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proper bubble strat


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#1 BilliardsBoy

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 05:08 AM

Hey guys, wanted to get a sampling from some seasoned tourney players.Playing NLHE, what are your strategies when you get close to the bubble in the following situations (forgive me if some seem obvious, but I'd like to know for sure what everyones thoughts are):1. High stack (large field and small field)2. Average stack (large and small)3. Small stack (large and small)When posting, please specify your thought process with regards to making the money and trying to win. I've always been an advocate of playing to win, but certain situations seem better suited for just making the money.Thanks guys in advance
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#2 Petoria

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 07:03 AM

BilliardsBoy said:

Hey guys, wanted to get a sampling from some seasoned tourney players.Playing NLHE, what are your strategies when you get close to the bubble in the following situations (forgive me if some seem obvious, but I'd like to know for sure what everyones thoughts are):1. High stack (large field and small field)2. Average stack (large and small)3. Small stack (large and small)When posting, please specify your thought process with regards to making the money and trying to win. I've always been an advocate of playing to win, but certain situations seem better suited for just making the money.Thanks guys in advance
If you're working with a big stack in a large field, you're trying to steal a couple times a round. It's the best time to accumulate chips, no doubt about it. If the field is small, like less only the top 5 pay, you want to be aggressive, but try to avoid calling reraises. You don't want to double anyon up, like you can afford to do in large fields.An average stack has to be just as aggressive, but he can afford to gamble in both large and small fields. Obviously you have to know whether or not your table will play back at you. Sometimes it is optimal to just sit back and wait for a hand, and know that someone will probably pay you off. It's rare that you run into a table like that in low buy in tourneys on the bubble, but it does happen.I'm not sure about shortstack play on the bubble. To tell you the truth I'm not sure about any of this advice, so take it for what it's worth.
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#3 JSCME

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Posted 26 October 2005 - 08:28 AM

As a shortstack, in a small field, I like to allin with any A or poket pair if it is an unraised pot. I'll normally fold anything else.Im usually good enough to make it past the bubble if I get that far. My problem is working higher into the money once I am there.

#4 AshleyC

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 04:25 AM

Bubble strategy depends on the prize money distribution. I played in a tournament last night that paid the top 9 out of 48, but the prize structure was steep - 1000 for 1st down to just 65 for 9th. With about 15 players left I became extremely aggressive. This was partly due to the fast blind structure but also due to the payout system. I was in about 5th place when I adopted this strategy. I figured that if I played a tight game I would likely make the money. Whereas if I were aggressive when most players tighten up to get into the money then I stood a higher chance of getting knocked out but also a higher chance of making one of the top places.In expected value terms I believe that this was the correct strategy. Tight strategy:Approx - 0.65 x 65 + 0.15 x 250 + 0.20 x 0 = 79.75Aggressive strategy:0.15 x 1000 + 0.15 x 250 + 0.2 x 65 + 0.5 x 0 = 200.50 .This worked well last week when I took third place and 250, but unfortunately last night I was knocked out in 13th place. Note that I hardly ever call raises unless I have a monster, but always make sure that I am the initial raiser. I don't adopt a maniac reckless attitude. Interestingly, when people notice that you are doing lots of raising they get quite frustrated and play back with less premium hands. Infact I've been re-raised with A8 and the like before in similar situations. This poses great opportunities to double up. Timing is crucial. I raise lots but then only call re-rasises with premium hands. With the chips earned from the stealing you can often afford to then take a coin flip such as AK vs 10s and hope to get lucky and make the big money.

#5 BilliardsBoy

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 05:05 AM

Thanx for the posts so far guys.Interesting point about the payout structure that, to be honest, I never really gave a thought to. Will be doing so from now on, so thank you.I think that a general consensus is that when high stacked you push little guys around but not risk too many of your chips, and that when low stacked you probably want to pick a hand and stay alive, or try and get your money back by simply waiting to make the money and have almost no shot at winning.I think the most confusing spot for me is when I'm right in the middle. I have a mentality that I'm most likely going to make the money since I'm not low stacked and start to think about how I can try to win. Is this the proper mentality? What would be the best way to go about winning the whole thing, should I be willing to put chips at risk or just wait to make the money?
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#6 AshleyC

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 05:10 AM

I wouldn't neccessarily pick on the short stacks, i.e. if they've got 20K and have raised to 8k then it's difficult to push them off the hand as they're basically pot committed. If you put them all in they've got to call their remaining 12k to win a pot of over 40k if you include the blinds. I tend to pick on the medium stacks that are trying to hang on. When raising a short stack think are you prepared to call an all in from them - if not fold the hand.

#7 TJ_Eckleburg

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Posted 27 October 2005 - 06:38 AM

Some broad generalizations that I try to live by:Pay close attention to who's doing the raising and who's doing the folding. Middle stacks are best served to do more stealing than big stacks, because big stacks don't need it as much. I think big stacks should steal just to stay ahead of the blinds, and focus much of their attention to busting out short stacks.Races. The key to tournaments is knowing when to race and when not to race. If you're a short stack vs. a tall stack, or vice versa, you don't mind a race. If you're a middle stack vs. another middle stack or tall stack, you DEFINITELY don't want to race.A-la David Sklansky: the best way to play AK in tournaments is to be all in with it. Just don't do it up against someone you don't want to tangle with.
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