Party Poker

Philosophy Of A Freeroll

For many people, the way to build up a bankroll, through bonus money or through actual cash awards, can be found through the freeroll tournament. Every online site offers them, with differing payouts, but most are a minefield for a player to get through. There is every range of player, from the greenest beginner to the seasoned veteran that is rebuilding. There is also an opportunity to practice the game and make a little something for your efforts.

When entering into a freeroll, be prepared to spend quite a bit of time and effort, with the extreme possibility that any reward, unless you win the event, will be minimal. The payment you receive for these tournaments is the experience of play which, if used correctly, can translate into future success when you work your way into the cash tournaments and ring games.

Most players enter into these tournaments with one of these three types of mindsets:

1) "Freeroll Madness" - These are the types of players who will play any two, any time and you MUST be prepared for them. These are the players that either build the humongous stacks that you see anywhere from fifteen to thirty minutes into the event and are capable of calling you down with any holdings, or they are the ones at the bottom of the player list who busted out early.

2) "The Tournament Practitioner" - These are players who are there to hone their styles. They will be the ones who are there to work on their games, plugging leaks that they have seen in their play and possibly may want to experiment with different plays than they may use in a cash tournament. They are players that will build their stacks, attack when necessary, and usually will be around for at least the first hour of a freeroll, unless they have run into the person on the previous game plan.

3) "The Funsies" - These are the people that got into the game simply for the fun of it. You can never get an accurate read on these people, as far as what cards they hold, playing style or other things. What you can tell is that they are there for the fun of it, because they are the chatty types that will talk about anything and everything. They can be the most fun person to find at your table during the tourney, but they can be the most dangerous type to go against, because they are just there for the camaraderie of the game and are capable, when the cards hit, to take you out.

The danger of a freeroll is that you will fall into bad habits and plays that you wouldn't normally make in a cash game. You know that the A-5 suited that you are holding is not a good play, but darn it, you would have the nut flush if the cards fall right. You also know that, more often than not, you are not going to take too many pots with this. This said, however, you will see many people playing hands like this (any suited two, low connectors, etc.). Only with the proper discipline can you keep this from happening. It will be a good test for your patience and abilities in this area.

When you play the freeroll, I have always found it best to use the time as a training ground for your game. Play like you would in a cash tournament; there is something, however small, at stake and worth your effort. If you feel like experimenting, this is the time to use it. This is your game; there should be no reason to waste your effort playing cards that you wouldn't usually be seeing flops with.

Freeroll tournaments can be a good way to get table experience and, in the right events and cases, add on to your beginning bankroll. It will also give you important practice on other aspects of the game, such as not going on tilt, bluffing, and how you play certain situations. How you conduct your game could be the difference between someone who plays poker and a poker player.

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