The bubble phase is a particularly exciting time in a poker tournament. But sometimes it can be a real drag, too.
When it's down to just one or two players left to exit without money the big stacks bully the table while short stacks fight for survival.
Our video of the week shows four players in dire straits at the same time.
It’s the 2013 PCA Main Event in the Bahamas and two more players have to go until we reach the money. At the time the buy-in was still $10,300 so bubbling the tournament meant losing out on a minimum payout of $15,000!
146 players in the main event want to make the money but only 144 of them will. Suddenly, there are several all-ins and four players at three tables are in danger.
Double Relief, Double Doom
The rules demand that the hands are played one by one. The tournament director will watch every hand and determine the outcome.
First, we find Ashley Cheung and Stefano Rossomando, both playing pocket pairs against overcards. The decks are kind to them, though. The flop is harmless and already on the turn both can take a deep breath and celebrate a double-up.
But then things get a lot more dramatic. In the last all-in two players are at risk at the same table – Brazilian player Michel Santos and Norwegian player Vegard Froshaug.
Both hold strong hands – A-Q and QQ – but they also have numerous issues. Unfortunately, Robert Mizrachi sits between them and he’s also all-in and holding the best possible starting hand in poker. To make things worse Santos and Froshaug hold some of each other’s outs.
And so the drama commences. The flop gives the Brazilian plenty of hope, but then… will it be a Royal Flush, a one-outer or a double bust-out? Watch the video to find out.