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  • Waiting Out the Bubble in Poker Tournaments

When it comes to play tournament poker, one thing that is crucial to remember is that the most important thing is making sure that you get into the money. What this means is that you need to know when you should be playing tight on the bubble and simply making sure that you get into the cash. You always want to try to build your stack, but if you can sit back and fold all the way into the money (past the bubble), and still have a healthy stack, there is no reason to take any huge risks that could hurt you in the tournament, or possibly even keep your from making it past that bubble. Many people think that the time to be careful around the bubble is within the last one or two spots, but it actually extends beyond that. A lot of it will really depend on the size of the tournament, and also how fast the players are being eliminated. If one player is being eliminated every two hour in the last three before the bubble, then you are still going to have to play some hands, but you should absolutely still play tight! We are going to give some tips and strategy to help you outlast that bubble and make it into the money.

Playing as the Big Stack

This is a point that is constantly overlooked by poker players, because if you are the big stack when the bubble comes, you should actually step up the pressure behind your play. The reason for this is because you should be the one putting pressure on the shorter stacks, and making them have to make the decisions for their tournament life. Also, if you are raising and get re-raised in one of your semi-bluff situations, you’ll find that you can simply fold because you still have plenty behind and won’t have to worry about making those big tough decisions as often as other players will. Just remember to never get TOO crazy with a big stack, but try to consistently build up your chip stack if you can.

Sitting Tight Around the Average

What this means is that if you are sitting around the average stack size for the tournament, and the bubble is fast approaching, then you should really sit back and just watch. Hopefully someone will get eliminated quickly, but you should only be playing prime hands like the top pocket pairs and Ace-King. Playing anything less than this will really result in you putting yourself in tough spots, and potentially being sent home before you get into the money. The best tournament poker players in the game are able to outlast the bubble without making much noise, and then do their damage when they are in the money and want to build up their stack from there. Patience is key in this spot, because if you start trying to play too much or even attempt bluffs at the wrong times, it can simply turn things bad pretty quickly.

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