View Full Version : Bubble trouble: What do I do when I'm the 3rd stack?

07-23-2005, 06:29 AM
I play the 11s. I like my game until I get to the bubble. (Or at least my flaws are manageable) Every second game or so, however, I get to the bubble and there are two large stacks, a short stack and me maybe 100-150 over the short stack. The big stack is playing optimally and keeping the short stack alive while pounding on me, and the second stack isn't defending himself. The short stack is trying to survive and is doing so because he's getting help.

What kinds of situations am I looking to exploit in this scenario? Obviously it would be nice to double up against the one of the bigger stacks but how much risk should I take to try to do it? Should I be trying to wait out the short stack? Play only premiums? Obviously the blinds matter...for the purposes of this discussion lets say:

Blinds 50/100 6 hands left.

Stack 1: 4200
Stack 2: 600
Stack 3: Me 900
Stack 4: 2300

If I could get some help or a line on a good thread on bubble play, esp. against a big stack who's keeping the short stack alive, that would be great.



07-23-2005, 06:41 AM
That's a fairly common SNG situation. Personally, in that spot, i stay away from the big stacks as much as possible unless i'm playing a group 1 hand(pardon the sklansky-ese), and pick on the short stack myself if the others are leaving him alone. Of course, the ease of that depends on your relative position to the short stack, but in situations like that, sometimes you have to take things into your own hands. Play smart, but if you're folding every hand and hoping he gets knocked out before he has a chance to double up, you're going to be in rough shape with not much hope of more than third place money... when it even works. By gambling a little with the shorter stack, you might lose out on a couple of cashes, but you will inevitably be in better chip position once you get into the money.

My two cents.

07-23-2005, 07:26 AM
...pick on the short stack myself if the others are leaving him alone. Of course, the ease of that depends on your relative position to the short stack...

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This is a big part of my question. The big stack isn't leaving the short stack alone; she's actively protecting and keeping the short stack alive. Any move on the short stack will have to go through one of the two other stacks. Otherwise, sure, I would have isolated and taken a coin-flippish shot at the short stack.
Since I can't attack the short stack, and I won't be able to wait very long for a premium hand, what's my next best option?


07-23-2005, 07:35 AM
You aren't in a desperate situation, you have 9xBB. Don't be too afraid to push into big and 2nd stacks. Big stack will push with crap, but, if he has a brain, would be unwise to call a push without a good hand. I would push good hands and then get more aggressive as blinds increase.

07-23-2005, 11:12 AM
You're stack is big enough to threaten both the smaller and 2nd stack. This is the time to be aggressive, but be more cautious pushing into the big stack unless you have a good read he's tight. 9bb is a fine stack at this stage, and you want to build this up or go broke, not try to wait out the 6bb guy. You'll bust out in 4th a bit more than the guy that tries to wait it out, but you'll also get into the money with a good stack and be in good shape to get 1st.