Freerolls- a practice in bad habits?

Bill_Hollorian

Bill_Hollorian

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Hi All,
I have a question. I do not play in free rolls. Not because I have anything against them, I just prefer to play for money. I have a question for everyone who does.

I have read many posts here regarding freeroll play. I feel like I am taking crazy pills when I read them. In my humble opinion, the freeroll strategies seem to reduce the game to a slot machine lever. It seems like an environment to develop horrible playing habits, strategies, and a very negative ev playing style.

Am I wrong? Are these freerolls a valid way to study the game? I always payed a tuition to learn from better players. I'm just curious if these free rolls may cost folks in the long run.

Bill
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

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You hit the nail on the head. Every time I see someone post that freerolls are good practice - I say for what. I played in my first & last freeroll yesterday (CardsChat on Noble) and I found my own game slipping. Been trying to convince folks to step up to the plate and see how money changes how the game is played. Hope you'll join us for the Saturday buy-in on Noble - it's fun...
 
Crippler450

Crippler450

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If ya ever try playing in one and do pretty well, you'll see that if you outlast some of the idiots, you get to the real poker when you're close to the money. Its not at all like a slot machine, more like fishing ;)
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

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Not sure I agree because sometimes the maniacs reach the end because of sheer luck. The only way to avoid the maniac syndrome is to not play in the freerolls. I played in my first and last yesterday just to confirm my suspicions...
 
C

chicubs1616

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I think you can practice your game in freerolls, you just have to adhere to proper strategy...which usually involves playing the opposite of what the table is doing.

I don't play in many freerolls, but when I do, I work on certain points of my game: stealing blinds from weaker players, trapping tight-aggressives, etc.

I would never play freerolls to improve my game on a widescale basis, I just use them as cheap (free) practice to work on some of the smaller aspects of my game.

The only way to avoid the maniac syndrome is to not play in the freerolls.
I'm not sure I agree with this. Obviously you will not have to deal with maniacs if you don't play in the freerolls. You don't have to get "maniac sydrome" as you called it in freerolls...this is called TILT. Sure, you may get sucked-out on, but continually going in with the best hand and occasionally taking a bad beat and handling it well are good confidence boosters, and improve your play.

Once you start calling all ins with Q-10 offsuit, then you know you have to take a break, walk around the block, and regroup.
 
twizzybop

twizzybop

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Freerolls teach you the 3 P's of poker. Patience, Power, and Position.

What better way to decipline your the P's then in a freeroll of maniacs.
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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freerolls encourage you to have terrible habits
i.e. playing marginal hands often among other things
there is a good side to freerolls though, although people like Dave might completely disagree with me...not for practicing, but it does teach you some good qualities like twizzy noted
i think the main thing it helps you deal with is overcoming big stacks who play really aggressive ( the typical freeroller who gets lucky then thinks he can play well because he has chips )
and to come back from being short stacked aswell...as i so often find myself trying to do
 
tazztaz

tazztaz

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:heeeellll :congrats: couldn't have sayed it better my self:icon_king for you freerollers if you would like a fairly cheap game to work your way up to a level of play that will make you some money check out my post " Sarpening your skills cheap" I think it would be a great plce to start. But we tell you no lie you CAN NOT get the skills you need to survive @ in the poker world @ these freerolls , infact you are shooting your self in the foot :heeeellll by dulling what ever poker skills you may have!:motz: :hahaha: :reddy: :albertein
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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alright what i SHOULD have said was
freerolls are a cheap alternative to playing real money poker
they are not the perfect substitute for competitive money play
but DO have some advantages and DO provide some basic skills for players who can't afford to play for cash
i'm definitely not saying go play freerolls for practice, but for people like me who can't yet deposit or people who can't afford to deposit, its better than nothing
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

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I don't work for free, and I don't play poker for free either. If others want to, so be it. The only way to truly improve is to play against peopel who solidly play poker as well or better than yourself.
 
ChuckTs

ChuckTs

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i agree completely
i'd much rather be playing $5 buy-in tourneys with my buddies all day
than sitting in front of a computer playing a bloody freeroll
but i'm just sayin its better than nothing
don't get me wrong i share the same opinion that no experience is better than live, buy-in experience with people who are more experienced than you, but that option is not always available for people
 
A

AusRyan

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I personally have found some benifits from playing freerolls. Particularly in the area of patience... I have found that since playing long (3hr) freerolls that i am learning to stick to playing top hands and being prepared to muck hands when the pot odds are against me instead of getting sloppy after time. And once the clear maniacs are gone and it is down to a few tables or the last table that the play can be pretty tight. Just my opinion :)
 
IrishDave

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I guess I'll have to agree that freerolls do teach patience as you have to stay in the shadows until the crazies depart. This being said, a lot of folks take the easy way out and just hit the sit-out button. You only learn patience if you look at and make a decision about every hand - not just sit out for the first hour (or 5 minutes)...
 
S

saintman

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Yeah Bill I agree to a certain extent because I learned a couple of years ago through playin poker on line free rolls, when I took this to my local club it was a different kettle of fish, (more bluffing required, easier to sit at home etc.), but I also think for the mere novice free rolls are ok but its a lot different when its your own well earned cash!
 
HoldemChamp

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I think for beginners freerolls can be a valuable tool to learn about poker without involving their own money. But, I am talking about beginners that are actually trying to learn. Not the ones that could careless and play pretty much any hand hoping to get lucky. Those players will probably never improve. And will probably never step up to real money except for the occasions where the win and then go play real money just to give it away playing the same poor poker that lucked them into a win.

