Joined: Dec '09
Location: United States
Age: 36 (M)
Hi! I submitted this story to a magazine, but I was only going to get $10 for it. I figured why not help some people who are grinding?
My PokerTracker is being brutal with Bodog, so I can't post any solid statistics from tournaments. I have cashed in Cake Poker and Bodog tourneys using this method. I haven't tried it any other place so let me know, I'll make sure to never answer your post.
I like to limit my time playing, so this treatise barely requires you to even know how to play poker.
PICKING YOUR POISON:
The most important choice is finding a room that has No Limit Hold'em with a starting chip count of 1200 or 1500 with a high prize amount. Avoid any fixed limit games as they can take twice as long for half the payout. You want to maximize your profit and minimize your time at the tables.
If you would like a schedule, check out **removed, against our forum rules /admin**
Bodog Poker: This is by far the best room to play a freeroll. You get points for playing freerolls that you can use in other tournaments, the payouts are high and the player field is only a few thousand. The players here are average in skill. Freerolls 3x a day.
Cake Poker Network: The players here are weak. Follow my strategy and there is a good chance you'll cash. The prizes are low but the field goes fast. Freerolls about 8x a day.
Merge Gaming Network (Reefer Poker): Weak players and tournaments are capped at 1500 people. Lowest prizes out of all. Offered a few times a day.
FullTiltPoker: Prizes are OK, but the fields are always at least 10,000 players. Interface is good, and the players range from really good to players who go all-in every hand. Offered almost hourly.
Absolute Poker/Ultimate Bet: Bad prizes, higher player fields, tables rebalance too often. This means for three hands in a row you could be moved from table to table, which does not allow you a table image. The players are average. Freerolls about 8x a day.
Pokerari (Everleaf Gaming Network): This is the smallest poker room and is extremely slow. But it also has the worst players, and you don't have to download anything. 2X a day.
Avoid'em: Pokerstars and TruePoker. If you've ever played on any other site, you'll understand. Although Pokerstars has high game frequency and variation, they are often limit games and take hours for prizes. TruePoker is painfully slow, and offers one freeroll a day.
How To Cash in Three Parts:
Here is the strategy I use to cash. I do not care about first place, or even 50th place. I would just like to build a bankroll bit by bit. I use variations, but here is a beginner's treatise. This is based on data from freerolls on Absolute Poker.
If you want to win the tournament, here is my suggestion. Run the program in reverse (do steps 3, 2, 1) until you reach the final table. Play marginal hands at the beginning and go all-in quite a bit more. You're more likely to bust out early, but there is a small chance you'll have a giant stack by the time the cash comes.
That's a statistically untested theory, and completely anecdotal, but I think tournament regulars would agree that this type of play is risky but common.
Until big blind reaches 100 or 40-55 minutes:
Don't bluff at any street. Go all-in with AA, KK, or QQ in middle or late position. If you are facing a raise and re-raise or higher in any position with QQ, fold. In late position just call with AK suited or off-suit. Otherwise, fold. Do not worry about stealing blinds, they are too small and even freeroll players can trap.
If you are faced with a situation where there quite a few callers and someone doesn't raise your blind, check it down. If you have the best hand possible on the flop turn or river, check and re-raise three times a bettor. If they raise, go all-in. If your hand is still the nuts on the turn and river, I can't really give you more information. If it is a dangerous board, bet 2/3 of the pot at the flop and turn. Of course, call an all-in raise.
At this point in the tournament I got AK suited, KK, AA in a row. The players at my table had abnormally large stacks. I won the first two hands by going all-in. Since my heart rate was up, I raised minimum in second position with AA and had one caller. The caller hit a set of 8's on the turn and trapped me badly on the river. I checked the flop and minimum bet the turn. He called my turn and I thought he had hit top pair, a King on the board. I bet the pot at the river and got reraised all in. I played the important pot odds rule here and got burned. For every dollar I called his raise with, I could have gotten six back. So I called.
The pot odds in these tournaments do not matter much. I wouldn't advise calling a reraise on the river if you have the third or fourth best hand just because you can get 2 to 1 on your money. If I can get 4x my money by calling in the middle of the tournament, I'm happy. The blinds are low, and you still can recover. And recover I did.
Loosen your starting hand requirements. I become a calling station during this period. This is where I am most successful and have the highest rate of return according to the software. Just follow this card. As silly as it sounds, K10, KJ and Q10, suited or otherwise, are not premium hands unless in late position. You have a lot of catching up to do.
I call with off suits--- AQ AJ A10 KQ pairs 2 through 8 And any suited Ace-x
Call in any position, fold to raise higher than 3x Big Blind.
Minimum Raise With--- 99 1010
AJ A10 KQ QJ J10
Raise in any position, fold to raise higher than 3x Big Blind or more.
Raise 3x Big Blind--- AK off AK suited AQ suited JJ QQ
Raise in any position, and reraise. If one player pushes, call. Two or more players, fold.
AA, KK all-in preflop in middle and late position but raise 3x BB if you are first or second to act, and re-raise all in to any raise.
