“Multi Table Tournament(MTT) Strategy Part 3-The Bubble”

In tournament play, the bubble is defined as the place right before you finish in the money. Playing the bubble can be both exciting and stressful. It is the point in a tournament when players tend to tighten up in fear of busting out before cashing.

If you are playing just to cash, then the bubble could be your downfall. Here are some tips that will help you survive the bubble to make a deeper tournament run.

Regardless how good you are, your one leak may be that you are not raising enough before the bubble. As the bubble approaches, you should never be limping into pots. There are so many players out there willing to fold better hands in order to make it into the money. You as a player should be playing to win and not just to cash. You must also take full advantage of this by exploiting your opponents’ unwillingness to gamble so close to the bubble.

Say you’re in the hi-jack or cut-off position with KJ and it is folded around to you. This situation should be perfect for you to raise to steal the blinds and antes. A standard raise should suffice. Anything less and the remaining players will see it as a steal attempt and anything more and you may not be able to get away from your hand, if they choose to re-raise you. The goal should always be to take advantage of the players who are only trying to cash and avoid confrontations.

To be a successful tournament player, you should already be looking into targeting weak players. This is even more crucial as you get closer to the bubble. Players who fold to a lot of aggression are perfect to have their blinds stolen. Other players, scared to play all-in big pots are only looking to cash. You must put adequate pressure on them by raising them, when you believe that they will fold.

Stealing as much as possible from weaker opponents and those just trying to make pass the bubble is a solid plan but even the most passive players will eventually get fed up and feel that they are getting bullied. Try to make sure that you are not stealing from the same players over and over again, They will eventually feel that they have had enough and will defend their blinds, so try to steal evenly among the other players so that your opponents won’t feel singled out most of the time.

Aggressive play right before the bubble can pay big time. You should always be making a continuation bet after a pre-flop raise. Even if a player flat-calls a sizeable pre-flop raise, it is unlikely that they will go ahead into the hand with anything less than outstanding. By staying aggressive, you will get those weak opponents to fold marginal hands. Always be the final bettor or raiser.

If you have the mindset that a bubble doesn’t exist you will then be able to take advantage of your opponents who are very aware of the bubble consequences. Playing to accumulate chips, making the final table and taking down the whole thing should be the only thing you should be focusing on. The more chips you acquire when it’s bubble time, the more leverage you have over your opponents. You will have more chips to survive any type of variance and you will also be able to put pressure without fear on those who are simply there to make the money.

Good luck and good variance to you all!!!

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