As an MTT player, bubble play is a critical part of any MTT you play in. The bubble is the part of the tournament where the next person eliminated will not win any money or not make the final table. There are two types of bubbles. The money bubble and the final table bubble. Personally I think the money bubble is more important as it decides who makes the money. Even if I bust shortly after the bubble I’d rather bust having a min cash rather then no cash at all.
There are a few different ways you can play the money bubble. You can play relaxed if you have a big chip stack or you can be aggressive if your chip stack is low.
Generally If I have a good, healthy chip stack that’s above average I play relaxed when we are on the bubble. Unless I have a huge hand like premium pocket pairs I’ll sit back and let the shorter chip stacks go after each other. More often then not when playing with a healthy chip stack you’ll cash and make the money.
If I’m down to 5 or 6 big blinds on the bubble I’ll play aggressively and try to double up. If someone at my table has a shorter chip stack then me I’ll try to wait it out in hopes they bust. However If I’m dealt a decent hand I’ll get all my chips in preflop hoping to double up. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. The last thing I want to do is blind out of an MTT on the money bubble because I’ve been playing too passive. There have been times I’ve busted on the bubble and it’s a bad feeling knowing you came that close to cashing but you just got to dust it off and start thinking about the next tournament.
One thing I’ve noticed is during an MTT here on Replay is that sometimes the bubble can be either short or last a few minutes. It really depends on the chip stacks, who your playing against and how aggressive the short stacks are playing during that time. Keep an eye on the tournament stats and as the bubble approaches try and make sure you have a healthy chip stack so you don’t have to worry about busting on the money bubble.