When I fist started playing online poker at Pokerstars, I played for about 3 weeks in the free game rooms only.  I'd get the notices about tournaments but I quickly hit close on those annoying pop-up windows.  But one day I looked at one or at one of the emails and saw that it said 'free'.  Ooohh.  Free.  Well, now, that's different.  It would be silly to pay  to get into a tournament.  I believe I will always win but common sense says - 'common now, really?'.  But for free.   Now that's exciting.  So I peruse the information and find my way to a freeroll. 

I will say more about this at another time but I've written to the Pokerstars support/help team a lot, and they are good!

I did that in this case.  They helped me to set the tourney filter so I could only see Freerolls. (BTW why is it 'tournAment' but  then 'tournEy'?)   And I entered one!  The anticipation was silly and fun.  I could hardly wait for the tournament to begin!  Would I flub the first play?  Would everyone know I was a rank beginner?  I felt audacious and reckless!   Finally, it began.  I managed to keep my cool.  It was rather a shock when I looked for the little line that tells you what kind of hand you have.  I had gotten used to it there in the tables.  I found that I might overlook a straight or other hand once in a while.  I was pleased to discover that little 'help' line. Jack, Queen, King, Ace...use my fingers to count, no,  just four in a row.  Seems like it OUght to be more than four in a row but it's not.  It was rather a shock when I didn't see my crutch there on the Tourney  table.  'Ohho' I thought 'We're in the big leagues now!'.   Got to figure out what I have on my own AND figure out what the other players have or could have.  I'm sure I worked off more than a few calories in increased mental cogitation! 

I ended up in my first Hubble tournament at 3216.  I thought that was pretty  good.  I was better than 2/3 of the people playing!  I was pretty pleased with myself.  It was FUN!   MUCH better than just playing at the tables.  When Is The NExt Tournament gonna start!  HA!    The next tournament I played in, I got knocked out after about 20 minutes.  Grump, Grump.  All that anticipation, waiting, and I'm out in 20 minutes.   I started playing in every freeoll tournament I could find.  I figured, that if I got to the point that I won a Freeroll, I could buy in for ten dollars and play  in a 1.10 tourney.  Playing in the tables and going to the 100/200 tables and playing there really helped with the tournament play.  I didn't get intimidated when the blinds rose up to high levels because I'd played with big amounts before. 

I found the 36 player Shootout satellite tables.  At first, I wanted to play them like a regular table.  I was a little disgruntled when the players just went all in.  No!  I'm not going all in without looking at the flop!  I won one of the preliminary 6 people  tables  after a long grueling duel and where the opposing player left for a while and I had to sit and hit enter again and again and again.  At the final table of this tourney the players 'acted right' and didn't do that.  I finally figured out that this is a SHOOT OUT table.  That putting it all in and letting the luck have it's way is fun.  I mean.  IT'S PLAY MONEY!    It's really fascinating to see who wins.  Any hand can beat any hand.  AA can be beat by 2 3 offsuit.  7 2 can beat AK.   Yeah, ok, it's true.  The better hands have a much better chance.  But it just depends on where the chips fall.  Now, I'm one of the people who shove all in.  I can't understand why people complain when this happens.  I didn't start this.  I'm just doing what I've seen others do.  I also like it that it is quick and clean.  Either you win or it's off with your head.  I abhor the 'Cherry Picker'.  They are determined to sit there until they get AA or AK.  I imagine they are just  mutering away and saying 'I'm going to get you!'..  'You' being the guy who now has 7500 in chips because they went all in and won with all the other players.  I love it when they finally get their AA....and loose!  HA ha!   Obviously, if  this is a real money table, this isn't the best strategy.  But it's not a real money table.  Relax and enjoy it!

Now, I've been watching 'The Big Game' on TV.  Here it comes on at 1:00 am on FOX.  I've been charmed by Daniel Negreanu.  I identify with him.  He's a classy guy.  Good sport and pleasant.  I've rather looked down my nose at Phil Helmuth.  Thinking that he certainly has earned his nickname of the 'Poker Brat'.   Well, rather to my surprise, I find that when I get snookered out of a big hand my behavior is closer to Phil's than Daniel's!.  It's a good thing it's just me and my computer when I'm cussing out a blue streak!   When I win,  I fist pump or reach for the sky  with the best of them and yell out 'YES'!   That's a great feeling!