This article covers freezeout poker tournaments and the strategy to follow in freezeout tournaments.
What is freezeout in poker?
A freezeout poker tournament is the most widely played format of poker tournaments. In these tournaments, each player enters with a fixed buy-in.
Buy-in is a certain value of chips that each player buys to enter a tournament. In freezeout tournaments, if a player loses the buy-in chips, they get busted out of the tournament.
Rebuys: In some freezeout tournaments, players are allowed to buy-in again if they lose all their chips within a specified time period. This time period is very short, e.g. until the first break after the start of the tournament. After the rebuy time period is over, the tournament becomes a freezeout tournament, i.e. players are eliminated if they lose their stack of chips.
Rebuy tournaments have a larger pool of prize, as most of the players who are eliminated in the rebuy time choose to re-enter the game by buying another stack for the freezeout. Rebuy tournaments are lengthy, as eliminated players before rebuy can buy their place back in the tournament.
Freezeout poker strategy
Here's a small strategy guide to freezeout poker tournaments.
In freezeout poker tournaments, players have to keep an eye on their stack at all times to assess the kind of risk they can take.
There are various kinds of freezeout games, depending upon the number of rebuys and the buy-in.
Strategy in Rebuy (limited) time
In tournaments with one or more rebuys, players play aggressively in the rebuy time. Especially the players with short stacks of chips often play aggressively shortly before the rebuy time is about to get over to either run out of stack or win a big amount.
Players basically decide between entering the freezeout with a short stack or with a full stack of chips. If you have a large stack of chips in rebuy time, then you can play cautiously and win the short stack from players who are playing to bust out or double up.
After the rebuy time, once the freezeout starts, players start playing cautiously with their stack of chips.
Strategy in unlimited rebuy
When players have the chance for an unlimited rebuy, you will see two kinds of players:
- One is who will play absolutely loose and aggressively
- The other kind of player minds the cost of a re-buy will play a semi-loose game, as there is still a chance for a rebuy in case they bust out.
Strategy in Freeroll freezeout
In freeroll tournaments, even if there is no rebuy, players play heartily, as they are in the game to either double-up their stack or bust out.
The ideal freezeout strategy
When you're in a freezeout game, the best way to play is to know your hand. Know which are good or bad hands for a position. Also, play as per the pot odds. If you largely follow your strategy, then there is a small chance of you losing.
- Early Phase: When you're in the early phase of a freezeout tournament, play a tight game. The only goal of this phase is to survive until the middle phase and grow your stack by a decent amount. So, play tight but not too tight.
- Middle Phase: In the middle phase, you can play a semi-loose game. Here you have to grow your chip stack. Ensure that you do not end up with a small stack. This phase usually gets good players, so play strategically and win a few good spots to increase your chip stack.
- Last Phase: In this stage, again play a tight game. The objective is to not lose your chip stack and finish in money. Here, players with very large stacks can play aggressively to finish in money and yet grow their stack. As the blinds are higher in this round, you can try to win the blinds. Identify the kinds of players you can take advantage of.
We hope you find this quick guide to freezeout poker tournaments and strategy useful.
You can also read our article about How to Play Poker in a Tournament.
Stay tuned for more poker and tournament-related articles.