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 Good freeroll strategy

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Totiburgio
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PostSubject: Good freeroll strategy   Tue Dec 14, 2010 4:18 pm

I was browsing the net and found this article, read it and i think its a good way to play freerolls so take a few minutes and read it Smile

Introduction
Freeroll Strategy
You've just logged on to one your favorite poker sites to play a great $1000 freeroll. You register, just barely in time, to see that only 500 people are going to be playing in this freeroll! Great, this should be easy money, and with a $1000 prizepool you're sure to make out well.

Wrong. Unless you know how to play your cards and your opponents in this freeroll, you're going nowhere fast with any kind of money. Just because you're not up against the usual 3000 people doesn't mean your a shoe-in for the money. The top 40 may be all that pays. That means 8% of the people in this freeroll will be payed. That seems like a great percentage, huh? Well, look at it this way. 92% of the players in this freeroll are going to be walking away with nothing, some after 3 or 4 hours of play. In order to place in the top 8% of this tournament, you're going to need to know how to compensate for the type of play that is highly usual in a freeroll. Without this knowledge, you might win a few dollars in a freeroll now and then with a day of excellent cards, but you'll never make it to the top consistently.

Early Freeroll Play

First hand comes out. A-8 offsuit. Look like a good hand? Nope. Not this early in the freeroll. People are looking to double up fast to make their efforts worth while. The thing is, most of these people won't make it far in the tournament playing like that. Fold your A-8 off. We're looking for strong hands early on. Multitasking hands are the best for this early in a tourney. A-8 might let you pair up with an ace and be fairly confident with your kicker, but are you going to feel confident betting on an 8 with an ace kicker when there are plenty of cards that could come to beat you? Typically, their are a lot of fish in the beginning of a tourney, and depending where you're playing there may be a huge amount all the way through. If you hit your 8 on the flop and it is top pair, you may end up with the best hand through the river, but chances are you will not. You're going to have 3 types of people in this hand with you when you bet:

1. People who hit the 8. (top pair)
2. People who hit any other cards. (mid to low pair)
3. People with two painted cards in the hole hoping to hit their overpair.


The people with the two painted holecards may hit their hand or may not, but sometimes will stay in a hand til the end to see. So will the people with mid to low pair. Keep in mind I'm not saying always, but a fair amount of the time in the beginning of a large freeroll you'll see this happening.

Why am I telling you this? To stress the importance of strength in the cards you play preflop. Keep your hands strong with A-K, A-Q, K-Q, A-x suited, and any poket pair. With hands like these, you can hit either card you have and feel very confident with the kicker you have, except A-x suited. With A-x suited you'll want to be a little more cautious when you hit your Ace, but these hands are great when you hit your nut flush. The blinds are very low at this point compared to the size of your stack, so you may feel you can play almost any hand and still have a lot of chips. This is a big mistake a lot of people make. Most times it'll cost you more than you think due to pairing up and being beaten by a higher kicker or someone hitting an overcard. You've got to keep in mind that it's the beginning and anyone can have anything. Not only that, they'll play that anything because a lot are inexperienced.

Now that I've told you what I think is one of the most important things to maintain in the beginning of and throughout most of the freeroll, I'll tell you something that you need to discipline yourself to do (or should I say not to do) in the beginning of a freeroll.

All-Ins! Players make them left and right in the beginning. Just this in itself can make someone go on tilt enough to call with their mid pair and lose. Make sure you're not letting it get to you. Maintain your patience and do not call all-ins without the nuts or a great hand (two pair or better) unless you know you've most likely got the person beat. The only times I call an all-in early on is when I've seen a player going all-in quite frequently with only top pair. You'll know this because there will be weaker players calling with their midpair because the all-in player has them on tilt. Wait until you hit a hand hard (two pair or better) and for them to go all-in and call. This situation will change from poker game to game, but you'll know this person when you see him, and if you're patient you should be able to win a huge amount of chips from them. Otherwise, be patient. This phase will soon end, and you should be able to make a decent amount of chips off your strong preflop hands until things have settled.

