Tight Tables: No Good in Freerolls

T

TukUrChip

Rising Star
Have you ever been playing in a Freeroll and look up on the leader board and some fool has over 10,000 chips and the chip leader on your table is maybe at 2500. This is bad news for you. Not only is the amount of chips you have personally a large factor in MTTs, but the amount of chips collectively at your table is very important as well (especially in freerolls where there is normally a large excess of action).

If you find yourself in a situation where your table is too tight, do what you can to loosen your opponents up (know when to change gears). Do whatever you have to do to make this happen, whether it be showing a bluff or running your mouth to other players at the table. The more action, the more players get knocked out. Then another comes in and hopefully another busts out soon. The more players that cycle through your table, the better off you will be.

I would love to hear some feadback on this issue. What do you think?:cheers:
 
MicheleW

MicheleW

Rock Star
I like your post. Some people enjoy staying at the same table - but personally, like to be moved around. I feel I can come in - they have no clue about me - and I can pick up some chips. Then before too long, I'm off to another table.

I played a VERY tight table one freeroll and thought -- who are these people? LOL I never played like this before. Luckily, I was moved.
 
HoldemChamp

HoldemChamp

Rock Star
Man.... I rarely ever get on a tight table playing tournies.

I usually get my bluffs called even when I fold 15 hands straight.

Some one is always raising when I get something decent like 89 suited.

Right until I actually am not bluffing.

Then when I make the same bet I did with the bluff everyone folds.

I swear the people at my table are psychic.

I don't want to even mention how many times I have had AA, KK, or AK suited on the BB and everone folds including the SB. Sheesh... LOL
 
MicheleW

MicheleW

Rock Star
You think 8/9 suited is decent? I think K/Q suited is decent. Interesting. :)
 
Jesus Lederer

Jesus Lederer

Rock Star
In a freeroll it´s difficult to find a tight table, unless you´re near the payouts. The most % of players playing a freeroll are very loose (almost all of them stupidly loose).
But if the situation that you tell comes, as a general rule (not only at a freeroll) you have to adapt your game to the table. There is a simple quote (but effective) that explains it better: "play as the opposite of the table image".
If the table images is very tight, then what you have to do is to loosen up your game so you can steal more antes, blinds and little pots. Remember that a player who just play premium hands is a predictable player, and that´s the worst thing that can happen to a poker player. Usually players that plays only monster hands don´t know what to do on later stages. So when you loosen up your game what you´re doing is not just stealing some pots, you´re forcing your opponent to play a different style and getting him out from his comfort zone. Obviously a basic strategie against those extremely tight players is to fold if you get reraised.
On the other hand, if the table image is too loose, you have to adjust your game to the opposite, that means playing tight. If you wait for a monster hand on a table like that, you´re gonna get paid (and very well paid).
That´s the reason of why playing extremely tight or extremely loose is bad, the best strategie is to mix up your game and have the capacity of adapting to your opponent´s styles. It´s easy to play your cards, but it´s a very important part of the game to play according what you think your opponent might be holding.
In my opinion it´s not so bad the situation that the chip leader has 10000 and the chip leader of your table has 2500. I just try to play the best poker i can to win chips, no matter what are the stack size of the other´s table players. Of course stack size matters, but where it matters more is at your own table.
 
H

HollyGo

Guest
I would say I'm a pretty conservative player, and I take my time on each hand. I do best when I just play my own game...let the loose players do their own thing, and I'll do mine. I suppose I like spending a good amount of time at one table, though there's not much you can do about being whisked around when the tables are balanced. I just want to play long enough for my table mates to get the idea that if I go in, I most likely have a good hand. Today for example, I placed 8th out of 400+ and won $10.00 in a little tourney. (Went all-in with pocket kings and got wallopped by the chip leader on my left's pocket aces...lol)

Edited to say: I also agree with what Jesus Lederer said about mixing up your play. That's currently what I'm trying to work on. I seem to be able to get to the money fairly easily in MTTs, and I'm also pretty good heads-up...It's that in-between stage that I'm trying to figure out.
 
