Monday, June 18, 2007

Sit and Go Strategy - Keeping the Bubble Alive - Part #1

Time for the start of a new series on SNG Bubble Play.... this time the concept and execution of keeping the bubble alive will be put under the microscope. Going to have a look at this in a few different ways, today looking at the 'why' and the 'how' angles - then moving on to defending against someone who is doing this. Final part will cover some potential drawbacks and look at when this is not a good idea.

Some background - When does keeping the bubble alive factor in to your SNG strategy thinking??

Usually the situation is this - you have a big stack at the bubble, so big that losing a hand all-in to an opponent will still leave you with the chip lead. A bonus is where there is a micro-stack also at the table - someone with less than 2 big blinds is perfect. What this enables you to do is take advantage of the fact that the 'medium stacks' do not want to risk bubbling while the micro-stack is still around.... you can basically steal their chips with impunity by raising each hand.

A great example came up only yesterday, stacks at the bubble were something like this with blinds of 200/100 Ante 25


C/O: 5500
Button: 1000
SB: 2800
BB: 5000

CO and UTG folded and the SB raised 3*BB to 600 chips - did not even need to look at my cards here, this is as easy an all-in as they come. The guy in the SB would need a monster to call and risk bubbling while Button was short and would go through the blinds soon... it helped that I had not played too many hands here, and that SB appeared to be a thinking player.

A more extreme example is where a micro stack is on your left... something like this;

C/O: 2500
Button: 2500
SB (You!): 7500
BB: 600

With blinds at 400/200 Ante 25 you have a great opportunity to 'own' the bubble here, both CO and button are desperate to get into the money and then fight for 2nd. If they fold to you it can pay to fold your SB to the micro-stack! This keeps the bubble alive - enabling you to pick up the blinds from both of the medium-stack guys with healthy raises each time. This strategy will often enable you to increase your stack at little or no risk - sometimes to the extent that the game is all but over when the bubble does finally burst.

ok, thats it for now - later in the week we will have a look at 'defence' against someone using this strategy from a poker maths viewpoint, from the perspective of one of the medium stacks.

GL at the tables, Mark

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great post. Looking forward to the defense article!