How to master the most awkward phase of a poker tournament?
Bubble is the phase of a tournament in which only one or a few players are left when there are paid places. In other words, whoever is the next to fly out is empty. Many players hate this tournament. Today we explain how to master the bubble and get even more benefits from it. The article is taken from the books The Poker School. The Poker University and is mainly aimed at poker novices.
The bubble is often the most exciting, and sometimes the most unpleasant longest phase in a poker tournament. The exit on the bubble or just ahead of it is worse than the beginning, especially when you are evaluating tournaments for hourly wages. In the bubble phase, the players are extremely nervous and one or two bad decisions can happen, just because the situation becomes unbearable.
In this phase, one often also experiences the so-called Cooperation Play. Corporation Play is a game that aims to eliminate the short stack at the table as quickly as possible. The big stacks bet against each other until the short stack is all-in. Then they spare themselves and do not bet against each other so-called Soft-Play. Co-operation play is of course silent because an open arrangement would mean a break in the rules.
First, you must be careful not to leave. If you have a big stack, you can do it by just waiting, or by using your big stack to try to eliminate the small stacks. Thus actively end the bubble phase. With a small stack, you have to be careful. Here it is necessary to play in a situation-specific manner and not merely to lose the nerves.
You can use the fear of other players in the bubble very well for Bluffs. If you are brave in the stage and have a big stack, it can be very lucrative. As big stack are not necessarily the smallest stacks at the table a worthwhile Bluff goal. He could hope for the opportunity to double. It will rather the other smaller stack go out.
Consider carefully whether you want to break the tacit agreement in Corporation Play by still attacking the other big stack. You must be aware that the other big stack will not save you any more afterwards. Think strategically! On the other hand, it may suddenly become more important to take the other big stack out of the box and thus increase its own stack than to eliminate the small stack.
Hand-for-hand play is usually practiced in big tournaments in the bubble phase. This means that each table must play the hand before the next hand is dealt. This is to prevent players from playing through a slow game called ‘stalling’, until somebody else is eliminated at another game and you are in the money.