Imagine you're playing Pot-Limit Omaha freeroll. On the first hand you get some okay cards, with some decent draws. In your four hole cards, there's a suited connector, a couple of unsuited one-gappers and all of them are above 9.
But here's the problem. There's a player that's raising the maximum amount at every opportunity. He's in early position and raises the max when it comes to him, and then raises the max after someone re-raises in middle position.
You're acting last, and you're facing his raise that has somehow swelled up to a third of your stack. Everyone else has folded. What do you do?
I called. And I don't think I should have.
At its core, Poker is a game of information. We win when we've got enough about our opponents, and we lose when we don't.
Making a judgement call on a person's character should never happen in the first hand, or any time in the early game, simply because we don't have enough information on the person we're playing against.
I thought I had. I thought I had him pegged as the guy who just raises the maximum every time, just because he can.
But he also could have been doing that because he wants to give off that appearance.
Always remember that, while Poker is a game of information, it will never be as simple as just sheep and wolves. There will always be a chance of that elusive wolf masquerading as a sheep, or even, a sheep trying it's best to grow some fangs and howl at the moon.
In my story, he could have been anything. He could have been duping me by pretending to not know what he was doing, or he could have had my number all along. Whichever it was is not important, though. What is important is that he had all of my chips at the end of the hand.
I figured him for someone using freerolls as a free roll for the money, so when he again bet the maximum on the flop, I went all-in. The result was him having my hand crushed and none of my draws coming in. The result was also me, The Prince of Freerolls, going out on the first hand.
It's a mistake I won't make again, and it's a mistake I hope you never make.
This little story about wolves and sheep has a moral at the end, like all the other fairy tales: Just because you think the person you're playing is just fooling around because it's free, doesn't necessarily mean he is.
Until you have enough information on a player, and especially on the first hand of the tournament, always be incredibly wary with playing for a large portion of your stack. You might just end up wasting your chance of money, and your time, by falling into their trap on a baseless hunch.
Be careful my fellow freerollers. I hear they're wolves around.