Improving bubble play

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Fida

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I tend to play very cautiously during the bubble stage, only to end up not making the final table, most of the time.

So I really want to learn optimal bubble strategy. Any tips?
 
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alien666dj

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I think there are always short stacks during a bubble and it makes sense to sit them out if you have enough stack. Not getting involved in hands against the chip leaders.
 
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fundiver199

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It seems like, you already have a pretty good idea, that you are playing to cautious near the bubble. The next step is to ask yourself why? Are you not properly bankrolled for the tournaments, you play? Then find additional money for your bankroll or move down. Or maybe you are simply risk averse and scared of losing? Then consider, if poker is actually the game for you. Or once again move down to a limit, where you truly dont care about the money at stake.

Or perhaps you are overly focused on short term results? Then try to force yourself to nok look at your results so often. Maybe check only once a week or once a month. Make it a habit to close the poker client without even looking at the balance in your account, and also close the tracker, if you use one, without checking results.
 
Vallet

Vallet

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As soon as the bubble ends, I evaluate my place in the standings. I keep playing calmly if I'm in the middle. But if the blinds have eaten up a decent portion of the stack and the standings are low, then it's time to expand the push range. A small prize is already in our pocket. You need to push against large stacks. Their range of challenge is greatest because they think they are in a comfortable position. Large stacks are the goal for your doubling down on the completion of the bubble.
 
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sibird

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I tend to play very cautiously during the bubble stage, only to end up not making the final table, most of the time.

So I really want to learn optimal bubble strategy. Any tips?
If you want to make money from poker then you must know how to stop losing money. That is the simple strategy applies during bubble stage. You need to safeguard your buy-in first. Once you are in the money, you would have more freedom in playing.

Thinking of the final table comes later on at later stage. Being in the money your next job would be to think of next slab of money you can reach. This way climb the ladder till you enter the final table.

I never think of final table while i am not even in the money.
 
Jon Poker

Jon Poker

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When we are short/medium stacked around the bubble we should tighten up and preserve our stack until the bubble bursts - some ROI is better than zero ROI so securing the cash is good for our bottom line.

That said, if we are 5 ppl away from the money - and we are in a position like 43rd out of 50 remaining - then we need to find a spot and make a move somewhere and distance ourselves from the other short stacks left in the game. If we can bring ourselves up to 40/50 or better, then we have some breathing room and can wait for the shorter stacks to go broke.

The upper side to the bubble is since alot of players will be tightening up, if we are one of the larger stacks left in the game we can ramp up our aggression preflop and take advantage of players over folding due to the bubble. This doesn't mean we need to go super crazy both pre and post flop - its just an opportunity for us to accumulate more chips due to the situation at hand.

Once the bubble bursts I return to normal play dependant on my effective stack size. I dont worry about icm implications until we reach the final two tables left in play. Most of the stakes I play at will not offer pay ladders large enough to consider icm until you reach the last two tables.

Lastly, remember this is tournament poker and you are going to lose way more often then you are going to win. You are not going to make the final table very often and when you do, you need to make the most of it. This doesn't always mean you're going to win even when you get there. Locking up the most cash possible should be a main focus at the FT - we are definitely playing to win, but we are also playing to net us the most ROI for our accomplishment of making the FT. Icm at the FT is something tons of players are not aware of and they do not adjust accordingly - so they end up effectively costing themselves more money in the long term.
 
Leeyonah96

Leeyonah96

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Be aggressive on the bubble cause everyone will be tight. All in if you have AX. Go for the win
 
ObbleeXY

ObbleeXY

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I tend to play very cautiously during the bubble stage, only to end up not making the final table, most of the time.

So I really want to learn optimal bubble strategy. Any tips?


Generally, I think people who play more LAG (Loose/Aggressive) around the bubble will fare better than those who remain super nitty. Around this time, whilst most people feel like you do -- ie just want to make the cash -- there are several rounds of blinds to be won. And better still, just winning the blinds still provides a significant addition to your stack since the blinds are so high.

Now, if everyone is getting loose and aggro, then this idea is not a good one. In that case, just wait for AA, KK, and shove.

At the end of the day, it is difficult to fold your way to first place. Pick your spots, get the money in good, double-triple up a few times early, and then start targeting specific players for their stack. ID the ones (like me) who call too much or overvalue speculative hands.

If you're not shoving, make sure you are playing in position. Playing out of position makes it too easy to suck out and lose to an otherwise marginal hand.

Also -- be careful about c-betting with certain players. Some players will always call a C-Bet. If that is the case, and you don't have the best hand, check it down.

REALLY pay attention to ranges being played and by whom. At this point there is a big difference between someone who only shoves made hands versus someone who will shove speculative premium hands.

After a session, go through the hands you've lost around the bubble and determine what the cause of the loss was. If you had the better hand going in and just got sucked out, doin't worry it. Try to find the other hands where you bled unnecessarily. But if you didn't get your money in good, figure out what went wrong.

Cheers,
ObbleeXY
 
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MakTrue

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I tend to play very cautiously during the bubble stage, only to end up not making the final table, most of the time.

So I really want to learn optimal bubble strategy. Any tips?


Good day!
With a large stack on the bubble, you need to push - everyone wants to get into the prizes and further and will not often defend themselves, except for really strong hands and frostbitten maniacs with garbage.
With a small stack and a medium stack, just play on the map.
Good luck at the tables!:)
 
filippfilm

filippfilm

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I tend to play very cautiously during the bubble stage, only to end up not making the final table, most of the time.

So I really want to learn optimal bubble strategy. Any tips?

It depends on which stack is at this stage and which options are at the table .If the stack is solid, then there is every chance to steal the blinds from the players as they are in a difficult position and will sit out until the prizes . If on the contrary the stack is average I will enter the prizes and then I will look for a moment to hit that would at least double my stack and have a chance to win the tournament:)
 
mariale_1990

mariale_1990

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near the bubble my strategy is to play very carefully even if I have many chips, many times I try to play normal, as always without being aware of the bubble because many times my nerves and doubts make me make mistakes
 
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Zirkzee

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As short and mid stack you have to play differently than big stack in the bubble. The independent chip model states that as a short stack you have to have a higher win rate than in cash games in order to call an all-in profitably. As a short stack, you should play tighter at the bubble. It follows that as a midstack or bigstack you should attack shorter stacks as they often have to fold. For example, your are in the small blind and everyone has folded in front of you. You're in the bubble and your stack is bigger than your opponent's in the big blind. Then you should go all in with any two. Because you have a high fold equity in this situation. Most of the time it is 90% because your opponent will only play the best 10% of all hands. Even if he calls, you often have a 30% win rate. And even if you lose, you still have chips and are in the tournament.
 
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