Another thing to remember early on is not to try too many moves. People are much more willing to call high bets in the beginning than farther in, AND there is usually not even enough in the pot for it to be a good decision to make a move. Why make a 100 chip bet in order to try and win 30 chips off the flop. You may be representing the flop since your A-K didn't hit only to get to the showdown to be beaten by someone with a lousy pair of 3's. Better yet, why bet triple the blinds with nothing while on the blinds when no one has called and you're trying to steal the blinds. There's not enough to matter! You may be the king of moves in your neighborhood, but trying to use them early on can often get you into trouble. Let the cards be your guide in the beginning, once you get farther in begin to use your moves more often.When you do hit your hand, make sure not to overplay it. If you have A-K and hit your king on the flop, but the flop is K-Q-J be careful. All to often I see people go all-in on a flop like this with top pair, top kicker. Their is a straight draw, and with 3 face cards on the flop it is very likely that a two pair is out their because a lot of people like to play things like K-J, Q-J, K-Q, A-Q, A-J, and such. The point is, this flop has a lot of room to give a lot of people better hands than your top pair. And in this situation, hitting two pair for you would mean anyone with a 10 has a straight. So, your hand is best at one pair, and this is not something you want to be playing really hard on a flop like this. Keep this in your mind!!

With all of that said, remember something else. A-A is not unbeatable! Don't hesitate to lay them down if you know their beaten. A lot of people will play them through because they can't lay them down even if they know they're probably beat. We as humans are curious in nature, but learn to discipline your curiosity.

Those are about all the tips I can give you for the beginning stages of a freeroll. I'll tell you straight out that I am NEVER knocked out in the beginning stages of a tournament (of course, bad beats happen), and it's because of those few tips.

Mid Stages of a Freeroll

So, you've made it through the beginning. Good job, give yourself a pat on the back. That is where a huge amount of players in the freeroll make there exit. There is still a ways to go to the money, however, and you need to keep your mind on a few things as you make it through this part of the freeroll. There are not as many points to remember, but they're just as important. Most of what you've learned for the stage before can carry over too. I choose to continue my all-in policy, but I begin to become a little more aggressive and make more moves than before. I also introduce a few more hands to my play, such as A-J, A-10 in good position, Q-J, K-J, and an occasional limp in with K-10.

First and foremost, there is one key thing that you need not to do in this part of the tournament. Don't worry about your placement or the average stack size! So what if your stack is smaller than the average stack! Your goal throughout this part of the freeroll, as well as the first, is to try to get as many chips as you can while conserving what you've already made. Worrying about how many chips you have compared to the average can only stress you out just that little bit extra to where you're calling when you shouldn't be (in hopes of a good hand) and overbetting all in order to try and increase your stack to where it's over the average line. Worrying about all this will put you on tilt! Remember: Your goal throughout this part of the freeroll, as well as the first, is to try to get as many chips as you can while conserving what you've already made.

Now is the time to be a little more aggressive yourself. Not as many people will be chasing hands with overcards that don't hit or lower pairs, but there will still be some, so lookout. I want to share with you something that I didn't get for a long time though, and once it finaly sunk in it really helped my game.
Don't try bluffing your way to victory. Unless you have a big chip lead to everyone else you shouldn't be trying to bluff almost every pot your in, and even then you should be careful. A lot of people will just pick a hand where they're going to try and bluff it to victory. I've seen people raise big preflop with 2-5 off and then continue to try and bluff post-flop in order to win the pot.

Bluffing in Texas Hold'em is to be done only at opportune times. With bluffing, timing is everything. Capitalize on the weakness of your opponent. If you sense weakness in your opponent, strike! Do NOT try bluffing at any other time!

Also, semi-bluffing is better than bluffing outright. You'll have outs, so this is a better time to bluff or represent the flop. You also have to know that in order to bluff you're going to need to give up some chips. Know that the chips you're putting out there may not come back. A minimum bet, however, is not going to bluff anyone out of anything. You won't get bluffing right away, it takes time, patience, and practice to know when and how. It's especially hard to get to know how and when to do it on internet poker, but it IS a skill that can be learned.

You might be thinking, "Well, hey, if bluffing is that risky and takes that much time to learn how to do effectively, I just won't do it!" That's an even bigger mistake than bluffing too often and at the wrong times. A big mistake a lot of mid-stage freeroll players make is not bluffing enough or at all. The blinds are getting bigger in comparison to your stack as you go on. Your cards are usually not going to bring in enough on their own to keep you completely comfortable. You'll need to bluff now and then to help you out.

