Basic Poker Strategy: Freeroll Tournaments – The Endgame

If you’ve made it this far in the tournament and are at the last table in a freeroll, I suppose some congratulations are in order. You may well be in the bubble, but I doubt you’ve got much more than a Happy Meal’s worth added to your bankroll unless this is one of the (very rare, honestly) freeroll tournaments that actually offers up big money. You’re going to have to work harder to get the top prize, and I’m pretty sure you’ve been thinking that you’re working plenty hard, right? Wrong.

The Chip Leader

Unless you are the chip leader, don’t try too much for their stacks. Calling them out is not going to hurt their sack nearly as much as it will hurt yours. Instead, focus on the smaller stacks.

Smaller Stacks

These guys (and you may well be among them) are a bigger threat than you think. Small-stacked players know they need to start winning pots or they’re kicked to the curb so when they go all-in, they’re doing it for a reason! Frequently, a small stack will go all-in with a middling pair or even top pair and a stinker of a kicker because they’re hoping you fold. You’ll need to outplay them using a bit of logic, a bit of poker know-how and even some bluffing.

Win Blinds

This is one thing you are going to do want to do whenever you can. If you’re on the button or near it and you’re the first to call the big blind, make sure you raise most of the time. The people next to you may not have anything either and it’s likely that you’ll win blinds often enough for this to be a profitable tactic. Just make sure it’s not obvious when you do so and if they call you out, try to represent on the flop. Just pull out if you’re going to lose.

Be Aggressive

When it comes down to it, the only way you’re going to get other people’s money is by taking it. Capitalize on their weaknesses and the final table is the absolute best place to begin to consolidate other people’s chips into your own stack.

Eyes On The Prize

Don’t rely on odds, don’t rely on math. Keep track of how the others are playing and make notes of their playing technique. Build your stack deliberately. This is how you win a freeroll and, indeed, any poker tournament.