When is this used?
Passive play looks pathetic. It actually is. You are voluntarily not getting into hands against certain players – even if you’re sure you have good odds. We have this style because some times in a SNG, you will have a very good or average chance of finishing ITM, but can blow your chance with no real gain (except maybe increasing your chance of ITM finish by a little bit). Again, the risk/reward is not there. For example, in case 3, if you are the small stack – and there are two other small stacks – one big stack, you do not want to raise the big stack unless you have a huge hand (AK, QQ,KK,AA). The reason why is that he will probably call, and you DON”T want a coin flip. You don’t even want 60/40 – 70/30 is barely ok. In this case, if you win you are still a small stack and still won’t be in the money. If you lose, you’re out of the tourney. The risk/reward equation makes it not worth it. So if you are passive, you are playing way way way way tight. This only makes sense in tourneys – when not acting can get you placed ITM.
Plays allowed: Check it down, allin
How to play it
Against the big stack, you basically will only play premium hands. You want odds of 70/30 or better!
Call his allin?
Only with AK, JJ+.
He’s big blind, you are small blind
AK, TT – raise allin (expect a call and hope it holds)
He’s big blind, you are late or on the button
Forget it. Well.. not quite. You can raise ALLIN with AK, JJ+.
Getting out of the bubble and ITM
You want to finish the bubble with a big stack and have a decent chance at taking first –ideally. Sometimes, this just isn’t possible – you’ll settle for at least a third place finish (CASE 3: players B,C,D). If you play as we instruct, you should maximize your odds to make it ITM. If you notice you are barely making it ITM and have lots of 3rd place finishes, you probably need to be more aggressive on the bubble. Are you pushing all-in or raising? Are you calling big blinds from small blind? Keep it simple and follow our bubble rules. You can add your own tricks as you see opportunitites. You should really be going only all-in when you’re on the bubble and blinds are big ( not in the bubble early stage).
Typical bubble play example:
Bubble play will vary wildly. People are generally only raising all-in, mostly stealing blinds. Round you go, like a merry go round. Usually the first person in the pot will go all-in and no one will call. They will pick up the blind. This might happen for what seems like an eternity.
In these cases, the most aggressive player will win. They will keep stealing blinds and slowly become a big stack – CASE 1. They will then continue to beat up on people. You’ll not ice that they rarely call though. They raise a lot, but will also fold a lot. This is a good player. When they do call, they either have a huge stack compared to the raisier, or they have AK, JJ+.
The play will go round and round until someone gains a real edge – or someone becomes an easy target. Then the bubble will explode and bullets will start flying. The target is a bad place to be in, this is why you want to never become the shortest stack (with a small stack). Its ok if you are the shortest but everyone has around 3000. So what if you have 3000, everyone else has 3200 or more. This is not what we mean by short stack target. A short stack target will have about 0- 2000 chips. They are a target because when they raise allin, the big blind will normally have good odds to call if they have any semi decent hand at all (any pair, any two face cards, etc). They will get called eventually and the bubble will either pop – or there will be a new short stack in trouble. This is how it goes. Just make sure you stay afloat and stick to the rules we provide above. When in doubt – don’t be afraid to pull the trigger. It is much better to play too aggressive on the bubble than too passive. Good luck on the bubble!