Poker Pro's Corner: When on the bubble, don't be afraid to get aggressive
Jun 22,2007 00:00 by Huck Seed

Q: Should I tighten up on the money bubble or should I get aggressive if I am medium stacked?

- Rex, New York City

 
A respected tournament player and 1995 World Series Main Event champion, Huck Seed answers readers' questions this month. When the 6-foot-7 Vegas resident isn't making his crazy prop bets, you can find him playing tournament poker both live and online at Full Tilt. Huck was an engineering student at Caltech when he took a leave of absence to pursue poker. That was 18 years ago. Today, he has raked in almost $3 million in tournament cashes and owns four bracelets. CNS photo. 
A:
In general, it is solid, just always be aggressive on the bubble - be a maniac on the bubble. Some players play way too conservative on the bubble and you have to take advantage of that. You do also have to read your table. If a lot of people are going nuts on the bubble and trying to play like that, then you should just sit back. In general, I think most players are too conservative on the bubble. They are risking the top big money to make the little money. It is a good time to gamble and get a big stack; usually you should gamble before the bubble so you get a decent stack at the bubble so you can pound the small stacks later.

Q: I always seem to lose when I switch from sit-n-gos to no-limit cash games. Is there a different strategy?

- Amy, Oklahoma

A: Yeah, no-limit sit-n-gos are completely different from a no-limit cash game. No-limit sit-n-gos are kind of their own thing. They are even different from tournaments, because in a nine-player sit-n-go that pays three places, third gets paid a big amount. It's not like a regular bubble in a tournament where the bubble is nothing - you really just get your money back. With third in a sit-n-go you double your money, which is a huge difference from just getting your money back. When you look at third compared to first, it's not that much different, but in a regular tournament the bubble and first are a hundred times different. In a sit-n-go, you may win three times as much. You really want to make it to third - you want to hang in there and hang in there. The main thing for sit-n-gos is experience - play a lot of them. In a no-limit side game, it is about making good bets, but in a tournament you only have a limited amount of chips. It's a totally different game.

Q: Should I be playing a bigger variety of cards in pot-limit Omaha?

- Becky B., North Carolina

A: The style that seems to work for pot-limit Omaha tournaments is to see a lot of flops, because in PLO tournaments people don't raise as much with the normal hands that they would raise with, which just creates too much variance in tournaments. If you have a Q-J-10-8 with the Q-J of diamonds, you would raise that up all day in a side game because it is a good hand. In a tournament you don't because it would create too much variance in your stack. A lot more stealing will go on, and people aren't making as many marginal calls on the flop and turn. You can limp in with a lot more crap and steal more - that's a good basic strategy.

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