Last night I decided to enter one of the RailBird.Com freerolls that are offered many times throughout the month. As the name implies, there is no cost to enter the event. And the prize pool was $150 to be divided up amongst the top 108 players. The best paid are the top five ranging from 33.95 for the top finisher and 9.98 for fifth place. At the bottom end of 20th and under to 108, you get about a half dollar for your efforts.
Out of the 1122 starting players, I finished 33rd and earned .48 for my three hours of playing. While winning would have been nice, I played this freeroll to get experience in playing in a large group at a low expense. While you might think that a freeroll would be full of bad players, playing any two cards, many of the Railbird players are quite good and play to make their way up in the monthly and annual ranking on RailBirds.Com.
Once we passed the bubble at 108, the players started to be more aggressive, trying to accumulate the chips needed to finish in the top position. The blinds and antes were high enough so that there was about 3,800 in chips before betting even began. It would be worth trying to steal the blinds and antes as often as possible with any reasonable draw.
I saw my opportunity when I was dealt AK off suit and three players folded before play got to me. I raised for about 1/3 of my 25,000 chip stack (the average was about 50,000) and got two players to fold before the small blind called me. The big blind raised enough to put both myself and the smal blind all in.
I was feeling pretty good when I saw the small blind turn over an AK unsuited, same hand as my own. But the big blind had pocket Kings, KK. The only good news was that there were no more kings for the big blind to catch. The bad news was that there were only two aces left for me and the small blind. As fate would have it neither of us saw an ace on the flop and we did not get a miracle QJT for a straight so we were both out of the tourney.
What risks would you take to win a tourney? Would you be satisfied to just cash out? How would have played this hand?