Sometimes your stack seems to diminish throughout the mid-stage of the freeroll. In order to keep it from disappearing, don't let it diminish to the point where you can't bluff someone out of a pot. If you have 1500 and the blinds are 100-200, now is the time to start being very aggressive instead of waiting til you've been blinded down to 600, which would be a normal three times the blind raise. It's better to go out of a tournament betting than to be blinded out!

This last part is good to remember in the final stages of a tournament as well.

Final Stages of a Freeroll

Congratulations, you've made the money! Unfortunately, usually at this point you've got barely enough to go buy a hamburger at McDonald's. You'll need to make it farther to win big money. Usually you won't see a good payout compared to the amount of hours invested in the freeroll until you hit the final table...Which is not hard to do! Unfortunately, reading this guide will not make you an automatic winner. A huge part of getting to the final table is knowing how and when to make moves. The blinds are becoming very large and one mistake can send you out of the freeroll. Relying on your cards, however, is not going to take you to the final table. You're going to have to bluff. This is not the end of the world though! Just remember, capitalize on other people's weakness. There will almost always be someone you can outplay. More so than things to do to get to the final table, there are things to avoid:

1. Don't try too much on the chip leader(s) of your table. Calling you will not hurt their stack as much as it will yours.
2. Watch out for small stacks. You may think they're no threat, but that's why a lot of people make mistakes against them. Small stacks are starting to know they need to start some winning some pots (often requiring all-ins) or they're out of here. When a small stack goes all-in, it's often for a reason...However, not always a great one. If a small stack goes all-in against you and you've got top pair with a good kicker, call (if your stack won't take too much of a beating from it, of course). A lot of times a small stack will go all-in with a mid pair or even top pair and bad kicker. Usually they're hoping to get you to fold. That's where you need to be smarter than them. Also, if you're in good position, make moves on a small stack. Most of the time a lot of them are tight (make sure you know what kind of person you're playing against) and you can easily bluff them out of a pot if they've already checked. Don't make it blatantly obvious however. You'll need some bluffing finesse, and that takes time to learn.
3. Don't rely completely on poker odds. Make sure that by now you know how some of the people you are playing with play. In the beginning it doesn't matter too much, but you should now be trying to learn a lot about your opponents so you can use that information against them. If you haven't payed much attention to your opponents, you may be calling high bets from an extrememly tight opponent who flopped his set when all you have is top pair. all because you didn't know he was a very conservative person.


There are things to do as well:

1. Win blinds. If you're on the button or near and you're the first to call the big blind, make sure you raise most of the time. The people next to you may not have anything either and you'll often win some blinds, which add up well at this point. Once, again, don't make it blatantly obviously, and if they call, try to represent the flop, but if they call here, don't try to keep winning the pot with nothing. It's not impossible for the big blind to have a hand.
2. I've said it once, I'll say it again. Capitalize on weakness!
3. Be aggressive. This should be the time in the freeroll where you're most aggressive. Don't be sloppily aggressive though, make sure their is technique behind your aggressiveness!


Mostly in the final stages you're just exercising the same techniques you used for the mid stages, but finer tuned and with more finesse. These techniques will often take you to the final table, but you won't always make it there. Don't feel bad if you go out betting. Atleast you won SOME money, and the best thing to remember is that you should be proud that you even made it this far. Remember, 92% of the people in the freeroll didn't make it this far. If you make it to the final table, there will usually be a few small stacks who'll probably be out soon without some skill or luck. Don't take it upon yourself to get them out, let the big stacks do that. They have enough chips by this point to call an all-in even from you probably and not be hurting too terribly. Play your cards well.

Conclusion

These are the skills I have learned over time that have helped me to become great at freerolls. I almost always make the money, and I will often make it to the final table (Course, where I play the people are idiots and the freerolls only around 400). Remember, though, it will take time to learn how to use the skills and tips provided here well, but don't be discouraged on your path to learning them! Practice makes perfect. You will learn a lot through just trying to learn how to use these skills to perfection, and most importantly you'll adopt your own ways of doing things. My winning techniques aren't able to be expressed completely in words. It takes a lot of feeling, so what I'm telling is losing a lot in the translation from feelings to words. Adapt these techniques into your winning techniques!

