Be Careful With Freerolls
By Hank Cashman of Predictem.com
I have a lot of friends that started out playing freeroll tournaments and will never play them again. Freerolls are great for the beginner to learn or for places where regular poker isn't legal. Other than that they are not worth your time and can hurt your game.
Freerolls usually pay out in points or very small cash prizes. Either way the prizes are worth your investment in money (nothing) but usually not your investment in time. Most of these are played in bar poker leagues and are funded by the money the bar makes off of the food and drinks that players buy while playing. The profits aren't that high so the pay outs aren't either.
Since there isn't a buy-in the players have nothing invested in the game, therefore, they also have nothing to lose. That changes the play of the game. Some players are willing to go all-in with nothing. They are hoping to bluff and buy a pot that they would never try if it was real money. It changes the game if you play for even a dollar.
Some players use freerolls as a place to practice new techniques or styles of play. This can be done but with much caution. Again freeroll players are not your typical poker players. So, what you learn by practicing in freerolls does not translate directly to regular ring games or tournaments. I you want to improve your game play with better players.
If you play in a large on-line or live freeroll, you might as well buy a lottery ticket. If there is a poker game that is mostly luck, it is the large freeroll tournaments. The play is so crazy, loose and aggressive that it becomes and game of shear luck.
Freerolls do serve a purpose. Freerolls are great social events and bar gatherings. They are very good places for new players to get off the computer and play face to face. This is a good place to start to learn tells and how to play them.
Freerolls are pacifiers for those of us that don't live near a casino. They will keep us out in public until we can get away to go to a casino.
They aren't the place to get the best experience. They aren't where you will play your best game. Be very cautious and adjust your game after playing a freeroll. When you re-enter the world of ring games and tournaments, if you keep playing like you're in a freeroll you will be on the rail fast.
Just remember that these tourneys do have there place in poker but they are mostly for the very newest beginner and just a social event.
Keep the cards and chips flying.
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