Playing the bubble

    • FlyDizzy
      FlyDizzy
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.03.2008 Posts: 19
      I know this is probably one of the most common things asked here, but I'll ask again =P.

      So far I've had some success playing SNG's (I play 2$ 9 man's). But I am getting to many 4th and 5th place finishes, usually when I get to the bubble I have a decent if not above average stack and the players at my table are playing pretty weak/tight, so it should be easy to win it most of the time right? I tend to play aggressively but I keep losing a lot of chips when I get into the pot with marginal hands and have to either fold after committing a good portion of my stack to the pot (never more than 1/2 though, if I have to commit more than that then I will have already moved all in) and having to fold, or calling with a worse hand.

      I'm going to post some bubble Sample Hands latter when I get a chance, but what are some general mistakes I could be making at this level?
  • 5 replies
    • Hlynkinn
      Hlynkinn
      Bronze
      Joined: 14.06.2008 Posts: 4,998
      http://www.pokerstrategy.com/software/7/
    • NickParkes
      NickParkes
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.07.2008 Posts: 1,526
      Hi Flydizzy

      Generally at bubble time in a SNG you should be playing push or fold... by the sounds of it you should be doing this, because a raise of 1/3 - 1/2 stack would have you pot committed generally if anyone reraises/pushes, especially if it's a smaller stack...

      The BEST thing you can do is practice on the ICM trainer, learning what hands to push in what situations will give you an edge over your opponents which will see you getting ITM more often... you will still bust out often enough, but it will help you to improve your ROI...

      Also read the other threads related to this and check out the posted hands forum... IMO getting good at bubble play is one of the most important aspects of being a good SNG player....
    • FlyDizzy
      FlyDizzy
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.03.2008 Posts: 19
      I've known about ICM but hadn't taken the time to download and learn it yet. I downloaded the light version yesterday, first pass I only missed like 3 or 4 until lesson 7 where I started missing like 3 or 4 per lesson (I still don't see folding kings even with 2 raisers infront of you when your the shortstack, but I guess that's what the math says). I'ma download the full version and play around with different settings later once I fully understand ICM and all the calculations etc...


      But what about play when you aren't in push/fold, usually when I get to 4th or 5th I have between 14 and 20 BB's. To me that's too many chips to play push/fold no point in risking your whole stack on marginal hands, and it will be hard to get your good hands paid off. If the players to act after me are less than 10BBs then I might push instead of a standard raise.

      In the last 40 SNG's my ROI has been between +0 and +5 so I'm not doing bad, but I am still basically only breaking even. My ROI for the 18man's is - though, don't know why unless it's just variance, in those I usually get knocked out 6-9.
    • NickParkes
      NickParkes
      Bronze
      Joined: 07.07.2008 Posts: 1,526
      Push or fold is generally for when you have less than 13 BB...

      If you read all the SNG articles they will take you thru the strategy for when you have 24+ bb, btw 13 & 24 BB and >13 BB... there are starting hand charts to use....

      I follow these charts and they have helped me a lot.... takes playing with them a lot to really begin to understand why they are so damn good....

      when you have 13+ BB playing P/F is bad IMO... you are risking too many chips to win too few... if you are going to play a hand raise 2.5 BB at this stage.... not risking your whole stack allows you to back out of a hand if you're beaten and still have enough chips left to play with... In the early stages when 1st in we raise 3 BB... btw 13 and 24 BB I raise 2.5 BB and this works especially well if you make a CB and have to back out, you still have a decent stack left....

      I agree, folding kings is tough... TBH I still call kings here, but I fold queens.... simply because I am playing lower limits and I know that many players can push/call pretty wide... particluarly in P/F mode...

      Generally on the bubble, mistakes that I have made in the past is playing too tight and getting eaten by the blinds... ICM trainer helped me fix that.... don't wanna play too loose either, all about knowing your opponents and maximising your edge....
    • Jesusitonsky
      Jesusitonsky
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.11.2007 Posts: 3,011
      Go practice with the ICM trainer