What is a Freezeout Poker Tournament and How to Adjust

Learning what is a freezeout poker tournament can help you to experience the best possible tournament, whether online or at a land-based casino. As we already know, poker rooms and poker sites offer dozens of different tournament formats.

One of popular formats is freezeouts to rebuys, each available format has its dynamics, style of play, advantages and disadvantages. This article will cover the freezeout poker format with detailed information. So, keep reading to experience the best poker tournament journey!

Freezeout Poker Tounament Meaning

Understanding What is a Freezeout Poker Tournament

To answer the question about what is a freezeout poker tournament, it is the ones in which no rebuys, or re-entries are allowed. It means that one player gets to play only one time. 

The best example of a traditional freezeout poker tournament is the WSOP Main Event, in which you can only buy one stack of chips across the 4 starting days. If you lose, then you are out for good!

Online poker and poker rooms operators these days have begun to introduce the re-entry option to more and more freezeout poker tournaments to make the profits bigger and more attractive to the players. However, the freezeout format is quite attractive as well. 

For many experienced players, what is a freezeout poker tournament means that they will get to use more pressure on the opponents, as the risk of busting out and going home obviously exists. 

This is definitely why some players consider freezeout poker the only pure form of the game, as it will put everyone to difficult decisions that can mean the end of the tournament early on. 

Shorter durationSmaller profits
Easy to findHigh volatile
Level playing fieldOnly one chance
Simple tournament strategy
Prize pool information is clear early on

Freezeout Poker Tournament Example

The Real Freezeout Poker Tournament

In what is a freezeout poker tournament where the entry is MYR 100, each player starts with 10,000 chips. When someone loses all their chips, they will have to leave the tournament as they can’t buy back in. They need to manage their chips wisely and take risks carefully. 

  • Arnold playes cautiously at the beginning of the freezeout poker tournament to keep his chips safe
  • Ferdinand made a calculated betting in the freezeout tournament, knowing he can’t re-enter if he lost all his chips
  • Brian was out early from the freezeout tournament after struggling in a few rounds

The Different of Freezeout Poker Tournament from Other Formats

What is a freezeout poker tournament known for being shorter than other types of  tournaments. The length of any poker tournament based on the blind levels and the size of the starting stacks. 

Freezeout formats tend to finish faster than other formats. Here, players who lose will not be able to re-enter. It means that each player eliminated makes the poker tournament run faster compared to the events where the players can re-enter. 

Some poker players, both experienced and new, prefer shorter tournaments. They are not willing to spend hours playing the same event. Recreational players who play in one tournament at a time will find this very fascinating. 

Even experienced players, who are used to all formats, can enjoy shorter tournaments. This enables them to reset more before playing poker again the next day or soon after. 

Strategy for Freezeout Poker Tournament

What is a freezeout poker tournament has a big impact on a player’s approach. As we already know, players are not allowed to buy back into the game. Therefore, they have to play cautiously, particularly at the beginning. Managing the chips well and making the right decisions is important to stay in the game and avoid getting knocked out early. 

In a freezeout tournament, it is important to know your hand. Figure out which hands are strong or weak based on your position. You can follow the pot odds too. If you stick to your strategy, you will not lose much. Here are some strategies that you can follow to improve your poker tournament:

Early Phase

In the early stage of what is a freezeout poker tournament, you need to play cautiously. The main goal is to survive and grow your stack a little. Therefore, play carefully but not too cautiously.

Middle Phase

In the middle phase of what is a freezeout poker tournament, you must play a bit more freely. Your goal should be to increase your chip stack. Avoid having a small stack, so you will face good players here. So, be strategic and take advantage of good chances to boost your chip stack. 

Later Phase

During the last stage, you can go back to playing carefully. Your goal is to protect your chip stack and finish in the money. Players with big stacks can be aggressive to finish in the money, and keep growing their stack. Since the blinds remain higher in this round, the goal is to win them. Analyze players you can exploit during the last stage.

Tips to Adjust to Freezeout Poker Tournaments

Nowadays, many poker tournaments offer some type of a re-entry option. Some players learn how to play in an atmosphere where re-entries are usual. However, understanding what is a freezeout poker tournament is great, not only for when you will play in them, but also for when you play in re-entry events. Well, here are some tips if you want to adjust to a freezeout poker tournament.

1. Start Slowly

Freezeout poker tournaments have an indication to have a slow format as well, offering you plenty of play in the early levels. The last thing you expect to do is drop your chips in a bad spot early in the tournament, which is why you need to be playing tight at the beginning. 

2. Fold If You are Beat

Perhaps, the biggest mistake many players make in what is a freezeout poker tournament is that they make the call even when they know they are beaten. Getting sucked out on the river or turn will obviously be annoying. However, sometimes there is simply nothing you can do about it. 

The nature of poker tournaments is that you will run into bad beats and coolers. If you bust out every time you do, then you will not get very far at all. Instead, consider thinking about things in a systematic way and find the correct fold if you see you are clearly beaten. Understand to fight in another hand and take the better spot when it comes. 

3. Use Pressure When Possible

While playing tight early on in what is a freezeout poker tournament is the way to go, there is also a time to begin loosening up and using some pressure. As the tournament will move in the later levers and you make your stack. you will know your opponents get a bit more frustrated. 

4. Keep ICM in Mind

ICM is a term that many tournament players don’t fully know, however, one that can make you profit a bunch of money in the long run. Player fields in what is a freezeout poker tournament are smaller, so you can find yourself hovering around the final table more often than you will in re-entries. 

Therefore, you need to understand the importance of ICM implication in late-game and the ways you can make more of your decisions in this phase. Practice ICM with one of the many useful simulation tools in your study sessions and you will see your results drastically improve.

Final Thoughts

Learning what is a freezeout poker tournament is important for all players, whether you are experienced or the new ones. It remains one of the purest forms of poker out there, which offers a level playing field for all players as everyone will get just one opportunity. You might or might not like this fact, however, this is the perfect format if you do. 


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