However, there is a point when playing in freerolls does begin to have a negative effect on a player that really can no longer be considered a beginner.

You learn what you should play and not play. But, you keep seeing trash hand after trash hand win and may begin to question how correct the advice from the pros and the books you have read. That is a tough place to be.

From there you may slide in your game play. Thinking that maybe if you play a bit more marginal hands it might improve your chances. In the short term you may hit some luck. But, over the long haul you are hurting yourself.

As well. once you have moved passed being a beginniner you have tools now at your disposal that you really can't use effectively.

What good is it for you to make a correct bet to push out draws if half the table calls that bet and someone ones ends up catching the draw. You have to fold and you just wasted correct bets that ended up hurting your stack.

What good is a semibluff against people who don't understand odds and betting.

Those are just a couple of the skills that you pick up when you pass being just a beginner that you really need to put into practice to get better at using them.

You really can't do that in a freeroll. Or even in play and nanolimit money games.

I guess the point I am trying to make here is that you need to learn when freerolls are no longer helping your game but hurting it. Then make the transition to real money. Of course you still have to keep money management in consideration.

You might still need to clean up some leaks before you move up.
 
IrishDave

IrishDave

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Very eloquently written HoldemChamp. In Sundays CC freeroll I found myself sliding backwards - but at least I realized it. The skills you need at the real money games such as proper betting, raising, and calculating odds are a waste of time in most freerolls. Probably the biggest area that it will hurt you is in card selection relative to position. Early on in my online poker career I would play nearly every ace I got. Now, I have laid down A-K (offsuit) when the position was not favorable or the pot odds didn't warrant it. The only way to expect folks to play "by the book" is to play in a cash game.

I find it funny when I see a comment like "how could you call with that..." in a freeroll or micro limit game. Do these folks actually expect good play when no risk is involved? It's really tough to maintain your discipline when nothing is at stake which is why I avoid freerolls for the most part...
 
bubbasbestbabe

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Oh give me a break! Freerolls or money games you are still going see a number of idiots who think they are Doyle Brunson and play like jerks. Just reread the posts here about how many people have been called by crap hands and they lost. Any form of poker will improve your game if you learn from it.
 
G

glm73

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I think that both points of view have some validity. If you are going to use the freeroll to get rich ??? - its obviously for the wrong reason. However, you can develop as a player. I agree that patience may be the most important area you will develop, but you can also learn more about who you are as a player.

If you go into it conciously, I think that you also will sharpen your discipline to make the proper moves at the proper time.

Just as an addition to my previous post - I like to play the sit and go tables - I think it gives you some of the same opportunity to learn without the 3 to 5 hour time frame - and lets you develop your "final table" approach.

Much of the time, if there are "loose cannon" players, they will go quickly and you will run into 2 or 3 quality players that make the game fun and challenging.
 
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IrishDave

IrishDave

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bubbasbestbabe said:
Oh give me a break! Freerolls or money games you are still going see a number of idiots who think they are Doyle Brunson and play like jerks. Just reread the posts here about how many people have been called by crap hands and they lost. Any form of poker will improve your game if you learn from it.
Only if you make the presumption that these fast and loose players want to learn, which is not true in many cases. Probably the worst thing that ever happened to poker is the flood of TV coverage. Now all the folks see Gus Hansen win a million playing 8-4 offsuit and think to themselves - I can do that...
 
K

Ken Jude

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IrishDave said:
Only if you make the presumption that these fast and loose players want to learn, which is not true in many cases. Probably the worst thing that ever happened to poker is the flood of TV coverage. Now all the folks see Gus Hansen win a million playing 8-4 offsuit and think to themselves - I can do that...
I agree with that. I enjoy watching them but I'm not sure that it's helpful that a chunk of people are learning how to play poker from 90 minute shows featuring highlights of a final table.
 
zoied

zoied

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i play both freerolls and real money, but lately it seems even the real money tables are being played like a freeroll, and what i mean by that is the all in thing. It's not just every once in a while, or hasn't been with me. Maybe just my luck who knows lol:icon_thum
 
R

Red2121

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Agree

Ya, I agree, i have been noticing many many people going all in in freerolls on their frist hand. Its getting really anoying. I totaly agree !
 
GsmVortex

GsmVortex

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Red2121 said:
Ya, I agree, i have been noticing many many people going all in in freerolls on their frist hand. Its getting really anoying. I totaly agree !
I play some freerolls too and I see people going all in all the time and people who fold every hand :stupido3:

Soo, is this a good game of poker?
 
T

tsadams

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The way i play the freeroll events is start it out like a slot machine i guess. I usually pick a few good hands to bet big. Then if i am still in with a good amount of chips i usually sit on them unless i get a really good hand or until the blinds become higher. By doing this the people that do have poor poker skills are mostly gone. Then it gets down to business. Because when there are 500 people in a tournament you know your not going to win in the money unless you have a good amount of chips so therefore you either try to gain a good chip count or you get out. It's not worth the time. But i think playing in freerolls all the time does bring your game down, if not in the long run, for the next few games you play. Good comment and question.
 
N

Newf_834

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I play in alot of freerolls because I treat on-line poker the same as playing it on a video game. I am not here to get rich but just to play. With the freerolls though 90% of the time you have people going all in on the first hand to try and catch cards. I always sit out first hand unless I have pA's K's or AK. anything else I just sit out and wait a few hands for the jerks to be gone and then it starts getting more like a poker game after 10 mins once all the all iners are gone.
 
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