I started playing online at free tournament games. I usually stick to a solid % range of hands where I go in on preflop, always folding the rest. But later into the tournament when blinds grow and antes start kicking in, people start to all-in early, I see 'a lot' of them betting with hands like J5o, 65s etc. What's the reasoning behind betting preflop with such hands at all? Are these antes and relatively lower stacks which make such bets profitable equity-wise? Or are they simply playing wrong and will be kicked off later?
With free tournaments and games, playing a lot of hands is a good thing, it helps one learn how a lot of hands play. The object of free play is to play so one can learn.
Then there are others who are just having fun, serious poker when there is nothing serious involved is not fun.
At any rate free money poker games are not really poker, they are just some card game that looks like poker, about as serious as go fish. What makes poker a poker game is the element of betting. If you do not have stakes that have meaning you do not have a poker game. You just have fun.
As the blinds grow, your opportunities to wait for a great hand go down, so the chance to get lucky with a poor hand, right now, can become comparable to the chance to get lucky with a great hand later, which might never come.
As the blinds become large relative to your stack, playing with poorer hands makes sense. And the same may be happening to the others at the table.