Freeroll Sit and Go’s
Freeroll Sit and Go’s were offered by a range of poker rooms up to the middle of 2007. Unfortunately, the Microgaming network have stopped providing them and AZApoker seem to have shut down altogether (a nice little site but it never managed to attract enough players). This leaves only one site providing them 24/7. (at the time this article was written) Other sites will occasionally host them but they tend to be novelty offerings. Cake poker sometimes have a weird freeroll when the prize structure is upside down. Third place gets the most money.
From the site’s point of view there is one major problem with offering unlimited numbers of no limit SnGs. If all their customers move all-in with the first hand the game is over straight away. The players simply join another game and move all-in again. On average they will each win 10% of the games and get into the money another 20%.
It’s not poker but as an effective way of building a gambling bankroll without depositing your own cash it is very effective. When Tropical Poker was beta testing they made this mistake. In fact, one day their lobby had no limit $1 freeroll heads up NL SnG’s. This was a disaster for them. With $1 to the winner and nothing for the runner-up there really was no point attempting to play normally.
Everyone cottoned on quickly and it was a case of just joining as many games as you could and hoping to win 50% of them. That day I won over 100 SnG’s. In the end Tropical got their own back. I will post about my disappointment with this place another day.(They are another site that seem to have closed down).
The danger for the sites is that they end up giving away too much cash to their smallest customers.
To counter this problem the sites have two options:
- to impose a limit on the number of freerolls you can play at any one time
- change the format of the games to limit rather than no limit
Best Freeroll SnG’s
The one and only site providing the best freeroll SnG’s
Everest Poker have opted to offer SnG limit freerolls. The 10 person tables have a prize pool of 10 cents. This is divided between the top three places in the traditional ratio of 50%: 30%: 20%. Everest are giving each player a buyin of 1cent every time they play. It may not sound like much but it has two major benefits:
- The other players don’t take it very seriously
- You can start your poker career without risking your own funds and play against some of the worst players imaginable
The level of play here defies critical analysis. The thought process of a typical player goes like this: “I have two cards, if I keep raising I might win a huge pot. Anyway folding is boring, Ok I will keep jamming and see if I can bluff my way to victory. Oh no, two people have already gone all-in ahead of me. Never mind perhaps I am getting the right pot odds to call here. What are pot odds anyway? Now this pot is just so big I’m not folding. Oh; my J 4 offsuit didn’t win, never mind reload and start again.”
I used to play the Everest SnG freerolls regularly when I first started and always enjoyed them. I was a very weak-tight player back then and just loved the fact that I would ALWAYS get paid when I did decide to play a hand.
I went back to check them out as I was writing this article and found them more popular than ever. The procedure for them is that Everest will open five or six new tables every couple of minutes. There is then a mad dash to claim an empty seat. You are limited to only one of these places at a time. I found it very difficult to get a seat, such was the demand for places. Once you are in however it is relatively straight-forward to finish in the top three. Just wait for a premium hand and join in the raising war. All hands get jammed and its rare to find less than 5 players in a hand at the start. You only need to win one good pot to be in excellent shape.
Once you have built up $1 or so you can take a stab at the smaller cash tables. The $5 variety in particular play fairly loose. The great thing about this level is that people often think to themselves “it’s only a few cents I will call to see what he has”. This means you often need to wait for a hand. Bluffing is more difficult. You need to keep a sense of perspective when playing at this level. It is easy to think you are the next Doyle Brunson when you are playing here because your rate of return at this level is so huge. I have found bad players at every level I’ve sat in but as you move up in stakes the players do improve. One thing to bear in mind is that the really awful players tend to congregate in the bottom two levels of a site. If the lowest levels of a room are 1c/2c and 5c/10c that is a maximum buyin of $5 and $10 that is where they will be. You will find that the $25 tables here contain a higher proportion of better players.
Verdict on this SnG: A-
If you are quick on the draw and can get a seat it’s definitely the top place to be if you don’t want to risk your own cash. Download the software by clicking on Everest Poker and you can be playing and winning right now.
How long you stay at this level is up to you. Remember you have the rest of your life to move levels. When I first started I used to look enviously at the amount of cash changing hands in the bigger stakes games. The day I realised I prefer to make steady consistent profits at the smaller games rather than gamble at the bigger games I improved substantially as a player.
The microstakes sng’s look to be excellent value, without the inflated rate structure some sites charge so gradually working your way up should be possible for anyone who genuinely wants to improve. If I was starting again I’d probably deposit $100 to make the best use of the welcome bonus but you can start playing without doing this.