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Life on the Bubble

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  • Life on the Bubble

    Hello and thank you in advance. I'm new here and would appreciate any good advice I can get.

    I have consistently been finishing the majority of my tourneys right around the bubble and I would like to figure out what adjustments i should be making.

    This is a hand from the final table of a $5 mtt I played recently on wsop.com

    blinds 2500 5000 w 400
    hand Ah Kh


    Im first to act 5 handed, I have the chip lead w 164.5k. Our villian is in the small blind in 2nd place w 115k. He is the only opponent at the table i see as having any skill the other 3 have gone super nit a while ago and the villian and i have been running them over.

    I open to 12.3k same thing I have been opening. It folds to the villian he raises to 33.5k leaving him 83k behind. bb folds

    At this point I am putting him on a top 10% range w a few bluffs, I think he has stopped raising me light due to being reraised.

    I call. making the pot 74.5k leaving me 131k behind

    flop comes 8c 3h 6h

    villian snap shoves. At this point I put him on an overpair or a set i dont think he's bluffing . I think I have blockers for the top pairs and most likely up against 99-qq.
    I call. He shows pocket aces I miss my draws am crippled and quickly go out of the tourney a few hands later in 3rd.

    This is my deepest run lately and its frustrating i frequently get to the late stages of the tourney w a nice stack am surrounded by limpers and nits, casual bad players in lower stakess games and end up going out on the bubble alot

    Thank you again

  • #2
    Wow, this is an epic ICM meltdown. This is a situation of playing a cash game and/or cards and losing track of the big picture. You're not making the correct tournament adjustments.

    1) You never ever play big stack poker against another big stack on the tournament bubble. This is tournament Russian roulette.

    2) I also never play OOP on the bubble. It cost nothing to fold most hands. AK is a draw hand and without position on the bubble, if you play it, you have to be willing to call off a middle stack shove or fold. Depending on the villains, this may or may not be a good idea. (a terrible idea on the table you describe) I fold a lot of draw hands on the bubble all the time.

    3) Frequently bubbling out is easy to cure. Stop playing so tight earlier in the tournament. The opposite of your is playing a strategy that works; it's called go big or go home. This is where you play a LAG strategy to accumulate a pile of chips in order to go the distance or go down in flames early and go golfing. There are thousands of nits and regs who will never see a World Series final table but someone I know personally (now a floorman at GSR Reno last time I saw him) used this strategy to make 2 WPT final tables. Open up you game after the reentry period and when Antes begin and you'll bubble less and make the final table more.
    Last edited by XBobLove; 04-11-2017, 04:13 PM.

    Comment


    • Sinicol
      Sinicol commented
      Editing a comment
      thank you I appreciate the feedback.

      I dont think I was specific enough. Pay outs had started at 6th place here, I was dissappionted that i didnt finish better. several times i have gone out close or right on the button.
      I am generally play in a lag style, and am getting to late stage w nice stack, but then not real sure what adjustments i should be making.

      also are you suggesting i should have folded ak s preflop, when he raised or when he jammed? with the range i assigned him I'm stil more than %50 fav on the flop right? and if I should be folding this on bubble when am I not? say we're chip leaders early in tourney or just average stacks

    • XBobLove
      XBobLove commented
      Editing a comment
      I'm going to be criticized for this advice but yes, on the bubble I fold everything OOP I wouldn't be willing to call a player behind's jam with up to and including AA. Especially if there is another large stack behind and nitty table.

      This is only a bubble adjustment.

      If you're playing LAG to this point and bubbling out, you don't have the slow down gear then. Based solely on what was in the commentary, this much is clear. Learning something like this comes from experience and is impossible to convey in this format. Seek live coaching.

      Edit: Upon further consideration, try this. What happens after the money bubble bursts, the smallish stacks spew chips like a volcano. Stop playing hands 9 off the bubble for 6 months and see how your results change. Build a discipline! Your going to want to play but don't. If you break discipline you won't see the real lesson which is what happens after the bubble bursts. With your deep stack you will be able to accumulate a lot of easy money for littile risk. Fold everything until you make it past a few bubbles. Then after you understand, reward yourself by playing, lojack, hijack and buttonfor 6 more months. Then after that stop playing hands after 8 players, then 7 then 6 etc. In this time focusing on your reading skills.

      (if you are playing 10 tourneys a day, maybe a month is enough)

      This whole "play the button because everyone tightens up" is for players with complete skill sets. For new and intermediate players (regs) with incomplete reading skills will find trouble every time and damage their tourney EV.
      Last edited by XBobLove; 04-11-2017, 10:34 PM.

