Basic Poker Strategy: Freeroll Tournaments – The Middle Stages

We continue our discussion of how to play in freeroll online poker tournaments.

In our last poker strategy article, we discussed the beginning stages of playing in a freeroll poker tournament. If you’re reading this one, we presume you’ve gotten through the first stretch of the proceedings and are now aiming solidly to, at the minimum be in the bubble if not to win it.

While you don’t need to cling to our pointers as much as you did when the event first started, you should stick to the basics laid down and keep them in mind.

Personally, I’ve found that it benefits my game greatly to become more aggressive and play more hands that I did before, even if it’s just stepping down one or two steps and including AJ, A10, KJ, KJ and even the dreaded K10 limp, depending on position and the tenor of the table.

While it’s great to play more hands and feel engaged with the table, I have to say that the best thing I’ve done for my game is to learn to not care about anyone else’s stack size unless I’m playing directly against them and they can push me out of a hand at will.

The stress of worrying about the bubble can kill your momentum and, frankly, the desire to get ahead of the average stack can lead to bad decisions. Your goal throughout this stretch of the freeroll is to try to get as many chips as you can from other players while conserving what you already have in front of you.

However, when you have the cards, it’s time to be a little more aggressive and do your best to help yourself to the other players’ chips.

By the time you hit this stage of the game, there’s likely to be fewer people chasing hands when they hold overcords that don’t hit or with lower pairs, but there are going to be at least a few, so keep your eye out for them.

And, just like we discussed in the first part, you don’t want to play too fancily. While we all have the romantic image of the super-smart, stone-cold bluffer in our mental Facebook, I’ve found that bluffing is frequently a great way to stupidly hand over your money to someone else, and think about how many times you’ve seen other players take a random hand, some real piece of trash (3-5 offsuit, for instance) and raise and then continue to try and bluff to win the pot.

It’s impatience that’ll lead to your downfall when playing online poker at any time, and bluffing is frankly the ultimate expression of that in 90% of the cases.

We all bluff when we play poker, though, and so when you do bluff, make sure you have at least a passable chance at something that could be victory, maybe.