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B

biggamer86

Guest
Personally i love to actually be able to play in those free rolls with tight tables, because then you can play at your top game and not fear going all in with 5 people on any hand you go in on. Normally in a free roll you want to do 10 percent to 15 percent of your hands and just get what you can when you play a hand. Just because the chip leader has 20k chips and you have 2k doesnt mean a thing normally it just means he calls every single bet and just got extremely lucky on the first 3 or 4 hands.
 
trentonlf

trentonlf

Guest
I personally like tight tables, and i dont get too cocerned if its early on in a freeroll and someone has 10k chips and i only have 2k. trust me most of the time early on someone with that amount of chips is playing the no fold em hold em poker and getting lucky. you play your game and you will usually find yourself moving up and eventually finding them and getting a lot of chips from them.

g/l
 
HoldemChamp

HoldemChamp

Rock Star
MicheleW said:
You think 8/9 suited is decent? I think K/Q suited is decent. Interesting. :)
Let me explain what I mean by decent.

UTG 89 suited is trash and early position as well. That is a given. Middle position once in a while just to mix up my play. Of course if the flop is worthless I fold right there and don't give it a second thought. Anything beyond flopping the nut flush or straight is worthless. I get caught chasing once in a while. But, then I realise I am on tilt and put a stop to it. Even after everyone at the table has picked up draw in the last 10 hands and I have not seen one in 40 hands it is still a bad play.

On the button and late position this is one of those hands you want to be seeign a cheap flop with. Especially when you have the image of a tight player. Because on the occasion that you do flop that nut flush or straight no one will know and you can drag a nice pot with it.

So, position is the key. And of course if any strength is shown preflop they go right into the muck.

I usually don't play these all that much anyway. I just don't think my game is at the level to play them much. One day it will be.

But, since I tend to be an easy read, being that I am a tight player, I like to mix things up a little bit to keep everyone on their toes.
 
Devilpoker78

Devilpoker78

Rock Star
Yeah its good to be a tight player but just playing the same strong hands all the time is not very smart. People either figure you out your play and fold when u finally make a move or worse, someone calls you with crap and gives u a bad beat (the latter more likely to happen btw). I wouldnt mind limping in with suited and connected cards once in a while in late position or with a A-low kicker suited to keep people guessing. The action just dries up on you if you call with strong pocket hands all the time or either that u get suckered out by a rag tag hand, just like HOldemChamp said.

One big problem that conservative players usually have is not with the other players on the table but the blinds. More often than not, tight players will find themselves in the situation where their chip stack is being challenged by the increasing blinds so as to force you to make a move with cards that you otherwise wont pay that much for? How do you guys actually handle this problem? Im really curious to know. Ive had this problem in alot of the tourneys where I play in and experienced it many times, Ive learned to look at the time and average pot in each tourney and If I know Im gonna get caught, I'll change my game and be more aggresive especially with loose players. I'll start playing average hands and take my chances with the poorer players knowing that chances of them having poorer hands are better. Might as well take a chance now when my chip stack is still significant enough to make a difference rather than later when i have 1/10 of chips and the other player dont really loose anything by calling. This method has worked most of the time however I suffer more knockouts too. What do you guys do in situations like these?
 
trentonlf

trentonlf

Guest
When i start hitting the "crunch" time (blinds getting bigger and no cards coming) I start to loosen up a little, nothing crazy like playing 7Q just because they are suited, but ill start playing suited connectors more often and raising the button to try and steal some blinds.

For me late in the tourney is a new game comapared to early on because you have weeded out most of the crazies (some lucky ones are still there) and can be more aggresive with marginal hands and win because people respect the play at that stage more.

g/l
 
MicheleW

MicheleW

Rock Star
I don't change up my game with marginal cards, I change my game up with good cards. Why play marginal cards to change up your game and lose anyway. Changing up your game doesn't mean you play mediocre cards instead of good cards. Why not play good cards and change up your game. The players have no clue what you hold, so why not do it with good cards. You can change your play through betting not playing marginal hands.

I don't think I've ever played an 8/9 anytime unless it was in the BB (checking) and probably if there was a raise, I'd fold.

The only time I might play marginal hands is during 3 person play or headsup. Then I can use betting to win. But with more players than that, there's too much out there they can hit for me to risk at that time.
 
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robwhufc

robwhufc

Cardschat Elite
Agree with first post - i've been in multi table tournament where the play was very competetive and tight, but after an hour we were all on 2000-3000 and the average stack was 3500+ (with leaders on 19,000+). I felt i had to make a move and ended up busting out. I agree you don't need to keep up with early chip leaders, but when you get to a situation when everyone that comes in to table has got 3 or 4 times as many chips, then.....
 
RammerJammer

RammerJammer

Visionary
Awards
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If you're early enough in the tournament that the chip leader only has 10,000 to your table leader's 2500, don't sweat it. At that point, it's meaningless. You can't even control what's going on at your OWN table most of the time, so why worry about the early leaderboard?

