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Poker Dictionary (106) > Bubble

The Bubble - Poker Tournaments

The 'Bubble' is a term that is used in poker tournaments, both live and online. It refers to the last unpaid position/place in a tournament.. In a standard poker tournament, a certain percentage of the field (entrants) will be paid, normally around 20% of the players who have entered. If 1,000 players enter and there are 100 paid places, 101 would be considered the bubble. It is the worst place in a tournament to finish in terms of disappointment as you have come so close to making the money.

When the tournament is approaching the paid places there are a number of ways to play, largely depending on how aggressive your table is and your stack size, relative to the average. Where your table is very tight (.i.e.... lots of players are just trying to make the money and thus are folding), it is an opportunity to be more aggressive and take down some easy blinds, as players will be less likely to defend. Where the table is aggressive and/or you have a number of big stacks at the table (relative to you), you might want to take your foot off the gas, at least until you make the money.

A player who finishes on the bubble would be said to be the 'Bubble Boy'.

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