The bubble is one of the most significant stages of any poker tournaments and is also one of the easiest to get all wrong. It may let you wonder whether you should be getting in such kind of situation in the first place. Some players will always show that they do not care whether they win money or not, but when bubble approaches, nobody wants to be the last to leave without money.
Stacks– Most of the tournament have such flexible bubbles that it can be used to structure your pre-bubble strategy with a stack that allows you to steal. It simply means passing on thin gambles when losing the pot would leave you unable to steal on the bubble or taking gambles when you don’t have a hope of doubling up to a healthy stack.
Play the last bet– As it is a lot tougher to call a push with a marginal hand than it is to push, so try to structure your betting in such a way that you are the only player pushing all-in. You will notice that most players will not be interested in going after the flop if you play your draws aggressively. It’s not always necessary that if your opponent decides to see a flop, he has a big hand. Most of the time, they are just doing it to get a cheap showdown.
Blinds– You should defend their blinds if the play-to-cashers are not doing so. Don’t think an aggressive player on your right as a cramp, but instead, it is an opportunity for you as he is putting a lot of money into the pot that he cannot defend. It will always be a win-win situation for you as either he will keep raising and donating to you or he stop raising and let you go back to picking on the weak players’ blinds.
Pay attention to chat– You can get a lot of clues from the chat about table nods or who is playing to cash. Players will comment on how often you have been calling or raising. They might also threaten to call you next time. So, try to focus on such chats as they might help you make tough decisions when facing a re-steal.
Know the players– You should start paying attention to who is making big laydowns and who is not defending the blinds. You should start evaluating probable play-to-casher even before the bubble begins. The tactic of open raise depends on three factors- your cards, your position and who is in the blind.
Not playing the position– Your opponents won’t know when it is safe making a stand against you by being constantly aggressive. You won’t lose too much if you have to fold while making a less than standard raise. Make your move if there is a better than even chance you can steal this pot. It is a huge mistake to fold when it’s folded around to you and you are acting in the position. So, always raise in position unless you are facing an extreme stack.
It is gloomy, but simply that if you play a lot of poker games, you are going to bubble a lot of tournaments. You are going to lose some painful coin flips, take some horrific bad beats, cost yourself money, miss out on a lot of big tables and final table bubble a lot of big tournaments. So, better understand the dynamics and realities of the bubbles, it will help you able to crush the bubble stages of all major tournaments.