Article written by Jon Sherwood.
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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Thu Dec 16, 2010 10:00 am

This is a great article! I actually needed to read it at this point... I have been away for some time and have had to start back playing FRs (MAN that is hard... after being a cash player for so long... UGH) but I agree with most everything it says AND it was a good reminder of how I did things in the past, when playing FRs or even micro stakes tourneys.

I think the most important thing is to remember that in the beginning people are playing EVERYTHING that even LOOKS like a good hand to them (even if it IS through beergoggles... LOL By just playing a little tighter and a little smarter you can get a LOT farther and while it isn't as exciting as doubling or tripling up every 5 minutes, in the long run.. it is a MUCH better strategy!!

Thanks for the post!!

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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:32 pm

It is quite effective, Im getting some nice bucks out of freerolls lately... yesterday I made 8,68, and $2 two days ago, so my BR is now 14,68 agter having cashed out a month ago Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:43 pm

This article is very good learning and will put these into my new play and see how it goes. But i think that this is good for any one playing freerolls like us tring to build a bankroll and this stragegy could also be used as a micro mtt guide as well. Thanking for posting this and will be following this as a guideline.

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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:44 pm

Ty ill try it in the frchamp today to see hwo it works Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Thu Dec 16, 2010 2:00 pm

nice article ty for it

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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Thu Dec 16, 2010 6:40 pm

Totiburgio wrote:
It is quite effective, Im getting some nice bucks out of freerolls lately... yesterday I made 8,68, and $2 two days ago, so my BR is now 14,68 agter having cashed out a month ago Smile

NICE! Wish I had been faring as well! I have to find a way to keep from living on tilt!! I think, for me, that is the key... I am not sure what the problem is... but it DOES remind me that poker is so much more than just cards! LOL

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, it gives me HOPE!!!!
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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:20 pm

bestoboth wrote:
Totiburgio wrote:
It is quite effective, Im getting some nice bucks out of freerolls lately... yesterday I made 8,68, and $2 two days ago, so my BR is now 14,68 agter having cashed out a month ago Smile

NICE! Wish I had been faring as well! I have to find a way to keep from living on tilt!! I think, for me, that is the key... I am not sure what the problem is... but it DOES remind me that poker is so much more than just cards! LOL

KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK, it gives me HOPE!!!!
The good work has continued, BR at $95 right now Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:22 pm

Totiburgio wrote:

The good work has continued, BR at $95 right now Very Happy

DUDE! THATS AWESOME!!

So, have you been following it exactly?? Been playing by the book, so to speak, or have you been adjusting when necessary and if so, what adjustments have you made and which have been the most effective???
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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:40 pm

Interesting, thanks for the info!
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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Tue Dec 21, 2010 10:32 am

bestoboth wrote:
Totiburgio wrote:

The good work has continued, BR at $95 right now Very Happy

DUDE! THATS AWESOME!!

So, have you been following it exactly?? Been playing by the book, so to speak, or have you been adjusting when necessary and if so, what adjustments have you made and which have been the most effective???
Of course sometimes I dont exactly follow what it says, but I try to follow the basic stuff and apply it in freerolls and mtts. Ive read this article many times and thought it was worth to post it here,
Yesterday I got 8th in a 567 people freeroll... didnt cashed much, but was another example that this article is useful.
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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:24 am

Totiburgio wrote:

Of course sometimes I dont exactly follow what it says, but I try to follow the basic stuff and apply it in freerolls and mtts. Ive read this article many times and thought it was worth to post it here,
Yesterday I got 8th in a 567 people freeroll... didnt cashed much, but was another example that this article is useful.

You shoulda started a thread to keep track of your freeroll winnings... maybe you still should!! You know, it woulod make for some GREAT inspiration!!!! Smile
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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:33 pm

I will! Ill start it now Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Tue Dec 21, 2010 7:48 pm

Totiburgio wrote:
I will! Ill start it now Very Happy

AWESOME! Looking forward to living vicariously through ya man! LOL

Once you get it started perhaps you could also post the link to it here, as well, so that others that come here can then easily follow up if they are so inclined! Smile cheers
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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:39 pm

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PostSubject: Re: Good freeroll strategy   Sun Jan 09, 2011 4:28 pm

After reading this I won 10.00 in the tourny from doing a sit and learn,Thank you so much it really helped.I was down to three cents.
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