  • #3
    I was thinking that the format may be a factor here. Can you add more details about it? Length of blinds, number of players, paid spots etc

    Comment


    • #4
      These are low stakes $3-$10 rebuy addon mtt usually 60-150 opponents, 10 min blinds. a lot of really bad players only a few ppl w any poker skill

      Comment


      • XBobLove
        XBobLove commented
        Editing a comment
        Yeah, a real donk a thon. (description of the gameplay not the players). You have to play those fast and furious but since i'm in CA that info may be dated. My advice is based on live experience.

    • #5
      Yeah, I'm going to criticize Xbob here.

      1) AK is a premium hand. Yeah, it's ok top play tight OOP, but I can't let this thread go in the direction it is going, because advising to fold premium hands preflop for stacks this short because it is the bubble is a serious error.
      2) I don't care about the bubble, I care about winning. Sometimes that causes me to bust on the bubble, but when I don't I run very deep. That makes me more money in the long run.
      3) I would have 4 bet shoved this preflop. This spot is such a standard 4bet shove preflop with these stacks.

      Comment


      • XBobLove
        XBobLove commented
        Editing a comment
        I wish to be clear JJ, my info is not for players who are better than me but players who are worse. I would say as recently as 4 years ago, I had the same problems and something like the process I described kept me out of trouble and off the min cash/bubble. Now I go deep or go early.

        I do though disagree with an EP bubble lead/4 bet (etc) with AK. Unless you are the better player with strong read skills, there is no reason to play this hand until after the bubble. We both know we're a coin flip to a caller at best and unless the hand connects, is your line to bluff away against another big stack?

        Your advice could be stated as theoretically optimal but for most struggling players, it's terrible guidance.
        Last edited by XBobLove; 04-12-2017, 10:00 PM.

    • #6
      Open raise was standard. If I am reading this right, when villian three bets preflop, there is about 53k in the pot and it costs you only about 21k to call with 131k left if you make that call. No way I'm throwing away AK there.

      I would call the three bet and then fold if I totally blanked the flop like you did here. (Would shove over any c-bet with an A or K on the flop, and unfortunately here get coolered). You still have a nice stack and no need to risk tangling with the one stack that can cripple you.

      I would not four-bet shove. You've been building your stack through aggression so far; you can afford the preflop call/postflop fold. AK is a good shove preflop but a bad call (IMHO) post-flop when it missed so badly as here. You're basically calling off with a bluff catcher.

      as far as four-betting preflop, you know that villian is shoving after the flop with whatever he has given his stack size, and would call your four bet. So there's no fold equity. Why not see the flop for good pot odds and see what it looks like? In most cases, if the A or K comes out on the flop, you stack him.
      Last edited by OPK; 04-12-2017, 08:52 PM.

      Comment


      • #7
        I am actually somewhat surprised by some of the answers here.

        To me this is a super standard shove pre. I can honestly think of no reason to fold or call.

        Hero opens from the HJ off a 32bb stack and is 3 bet by a 23bb stack.

        Even thought OP does not list the 1-5 prizes, it's likely the jumps are not worth even worrying about here with a hand as strong as AK in a LP open and 3 bet by villain. Isn't our goal to win the tournament?

        Even if we are up against the top 10% of hands as OP suggests we are close to a 60% fav. This is a fine spot to take.

        On top of that, with stacks this short and blinds most likely going up soon, this will become a shove fest quickly. You will be hard pressed to find spots better than this.

        Yes, he shows up with AA here, but you will also:

        1. Get called by worse (AQ, AJ,ATs, etc).
        2. Get better to fold (small pairs)
        3. Win a flip against smaller pairs

        If we pass this up, what are we waiting for?

        Comment


        • #8
          OMG people.

          1) AQ, AJ, AT isn't calling an UTG open raise on the bubble. Pairs will shove on you based on your online stats, we all know the better the more likely it is to shove. You may get some action if you have loose UTG stats but no one is playing long ball for their tournament life with you - even 5 handed.

          2) Consequently better should not fold.

          3) Flipping coins on the bubble is insane.

          We're waiting for the bubble to burst. After the bubble the middle stacks will open up trying to chip up.

          We're waiting for high equity spots not coin flips.

          We're pressuring medium stacks in position.

          We're waiting for spots against the small stacks (their BB).

          We're staying the he'll away from the other big stack.