My advice is be extremely aggressive unless you've hit a set, full house or flush. I usually check the best hand on the flop and bet 2x the minimum on the turn. If someone raises on the flop, I rarely just call. A lot of poker is statistics, you want the player out of the hand if you know they have the possibility of chasing a good one. If you have a large stack, this is the perfect time to just call a raise on the flop if you have the best hand. You can take a bad beat and the profits can be huge. However, most people will just fold if you bet to early with a large stack.
If you want to get more chips from a player, try and get your value bets on the river. Most of the time I get reraised on the river I'm beat. When I get called, I usually win. So make the bet small, but not too small that they are enticed to bluff. I'd try ½ the pot.
Don't overplay straights.
Be extremely defensive against straights or flush draws. Overbet the pot if you hit top pair on the flop. If you get callers, be aggressive on the turn if it's a flop with a different suits. If you get reraised after being that aggressive, they might have hit a straight or set.
Tips: Try not to talk on the Chatbox, always muck. Timing tells only work if you have been at a table for a while. That is, quick checks on a huge flop or extremely slow calls may indicate a huge hand for a player. Most of my timing tells don't even matter because I'm multitabling. Consider yourself a poker playing robot. And remember, AK suited is a better valued hand than JJ.
20% of the field left
For step 3: raise 3-5x the Big Blind, suited or otherwise:
AA KK AK AQ JJ QQ AQ AJ A10 KQ
The pre-flop cards you play stay the same as Step 2 with a few exceptions.
Stop calling with suited Ace-X cards. This is personal preference, players start getting tight here. If you have A2 suited and you miss your flush, chances are someone might have a pair or better kicker.
I call most raises with a pocket pair of anything and hope for a set, even if I'm short stacked. I will then fold to in all-in reraise.
I raise 3-5x the big blind with every hand I listed for step 2, even AA and KK. If you go all in with a monster, most individuals aren't going to call you at this point unless they have a monster, too. A common situation is AK offsuit vs. KK.
The goal is to get to the money. Raise aggressively with pairs EVEN if you miss the flop or hit a set, but try to avoid re-raise all-ins at all costs. Most players going all-in by this point think they have the best hand. In order to reach this point in the tournament you may have gone all-in only once. That being said, you will need to at least three or four times to stay alive and cash if you played extremely tight at the beginning.
If you believe you can make the cash just by auto-folding, do it. If you calculate wrong, well then follow this rule: Push all-in with any ace or a pair if you have less than ten big blinds.
Once you are in the money:
If you are a low-stack, start pushing all-in with any of the hands I've already listed. Once you get to an average stack size, play again like the final third of the tournament. If you have a big stack, play extremely tight until you get to the final table.
Here's a fair warning: With this strategy, I always enter the money with about half the average chip stack.
Winning a pokerfreeroll is like breaking into show business: There's a lot of luck involved, but some talent helps. Of course, you don't have to be handsome or funny, only patient.
Edited by Administrator (18 January 2010 @ 22:40 GMT)
Joined: Feb '09
Age: 32 (M)
Waw, some really nice thread Might be interesting to mulitable like Ten or 12 freerolls. I'm sure you can fast build a really good bankroll with this (only problem is to withdraw 5 $ on all lobbys ). Thank you and welcome into Banrkollmob
Joined: Nov '09
Age: 46 (M)
genious just printed it and tag it next to my screen I kind already knew all of it but know I see it I have to listen to it ...............will I I dont always listen to my self hopes thats help thank you for that great tread
Joined: Dec '09
Age: 31 (M)
i usually play like this ... but it doesn't pay off all the time. and you can't play like you said .. after getting into prizes you have to be more aggressive , you will run out of chips and blinds will eat you up , if you stick to your reverse strategy
Very interesting, well written and useful; it's more or less strategy most of us follow ( or followed in the past ) for playing freerolls trying to earn something, but it's well organized and detailed. Compliments
Joined: Jan '10
Location: Moldova, Republic of
Age: 48 (M)
Thanks! A very interesting and nice nice thread But if you will have time pls give some more info about rooms with a lot of freerols. and like others I knew the most of this, but sometimes its too hard to follow this trategy.
Joined: Dec '09
Location: United States
Age: 36 (M)
Sure, sure. I've reduced the ultra-tight play to just a half an hour for my strategy.
I realize that a lot of you folks are from EU, and I'll just let you know my most profitable freeroll site was on the Microgaming Network.
Here is an short version:
Until 30/60 First part: AA KK and QQ late position all in, call AK. 2/3 of pot after flop if you hit top pair or set in blinds.
150/300 Second Part: AA KK all in. Be more careful with KQ and QQ here. Raise AK 3x BB. 3x BB most suited high cards. Call pairs 2-9. Raise 3x BB 10s, Js, and Qs early position. Play your good hands slow. Call on flop, and make your move on the turn. Min bet if no bettors or 2/3 pot if many players.
400/800 Third Part: Be prepared to go all in after being raised. 3x BB early, 4x BB middle, 5x BB late position for when two of your cards are above 10. Not a lot of bluffing going on at this point, be careful.
Joined: Aug '09
Age: 33 (M)
Really good strategy! I always used a strategy very close to this one, and works! And if I could add a tip....On the first hour of toruney, wacht tv or something...keep looking on the cards, but only enter the game when u have REALLY good cards! otherelse, watch tv! lol