I've said it before and I'll say it again, and I'll keep saying it, because I personally believe it makes sense. If you're not playing very tight in the first hour-and-a-half of a multi-table tournament, you're not protecting your chips and you're not giving yourself the best chance to be there for the final table. The tournament doesn't really start until the antes kick in anyway.

Case in point: yesterday's $10 mtt at Full Tilt. Chip leader roared out to a huge lead in the first 30 minutes. Had 11,000 chips to second place's 5,000. I played my usual big cards & position game. At the end of the first break, I had doubled up my stack to 3400 and was in the middle of the pack. Continued to play tight/aggressive position poker to the second break, when I was in 12th. Moved up as high as third in the third hour, and NEVER ONCE played an outright bluff. No cards, no play, no way. Went out just a couple of slots shy of the final table when my Ace-high heart flush was rivered by Aces over Kings. Made a few bucks, but I ended the tournament with only 26% flops seen. But of those hands played, I won 42% of the time and a whopping 76% of my showdowns. Because I only played when I had the cards. Btw, that early chip leader and about 2/3 of the top 30 didn't make it to the final two tables.

You gotta be selective and remember that the goal is NOT winning the tournament. It's surviving long enough to put yourself IN POSITION at the final table to win the tournament. You simply can't do that by consistently playing marginal hands. And to counter an earlier point made about being too predictable...there's nothing wrong with being predictable if the prediction is, "I better have a hand against this guy, 'cause if he's in the pot, he sure as hell has one." That's the kind of "predictability" I like in a tournament.
 
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Jesus Lederer

Jesus Lederer

Rock Star
RammerJammer said:
And to counter an earlier point made about being too predictable...there's nothing wrong with being predictable if the prediction is, "I better have a hand against this guy, 'cause if he's in the pot, he sure as hell has one." That's the kind of "predictability" I like in a tournament.
Who was the idiot that made that point of being too predictable?!...oh wait, it was me...

I agree with you that it´s good to know that if another player is against you in the pot, it´s because he has a good hand. But if the players on the table are smart, they will fold most of the time when you bet. So if you just play the premium 5 hands, then you just are going to win small pots. Winning small pots is great, but unless you´re the luckiest person and you are dealt premium hands too often (like 1 out of 5), then when the blinds and antes grow up you´re gonna lose more money than you win by playing just premium hands.

Playing extremly tight works in freerolls because most players don´t watch their opponents styles, so even if you just play 5 premium hands, they are going to call you with marginal hands and you´re going to get well paid. Players on freerolls don´t realize that if an extremely tight players bets, it´s because they have really good hands.

Don´t think that i´m a loose, maniac and stupid player (maybe that last one yes) who thinks that any 2 cards can win so it´s good to try to catch something on every flop. Actually, i´m a very tight player. Generally i like to play 9 handed on tourneys. I´m just saying that playing ONLY top 5 hands isn´t good. Maybe in a freeroll yes, because the word "bluff" doesn´t work there. But if you´re playing against good players that are able to read your style, predict your plays and have the discipline to fold when it´s necessary, then mixing it up a little should be the best.

The premium hands have be the base of your game, but marginals hands are an important part of the game. On a normal table (not an extremely loose one that you are gonna get called always) maybe playing them 1:6 (one marginal hand per six good hands) could be a good idea. Of course you have to play properly marginal hands. With a marginal hand you should bet or raise a pot, but never call. If you call preflop with a marginal hand hoping to see the dream flop, then you´re wrong. Raise with a marginal hand when you feel weakness on your opponent.

p.s: please counter again my point, because i´m a newbie and probably i´m wrong. I´m here to learn.
 
diabloblanco

diabloblanco

Guest
I don't play freerolls, but I can add something to this conversation. Take this example.

You walk into a cardroom and sit at a table full of new faces. A $100.00 buy in, freezeout tournament. Obviously, the first thought that goes through your head is to sit for a few minutes and watch the table. Don't even touch your chips unless you have one of the top 3 or 4 starting hands, even from the blinds. Keep an eye on everyone, betting patterns, cards shown down, etc. Makes sense. Good, sound, strategy. Now assume that these people are as good as you and you are evenly matched. Its too early to label a Donkey at this point usually. Also assume that they know what you are doing by sitting out, basically gathering information. As you get your read on the table and start to pick your marks, you can loosen up a little, play a few more hands, just don't go crazy.

