Poker tournaments are considered profitable by the players as they get a giant cover. For instance, in a tourney of 180 players, you are competing against 100 of players and of these 50% are playing to win the tournament while 25% are trying to cash, and remaining are playing a different game altogether. So, in the early stages of tournament, almost 80% of players are playing to accumulate. On the bubble, you will find many players folding too many hands and leaving a ton of money on the table. This is the stage when you can use your position to scoop up and accumulate chips. Following are some tips to enhance your bubble play in poker tournaments:
You should raise more and avoid open limp specially when under the gun or on the button. If the odds are good, you will win the hand without a showdown. Moreover, you raise should be determined by your hole cards, your position on table and who is in the blind.
It is not necessary to call to steal the blinds if you are in a late position because other players on the bubble are aware that you are stealing. Moreover, few of them are waiting for strong hands fall in order to revenge your raise. But if it happens quite often, you should tighten your calling range .
Pick up the Competition
During bubble poker play, you should concentrate on player who are playing to win instead of the ones who are playing to cash. Though you can get your hands on free money from players playing for cash but don’t forget these players are also the target of those playing to win, and will leave no chance to re-steal or steal raise. Thus, you should adapt your game play accordingly.
Protect your Blinds and your Opponent’s Blinds
While playing poker tournaments, if you raise and re-raise out of your blind, the aggressive players will surrender as there exists more accessible money on the table. While players playing for cash will make weak attempts by minimizing raises or open limping from late position. These players don’t play strong hands if faced with the possibility of bubbling out. Further if an aggressive player on your right will be steal-raising before your turn, so you should take it as an opportunity. This player can either raise and donate money to you or fold his hand letting you defend the blinds of weak players.
Make the Last Bet
You will find many players who wait to see the flop before folding their hands but that doesn’t mean they are holding strong hands. During bubble play, you will find many players stealing, re-stealing, and defending without holding strong hands. All you need to do is structure your betting, and in a way that pushing all-in with a marginal hand makes you win the pot.
During the bubble stage, you should focus more on accumulation than survival. So, you should structure your pre-bubble strategy. This will help you get stacked and also allow you to strategically steal pots later on the bubble.