully with or sit tight with, and if you bust out in the first hand you've wasted almost none of your own time - you just sit back for the next freeroll. This gives you a good headstart on the tourneys where you do hit that first hand, with a minimum of time involved playing the ones where you bust out immediately. When the only thing invested is your time you're much better off taking your first all in shot in the first minute than 30 minutes in, regardless of the 2 hands, because the 30-minute hand wouldn't win 30 times more often than the first hand - so when only time is on the line, minimise your investment on losing efforts.
During, you'll sometimes want to play tight, and sometimes want to push people around with your chip stack. Having an average stack puts you in a much harder position than the big stack - people will want to double up off you, but more significantly they'll know that any time they play against you you can put them all in, and even if they're ahead they may still bust out, so you can (against some opponents at least) push them off the pot.

After winning on a freeroll you'll often only have a dollar or 2. This really isn't enough for the swings at the stakes the site will have available (it's not even enough for proper bankroll management at 0.01/0.02 Limit stakes). Therefore putting that money into an MTT or SnG makes quite a bit of sense, particularly if the site has some very small buy-in SnGs or MTTs (e.g. $0.50 ones), so you can play 2-3 with your money. Otherwise, at a ring game you're just as likely to either blind yourself out waiting for a decent hand or lose the lot to a single suck-out. If possible, try to only use a part of your bankroll, but if you only have a dollar or 2, there are worse things to do than to try to multiply it in a MTT or SnG to make enough to consider bankroll management. Obviously if you get a final table and win, say 30 dollars or more, then you'll have enough to consider basic bankroll management, and you can take your pick of sensibly-staked ring games or tournaments.

On waiting for a hand when you end up very short-stacked, how long you can wait depends on the blinds - if you only have <10x the Big Blind, then you want to look for a decent hand and push. If you have something like 4x BB, then you want to pick a hand you just halfway like and push, because you can't afford to lose any more blinds, and if a big stack pushes in generally you should then push in with whatever cards, because the last thing you want is playing against several opponents with all your chips in before the flop.

Some of what you've said has sounded like the worst hand tends to win, which is (to be blunt) just nonsense. What you need to understand is that while you'll win more often than not with the best hand, an opponent taking 27 against AK will not only win a significant proportion of the time, they'll actually win more often than AJ will against AK. Also, the nature of a tournament if you don't manage to maintain a decent chip stack is that when you are contesting a serious pot, it will generally be with your tournament on the line (which is exactly why you want to build a chip lead immediately when there's no financial loss from busting out immediately), and winning 60% or even 75% of the time but being out the first time you lose a hand means you probably won't last that long. You want to have the chips, timing and position to take pots - that means a lot of aggression, reducing the field before the flop, and using continuation bets and the like, and trying to maintain a chip lead.
Patience, Vigilance and Understanding are important, but Patience in waiting for the right hands, Vigilance in paying attention to other players patterns so that you can adapt to the table (rather than losing focus between hands), and Understanding in knowing both the basics of poker and as many of the myriad nuances as possible.
 
wsorbust

wsorbust

Cardschat Elite
Going all-in on the first hand is wreckless...and not very smart, since half the table will go all in with you! ...With NOTHING! Say hello to that bad beat 90% of the time! I'm sorry, but if you're not patient enough to get past the first few hands, without going all in, then you're not going to do well with that huge chip stack anyway.
 
W

whatsdabet

Guest
I defientely agree with WSORBUST because you have like a 100% chance that someone is going to call your first hand all in bet! I mean it is almost guaranteed, try it at any poker room (in a freeroll) and see what happens!
 
W

whatsdabet

Guest
t1riel, I didnt find it anywhere, I am the author but, I did realize that you had something very familiar to it, but I dont know if it pertained to freerolls or not..... It took me forever to write all that!
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
Ok for giggles lets say you do go all in 1st hand and this does and will happen.. The whole table folds to you... Wooot! you've won what?? the small rinky dink blinds on a donk move..

Now lets say someone calls and you were knocked out.. Just think maybe 2 hands later or even 10-15 hands later you were supposed to be dealt a top ten pre flop hand. Can't learn any patience if you are going all-in on the 1st hand.
 
t1riel

t1riel

Legend
whatsdabet said:
t1riel, I didnt find it anywhere, I am the author but, I did realize that you had something very familiar to it, but I dont know if it pertained to freerolls or not..... It took me forever to write all that!

I like to believe you...but I can't.
 
wsorbust

wsorbust

Cardschat Elite
Wooot! you've won what?? the small rinky dink blinds on a donk move..

lol....weeeeee! 15 chips....! If you weren't in the blind to begin with!



