Freeroll Tournament Strategy
Freeroll Tournament Strategy
New players love freerolls because they give you a chance to win a part of real money cash prizes for with no entry fee. Hundreds of online poker sites run daily freerolls for you to join nowadays. Full Tilt Poker, for instance, runs a massive $100k GTD First-Depositors Freeroll, which is by far one of the biggest freerolls that you can enter as a new player online.
When you start playing a freeroll, either as part of a beginners bankroll building promotion or an exclusive VIP reward, there are certain facets that you need to adopt in your strategy.
Freeroll tournaments tend to attract many beginner and “fishy” players. This makes the beginning of the games very maniacal as players are shoving all-in with a wide range of hands and calling down your 3bets loosely. The massive aggression of the early stages of freerolls means that you can adopt one of two strategies.
When you sit down at a freeroll you can move all-in with your top 50% of hands including any suited aces, pocket pairs, A10+ or suited connectors. Moving all-in with these hands gives you a great chance of doubling or even quadrupling your stack in the early stages by stacking off with multiple fishy opponents. The genius of applying this method is that if you are successful you’ll climb straight to the top of the tournament leaderboard and give yourself a great chance of dominating the game and reaching the final table. If you bust out at your first all-in move than it sucks, but at least you didn’t waste any of your time grinding through a 5 hour long tournament.
By applying a quick instant win mentality in freerolls, you really do save yourself time from sweltering away and grinding yourself out against players that don’t honestly play by the rules.
The other strategy that you can adopt in freerolls is to play extremely tight. Playing tight counter-acts the loose aggressiveness of the tables in the early stages. By waiting for your premium hands JJ+/AJ+ you can trap opponents and stack off with multiple opponents pre-flop whilst you’re ahead. The obvious disadvantage to this is that you need enough bottle to wait for a good enough hand to shove all-in with.
Your main goal at all times in a freeroll tournament should be to secure a good run to the final table. There are lots of poker sites, such as Carbon Poker, that run daily freerolls worth between $50 and $100. But because the majority of money in tournaments in dished out to the top placed finishers it really provides no satisfaction for finishing in the top 20th places. You need to cement the final table finish to receive any sort of justification or ROI from playing freerolls. Finishing 30th out of 1,000 opponents might seem not bad but if the total GTD prizepool is limited to $500 than you’re not looking at much more than a $5 payout.
The trick to reaching the final table in freerolls is to pick up all of the loose chips that small stack and tight players leave on the tables. With blinds of 100/200 and antes of 50 there will be a heft value involved in picking up the blinds and dead money pots pre-flop.
You should concentrate on picking off small stack player (less than 30BBs). In addition, you need to adopt a care-free attitude of freely stacking off with small stacks when they re-raise your 3bet or move all-in. The majority of the time when small stacks do this sort of thing they will be shoving with their top 10-20% of hands. This gives you enough equity to be calling them down because you only have to win a coin-toss with them once in order to bust them out of the tournament. Think of it this way, if your stack is 100BBs and theirs is only 10BB than the maximum that you can end up losing against them is 10BBs and even if they win you will still have a couple more chances of calling their shoves.