          Comment


          • #9
            i would have make the fold over here in your situation at flop , but in cash game is a snap call . you choose to take the risk while knowing likely villain has a pair, by calling you don have fold equity. you choose to be coin flip situation then you deserve to win or lose in that situation , cos you choose to take the risk while you can choose to avoid. there is no right no wrong play .

            my personal view why most cash good cash game player dont perform well in Big mtt because they willing to take too much risk in certain spot that is not worth it. yes either you double up or out of tourney , by by double up doesnt meant you will get into the money . while in cash game when you double you win the money cold hard cash can cash out anytime

            Comment


            • #10
              Originally posted by XBobLove View Post
              OMG people.

              1) AQ, AJ, AT isn't calling an UTG open raise on the bubble. Pairs will shove on you based on your online stats, we all know the better the more likely it is to shove. You may get some action if you have loose UTG stats but no one is playing long ball for their tournament life with you - even 5 handed.

              2) Consequently better should not fold.

              3) Flipping coins on the bubble is insane.

              We're waiting for the bubble to burst. After the bubble the middle stacks will open up trying to chip up.

              We're waiting for high equity spots not coin flips.

              We're pressuring medium stacks in position.

              We're waiting for spots against the small stacks (their BB).

              We're staying the he'll away from the other big stack.
              What bubble do you keep talking about?

              OP said there were 5 left and payouts started at 6. To me this is no bubble.

              Equity spots? You are probably at least 60% here. What exactly are you waiting for?

              UTG 5 handed is like opening from the LJ. So I strongly disagree with AQ, AJ and AT not calling....again this is not the bubble. Also, you know nothing about the raiser, so how do you know they will not call with AT, AJ or AQ?

              I think a lot of this confusion is stemming from you viewing this hand one way, and I another....

              You keep mentioning the bubble and the bubble has burst. You talk about UTG stats and we are technically opening from the LJ. You mention high equity spots and we are probably at least 60%, if not more. You talk about medium stacks and the large stack has only 30bb and we have no info on the other stack sizes at the table, what is a medium stack then? What if everyone has the a similar stack size, are you still folding premiums?

              This might just be one of those agree to disagree discussions, which is perfectly fine. But overtime, folding in spots like this will end up costing you a ton of money.
              Last edited by JredA; 04-13-2017, 06:40 AM.

              Comment


              • #11
                Thank you all very much this is the great advice i was hoping for

                Comment


                • #12
                  Yeah, I see that now. I was reading that he made the move on the bubble. Actually, we're saying the same thing then. If the bubble burst, it's a jam. I'm with you guys. My Bad

                  Edit: I read this as this move was on the bubble and that he went out a couple of places later.
                  Last edited by XBobLove; 04-13-2017, 01:25 PM.

                  Comment


                  • OPK
                    OPK commented
                    Editing a comment
                    I read it the same way. Same bad.

                • #13
                  Even if it was before the bubble, it is bad advice to fold AK for 23 BBs. I'm happy going to the felt with AK here. I'm never just folding trying to get into the money.

                  Don't you think that 4 bet shoving puts the 3 bettor in a bad ICM spot? You are folding worrying about your ICM, where I am pushing the action creating ICM problems for my opponents. Put yourself in the SB's shoes with a hand like TT? He's throwing up when I shove on him.
                  Last edited by jjpregler; 04-13-2017, 02:49 PM.

                  Comment


                  • #14
                    Not in a $5 tournament. I'm taking that spot but here's the thing. I rarely ever play really really good players. I don't have or know how to deal with a 4 bet game especially against good players. If I were in the SB with TT I'd 3 bet jam and put it on you to decide. You want to flip with AKs, it's on you. I'll risk going down pair v pair.

                    Edit: it just dawned on me. Sinicol didn't comment on the 3 bet but this post made me realize that it's possible that this standard raise was a betting tell the Hero missed. Given the stack sizes, there could have been other info that Hero missed. This is why giving players with incomplete reading skills, GTO information is bad advice, because they miss things that you and I would have picked up on. As a consequence wannabe poker mentors always have to give advice through that filter.
                    Last edited by XBobLove; 04-13-2017, 03:36 PM.

                    Comment


                    • #15
                      Well, I´m blasting it in preflop, without any doubt, bubble or not. 5 handed with the 2nd in chips 3 betting me, I´m happy to 4 bet.

                      Yes, it looks suspicious that he 3 bets from a 23bb stack especially when Sinicol had been putting pressure on him and he had tightened up. Generally I would assume 2nd in chips would apply max pressure and just 3 bet jam most of his 77+ A10/AJ type range here, so he appears to be stronger than usual. But, 5 handed vs an active 2nd in chips (who Sinicol said was a good player) & fold equity (he would be left with 18bb if he folded), I can´t think of any other play with AKs 23bb eff than to just shove pre.

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