If you're doing that in a free roll and you expect to win then you should probably learn 7-card stud or tittlywinks, then come back when you've learned something...(something being: Not to come back playing No Limit Hold'em) . I know it doesn't make sense. But, hey! Neither does going all-in in the first hand!



....it seems to me that Whatsdabet was a little obsessed with getting the coveted free roll password. . . who knows why. . . but, from his/her's previous posts, I highly doubt any of the first post in the thread is original.
 
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twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
Hehe yes such a great strategy to win 15 in chips.. wish everyone would use such a great strategy.
 
Arjonius

Arjonius

Legend
There may be no reconciling the differences between the play tight early and go all in early points of view. However, I did see a thought-provoking article a while back on Cardplayer. Basically, it said if you double your starting stack in less than 50% of the tournaments you enter by playing your normal game, then it's right to take a coin flip for all your chips early since doing so will double you up half the time compared to less than half if you play normally. If you accept this line of thinking, it can certainly be extended to situations other than coin flips.
 
F Paulsson

F Paulsson

euro love
If I could get all my money in against the entire table on the first hand while holding AA, I'd do it every time and have absolutely no regrets about it ever.
 
wsorbust

wsorbust

Cardschat Elite
me too. maybe KK or QQ ...but that would be about it...taking a big risk with any of those on the first hand...but how can you not go all-in with em!?
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

Legend
AA or KK first hand, you definitely want an all in call, though pushing all in is probably a bad play with it unless you're sure someone is going to call you. You get such small value from the hand if everyone folds.
I don't completely disagree with starfall - FRs run every 1/2 hour at some sites, and gambling with a suited baby ace or small pocket pair or any hand for that matter isn't a bad idea if it can give you a 4000 chip stack within the first 30 seconds of a tournament.

agh...i just think it's stupid applying common strategy to freerolls. It just doesn't work - just because a person raised, it doesn't mean he has a decent hand, just because a person is all in, doesn't mean he has a premium hand. It's near impossible pinning these people on hands because most of them will push with any pocket pair, or ace, or king or queen for that matter. I've seen much worse (as i'm sure all of you have) They're just absolute donkfests, and you basically need a shtload of luck to beat them as there are so many coinflip all ins going on instead of actually playing the hands out.
Sorry just ranting a bit.

My suggestion is to forget all this discussion about all ins with the first hand (which really shouldn't happen in a tournament) and fork up the $5 or $10 or $20 for a real money tournament, where you can actually use your skill to your advantage.


:)
 
gord962

gord962

Legend
My two cents:

With a freeroll there is nothing to lose, so why not go all-in? You didn't put $5 or $20 on the line so who cares?? As Chuck said, if you can double or triple up in the first hand go for it. If you bust out, sign up for the next one and see what you can do. If I have doubled or tripled up on the first hand I can then play my normal tight style, bully the small stacks around and dominate the table with monster hands. If you take freerolls serious and the all-in people are on your donk list, then you are going to be severely disappointed every time when some donk calls you down and rivers you out at some point in the freeroll tourney. Most people know you have to double up early in these things to be successful and will push with any hand on the first hand, hence why there is so many people doing this on the very first hand. To play 5 hours on a poker stars freeroll to get a ticket to a weekly touney is a lot of time to invest, so I better have a lot of chips early.

Do I play most tourneys like this? Not a chance. Why not? Because I actually have money invested and it's not a smart play to go all-in on the opening hand when there are 8 or 9 others at the table who can all eliminate you. It's simply my freeroll strategy because I'm not looking to place in the top 30. It's win or go home in these cases otherwise it's not worth the time invested when I could be playing a SNG/MTT or ring game and actually win real money.
 
T

truushot

Guest
I suppose the arguement is really based on your goals and play style. Those that think pushing early because they feel that they need the chips to play "their" style should do so. I would think that playing tight would be a better method but to each their own. I personally think that your an absolute donkey and idiot for shoving all in at the beginning of the tournament. It tells me 2 things about you, 1. your not a good player because you feel you need extra chips to play and 2. that you think bullying is what poker is all about.
Which ever method you choose good luck, for those of us who actually try most of the time to play our best poker will get your chips eventually anyway.
 
wsorbust

wsorbust

Cardschat Elite
With a freeroll there is nothing to lose, so why not go all-in?


