Bubble Play in Nine-Handed Sit-and-Gos

Share:
14 December 2008, Created By: Team Full Tilt
Bubble Play in Nine-Handed Sit-and-Gos
By Howard Lederer -- In a typical nine-handed, one-table Sit & Go that pays out three places, the most critical juncture of the tournament comes when four players remain. Three of those players will turn a profit, and one of them will go home empty-handed. It goes without saying that there's no more disappointing place to finish in a nine-handed Sit & Go than fourth.

It's a volatile time when your stack is getting short, the blinds are getting high and everyone's looking to cash. To get the most out of Sit & Gos, you're going to have to learn how to master the bubble.

On Full Tilt Poker, first place gets 50% of the prize pool, second place gets 30% and third place pockets 20%. But don't let that 20% fool you. It's not really 20% for third, because once you get down to three players, 60% of the prize money has been locked up and actually already paid out.

Essentially, the last three players are only fighting over 40% of the prize pool as the other 60% has already been paid out. That's why it's so important to make sure you get into the money. You're going to have to make some tough decisions and tight lay-downs to make sure that you get a piece of that 60%.

Here's an example of a hand you would play very differently on the money bubble in a Sit & Go than in most other instances. You're second in chips with 3,000, the blinds are 100/200, and you're dealt Ad-7d in the big blind. The chip leader is on the button and raises to 600; the small blind folds and you call the extra 400.

 

Howard Lederer
Get the Led out.

The flop comes Q-8-3 with two diamonds, which is a pretty attractive flop for your hand. You check, and your opponent does exactly what you didn't want him to do: put you all in for about double the size of the pot. You're getting slightly better than 3-to-2 pot odds on a call for your tournament life.

This is a situation in most tournaments where, if it was early in the Sit & Go or if the money bubble had already burst, you would call. But this is a special situation. You are on the bubble and 60% of the prize pool is about to be awarded.

If you call here, you're probably about 50/50 to be the player that finishes on the bubble and gets none of that 60%. This is one situation where you need to really let the structure of the Sit & Go influence your decision.

Once the bubble bursts, your approach should change dramatically. Look again at the payout structure: the last three players are fighting over the remaining 40% of the prize pool. If you move up from third to second, you get another 10%, but if you move up from third to first, that gets you an extra 30%.

That's three times more reward for winning than for just moving up a spot. So your goal now becomes to do what's necessary to finish in first place and not be too concerned about going broke and finishing in third.

You should be willing to put your chips at risk to give yourself a stack that can lead to a win. If you pick up a hand like J-9 or Ace-rag and it looks like someone might be pushing you around, take a stand. Put your chips in the middle. You don't want to be anteing off your chips, limping up into second and then not winning.

In these structures, the initial goal is always to cash. Once you've cashed, the goal is to go for the win.

To play and chat with the pros sign up for a FullTilt Poker account right here on PokerListings.com.

Read more tips from the pros:

Share:

Please fill the required fields correctly!

Error saving comment!

You need to wait 3 minutes before posting another comment.

No Comments

Bloggers
WSOP Blog

WSOP Blog

WSOP live blog from the tournament floor w/ poker pro interviews, photos and side action from Las

Latest Posts 's Page  
Positively Nerd Street

Positively Nerd Street

Pr0n for the poker nerd. Hardware, software, gadgets, etc; like poker, but from the future.
Latest Posts 's Page  
The Guest Blog

The Guest Blog

A menagerie of poker pros, celebrities, poker writers and industry figures.
Latest Posts 's Page  
Battle of Malta Blog

Battle of Malta Blog

Photo essays, player profiles, travel tips, off-the-cuff interviews and more from Battle of Malta!
Latest Posts 's Page  
×

Sorry, this room is not available in your country.

Please try the best alternative which is available for your location:

Close and visit page