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StrategySit & Go

Bubble Strategy (5): Satellites and DONs

Before reading this lesson, you should have read through:

By now you should have a general idea about what the bubble phase is and how you should approach it in general. You have also learned about the intricacies of the bubble in single table SNGs specifically, as well as the nuances of the bubble in multi-table SNGs.

All this, however, has little use in satellite and double-or-nothing (DON) SNGs. The reason for this is quite simple – in the tournaments mentioned above it does not matter how many chips you end up with; since all top prizes are equal, the only goal is to survive the bubble, and that in turn changes the dynamics. To be more precise, one could say that it is the same kind of dynamics made extreme. What is crucial though is the fact that it should change the way you think about your strategy, and this is exactly what you are about to learn in this lesson.

Bubble Phase in a Satellite/DON SNG

The contents of this article can be applied to:

•    any satellite SNG (or scheduled tournament) with more than one seat/package/ticket awarded,
•    any double-or-nothing (and triple-or-nothing, etc.) SNG.

It should not be applied to satellites with a single top prize, because in these formats the bubble reduces to a heads-up match which is beyond the scope of this article. Also, it should not be applied to Fifty-Fifty and similar structures, which are a mixture of satellite and winner-takes-all.

The value of your stack equals your chance of making the money

The stack size is a variable that is in plain view, but in fact this is not a good predictor of an opponent's chances of cashing in satellites. What really is important is the $EV value of your stack, and this reduces simply to the probability of cashing. In effect, the stack sizes should never drive your decisions directly. Rather, you should think about stack setups in terms of the % chance of each player making the money.

Later on, you will learn how to use this approach to make informed decisions on a satellite bubble. For the moment, take a look at how stack sizes might translate to % chances of cashing.

satellite bubble

Next steps

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