Well with that thinking...why not go all-in on every hand then!? lol

...Going All-in with mediocre/trash hands will get you no where
...Going all in on a good hand, on the first hand will often get you no where.


sc1all.jpg
 
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wsorbust

wsorbust

Cardschat Elite
...right. :rolleyes: We already went over this. . . It's better to go all-in later on...when everyone isn't loose.
 
starfall

starfall

Visionary
With going all-in on the first hand in a paid-for tournament and getting 2-3 callers = busting out and losing money say 75% of the time.
Going all-in in a freeroll first hand = busting out 75% of the time, and only losing 30 seconds of your time.
THAT is the point of it - you want to get called, you accept that you'll more often than not bust out, but those few minutes you spend busting out of a few freerolls then results in starting off in a strong position in the one you do place in, so that hour or 2 you play in the freeroll you don't immediately bust out on you can play from a stronger position. If everyone called and you bust out 9 times in 10, then you'd still only waste a few minutes, and would get a great pay-off when you do stay in, to make the most of the much larger time investment.
You push in when everyone IS LOOSE, because YOU WANT TO GET CALLERS.

What seem to fail to understand is that your loss when you lose is seconds to a couple of minutes of your time, even when you bust out several times. You don't keep going in every hand, because thats an idiot way to play. What you try to do is get a chip lead that you can then bully with, at the cost of a few minutes of your time for the tournys you bust out from. Registering for several freerolls takes no time at all, nor does pushing in on the first hand.

Put it this way:
Play in 5 tournaments, bust out of 4 on the first hand, and then immediately have 5000 chips on the 2nd hand in the last tournament. Mean Time investment to 5000 chips in any tournament, less than 5 minutes.
Play in 1 tournament, wait for decent hands before trying to double up twice. Time investment to 5000 chips in this tournament, perhaps 20 minutes? Plus, you could still easily get a bad beat and bust out like this (because you're playing with a chip disadvantage and more likely to get pushed all in).

Keeping pushing all-in firstly doesn't reap the same rewards, because most other players won't have the same stack size. Secondly, you just want an immediate chip lead, so you can play good, aggressive poker.

If you can't understand the above then you've missed why a freeroll is completely different to a paid-for tournament.

Plus, wsop, please don't insult my intelligence - you sound like you think I'm just spouting without any knowledge of poker strategy. I've placed in quite a few freerolls now, and have made serious efforts to study poker strategy from a number of books and online and in real life experience. However, this unusual case isn't about solid poker strategy, it's about basic maths, of how long you have to invest time-wise to get to a certain chip position.

One use for the strategy is you 'waste' 5 minutes to the sit very tight and not perhaps play a hand until the loosest players have bust themselves out and still have as many chips as the other players. It doesn't have to be a premium hand, because if you wait 10 hands for a decent one and then push then you won't get 10x the odds of winning that hand, I can guarantee you that, so waiting doesn't give good value for the relative time investments required for each approach. Chuck also made the important point that putting people on hands can be very difficult early on in a freeroll. You therefore need to either take a lucky shot early like this, or play very tight poker. I just propose taking one lucky shot, so when you do immediately afterwards play more solidly, you'll have the chips to sit tight for longer.

If it's a one-off freeroll, and you can't just join another equivalent one, then you have to play it more like a normal tournament, but I'm talking about say the $1000 Prima freerolls which run several times a day.

I don't always take this approach myself - if I want to do my best in a given freeroll, then of course I won't play this approach, but if I want to get the best chance of placing in a freeroll for a given amount of playing time with an unlimited number of freeroll entries, then that's a completely different way of looking at it suggesting a completely different strategy.
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
What seem to fail to understand is that your loss when you lose is seconds to a couple of minutes of your time, even when you bust out several times. You don't keep going in every hand, because thats an idiot way to play. What you try to do is get a chip lead that you can then bully with, at the cost of a few minutes of your time for the tournys you bust out from. Registering for several freerolls takes no time at all, nor does pushing in on the first hand.

Now you've learned nothing but how to register for a freeroll.. Hold-em is about the 3 P's.. Patience, Power and Position. Now lets say you do go all-in 1st hand and whoop-de do you win say with 2 callers. So now you've got what 3000 possibly 4500 in chips. But now I would cripple your stack cause you haven't learned patience, power and position. You wish to call my 4-5X BB with Ax then be my guest, or K,Q cause its a connector. The only time I lose out in a freeroll is when I make a bad play and costly play... Trust me with so many people who will make calls with just about anything especially the chip leader in the tourney or the chip leader at my table(just because they don't have patience). So yes I will agree you need power by accumating chips, but when you have no clue about patience because you refuse to learn it. I will destroy or lose out to 1 of 2 things.. luck or a stupid play by myself.




