Sit And Go Bubble Play
Sit N Go tournaments can provide a great way for a new player to build their bankroll, and with proper play, it can be fairly easy to attain a healthy positive return on investment in these tournaments. One of the most important situations to play your best poker in is on the bubble of a tournament. The bubble of a sit and go tournament is the point where there is only one, or very few players left to be eliminated before money is earned.
Players tend to get very tight near the bubble. This is where you see a lot of players making mistakes, whether by misplaying their short stack and not getting it in at the right time, or by just trying to ride their big stack to victory, not really playing poker, and just waiting for the bubble to pop. In a 9 handed Sit N Go, the top three players get paid, so the bubble comes into play when you are down to 5, and really can get high pressure when down to 4. Players simply do not want to invest the time to play and not cash for at least the minimal amount. A good poker player can take advantage of this, using aggressive style on the bubble can provide great dividends, as you can force players into folding marginal hands while they are playing scared that they might play in an earlier stage.
Playing aggressively does not mean spewing your chips off for no reason with trash hands and in bad position. You also have to be aware of who you are playing against. By this point in the SNG you will have been playing with your opponents long enough to be able to get a read on how they play. You will realize throughout the tournament who the passive players are at the table, and on the bubble these players will be holding on for their tournament life. There are good players who will fire back at you, regardless of it being the bubble or not, so do not put wasted chips into the pot.
Your starting hand selection can become more liberal on the bubble, but you need to be able to play the hand with confidence and aggression. When you get re-raised at a short handed table, and are holding something like AJ, chances are you are probably beat. This is because when other players are playing tight and trying to squeeze into the money, they will fold hands like A10 and worse. Your chip stack will play into this as well, as you want to play aggressively against short stacks when possible. You have to be careful, as the short stacks are just looking to get it all in and double up, or bust.
As always, play strong when you have position. At some point someone will bust the bubble, and a great time to do it is in position against a short stack. If you double the short stack up, do not give up on playing aggressive, as this is the best way to recover lost chips. Also, avoid limping on the bubble whenever possible. At no stage in a tournament is aggression more greatly rewarded than on the bubble. So remember, play aggressive in position, and do not waste chips on the bubble, and you will find yourself winning a lot more Sit N Go’s.