Owning the Bubble (or not)

    • goldchess
      goldchess
      Bronze
      Joined: 17.02.2010 Posts: 641
      Hi everyone

      Now, as far as I understand, when we are the chipleader on the bubble in a 9 man SNG, we should be looking to take advantage of this. Let me create a hypothetical situation:

      CO: 1000
      Hero: 4500
      SB: 4000
      BB: 4000
      Blinds: 200/400

      Now, if the cutoff folds to us, we should be shoving ATC in principle. However there is a phenomenon on the lower stakes, which is that the villains do not have a clue about ICM, and therefore call us much wider than they are supposed to (Nash is telling me 88+).

      If we knew in advance that they would be calling us with, say, ATo, should we change our range? Because although it is a bad call by them, if they make it and win, we are likely to lose on the bubble. However, if we have to change our range does this mean we can't own the bubble so much? Is there any way to take advantage of the bad player's mistake?

      Thanks for any feedback!
  • 8 replies
    • GunFlavoured
      GunFlavoured
      Bronze
      Joined: 19.10.2008 Posts: 626
      Yes you should adjust your range to exploit your opponents calling range. The reason why ATC is a +EV situation is because you have a huge amount of FE, without the fold equity the bottom of your range becomes -EV. If you do come across players that call light on the bubble just wait until they bust themselves or the short stack busts. Also, in that particular example you shouldn't really view it as a 'chip leader' situation, you essentially have the same stack size as your opponents. If you do get called and lose you're crippled, if you had say 6000 chips the dynamics would change completely.
    • Unam
      Unam
      Moderator
      Moderator
      Joined: 17.08.2006 Posts: 8,999
      It is an ATC push against good players. But you are right, against fishyplayers you shouldn't do it and just wait for the bubble to burst. It is just not +Ev to shove ATC against people who snapcall you with AJs.
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      I was about to start a new thread, but found this one which addresses basically the same issue.

      I am wondering about what the poker rooms would consider softplay. When in the bubble, if I'm the big stack (much bigger lead than what OP stated) I like to abuse the two medium stacks and mostly do not mess with the short stack. I find that it is a very profitable strategy to keep the short stack around and push ATC whenever the medium stacks try to play, as their calling range is then very limited. Of course, I wouldn't fold a premium hand to the shortie, but basically "softplay" him until the bubble bursts. By that time I have a huge chip lead and most of the times the tourney ends in less than 5 hands, as they are too crippled to play.

      Would that be considered illegal softplay? Or is it just the correct strategy? I guess it's just the reverse of implicit collusion, when everyone checks down to the river to try to eliminate the player. However, I would hate for the poker room to close my account for "softplaying" someone.
    • pinnryder
      pinnryder
      Bronze
      Joined: 10.11.2009 Posts: 597
      Originally posted by AquamanBT
      I was about to start a new thread, but found this one which addresses basically the same issue.

      I am wondering about what the poker rooms would consider softplay. When in the bubble, if I'm the big stack (much bigger lead than what OP stated) I like to abuse the two medium stacks and mostly do not mess with the short stack. I find that it is a very profitable strategy to keep the short stack around and push ATC whenever the medium stacks try to play, as their calling range is then very limited. Of course, I wouldn't fold a premium hand to the shortie, but basically "softplay" him until the bubble bursts. By that time I have a huge chip lead and most of the times the tourney ends in less than 5 hands, as they are too crippled to play.

      Would that be considered illegal softplay? Or is it just the correct strategy? I guess it's just the reverse of implicit collusion, when everyone checks down to the river to try to eliminate the player. However, I would hate for the poker room to close my account for "softplaying" someone.
      I highly doubt that playing perfect strategy as the bigstack on the bubble is considered softplaying. As long as you don't do it too much. Also they would need complaints about your play, I don't think they recognise "softplaying" through their own tracking of hands...
    • ghaleon
      ghaleon
      Black
      Joined: 17.10.2007 Posts: 5,877
      Heh, It's not illegal to abuse a situation in poker... Keeping small stack alive in bubble is normal strategy to prolong bubble situation for blind steals. So folding for short stack shove is ok even if you get odds to call with any2.

      Only if you give "advices" in chat to short stack it would be illegal. I have seen this kind of team work once and reported of it and there were some punishments.
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      Chat should be prohibited in the bubble. I did report a guy giving advice to the SB to push while I'm the shortstacked BB. Too bad it was in FTP, still waiting for their review after 4 days. They did reply that I can turn the chat off... If it was in Stars, I couldve called a mod right at the moment.
    • jbpatzer
      jbpatzer
      Bronze
      Joined: 22.11.2009 Posts: 6,944
      What are the rules when playing live? Are you allowed to egg on someone else to push? If you are, then shouldn't you be allowed to online? I agree it's horrible manners, but is it actually against the rules?

      Sorry for my ignorance. Never played live!
    • AquamanBT
      AquamanBT
      Bronze
      Joined: 03.07.2008 Posts: 338
      Rules are different for every venue, but most likely it isn't allowed. The fundamental rule is "one player to a hand". However, penalties in live play are usually, IMHO, extremely soft. The good thing about online poker is that an unquestionable written record of every play is available. And the penalties online rooms give are very hard, as closing your account and seizing your funds. That's exactly why I posted my question, as I wanna make sure I'm not breaking any soft play rule.