Put it this way:
Play in 5 tournaments, bust out of 4 on the first hand, and then immediately have 5000 chips on the 2nd hand in the last tournament. Mean Time investment to 5000 chips in any tournament, less than 5 minutes.
Play in 1 tournament, wait for decent hands before trying to double up twice. Time investment to 5000 chips in this tournament, perhaps 20 minutes? Plus, you could still easily get a bad beat and bust out like this (because you're playing with a chip disadvantage and more likely to get pushed all in).

Wow! neat concept that you actually learn 1 of the 3 P's .. again its patience. Be surprised on how well it works compared to constantly pushing all-in on the 1st hand.


Keeping pushing all-in firstly doesn't reap the same rewards, because most other players won't have the same stack size. Secondly, you just want an immediate chip lead, so you can play good, aggressive poker.

So good aggresive poker doesn't include learning patience?

If you can't understand the above then you've missed why a freeroll is completely different to a paid-for tournament.

I fully understand completly.. why learn anything about hold-em even if it is a freeroll especially when it comes to patience
 
gord962

gord962

Legend
Don't you guys read these posts before you reply?? IT'S ONLY THE FIRST HAND THAT YOU ACT LIKE THIS!!!!! Pushing every hand is not a strategy to carry out through the entire tourney. This is simply a first hand strategy, then back to patient hand selection (your 1st P) and position play (your 3rd P). If you get the chip lead quickly you are playing with power, (your 2nd P).
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

Legend
If the queen of england had balls she'd be king.. but she doesn't
If the dog didn't stop to take a crap he would have caught the fox
If I played my normal lottery ticket I normally played last night I would have won

If is a mighty big word

if(conj.)In the event that: If I were to go, I would be late.if(n.)A possibility, condition, or stipulation: There will be no ifs, ands, or buts in this matter
 
starfall

starfall

Visionary
Twizzy, I've already acknowledged that you don't keep playing like that, and that it's not about playing good, solid poker here, it's about basic maths. After that first hand you play with Patience, Power and Position. It is specifically to better allow you to do that, because you can Patiently wait for a decent hand after that because you have a much larger stack, Power because you'll have the chip advantage when you do play over most players, and Position has nothing to do with chip stack, so that's unaffected by this but no less relevant to your strategy.
What you're missing is that where a freeroll has no entry cost, that changes things, and it is a specific strategy for the first hand to make the most of this difference - in much the same manner as you have to play somewhat looser in a 'kill' game or tighter in a no-ante Stud game. Hopefully that last sentence has also indicated what I've already said, that this isn't just spouting without any knowledge of normal poker strategy.
I go all-in first hand, and then you try to cripple my stack because you think I haven't learned patience, then more fool you, twizzy, because I have, and plenty of it. After that first hand I don't keep playing like that, and fools who see that all-in first-hand play and assume I'm going to play loose after that will call with a weaker hand when I've immediately started playing tighter. Like I said, after the first hand, then you play solid poker.
Twizzy, look at things another way. If you play every hand in Holdem with patience then in the later stages you will get blinded out because as the blinds increase and get large relative to your stack you need to take a few more shots - premium hands don't come every 6 hands, do they? This is knowingly deviating from the sound patient strategy in response to a specific set of circumstances. So is the 1st-hand push concept. Anyone who can't understand that someone may push 1st hand and then play solid poker afterwards is at a disadvantage because they'll consistently misread that opponent afterwards, and is therefore a fool to make that assumpion. Like I said, and apparently have to say again, it's a specific situation where you deviate from standard poker strategies because of the basic maths of the situation. It's not a 'Standard' poker strategy, but it is a solid one, because solid ones are about getting a maximum return on whatever investment you're making. That it's apparently not immediately apparent benefits those that are willing to think outside the box.
It's not difficult to illustrate situations where you'd deviate from a standard poker strategy to benefit yourself. Another one is when , in a Satellite, where the top 10 players get a seat, and there are 11 or 12 people left, and you have one of the largest stacks, and pick up AA as your hole cards. Despite everything telling you that's the best hand in poker, and it's the hand that you wait for and dream of, generally you dont play it, because at that point you can be 99% sure of getting in the money by just not playing a hand, and less sure if you do play a hand. You deviate from solid poker strategies to ADAPT TO SPECIFIC CIRCUMSTANCES.
Another common one in freerolls is getting lots of sit-outs (say 5 or more at a table). Standard, tight poker strategy will get you a gradually increasing chip stack, especially with the number of uncontested pots when you do play, but it's hardly the best strategy - instead you want to ensure that you are taking most of the blinds. The unadaptive, tight player will even lose some hands to the sit-out blinds, when they check down with a missed hand, but someone who understands the maths behind poker rather than just standard strategies will adapt and make a lot more profit.
 
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