45 minutes into the game, you look at your hole cards and see 8h-9h. You are out of position. What do you do? Muck, right? What about playing them? There are advantages to doing the latter. You decide to bring your 8-9s in for a standard raise of 3 or 4 times the big blind. Two callers including the big blind. Now, no strategy in the world says to play this hand, out of position, for a raise. Which is exactly why you did it. One of two outcomes are expected, both yeild +EV.

Outcome one: If the flop hits you great, if not, represent like it did and you make a few bets, you make the table fold and don't have to show it down. This is great for you. You won a pot on a terrible starting hand which noone ever saw. For all they know you had a high PP and were way ahead in the hand. Now that this door is open, continue doing this with marginal hands as long as you don't have to show it down, and why not, for all the table knows you're on some mad rush of cards. Then comes...

Outcome two: You run into a hand or someone that is tired of being pushed around the table and your bluff or weak draw is no good. So up against a bet you fold the hand, or if you can do it cheap enough show down the cards showing you had a straight draw or flush draw etc. Actually show the cards even though you don't have to, muck them face-up. This will automatically have you labelled loose and maniacal.

As soon as option two has been used, immediately tighten back up and just play the premium hands and avoid the urge to chase anything. For the next little while (hour or more in cash games) you will make a lot more money from people who don't believe you have the goods and will pay to see, than it cost you to play the rags you used to bluff with. I don't even know that I would call it a bluff, its intended purpose was to mislead not steal pots, if it happens to steal a few pots before it works, great. You may lose 5 or 6 times the big blind on your initial bluff, but remember, its early, the blinds are low, antes usually haven't begun and its expected result is high.

To be sucessful in any real way (monetarily or trophy seeker) you have got to open up your game at certain points and play cards that noone expects you to play. It is very sound strategy to play only premium hands, but in a structured game where time plays a part in the price of poker, you can't sit on your thumb all night and wait for big pocket pairs. You have got to be willing to change gears and make moves. Willing to gamble. Bearing in mind that you have a general strategy that works for you and you are accustomed to which you always should go back to when you have sucessfully completed your rouse, just sit back and start raking in the pots. You will always have an advantage if the other players can't narrow your possible hands down to just a few by the time the flop comes down. And you don't have to be a complete maniac in order to complete this objective, just pick your spots wisely so that it is remembered and sticks with the competition.

Ideally, you want his first thought to be, when you bring a hand in for a raise in early position, am I being screwed with again? Or, does he have the goods? My .02 cents.
 
RammerJammer

RammerJammer

Visionary
Awards
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Jesus Lederer said:
I agree with you that it´s good to know that if another player is against you in the pot, it´s because he has a good hand. But if the players on the table are smart, they will fold most of the time when you bet. So if you just play the premium 5 hands, then you just are going to win small pots.
I hear what you're saying, JL, and I agree with you that mixing up your game by varying your bets and relaxing your starting hands is an essential part of hold 'em. But within the bigger picture of a multi-table tournament, I think that strategy spreads itself out over a much wider time frame than hand-to-hand ring game action. The earlier in the tournament, the tighter the play. Loosen up as the field narrows and the blinds/antes grow.

As to the statement I quoted above, that has not been my experience. Just the opposite. When I play a tight/aggressive game and consistently win the showdowns with bigger hands, I find that I may not get as many callers involved in the hand, but there's usually one or two that will hang around until the turn, and often go all the way. They just can't believe that I've got the nuts AGAIN. Their head overrules their gut. I've heard since I first started to play that playing big cards scares away the action. I don't buy it. Ask the four guys I dismissed from the .50/1.00 Noble ring game last night if they buy it. They would watch me fold eight or nine hands in a row, then leap at the chance to see my next big hand.
 
Jesus Lederer

Jesus Lederer

Rock Star
Thanks for your ideas diablo. And rammer, i guess we were talking about the same all the time. I was saying that playing rags it´s an important part of your arsenal of strategies, but we both agree that on a multi-table torney, specially in a freeroll, the best you can do it´s just to play premium hands. Maybe i went off topic (does it bother you diablo? lol, just a joke) talking about the way to play on a normal table, because the topic was about freerolls, and there rammer you´re right: playing just premium hands is the best way to finish in a good place.

ps: can someone tell what MTT means?
 
bubbasbestbabe

bubbasbestbabe

Suckout Queen
I will check what the leaderboard is on the freeroll in the beginning. This will usually tell you that they were at a table where 3 or more people went allin on the preflop. In other words suckers. Watch for them later cause most likely they will lose those chips chasing that one big payoff again. I check the average pot level to see how I'm doing. If I'm at average or a little above I know that I will be in a good position to make it down to the final table by just keeping myself there.
 
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