# How to play as the bubble approaches

• Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined: 02.09.2010
I almost never play big MTTs other than freerolls.
Today I played a \$10K Party Poker freeroll for Canadians -- it's our national holiday today.

659 entrants, and I finished in 121 100 paid.
At the time I sat 90th.

Can I reasonably expect that 21 players would blind out leaving me in the money? Is there a rule of thumb way to calculate this?

Thanks,
--VS
• 13 replies
• Moderator
Moderator
Joined: 22.09.2006
You should NEVER fold into the money (at least in most cases). Especially if there are so many players left until the bubble hits. An exception would be qualifiers/satellites where it makes perfect sense.

In normal tournaments you should abuse the bubble as much as possible. Push if you have a bigger stack then the players behind you and force them to fold. The other players won't call you light since they are aware of the bubble as well.

If you are the shortstack you may fold your way into the money - but you shouldn't pass away obvious edges just to make it into the money. The money is won at the final table - folding ITM neither saves your day, nor makes you winning player.

Regards,
Asaban

EDIT: Coming to your question: You can do some maths:
number of players*starting stack= total chips in tournament
total chips in tournament/number of players getting ITM=avg stack for ITM

If you calculated the avg stack needed to get ITM you can have a look at your own stack as well as the other stacks and the blindlvl and assume if it is enough to fold your way into the money.
• Super Moderator
Super Moderator
Joined: 02.09.2010
You should NEVER fold into the money
thanks for confirming that.

I had concluded that I had to get some more money, and I had been waiting and waiting for a good spot to shove or call a shove.

And as I waited, my stack got smaller and smaller.

I have folded into the "money" in satellites before, just because it was a sure thing if I folded.
• Bronze
Joined: 20.06.2012
The closer you are to the bubble the more pressure you should be utilizing. Obviously you need to know what players will play back to and which ones will fold anytime they dont make top pair.
• Bronze
Joined: 01.01.2011
Satellites are different. The reason you never try and fold ITM in an MTT is because, while 100th place might be like, 2 buyins, 1st place is gonna be a way, way huger amount. Min-cashing means NOTHING in MTT's: Your entire profit comes from those really deep runs where you make the FT or close to it. So the bubble is basically irrelevant to you, but a lot of people play tighter near the bubble. This is bad, and you can exploit that by being aggressive, especially vs. people you cover.

In a satellite, you can't get a larger prize by being aggressive on the bubble: You either win or you don't.
• Bronze
Joined: 14.07.2012
If it's a big tournament, you should begin to put pressure on the mid and low stacks early on. As you get closer and closer to the bubble, you should shove with ATo and better. With other speculative hands you should just play them very aggressively (especially pre-flop, where you want all of you opponents to fold).
• Bronze
Joined: 26.06.2009
Originally posted by FarligeJohn
If it's a big tournament, you should begin to put pressure on the mid and low stacks early on. As you get closer and closer to the bubble, you should shove with ATo and better. With other speculative hands you should just play them very aggressively (especially pre-flop, where you want all of you opponents to fold).
• Bronze
Joined: 06.06.2011
Originally posted by evertonroar
Originally posted by FarligeJohn
If it's a big tournament, you should begin to put pressure on the mid and low stacks early on. As you get closer and closer to the bubble, you should shove with ATo and better. With other speculative hands you should just play them very aggressively (especially pre-flop, where you want all of you opponents to fold).
Yeah +1 I'm never shoving ATo utg, it's an awful shove

Unless you have people covered by a fair amount I wouldn't go crazy on the bubble with medium/ short stack, if your a big stack you can play a lot looser and put on the pressure while if your a medium stack you can try to put pressure on the short stacks while avoiding the big stacks

