Early Bubble Stage

Here’s the chart for a reminder…

Basic reason for this stage

This stage exists because some times you’ll make it to the bubble and the blinds will still be low. By low, I mean 200/100 or less. Usually the bubble really begins when the blinds are 400/200, 600/300, 800/400 etc. If the blinds are 400/200 or more, skip the early bubble stage.

You should use the Late stage rules from phase I – appropriate to the M you currently have. Don’t take unnecessary risks if your stack is medium. If its large, feel free to play aggressive – use your semi bluffs when you miss flops. You still should play good poker though. Just because your stack is big – doesn’t mean you throw your money away. Play solid, but allow yourself some room with medium pairs vs passive betters, etc.

You should try to stay afloat as well. By this, we mean keeping your stack over 1000 chips. You can’t let yourself become the short stack on the bubble. Stick to the Late game rules and you’ll do fine in the early bubble stage. Compute your M and play accordingly.

Once blinds jump to 400/200, you need to use the bubble rules. These rules change because the game dynamics will have changed. People generally will be playing tight – so we want to take advantage of this.

Bubble Play Stage

Here’s the chart for a reminder…

This is the real bubble stage. This is where blinds are 400/200 or more (using our structure – adjust for your sites accordingly).

You have analyzed your table and know what situation you’re in. The general idea at this point is to try and steal blinds to survive – or get lucky and catch a premium hand AK, QQ+ and call someones all-in.

We will examine each case in detail, describing how you play for each player you might be.

In general, there are 4 playing styles for the bubble. Which one you use depends on many things – in particular your stack size, your opponents stack size and the stack size of everyone else.

IP: FOR ALL THESE HANDS, NEVER , NEVER, NEVER, NEVER ENTER A RAISED POT UNLESS THE SYSTEM SPECIFICALLY TELLS YOU TO. For example, you have AT on the button. The guy in late position (first to act) raises all-in. DON”T call his raise unless you are instructed to have a fearless playing style against him. Otherwise, just FOLD your AT . If you have AK on the other hand, you can call (push all-in) in all cases.

The next section discussed the details of each case, providing instructions on which style to use.

CASE 1. (1 big, 2 medium, 1 small)

The way you should use these charts, is to look at the columns on the top and left as a cross reference. For any game, you will be either the big stack (A), the first medium stack (B), the second medium stack (C), or the short stack (D). If you are player A (the big stack), you wil play aggressive versus player B, aggressive vs player C and fearless vs player D. So you do a cross reference to determine how you should play. Likewise, if you are player B, you will play passive vs player A. aggressive vs player C and normal vs player D. If you are player D, you will play normal vs player A, and normal vs players B and C.

Here are the other cases along with their respective playing styles:

So, when we say aggressive, passive, fearless and normal, what do we mean? The following section describes each style in detail.

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