Monday, March 30, 2009 3:44 PM
Poker freerolls have to be one of the best promotional ideas to have ever come out of the poker industry. They give new players a chance to try the game out without risking anything - while at the same time giving them a chance to win real money. The poker sites win too because it’s a relatively cheap way to get players in the door and trying out their software.
If you haven’t heard of poker freerolls before, they are just free online poker tournaments that give away real cash prizes. All you have to do to join in on the action is choose a poker site, register an account and get to playing. It’s really cool because you don’t have to deposit any money, register your credit card or anything. There really are no strings attached.
Freerolls are the best option for poker players who want to start a bankroll but don’t have the extra money lying around. In fact, I’ve known several poker players over the years who got their start playing freeroll tournaments. Some of these guys have built 5 and 6 figure bankrolls without depositing a single dollar.
Chris Ferguson, winner of the 2000 WSOP Main Event, took a challenge to turn $0 into $10,000 in 2007 at Full Tilt Poker. He started out playing nothing but freerolls until he earned enough to move up through the limits. He completed the challenge within a year, accumulating $10,000 from scratch!
Stories like Ferguson’s are not that uncommon at all. Like I said, many players have started a bankroll from scratch - all it takes is a little time and persistence. Poker freerolls run every day but thousands of people play so it usually takes a while to make a cash and run with it. But if you keep at it, you can do the same thing Chris did.
$10K Bankroll Challenge - Chris Ferguson Style
The key to winning freerolls is patience. The early stages are full of wild players making all kinds of crazy moves. It can be a rollercoaster of a ride but it’s full of opportunities. All you have to do is play tight and wait for the big hands. As the tournaments progress, the crazy payers weed themselves out and you can play some serious poker.
The best part of all is that almost everyone you play against in a typical freeroll is an inexperienced poker player. If you read up on basic tournament strategy and play in enough freerolls, you’ll eventually take one down for a nice bit of cash. After that you can then switch to buyin tournaments or ring games and grind out a legitimate bankroll.
Poker freerolls are also good for experienced cash game players looking to expand into tournament play. They provide great tournament experience without costing you a fortune in entry fees. The extra money you can win is just gravy on top if you’re in it for the practice.
Tournaments with actual buyins play a little tighter but you’d still be surprised at how loose the play can be. A lot of it comes from people looking build big stacks early or bust out early and save the time. Your freeroll experience will translate nicely to buy-in tournaments. Again, all it takes is patience. All you have to do is sit back and let the crazy players send their chips your direction. Before you know it, you’ll have $10,000 too!