As someone correctly said you should never fold ITM, but there are times where I actually play alot tighter with a 3/4 BB stack than a 10/15BB stack right on the bubble, like only 5 people off just because doubling up doesn't really help me that much so my main concern is cashing, however, I've never like hesitate to 3bet shove hands as strong as QQ or AQ to a raise with 20bb or less unless the action is sick even on the bubble
• Bronze
Joined: 29.12.2007
Originally posted by Castle93
Originally posted by evertonroar
Originally posted by FarligeJohn
If it's a big tournament, you should begin to put pressure on the mid and low stacks early on. As you get closer and closer to the bubble, you should shove with ATo and better. With other speculative hands you should just play them very aggressively (especially pre-flop, where you want all of you opponents to fold).
Yeah +1 I'm never shoving ATo utg, it's an awful shove
You're never shoving ATo utg?There's tons of spots if you are very low,that you can shove ATo utg.I dont have any examples of large MTTs, but only 180mans though(Haven't played large MTTs enough).
• Bronze
Joined: 06.06.2011
No with 10+ BB FR no, obviously if I'm
Shorter or it's 6max maybe
• Bronze
Joined: 12.04.2010
i hate being with a low stack as you are getting close to being itm it happened to me in the pokerstrategy 10k tourney on PKR i came out 151st 150 were paid i wud hav got \$ 25 if i just managed to somehow not get eliminated learnt a lot from that mistake i had 10 pair called a raise to my big blind only because i had 10 pair and thought he was bluffing but couldnt go allin was forced to check the flop was a k q or somthing had to fold when he bet as blinds were v.high then the ante killed me moral of story if u gotta good hand like a high pair go allin if u are close to bubble position if you are v.short stacked and only if u are sure u wont make it if u sit out
• Bronze
Joined: 26.06.2009
Originally posted by gamingboy
i hate being with a low stack as you are getting close to being itm it happened to me in the pokerstrategy 10k tourney on PKR i came out 151st 150 were paid i wud hav got \$ 25 if i just managed to somehow not get eliminated learnt a lot from that mistake i had 10 pair called a raise to my big blind only because i had 10 pair and thought he was bluffing but couldnt go allin was forced to check the flop was a k q or somthing had to fold when he bet as blinds were v.high then the ante killed me moral of story if u gotta good hand like a high pair go allin if u are close to bubble position if you are v.short stacked and only if u are sure u wont make it if u sit out
No!!!!!. calling out of position and then folding to the c bet is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. The moral of your story is that if you play scared you will lose. You had TT and your read was that you opponent was bluffing. Ship it. The chances are he has atcs and knows that you are not going to play back at him. So ship it. If he calls you are in good shape against many of his hands and a chance of doubling up. But if your read is corect then he will be folding and you will add those V high blinds to your stack. Players that play scared and just try to sneak into the money is where good MTT players get their winning from.

And never sit out. never give up. To win at MTT you need to score big wins occasionaly. not lots of min cashes.
• Bronze
Joined: 06.06.2011
Originally posted by evertonroar
Originally posted by gamingboy
i hate being with a low stack as you are getting close to being itm it happened to me in the pokerstrategy 10k tourney on PKR i came out 151st 150 were paid i wud hav got \$ 25 if i just managed to somehow not get eliminated learnt a lot from that mistake i had 10 pair called a raise to my big blind only because i had 10 pair and thought he was bluffing but couldnt go allin was forced to check the flop was a k q or somthing had to fold when he bet as blinds were v.high then the ante killed me moral of story if u gotta good hand like a high pair go allin if u are close to bubble position if you are v.short stacked and only if u are sure u wont make it if u sit out
No!!!!!. calling out of position and then folding to the c bet is the exact opposite of what you should be doing. The moral of your story is that if you play scared you will lose. You had TT and your read was that you opponent was bluffing. Ship it. The chances are he has atcs and knows that you are not going to play back at him. So ship it. If he calls you are in good shape against many of his hands and a chance of doubling up. But if your read is corect then he will be folding and you will add those V high blinds to your stack. Players that play scared and just try to sneak into the money is where good MTT players get their winning from.

And never sit out. never give up. To win at MTT you need to score big wins occasionaly. not lots of min cashes.
+1
• Bronze
Joined: 09.05.2011
Aye castle is right...give you some tips for tournament play

well what I do is... play tight at 1st

( OPEN UP PRE BUBBLE ) you will pick up so many chips this way esp with your image BUT this depends of hoe much M you have got...

10-15 M, I would'nt open up as much but you have to learn to steal and re-steal some pots its an art to do it right without any 1 knowing your actuall doing it, this is a good way to build your stack PRE bubble 10-15 BB's

15bb+ apply same strategy but also open up more AND steal from any POS !!!

( IF you are 1st to act ) you also have to know when to bet post flop and when to fold) ........UTG play PRE BUBBLE can be very affective depending on your image and also what level you are playing... UTG is the new button !!!

after bubble , i like to sit tight again ( depending on stack size) and then

OPEN up PRE ft !!!!

hope this helps